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Purdue students developing new smartphone app for university

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – Students at Purdue University are working to build a new smartphone application that will carry the school’s branding.

The Journal and Courier reports Purdue switched from an app built by students in 2014 to one made in-house that has mostly negative reviews.

George Lo, the lead developer of the new student-built app, said it’s more user-friendly. It includes a campus map, bus routes, and access to email and course management software.

“We look at it from a branding perspective, making sure it represents the university well,” said Martin Sickafoose, Purdue’s digital marketing director.

The new app is undergoing beta testing and could be available on Apple’s App Store as soon as late March, after bugs are worked out. Lo, a student in the College of Science, said developers are currently looking for testers.

A release for Android phones would come this summer.

A team of students has also worked to provide Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Spanish in the new app. The university’s current app does not offer these languages.

Sickafoose said developing the app gives students real-world experience, and that they know better what other students want.

“They have a better pulse on what their peers are looking for,” he said.