After several attempts since 2015 to make the PennMobile application for iOS as useful as possible, the new Penn Labs iOS team thinks they’ve finally got it right.
The newly updated app, which will keep the name PennMobile, was revamped by Wharton and Engineering freshmen Josh Doman and Victor Chien with the help of Penn Labs Co-Director and Wharton sophomore Tiffany Chang. Chang also did graphic design for the new app.
While the PennMobile app was , Chang said she believes the updated app will provide a better experience for users by condensing its functions and making it more accessible for students.
The app is now available on the Apple App Store.
“It’s a fresh start,” Chang said. “I think there [was] a lot of stigma around the app previously.
“I think the biggest concern is people thought there were too many functions and they were not each built out really well, so overall it became kind of mediocre,” she added.
Chien said he believes that the app makes it easier for students at Penn to access resources.
“Use it because it will make your life at Penn easier,” he said. “You’ll have the University at your fingertips. Laundry, dining — it’s all at your fingertips.”
Through the app, students can book Group Study Rooms in libraries, monitor the statuses of laundry machines to see exactly when a machine will become available and check the menus and hours of dining halls on campus.
The app is entirely student-created, and the project is funded by the Undergraduate Assembly through the Penn Labs program.
Doman and Chien both joined Penn Labs this year after each teaching themselves the programming language Swift, which is used to create iPhone apps.
Moving forward, the team said they plan on adding additional functions to the app, such as a way to access Penn Transit. Doman said he wants development of PennMobile to continue in a similar way as a start-up would, adding that the team hopes to “push the boundaries on what we can do.”
“Penn Labs has historically been run by engineers,” Doman said. “And I think there’s a lot of value that people with different backgrounds can bring to Penn Labs, including designers, people who have backgrounds in marketing and people who want to gain skills in product management.”
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