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University releases 'Hokie Mobile' application for distribution through iTunes store


   

Home screen of the Hokie Mobile application This image shows the home screen of the Hokie Mobile application, which is now available in the iTunes store.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 21, 2010 – Virginia Tech has released the university’s first application for use on the iPhone and iPod Touch through the Apple iTunes store. The free app is called Hokie Mobile and provides users with campus news, events, maps, and a directory search.

“The Hokie Mobile app is the first of several applications we’re planning to introduce and distribute on iTunes,” said Larry Hincker, associate vice president for university relations. “We felt it was important to create an application that provided news and basic services first to appeal to a broad audience.”

What sets Hokie Mobile apart from other university applications is that it allows students, alumni, staff, and faculty to use their Virginia Tech PID to login and access personalized information such as their current courses or university account balances.

The application’s launch stems from a collaborative effort of several university departments, as well as students. Integration and Portal Services, a unit of Information Technology, began working on a mobile version of its MyVT site. Shortly after work began, undergraduate students and a graduate student working for the unit contributed their ideas to develop an application that offered more services and features. University Relations contributed to the design and functionality of the application. The application was sent to Apple for review in early September.

The university community also contributed to the application’s name. Several choices were offered, and students, faculty, alumni, staff, and other Virginia Tech fans voted in online survey. Hokie Mobile was the clear winner.

In addition to the application itself, the university has also obtained an iTunes App Store license.

“This will allow the university to develop and distribute apps through its own store, making it easier to find applications that are officially licensed and endorsed by Virginia Tech,” Hincker said. “With more applications under development and nearing the review stage, Hokie Mobile is just the beginning.”

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.