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Get Northwestern App for iPhone, BlackBerry

Application for mobile device includes campus news, photos, maps, directory and more

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March 23, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Photos and artwork from the Northwestern University digital collection, a campus directory, the latest news, sports and events info from the University, campus maps and more. They're all available on a new application created by the University for the iPhone, BlackBerry and other mobile devices.

The free app is now available for download at the BlackBerry App World store, the iPhone App store and on iTunes.

"With an increasing number of our students, alumni, faculty and staff using iPhones and other mobile devices, we wanted to provide them a way to access Northwestern information quickly and easily," said Robert Taylor, director of academic and research technologies. "This puts a number of University resources literally in your pocket."

The new app was developed by staff from the academic and research technologies group of NU Information Technology and the Web communications group of the Department of University Relations. Working with Blackboard Mobile, the company that originally developed a university iPhone application for Stanford University, the Northwestern team was able to design and build the new app in less than three months. Northwestern library developers also contributed to the application suite and provided access to images from the library's Special Collections.

"This was a project that moved on a very fast timetable, but we were able to pack a lot of features into this first version. Plus, we're already thinking about things we can add when we do an update," said Janet Dobbs, director of Web communications.

The application currently provides information in the following categories: news, events, maps, directory, library, images, videos and athletics. By following the links, a user can do such things as get the latest news from the University, find buildings on the Evanston and Chicago campuses, get the e-mail addresses of people at Northwestern, check to see if a book is available in the library, check the latest sports news and view photos of campus as well as other images. In addition, the video link takes users directly to Northwestern's YouTube channel, which now has approximately 350 videos.

Plans for upcoming releases of Northwestern Mobile later this year include live GPS updates on the locations of campus shuttles and the Frostbite Express, an expanded suite of library services and delivery of e-books, and course communication services from Blackboard course sites.