Montana State University

MSU's new free mobile app provides easy access to campus and area resources

February 6, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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Montana State University has launched a new, free mobile application for students and others to use to access a variety of information related to MSU and Bozeman, such as grades, class schedules, weather forecasts and snow reports.

Additional information that can be accessed through the mobile application, or app, includes students’ unofficial transcripts, campus telephone numbers, dining hall menus, a campus map and local bus schedules. Students can also easily use the app to connect to other mobile resources, such as the MSU Library’s mobile website, the mobile website for Bobcat Athletics, and the mobile website for Desire2Learn, MSU’s online course management system.

The app was developed to provide easy access to a number of important resources that had not previously been easily accessible through a mobile device, according to Jake Dolan, director of MSU Web and Digital Communications.

“We’ve created the mobile app because it allows us to better connect our audiences with campus resources,” Dolan said. “Putting all of these items in a single location helps students and others collect information more easily and connect with the university.

“Providing easier access adds huge value to our students,” Dolan added.

MSU Web and Digital Communications, in partnership with the MSU IT Center, launched the app last semester. Two of MSU’s other campuses, MSU Billings and Great Falls College MSU, have similar apps. Combined, the apps for the three MSU campuses have about 1,900 users, Dolan estimated.

“The number of users has grown significantly since the app’s launch, and we expect those numbers will continue to grow,” he said.

To download MSU’s free mobile app, interested individuals should go to http://www.montana.edu/mobile/ and follow links. Dolan noted that the app is available for Android and iOS devices, but due to the design of the software the university purchased to support the app, the app is not available for Windows or Blackberry devices.

Dolan said the app is just one part of the university’s plans to increase access to resources through mobile devices. For example, MSU Web and Digital Communications is redesigning the majority of MSU’s website to provide a positive user experience for users on any device, from mobile phones to desktop computers.

“The reason we’re going down these paths is that cell phone and tablet usage is growing very rapidly – 200 to 300 percent every year,” Dolan said. “It’s only a matter of time before the number of people accessing our Web domain through mobile devices is greater than the number of people who access those resources on desktop computers.”

Contact: Jake Dolan, MSU Web and Digital Communications, (406) 994-5036 or jake@montana.edu