Harvard Mobile is getting an update. A new version of the University-wide mobile application was released this month with a number of functional, design, and content enhancements. Harvard Mobile 2.0 now has native applications for the Android and iOS operating systems, as well as a mobile Web application accessible to any Web-enabled smartphone.
“As users shift to a mobile-first culture of information consumption, it’s imperative that Harvard respond with relevant, optimized mobile content,” said Perry Hewitt, Harvard’s chief digital officer.
Mobile traffic to the University’s core properties continues to rise, with approximately 17 percent of Gazette visits and 10 percent of Harvard.edu visits made through a mobile device. Both sites are optimized for mobile, and the discrete Harvard Mobile application is aimed at campus user needs.
Since Harvard Mobile launched, there have been more than 56,000 downloads of the iOS app, as well as hundreds of thousands of page views on both the native iPhone app and mobile Web.
Harvard Mobile provides easy access to campus maps, directories, and dining hall menus, as well as University news, events, and course catalogs. Updates to the app include: a design refresh; the addition of nutritional information in the dining module; updates to the maps module; a new alerts module with key telephone numbers and a space for alert content; a new photo module that captures scenes of campus life; and a link to the new Admissions’ mobile app. Harvard Mobile now links to mobile-optimized courses information, personalized for students via a PIN, and developed by Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT).
New Harvard Library features will launch in the next few months, and will include research guides, a searchable library staff directory, videos, and library news and events. Users will also be able to view which libraries are closest to their current location as well as their amenities, such as cafes, group study rooms, scanners, etc.
As part of the update, Harvard Mobile is shifting to software as a service platform, which will enable a consistent level of server-side upgrades, and let Harvard take advantage of new features and enhancements as they become available.
The iPhone and Android apps became available in app stores on Jan. 18. The apps can be used with all iPhone and Android hardware; iOS 6.0 software or better is recommended for iPhone users. The mobile Web app is available at http://m.harvard.edu.