Huskie Bus Tracker, dining menus debut in new Version 2.0 release of NIU Mobile app

NIU Mobile v 2.0Version 2.0 of NIU Mobile hit Android and Apple app stores this week and adds some highly anticipated new features to the university’s free smartphone application.

“One of the top requests we had is to bring the Advanced Geospatial Lab’s Huskie Bus Tracker to the app,” said Jennice O’Brien, director of Web Communications. “Now, with the Transit module, students can get real-time bus information on their phones in a mobile-friendly format. The location of the buses is updated every three seconds.”

“Mobile Applications that can run on Apple, Android and Blackberry are the next logical step for the Huskie Bus Tracking System,” said Phil Young, director of the Advanced Geospatial Lab.

“Through recent enhancements, we can now track buses in real time, which gives mobile users more up to date information. The Transit module will enhance the overall use of the NIU Mobile applications, and should be a welcome addition for NIU students who use our bus transportation systems.”

In addition to location information, Transit also delivers information on Huskie Bus routes, stops and schedules.

The Places module provides easy access to dining information on and around campus.

Users can access information on residential dining, the Holmes Student Center restaurants and Huskie Bucks merchants. Each venue includes information on menus, operating hours and locations. Huskie Bucks merchants are sorted by types of cuisine.

“App users can even view a dining venue’s location on a map relative to their current location on campus and get an estimate of how long it will take to walk there,” O’Brien said.

Tickets provides a link to NIU’s mobile Ticketmaster page to purchase tickets for Convocation Center and Athletics events.

Another enhancement to the app is a Tours feature available in the Maps module with directions and locations for several campus walking tours.

For those with iPhones using iOS5, the app includes a new feature called “Augmented Reality” that uses the device’s camera, GPS and compass to identify campus buildings in a 3D, interactive view. iOS5 users also can customize the location of the icons on the app’s springboard by “long-pressing” an icon until it wiggles, then dragging it to a new location.

The update is available as a native application for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices. A mobile web-friendly version for other devices, as well as an update to the app on the BlackBerry platform, should be available in the next couple of weeks.

NIU Mobile debuted in app stores last summer and is developed in partnership by University Relations and Information Technology Services.

For more information, email NIUMobile@niu.edu. Suggestions are welcome.

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