What happened to the TMU app?

What happened to the TMU app?

Kaitlyn Nickerson, Sports Editor

Students walking into chapel this semester may have been surprised to notice a return to the old-fashioned way of chapel sign-ins: paper and pen. Last year’s sign-in process featured personalized QR codes and TMU’s own app.

This year, however, the app has all but disappeared.

The TMU app was introduced last fall to the incoming class over WOW and the new students began using features like the Campus Chat and the Caf menu right away. Returning students took a little more convincing.

“I’m a very big fan of technology when it’s used right, so I was excited and I had high hopes for how it would help different things,” said Kimber Bridges, a senior Bible major.  “So I thought it was a good idea, but I knew that there would be kinks that they would need to work out.”

Last year, over Christmas break , the app got a makeover that addressed some minor and major bugs as well as redefining the “look” of the app.

This year the app hasn’t made an appearance at all.

According to Renee Esguerra, the student activities coordinator, the contract between TMU and the app developer, Involvio, has ended.

“They only gave us a year, and we’re between that year now where we either renew it with them or we go with a different developer,” Esguerra said. “So, right now we’re still in negotiations with Involvio, who is our current app developer and we are also looking at different ones in the market.”

There is no official date yet for the return of the app.

“We want to get it back as soon as possible,” Esguerra said. “We like having the calendar in one app, events, rideshare. I think those were some of the most useful parts of the app, from what I understand from last year. So either we try to get Involvio back and do a better job with all the things that were good from last year or find a different developer who would just hone in on those few things, so that they can serve us better.”

In the meantime, students will have to rely on other means to get the information they need.

“We still have the website for events.” Esguerra said. “The calendar is always there and always updated on things that are going on around campus.”

When the app does return, students may be surprised to find some changes.

“Campus chat was one of the things that was more on the weaker side for the app that we used to have last year. For a staffer to have to monitor the chat and make sure that anything that was not edifying goes on there takes a lot of time and effort,” said Esguerra. “So we want to make that better so that you’re only involved in chats — say for example, you’re in a specific dorm, you’re only allowed to be in that specific dorm chat, so we are trying to narrow it down or minimize it so it’s tailored to your category as a student.”

Chapel sign-ins, however, may be kept the same, even if the app comes back.

“It keeps them a little more accountable,” Bridges said. “Because if you’re signing your name, I feel like you’re really committing to stay there and really take it seriously.”