Developing a Pierce app

Students usually rely on a map or catalog to navigate their way around the campus, but an advanced programming class might be changing that soon.

Hank Murphy, lab assistant of computer sciences, teaches CS559 Advanced Programming For Mobile Devices. After reading the editorial published in issue 7 of the Roundup suggesting the development of an app for Pierce College students, his class took a vote and decided to develop an iPhone app for Pierce.

According to Murphy, certain features suggested in the editorial are not able to be done based on the class’s curriculum. Furthermore, he said, possible future implementation of a new Student Information System may affect some features that could be developed for the app. Murphy explained how some features are too grandiose for his class because of a lack of resources.

“UCLA spent millions on their application through an outside source. I am trying to build it with the resources I have available,” Murphy said.

So far, features that the app may have include a campus map and automatic notifications for important dates such as deadlines for adding and dropping classes during the semester.

“The initial goal is an application that is a mapping agent,” Murphy said. “The mapping feature is really all we can work on, as the administration may be modifying the student services platform, so any work we do on this current platform could be all for naught.”

Murphy and his class hope to submit their finished app to the App Store during finals week this semester. According to Murphy, because this is not an official Pierce College app and it is not a for-profit venture, once the app reaches the App Store, it will be available to download for free.

The class which is part lab, part lecture, offers students a chance to build their own app to submit to the Apple App Store.

Ruzan Mirzoyan focused her application on a children’s game called Spider. Spider, according to Mirzoyan, focuses on teaching children the multiplication tables from one’s to ten’s.

Computer Science major Conner Pierce has recently gotten his game approved by the Apple App Store.

“I wanted to take advantage of the new 3-D touch feature on the Iphone 6,” Pierce said.

3-D touch, a new feature on the iphone, allows the phone to respond to subtle touches.

“The game requires the player to use the feature to pop balloons. The different levels of touch are represented by colors and matching the color to the balloon will pop it,” Pierce said.

For those who wish to download the game but do not have the newest iphone, the game can be played without the use of 3-D touch. The pressure sensitive touch can be replaced by the colors cycling through from yellow (light), to red (heavy).

Another project being worked on is by two architecture students features the Los Angeles River.

“The river has a variety of animals, wildlife areas and the area will soon have a visitors center,” Doe said.

“We went down to the river and saw that it holds a lot of wonderful things that people do not know about,” Smith said.

The app will feature a map of the area and a social media aspect to allow people to connect with others exploring the areas.

“It is still in the opening stages of development,” said Smith.

Luke Campbell is working on a politically influenced game.

“It is a deck-builder game where players use cards that reflect political moves. The cards come with positives and negatives which will make some constituents happy and others unhappy,” said Campbell.