In December 2011, Thusanthan Kannan stayed late on McMaster campus and was looking to purchase refreshments from a Tim Hortons.
Unfortunately, he did not realize that every establishment was closed for the night. Frustrated, Kannan had an epiphany, realizing he “could have saved… so much time and energy if [he] had only known the [opening and closing] times beforehand.” After consulting his close friends, Kulwinder Billen and Jerry Oku, the trio decided to remedy this problem through the creation of a new Android application, MacPoint.
MacPoint is an application catered to “anyone that spends their time on [McMaster] campus,” said Billen.
“The app allows one to be able to recognize and find the various buildings and hospitality services throughout campus. And on top of all this goodness, each point of interest we have covered will present its respective hours of operation.”
The production of the app began in the summer of 2012. The trio met many difficulties along the way, explained Kannan.
“We were going into Android development from scratch and without any prior knowledge… so it took us a lot of time to understand and master what we were doing.”
Also, being students, Kannan, Billen and Oku had many other commitments, considerably slowing down development of the software. Eventually, a functioning application was completed in April 2013 and with a few minor updates, the application was released on Sept. 11 of this year.
So far, the app has been met with generally positive reviews.
“I like the app’s functionality but it tends to crash relatively often,” said McMaster student Jozef Bednarski.
Fellow McMaster student Claudia Aparicio said, “It looks great, really useful. It would be better if each building marker had the [building] acronym on it though, it’s hard for first-year students to navigate through the map if they don’t know the building names.” Online reviews on play.google.com and reddit.com provided similar feedback, stating that the application is practical, useful but relatively unstable.
When asked about future plans considering the application Oku said, “We plan on expanding and adding more features which will be of great use. Currently, our main issue that needs improving is our aesthetic and visual layout of the app. Also, we need to add more control over which type of markers to view based on the user’s decision. At the end of the day, we just want to enrich and improve the day to day routines and experiences on campus.”
MacPoint can be found on the Google Play store and is only currently available for Android mobile phones.