Student email and the UManitoba mobile app

Just thought I would comment about the integration of student email into the mobile app.

Integrating student email into our mobile app is not a simple task. When we decided to do it we had a few options.

  1. We could try to write our own client within the mobile app that students would use to interact with their email accounts at the university. This would be a big project by itself let alone all the work we typically have to do during the development of each mobile app iteration. Essentially we would have to write our own outlook client from scratch! Not realistic.
  2. We could provide information on how to set up a mobile device to access student email from within a students email client of choice, which we did prior to version 2.5  of the mobile app.
  3. We could create a simple view which points the student to the mobile version of the new student live 365 email portal.

We decided to implement option #3, this way students can access their email from within UManitoba without having to exit the app, which is what was requested by students.

Today, this remains the best option.

To configure a mobile device to load email into common mobile email clients see the two pages below.

see this page for Apple Products

see this page for Android products

We may add this information into the Email micro-app within UManitoba as well in the near future so students are presented with a couple of options.

The student email feature within the mobile app has been one of the top 3 features in the mobile app since we added it in the summer of 2013.








The Android version and Blackberry 10

I have recently been informed that with the latest update of the Blackberry 10 operating system (10.2.1) users can install the Android version of UManitoba mobile app on their Blackberry devices.

I do not have Blackberry devices in our lab therefore I cannot confirm this. I have been informed that the UManitoba mobile app works well on Blackberry devices with the latest update.

I would love to here from other users of BB 10 devices how the application behaves on that platform. If you have a current BB 10 device and have updated the operating system and had the chance to try to install the UManitoba app please send me an email and let me know how your experience was.

Exciting news!




iOS7 and the mobile app

iOS7 is due to be released to the masses on September 20th. I personally think the new operating system is very cool. However, this post is not about how amazing iOS7 is but rather how the current version of the mobile app works with iOS7.

In the lab we have an iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPad Mini with the latest pre-release build of iOS7 and UManitoba version 3.5.16 works well on that operating system with two exceptions.

  • if you login to Schedule and use the date picker, you will not see your courses. Use of the back and forward buttons works fine to view your schedule.
  • occasionally when searching for directions to a building on campus the app crashes.

The above two issues have been resolved in our latest build in development.

We hope to release an update to you no later then the end of September. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

For those of you who may not be upgrading to iOS7 straight away, our devices that have iOS6 installed can use the iOS7 version of the app without any issues.


Single sign on

I have been receiving feedback from users requesting we build into the app the capability for users to sign on once and be able to access all features that require a login. Those features are D2L, Grades, Schedule, Booklist and Student Email.

We haven’t implemented this feature, in part, due to privacy and security concerns. However, we have added this feature request to our todo list and will be looking into possible solutions.




Version 3.5 released

Version 3.5 has been released.

  • totally re-designed & enhanced Transit feature
  •  Maps feature now includes driving directions to any campus building.
  • new email feature that connects students to their new Office 365 email account.
  • new Settings feature to allow users to toggle on or off app features as well as set other options.
  • updated home screen
  • added instagram feed to social media feature
  • adds a banner to the bottom of the home screen to showcase key events on the app such as Bison Football games in the new stadium.
  • many bug fixes



UManitoba 3.0 released

UManitoba version 3.0 was released today for all Android and iOS based mobile phones and tablets.

New Features & Updates

  • A new bookstore micro-app
  • updated user interface for News and Events micro-app
  • added Library Hours and “Ask a Librarian” feature to Library micro-app
  • added Text to Speech functionality for the visually impaired
  • added ability to add events to a users calendar from Events micro-app
  • bug fixes and various other improvements

Things to note

  • The new version is only available to Android users with  version 4.0 or higher.



App crashes on load for users with Samsung Galaxy S2/S3 and Motorola xt910 4.04


So its seems that for some Android users with operating system version 4.0.4, particularly Samsung Galaxy S2/S3 and the Motorola xt910 are having problems loading the latest version of the app.

The app, while being loaded, crashes without providing an error message of any significance.

The problem seems to lie with having certain options set within the phones developer options. Particularly with the “Do not keep activities” option.

Confirmed solution

  1. go into Settings
  2. navigate down to Developer Options, should be near the bottom of the list.
  3. Make sure that everything is unchecked.
  4. back out of there and restart the app.

We have not encountered this issue before it doesn’t appear to be an app issue but a configuration of the device operating system.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Development Team.


UManitoba version 2.5 officially released today.

It is with great pleasure that I announce to the world that UManitoba version 2.5 was released today. The new version is live for download in Google Play and Apple App Store. Go get it!

So whats new you ask?

  • The maps feature has been totally re-designed. Where Am I? has been properly integrated into the Maps micro-app and the micro-app itself is now native. It pulls its data from a Google web service. There is a new Search feature as well so that you can search by keywords if you like. Or you can select a layer to view.
  • The springboard, that main screen that you see when you launch the app has been improved so that icons lay themselves out better based on the device dimensions in use.
  • UMFM is now mobile!
  • UMFM has Live Streaming
  • UMFM has Live Sessions, Podcasts and much much more!
  • You can listen to UMFM even if the app is closed.
  • Twitter UI has changed due to increased restrictions to how their API (thats the stuff we use to gain access to their data) is used.
  • Added our own navigation bar for web based features like D2L or Libraries.
  • Food Micro-App. If you want to know what food locations are on campus then go here!
  • News and Events have been re-worked so that they load faster.
  • Important Dates and Exam Schedule has been added to Student micro-app.
  • many bug fixes and enhancements.

If you have any comments please submit them via the feedback micro-app.

Happy New Year

Dave C.


Windows Phone 8


Soooo the long awaited release of Windows 8 happened on Oct 25th.

HTC will be the first to launch a mobile phone with Windows 8 OS on Nov. 2nd. Followed shortly there after by Nokia and Samsung.

We may do a port of UManitoba to the Windows platform in the new year, we’ll see what the demand is like in 2013.

All the best




Update 2.1 with iOS6 support Released


We finally released 2.1 on October 15th.

Its primary enhancement is iOS6 support which fixes all the instability issues with the app prior to 2.1.

There were a few other UI tweaks to make the app more user friendly (for example auto launching of the keyboard when a view with input elements is opened).

If you haven’t downloaded the update yet, please do so.

All the best