Monthly Archives: March 2016

Don’t worry, Be Hoppy

Hey everybunny,

Alexiz here– and back at it again with the cheesy puns!

In all seriousness, if you follow us on Facebook (which you should) you know that bike hub has gone beta, aka you can now download and test out our app! 


Now if you’d like to be a part of the Bike Hub club there are two ways join:

1. Download TestFlight, an application that facilitates this beta testing process, and test our app by entering your e-mail using this link:

Also, if you feel uncomfortable at all entering your e-mail using the survey link you are more than welcome to private message us via Facebook at Feel free to like us if you feel so inclined, you poetic and noble land mermaids.

2. Download HockeyApp, another application that allows you to use a public URL to test bike hub, and use it by creating an account. Click the link to get started:

We’ll be posting another survey by the end of the week to allow for some necessary feedback and criticism.

Here’s a sneak peak at what Bike Hub looks like:

Simulator Screen Shot Mar 25, 2016, 11.51.40 PM Simulator Screen Shot Mar 25, 2016, 11.51.45 PM Simulator Screen Shot Mar 25, 2016, 11.51.46 PM

I cannot stress enough how much we would appreciate any comments you guys might have. So, invite your friends, your friends of friends, that aunt that you don’t really like at family celebrations, your grandma’s Zumba class, or maybe that newborn cousin that’s about a day old. Really, all comments are welcome and encouraged.

After surveying all the feedback (we’re hoping to get), we’ll make some necessary adjustments and dare I say submit this baby to the app store.

Bike Hub has grown before our eyes– many thanks to the best computer science majors, Jerry and Tony.

But who knows, maybe Julia and I will get our code on when we take Bike Hub to an Apple watch near you?


This semester has definitely flown by and my three precious bike hubbers, Jerry, Julia and Tony will soon leave the 40 acres come May and leave me here to fend for myself. So keep a lookout for my end of the year sappy appreciation post for them. They the real MVPs.

Peace, love and Bike Hub,





We’re hitting crunch time! Here at Aura, we have the proper mixture of panic and motivation to get the app ready by next Sunday.

As of right now, we are inputting the businesses and their information into the app, as well as improving the design and general layout of Aura. On the non-coding side of things, we have 99 followers on Twitter (so close)! Our social media game has improved significantly over the past couple of weeks; be sure to follow us by the way — links at the bottom of this post.

We’re also in the process of conducting interviews with business owners about why Aura and safe spaces are important to them. It’s still undecided if we’ll use the interview footage in the next video or save it for demo day. Here’s a preview:

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 11.04.34 PM

That’s all we’ve got for now! Time to go finish that app.

And as usual, here’s your chance to show us some love on social media:

Twitter: @ApplicationAura




It’s the Final Countdown

We’ve got a classic pump up song to start this blog post. It’s cheesy, just as cheesy as the 1980’s hair metal band that plays the song, but it defines the tone of this class for the upcoming week. Professors Quigley and Linwood have tried to push teams to the limit after spring break, and it seems like their efforts have worked. Each group has been working hard during class (and likely outside of class as well) to make sure they will have something to show come April 3. We’re no exception to that rule.

Martin and Angel have shined this week. They’ve put in hours of work to make sure WhereUAt will be functional. Making the app look good has been Adam and Sherry’s responsibility. They settled on the fonts, colors and icons that will be used in the app, and have begun to prepare these features so that they will be ready when the time comes to put everything together.

Martin has been organizing the code and also organizing the backend structure. He was able to get the user’s facebook friend-list along with their user IDs. He also retrieved the user’s personal facebook user ID so in the Firebase, we can separate users by IDs. He faced a few bugs where the data is overwritting when we don’t want it to. Thankfully Martin was able to solve it. The fix was easy, however, the bug was difficult to find. It was setting the data saving path that was a little bit confusing with Firebase’s documentation.

On Tuesday, he also set constraints on the main storyboard’s mapview because some devices could not see the logout button on the bottom of the screen. After setting the constraints, we were able to logout with different devices’ simulators. As of now, he is currently working on pin drop and directions. The pin drop is working properly, however, getting the directions right when the pin is dropped will take a little bit more time.

Angel, our other intrepid computer scientist, has also been hard at work. Her accomplishments include making each element in the app scale appropriately for different size devices and fixing the Facebook logout button’s functionality. The app’s navigation bar is proving to be oddly difficult, but with Jeff’s help Angel should be able to fix the issue soon. She has turned her attention to showing both the user and user’s friend’s location on the map at the same time. Once that is done the app will be essentially complete.

We neglected to link to our second promotional video in our previous blog post, so we might as well talk about it now. Our video features Sherry, a disgruntled student organization president who struggles to get her officers to show up to meetings on time. With the help of WhereUAt she is able to summon her delinquent officers Angel and Adam to handle important organizational business.

Oh yeah, how could I forget to mention the ‘Awesomest Journalism Party Ever’? In this humble college student’s opinion it may not have quite lived up to the expectations set out by such a grandiose name. Then again I’m fairly hard to impress, so maybe I’m just jaded. Anyhow free drinks flowed and networks were expanded. It was interesting to see so many people interested in mingling, or at least free booze on Sixth Street. Palm Door (the venue) had a significant line for at least the first hour of the event.

The clock is ticking, but it looks like we’ll be able to finish before it strikes midnight.

Poli: Sprint to the App Store!

Hey Poli lovers! We’re headed down the final stretch before submitting to the App Store, and Poli is coming along really well! We have the basic functions all set up in the app, meaning that you can sign up, login, make posts and comments, and everything else you need to have a great experience on Poli! Quan, our iOS wizard, has been working his magic and steadily building up Poli as an intuitive and functional anonymous messaging app. As we get closer and closer to completion, we’re on the lookout for alpha testers for Poli, so if you’re interested send us a shout-out either on our Facebook page or tweet at us on our Twitter page

As a quick teaser, we’ll give you a short tour of what we have so far (although we promise that it’s going to look much nicer as a final product!).  To start off with, we have our sign-up page, where you sign up for an account using your email address.


After you create your password and sign up for an account, you’ll shortly after receive an email asking to verify your email address. Once you’ve verified your email, you’re all set to login and begin using Poli!


After you login to Poli, you get to see all the posts that you and all the other Poli users have created, depending on which channels you select. All the posts on the main timeline come only from the channels that you have selected, so you only see the content that you really care about.



Finally, when you’re ready to make your first post on Poli, you head over to the “New Post” section, type in the message you want, select the channel you want to post it in, then press “Post” and you’re done! It’s as simple as that, and now you can endlessly engage in conversation with all the people on Poli while staying anonymous.


While our app functions and features are nearly complete, we’re still hard at work to crank out some awesome new screen designs to make Poli look as fresh and appealing as possible. We know that you guys are dying to try out Poli, so once again, send us a message on our Facebook page or tweet at us on our Twitter page to become an alpha tester today!

Next Stop: iOS App Store

Hey there! We’re only ONE WEEK away from submitting Clutch to the app store. We’ve been working full throttle to get everything cleaned up and ready to go.

Over the last two weeks, the computer science guys have been coding away to get all the UT bus information to show accurately on a map. With 40+ active buses, they’ve had their hands full getting all the coordinates and times up and running.

On the communications side, we’ve been posting a few times a week to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and using our crowd-sourcing campaign #BusFail to try and spread the word and getting people interacting with Clutch.

As a group, we’ve all been sketching and designing online plans for the user interface of our app to make sure we have the most user-friendly and attractive bus-tracking app that ever did exist!

Here’s a sketch of the general flow of the app from page to page:

By this time next week, we’ll have submitted our app and will still be working harder than ever to get the app nice and polished for demo day on April 30.

That’s all for now, come back for more exciting updates next week!


JSTMM working in sepia

JSTMM working in sepia

MeFree – Back At It Again

Hi everyone!

So since Demo Day is quickly approaching we’ve buckled down and are working hard to get our app ready to submit to the app store! We’ve had to tweak exactly what features will be included for our first version, but we’re definitely going to keep working to add everything we want after we submit.

After a couple snags with the coding that had to do with email verification, Josh and Angad have bounced back strong! Josh began at the very bottom of the app with the log in screen and is working forward from there while Angad has stepped back a bit to work on our splash screen. Josh is currently completing the coding for our friends list feature and adding the ability to search for people and add them. Here’s a look at what our log in screen is going to look like:


Zara and I have slowed down a bit on our social media accounts but posted a return picture to our platforms to let everyone know we’re still here! Then I came up with the wonderful gem of #backatitagain #withtheappmaking – yeah, I’m pretty proud of that one. Zara got our website created and is working on putting everything together to add it there (including those long-ago-promised blooper clips – don’t worry, they’re still coming!), while I’ve been busy making mock ups. Since we tweaked our app features a little, I made some new screens for the guys to code off of:

Friends Page MVP Home Page MVP

Are y’all excited yet!?

This semester has flown by and the clock is ticking! We’re excited to be so close to submitting to the app store and we can’t wait to share what we create with y’all!

Until next time!


NICAR and other news

First things first, our second promo video is up! Check it out:

Last weekend, Alexiz and I attended the NICAR conference in Denver with Christian McDonald, who is the online projects and data editor for the Austin American-Statesman and teaches data journalism here at UT. NICAR is the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, an organization under Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), which maintains a library of federal databases and trains journalists in gathering and analyzing data. Over three days, we learned the basics of Python, R, and other programming languages, which we hope will translate into helping us understand more about Swift and the coding behind bike hub. We also had the chance to talk with several mobile app developers, who are now bike hub fans! Huge thanks to Christian, and also to UT J-school director R.B. Brenner, for the fantastic opportunity.

We plan to use the rest of our break to get a jumpstart on the next few weeks, polishing up the design and sending out another survey that includes screenshots from the app and asks more specific questions about what cyclists need/expect from the UI. We’ve designed custom images to replace the generic map pins that distinguish the different types of locations, and Jerry has figured out how to display them in the map view. The next hurdle will be filtering them, so users can choose to see only bike racks, or only pumps, etc.

Social media is still a bit sluggish, we want to up our engagement level and come up with some campaigns to roll out next week. Alexiz and I will be splitting our time between that and attempting to build (very small) parts of the app in Xcode.

Hope you all are having a wonderful week off!



Catching the (struggle) bus

Promo2 from sydney fedora on Vimeo.

Hello again! We are another week closer to a finished product which makes us super excited.

As you can see above, promo video number two is here. For this video we wanted to channel the intensity of a Nike/Under Armor ad to show how big of a struggle catching the bus can be.

In other news, we sent out this survey last week and have received over 80 responses so far. This feedback will be super helpful as we start to add features and tone the layout of our app, which we’ll be working on finishing up in the next few weeks.

That’s all for now, happy spring break!


We’re Not Taking a Break for Spring Break

With Demo Day less than two months away and our app store submission deadline even sooner, our speed of development has been taken up a few notches. We have a plan in place to finish the app in time, all we need to do now is execute.

Our journalists Adam and Sherry are going to start getting involved in the coding side of  things to help out Angel and Martin. We’re going to tackle the app’s navigation bar and interface design and avoid its backend and functionality like the plague (so we don’t break everything, because needless to say that would be bad at this stage in the game).


With Sherry’s electrical engineering experience and Adam’s computer science background, as well as the Swift knowledge Jeff imparted on us last semester, we shouldn’t have much trouble handling this part of the app.

Social Media continues to be a work in progress. Our twitter following is about five times greater than it was a week ago, which is nice. That might just be an increase from 5 followers to 26 followers, but her you have to start somewhere right? Rome wasn’t built in a day and other cliches.

Angel and Martin are working on implementing FireBase for our backend. Once our backend is in place we will set up a Facebook login in the app so users can easily connect with their friends.

Our team members will be mixing work and play during spring break. Angel, Adam and Sherry are staying in Austin to relax and enjoy the South by Southwest festivities. Angel is actually working as a photographer for SXSW, so keep an eye out for her work throughout the week. Adam and Sherry will be attending Hacks and Hackers to do a little networking and also enjoy what the hosts are calling ‘The Awesomest Journalism Party Ever’. We’ll see if it lives up to the hype and report back next week.

Poli is Getting Close . . .

Read our cross-listed post here.

Hi fans!

Last Week
Heads down work. We’re hunkering down and going all in. It’s Spring Break for some of UT, but not for you team here at Poli. We’ve got tons of work to push out before we can get ready for an app store submission. We have new technologies to learn (incorporating transition libraries), and we’ve got features to add for app store submission (post management and filters for inappropriate posts). Our social media presence has been growing thanks to our fans and one of our team members, Josh, has done an amazing job editing the next installment of the Poli video series! We hope you guys are as excited as we are. Check it out below.

Poli Promo Vid #2 – James Tells CJ from Poli on Vimeo.

Next Week
We hope you’ll be enjoying your upcoming Spring Break holiday! The Poli team will be heads down still at work on our application! We will, however, be participating in the festivities at SXSW. One of our team members even purchased a badge!
The team is going to be pitching to students that we meet on the street and trying to refine our ideas by talking with industry experts! We’ll be taking a careful look at major industry trends that are happening and trying to see if we can incorporate them into future iterations. The team’s already learned a lot this week. From the rise of conversational ui to the problems with cyber bullying we’re hoping to learn a lot here at Poli. The Yik Yak cofounders will be speaking on their experiences with growth and the increasing problems of harassment on their problem. Team Poli will be listening!


Poli is Going Platinum


Cuban Greeting the Crowd!

See you guys after the break!