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CITY APP: New Andriod feature allows city connection

September 7, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — After the release a smartphone application (app) for Apple one year ago, residents who use Android will have the opportunity to keep up with the latest information in Columbia City.

Communication Director Terry Wherry said an app is expected to publish soon for Android users. Wherry said the Android app will be very similar to the one for Apple.

“The mayor wants the community to be able to communicate whether they use Apple or Android,” Wherry said.

Wherry said some parts of the app come from the city’s web page.
“We mirror things from the website,” he said. “Then, when we modify, the app pulls it from there (the website).”

There are multiple features currently available on the city’s Apple app, which will be equally available on the Android app.

“There’s news, weather information, and a list of local links,” Wherry said.

There are also interactive components to the app. Citizens can become connected to the city governments social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter. Members of the community can also report problems they may be having and receive a quick response.

“We take it to the appropriate department and get it taken care of,” Wherry said.

A feature new this summer will be available for both apps. Wherry said an intern worked this summer to create a community information packet for the mayor’s office, and that packet should become available online.
For the Android app, another student worked on it.

Alex Hoffman, a student at Huntington University, was hired specifically to work on this project Wherry said a similar approach was taken with the Apple app.

There is no tracking information that shows how many citizens currently use the Apple app. As for apps for other companies down the line, Wherry is uncertain at present.

“I don’t know the future,” he said. “I don’t know what we will decide.”

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