Tech: AMS app isn't worth the space

The AMS app has a clean design and brings together a bunch of useful features. But if you’re short on phone space, the app isn’t worth it.

Overall, the AMS app has an easy-to-navigate design. The main screen displays links to the AMS twitter feed, campus services — most notably UBC Campus Security and Safewalk — an events page, groups, clubs and a campus map. Other screens on the app allow students to modify their profile (using the app requires an account), check their schedule, post in the Campus Feed and message other users. Apart from a puzzlingly outdated article detailing 2015’s Vanier Cup, the AMS app makes it easy to find relevant information.

The app’s most unique feature is its Tours section, which features maps for things like “Best places to read a book on campus” and “Cheapest places to get beer on campus.” These maps are fully interactive, so tapping on a location offers a photo and short blurb — Koerner’s Pub has great nachos or that hooking up in the Aquatic Centre puts you at risk of skin rashes (yikes). For returning students who already know their way around campus, this might not be necessary. For new students searching for the nearest place to get drinkable coffee, it could prove useful.

It actually says that.
It actually says that. Screenshot via AMS app

Apart from tours, the AMS app doesn’t offer much novelty. The scheduling tab lets you program in your courses and sends you reminders to go to class, similar to common calendar apps.

The Campus Feed is divided into categories to allow students to buy or sell items, report lost student cards and other things likely already familiar to UBC students in campus Facebook groups. Given that posts in groups like UBC Class of 2019 and UBC textbook 4 sale are already annoying and time-consuming to sort through, it seems unlikely that students will want to put the effort into checking another app.

The AMS app does offer the option to create groups for specific courses, but this would require a much larger user base than the app has.

If you’re looking for a new way to organize your class schedule, are searching for new and interesting campus spots, and are willing to be patient and see if the user base expands, the AMS app might be a useful addition to your home screen. But if you’re already satisfied using iCal and posting in UBC Facebook groups, you won’t miss this app.