iApps Project

Why the iPhone?

[photo - iPhone featuring the Stanford Apps]

Anyone who has used an iPhone marvels at its ease of use and design. Better than any mobile device before it, the iPhone allows you to converse with the world in new, convenient ways without regard to space and time. Unique and groundbreaking, Apple created a handheld computer then added a phone to it and in so doing invented a new class of machine.

At Stanford, we envision the iPhone as having a profound potential to break barriers in the way we provide information and services to students - in how they converse with the institution, their curriculum, the faculty, and each other. With an enduring entrepreneurial, innovative, and technological leadership, those same qualities that helped shape Silicon Valley, Stanford is in a unique position to chart yet another new course, this time using the iPhone.

About this project

The University Registrar has contracted with TerriblyClever Design, a student-owned development company, to develop and deploy the initial five iPhone applications. More are coming. These apps are more than just web pages disguised as iPhone apps: These are real apps on the iPhone designed to take advantage of the iPhone itself.

At first, our apps will be available only to a few students who are participating in an initial pilot phase. But we're not stopping there! We hope to engage more Stanford students in developing a set of iPhone applications for themselves and other students to use. The resulting capabilities will become part of a growing array of cool functions available to Stanford students to connect with administrative systems and perform other amazing feats!

Significantly this Fall term, Paul Marcos and Evan Doll of Apple will teach iPhone development to what we anticipate will be a crowded offering of CS 193P, iPhone Application Programming. This has the potential to engage a new cohort of student developers who will seize the opportunity to benefit and impress their peers with eye-popping applications.

We have engaged Stanford technology and functional staff, IT Services, Administrative Systems, Residential Computing, the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education, the Vice Provost of Student Affairs, Student Financial Services, Student Housing, Facilities, Apple, and AT&T to join forces in planning and supporting this project.

What to expect

Frankly, it's hard to tell! Assuming students in the pilot phase like what we're doing, we'd like to have all Stanford students using iPhones and Stanford-developed iPhone applications. However, we know we have much to do to achieve that eventual end. First of all, we want to listen and learn from our initial pilot experience. If you're starting on this journey with us, we need your help, patience, and input. To be successful in the long term and to provide this as a campus-wide service, we have to develop an infrastructure within the University to provide, support, and develop the service.

We want to hear from you! Is this something you think will have value? Tell us what you think! Contribute your thoughts on our iPhone wiki provided by Residential Computing.

Is it secure?

Some of the applications on the iPhone contain public information accessible through a variety of online media. Where access is being granted to information of a sensitive nature, all users will be required to complete the same measures of authentication as they would otherwise. All information is protected under the same security measures used in Axess or other web authenticated campus services.