The Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC) released a new Bowdoin Dining App on Thursday. With the new app, Bowdoin Students can now check OneCard and meal plan information on their cell phones in addition to viewing dining hall menus. Students with special dietary restrictions can also set different filters that account for their needs.

According to ITAC, almost 200 students downloaded the new software on the day of its release.

“I like it,” said Helen Gandler ’17, who started using the new app on its first day available. “It’s a lot like the old one but has some cool new features. You can also filter out the dietary option. My roommate is gluten-free, so she is free to see which dining hall has more options she likes.”
Donald Chute ’15 also praised the new app.

“I like the features of the new one, which shows how much you have left on your meal plan. I think that’s a pretty big thing,” Chute said. “The old one is pretty simplistic. So I think there’s an improvement.”

Ruben Martinez ’15, president of ITAC and the primary programmer of the new dining app, has been gathering student feedback in order to help make improvements to the app. 

“I got tons of feedback on day one,” Martinez said. “I’m working on the things people mentioned to make updates. We are still collecting feedback.”

One of the concerns that has been voiced is that the new Dining app is only available on Apple devices. Some students would like an app that is compatible with Android devices.

In 2009, Ben Johnson ’11 invented the Bowdoin Dining App, the first Bowdoin mobile app. While Martinez used Johnson’s app as a guide, the new app is separate from the original version.

A student-run organization, ITAC is designed to find ways to improve students’ lives with technology, according to Chief Information Officer Mitch Davis.

“Our focuses are what problems are out there now and how can we fix them,” said Martinez  “And usually our solutions are technology.”

Apart from the new Bowdoin Dining app, current ITAC projects also include making it possible to order from Jack Magee’s Pub and Grill online, moving file storage from Microwave to a new system called Icebox and improving Verizon Wireless cellular coverage on campus.

“[For pub online ordering] we are actually working on a prototype first,” said Martinez. “And once we have that, we are going to start a very small trial, like ten people.”

According to Martinez, after the website is built, ITAC will integrate the site with the Bowdoin Dining app. 

Although Martinez does not have an exact release date for the online pub ordering system, but he hopes that it can be completed by the end of the semester.