After the removal of student resources from the official UT app, two freshmen created their own app with a campus map, account balances and course schedules.
The free app, UT Finder, allows students to locate buildings on campus, access their schedule and view their Bevo Bucks and Dine In Dollars balances. Computer science freshman Shrivu Shankar said he created the app last month in response to his friends complaining that the UT app no longer displayed their schedules.
“I was like, ‘Wow, it’s the perfect opportunity to hit the market with my own app,’” Shankar said. “And in three days, I built the app.”
The official UT app previously displayed schedules and Bevo Bucks and Dine In Dollars balances, but a recent update made it so that it only displays sports information. Shankar’s roommate, Greyson Rauscher, said he encouraged Shankar to make his own app, which over 200 students have now downloaded. UT is currently working on a replacement app called MyUT that will become available later semester and will have the features the old app removed.
“I use it constantly,” business freshman Rauscher said. “I’m terrible with time. I needed the app.”
Rauscher designed the logo for the app and helped advertise it solely through word of mouth.
“I started out with a few people, and then I basically tried to get it to spread to more people and hoped for an exponential effect,” Rauscher said.
Shankar previously made similar apps for his high school, one being the Cy-Ranch app, which allowed classmates to access district-related news, grades and information about teachers. He realized how expensive it was to maintain a server for the app and attempted to sell the it to the school district. The district did not purchase the app, so Shankar funded the server by putting ads in.
Shankar said he’s motivated to make organizer apps to help others and demonstrate how easy it is to make similar apps.
“I can inspire other people to build their own apps,” Shankar said. “With the Cy-Ranch app, a lot of people started contacting me. I would give them tips, and I liked doing that.”
History freshman Kelsie Adams said she prefers Shankar’s app because she can access her schedule.
“The Texas app I used to have changed, so now I don’t know how to navigate it, so I just use his instead.” Adams said.
Shankar said the app is still an early build, and he’s open to expanding the functions based on online reviews and direct suggestions from students.
“I now have a platform where I can add those utilities for people,” Shankar said.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article did not mention that UT is currently working on a new app, MyUT, as a replacement for the old UT app.