Junior Carlo Solano is not one for maps—well, not ones of the paper variety. So what did he do to ensure he doesn’t get lost on Mason’s massive Fairfax Campus? He made himself an app.
Called GMU Mobile and designed mainly for people new to Mason, Solano’s smartphone application is a multitasking Mason tour guide small enough to fit inside your iPhone.
For starters, it contains a directory of contact information for key university departments. It offers suggestions for nearby restaurants and hotels. It lists university events. And, most important, it can get you from, say, Mason Hall to Southside—or anywhere else you want to go on the Fairfax Campus—with the use of a digital map.
Mason does not currently have an official app of its own.
After reading up on app development, Solano, a computer science major, developed GMU Mobile last summer, just before he transferred here from Northern Virginia Community College.
“I didn’t want to carry a map around with me,” he says, explaining he used his app to find Mason Hall, where he stopped by to demo his invention for The Mason Spirit. “And I didn’t get lost!”
Solano, a member of a Mason iPhone club, began offering the app through the Apple App Store for 99 cents but has since made it free. So far, more than 500 people have downloaded the app, with most of them learning of it through Facebook. He’s currently working on a version for Android phones, and hopes to have his own app development company someday.
With his first app already under his belt, Solano’s future in the business appears as bright as a smartphone screen.
“This is what I want to do,” he says.