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What’s app-ening: Junior develops app to redesign school experience

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Junior Peter Soboyejo designed an app to ease obtaining school information.

Junior Peter Soboyejo designed an app to ease obtaining school information.

Rebecca Poretsky

Rebecca Poretsky

Junior Peter Soboyejo designed an app to ease obtaining school information.

Sivan Nachum, Staff Writer

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Junior Peter Soboyejo developed a mobile application called “Algonquin,” with intentions to redesign the high school experience.

The app saves Algonquin students the trouble of navigating complicated websites by showing essential data all in one place, from calendar information and scheduling to grades and attendance. Soboyejo developed the first version soon after the school announced its use of the iPass platform in August, designing the app to retrieve data in a way similar to iPass.

“I got bored one day and decided to pretty much hack it together in two days,” Soboyejo said. “I have a unique way of essentially reverse-engineering the [iPass] site and figuring out where the data is from. [The app I made] parses through your phone [to get data].”

Despite similarities in the program’s information gathering, senior Seamus Fay feels that Soboyejo’s app is more user-friendly than iPass.

“I think [Soboyejo’s app is] cleaner than the iPass one and I think it’s easier to use,” Fay said. “It organizes the classes better… It’s overall a smoother platform.”

As user experience was one of his main focuses in development, Soboyejo’s main goals were to make the app smooth and secure.

“I wanted to make sure I had a secure way of making sure [the app] wasn’t vulnerable,” Soboyejo said. “I utilized a lot of common practices that I’ve learned over the years in terms of iOS development [to make the app secure].”

Upon opening Soboyejo’s app, a user is greeted by a white sign-in screen with a black log in button. After signing in, a page contains a list of the student’s classes that he or she can click to view his or her term grades. This page is headed by a blue-green gradient containing the student’s name, school picture, ID and grade.

According to Soboyejo, his plentiful experience with computer programming has helped him immensely with the creation of this app. He spends 50 to 65 hours a week programming, and he has been programming for about seven years.

“Initially when I was nine or so, I had a home computer and I was open to a lot of creative content and video games,” Soboyejo said. “I used to modify my Xbox… that’s how I got into writing code initially.”

Since then, Soboyejo has worked on desktop development, mobile app development, hardware development and security development. With all this experience, Soboyejo is just now taking his first programming class, AP Computer Science A.

Currently, Soboyejo’s app is called “Algonquin,” however, he maintains that he is still in the naming process. He hopes to have the app out on iOS and Android app stores by mid-November. In the meantime, he plans to add more features including access to the school’s social media and, if he is not restricted by terms and services, access to Canvas.

Soboyejo wants many people to use the app, and he wants them to enjoy it.

“[One of my main goals is to] have lots of students on the platform and get back as much feedback as possible to make the experience top-notch,” Soboyejo said.

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What’s app-ening: Junior develops app to redesign school experience