By Ethan McSheffrey
FSW released a revitalized update of their previously dysfunctional and unintuitive smartphone app this August.
The updated app sports many new bells and whistles, most that vastly improve it and some that fall flat.
Some of these improvements include registering for classes, viewing your grades and accessing your Buc Card.
One new feature, the on-campus map, interfaces with your phone’s GPS to make locating those hard to find classrooms easier for new and returning students. The map feature is accessible directly from the app’s “My Schedule” tab, a useful feature which enables users to access class times and faculty contact information all without ever leaving the app.
I found the versatility and restructuring of these new features to be the most significant appeal. The app to map functionality is smooth; there is no lagging or crashing in my experience.
A fact that speaks to the ultimate improvement is overall performance. Where the old app had loading, processing, and login issues, this update is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. This new version reaches for new heights, offering quick load times and responsive menus.
Another addition to the app is the “FSW Alerts” tab, which allows for real-time updates on emergency services, campus law enforcement, severe weather advisories and campus closure notices.
To properly utilize this feature, users should enable push notifications to ensure they receive these notices as soon as they are released.
Interestingly, you can now directly contact every Public Safety on every campus within the FSW app through the “Call Public Safety” tab.
However, to utilize other safety features, you must download a separate safety app, Rave Guardian, to pair with the FSW’s. Once downloaded, the apps will integrate and you are supposed to access the safety app’s features in the “Rave Guardian” tab.
I downloaded the Rave Guardian app to explore further.
Initially, I was unable to integrate my FSW app with Rave Guardian. After multiple restarts and reinstalls, the FSW app insisted that “there are no installed applications available to respond to request.” So I had to use Rave Guardian by itself.
Rave Guardian allows you to set a safety timer before entering unsafe or uncomfortable spaces. If you don’t dismiss it in time, emergency contacts of your choosing will be contacted through text.
Rave Guardian is an optimal method for reaching emergency contacts in the same way a plugged-in toaster makes an excellent heater for bathwater.
Rave Guardian demands constant location tracking and constant push notifications. Failure to agree prohibits the use of the app’s features.
Honestly, if found in a dangerous situation, I probably wouldn’t even consider using these services.
Just call 911.
The “Buc Card” tab empowers users to check previous transactions and a current balance of their Buc Cards at any point in time.
A directory is also included, which allows you to find any faculty member’s contact information, as well as the in-app ability to register for classes.
All in all, the improvements to response, functionality and renewed expansion on previously broken features, make the FSW app a stellar tool for streamlining the FSW experience for new and returning students.