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Testers Needed for Howard Hookup app

By Rachel Solomon and Serena Morris
On May 13, 2013

  • Ade Heyward, a Systems and Computer Science student, has designed and coded the Howard Hookup app. hunewsservice.com

What started as a senior class project has turned into an innovative social networking app for Howard University students. Ade Heyward, a Systems and Computer Science student, has designed and coded the Howard Hookup app, which relies on "the power of proximity" to help students connect with one another on campus. The application is essentially a compatibility game that allows members to meet new people with similar interests on Howard's campus.

Heyward began working on the Howard Hookup, which works on Android phones, last semester as part of his senior project.
"It was a learning experience," he said. "I had to learn about the functions of the Android phone."
The app was originally designed to help students link up and connect for different events during homecoming. But in a brainstorming session with members of the Social Media Club in the School of Communications, it was decided that Howard Hookup could help create friendships throughout the school year.
"Depending on how questions are written," said Dr. Todd Shurn, Systems and Computer Science professor and the advisor for Heyward's project, "the app could be used to find folks nearby interested in soccer, cycling, basketball, community service, etc."
Users can "create custom questions that filter the kind of people you want to meet with," Heyward said. The app features a location tracking function that allows users to see where other users are. To address privacy concerns, Heyward also developed a "hide" feature that turns the tracking on and off.
Right now, the Howard Hookup is in a beta phase and ready to be tested.
"It has not yet launched," said Shurn. "We are seeking HU students to give feedback. We will improve, then launch."
Shurn said he suggested Ade use the Android phone platform over the iPhone because it was less expensive to develop for the Android phones.
"Android and open systems enable free (no cost) app development and distribution. Android is the No. 1 smartphone sales worldwide," Shurn said.
After graduation, Heyward, of Groton, Conn., said he wants to further refine his app to pitch it to Google and other technology companies.
To become a beta tester for the app, visit www.howardhookup.com on an Android phone to create an account as a tester. Download and install the app. Once the app is downloaded, an account is created and a user can create a basic profile. Users' profiles appear on a map that tracks other users who appear in red pins (female) or blue pins (male). Users can view their compatibility. To link up and message someone, users have to "unlock" another a series of questions. Once unlocked, they can exchange instant messages and possibly 'hook up.'


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