CS Students Sweep Awards at 2015 Mobile Apps Challenge

The U-M Mobile Apps Challenge is held each year and is open to faculty, students, and staff from across the U-M Ann Arbor campus.

photo of student presenting Enlarge
First place winner Janum Trivedi

Winners have been announced in the 2015 U-M Mobile Apps Challenge – and are almost entirely computer science students. The winners were recognized at the 2015 Mobile Apps Challenge Awards Ceremony, which took place on April 6 in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building.

image of cellphone screen Enlarge
First place went to the spontaneous sharing app Kandid.

Placing first was undergraduate Janum Trivedi with his app Kandid, which he says is “a better way to keep in touch with the people who matter to you.” Kandid is a spontaneous sharing app that sends random notifications about activity to people in social groups and provides a mechanism for answering back. Kandid is available on the iOS App Store and its website is at kandid.co. Janum hopes to continue iterating on the product, possibly adding some location-based groups as well.

Although currently an undeclared freshman, Janum intends to declare in CS soon and adds that CS is “a personal passion of mine.” He has been developing for iOS for over four years and this past semester wrote and taught a 6-week long class on iOS development called iOS Crash Course. This summer, he’ll be working at Venmo in San Francisco, and will take this upcoming Fall semester off to work at Apple in Cupertino as an iOS software engineer. He will be back in the winter to continue his studies at Michigan.

Second place was declared a tie between two entries. One of those, Throwpass, was created by computer science undergraduate Kegan Thorrez. Throwpass allows you to easily and safely transport passwords from your phone’s password manager to a shared computer, such as at a library. To do so, go to https://throwpass.com on the shared computer, scan the QR code there with the app, paste your password into the app and click send. It’s end to end encrypted using an asymmetric key generated in the browser. The QR code contains the public key. Throwpass is available on Google Play.

image of cellphone screen Enlarge
Tied for second were secure password sharing system Throwpass (shown) and feature-rich messaging app Whitespace.

A special prize was given for a notable entry that made use of the University’s Class Schedule API, which allows for queries of course offerings on the Ann Arbor campus. This prize was won by computer science undergraduates Ish Baid, Manav Gabhawala, Carson Covell, and undeclared LSA student Jake Wellins for their entry, Blue Exchange. Blue Exchange allows U-M students to buy and sell used textbooks in a market that can be sorted by class. It also allows students to leave comments on those classes.

About the Mobile Apps Challenge

The U-M Mobile Apps Challenge is held each year and is open to faculty, students, and staff from across the U-M Ann Arbor campus. Developers may create an app for any mobile platform and must submit a video about their app for judging. Projects are assessed based on innovative use of technology, usability, aesthetics, and other factors.

Competition rules and videos of winning entries are available on the Mobile Apps Challenge page.

The Mobile Apps Challenge is run by Information and Technology Services with additional support from CSE, Tech Transfer, and the U-M Computer Showcase.