Student creates iPhone app for student body and staff

Crystal Ren, Staff Writer

To leave behind a legacy at Schreiber, senior John Meyer used his app-developing experience to create an iPhone app for the Schreiber staff and student body.

The app, which will be released this spring, is aimed to notify students of any school-related events and to provide a platform for student-teacher communication.

School administrators will be able to sign into a website that Meyer has created in order to send students notices of any school related events, such as bake sales or delays.  When the message is sent, all users of the app will receive a push notification on their Apple devices.

Meyer designed the app with special circumstances in mind.

“It is important to note that I designed this system to be very useful in emergency situations,” said Meyer.   “During Hurricane Sandy,  I was left with no cell signal or Internet access at my house.   I did, however, have access to places such as Starbucks that had working Internet access.”

The app also presents a teacher database.

“My goal for this feature was to increase the relationships between teachers and students,” said Meyer.

Once the app user chooses the “Teachers” option, an alphabetized list of every teacher will appear.   In addition to these two main functions, Meyer has also included a photos page, a fully functioning student schedule, a school events page, an agenda book, an information page, and a health page.

Meyer has been creating apps since the release of the iPhone Software Development Kit in 2008.   This allowed individuals and companies who were not affiliated with Apple to create and to sell their apps in the Apple App Store.   Meyer began his own app-making ventures by learning coding on his own.

“I spent most of the summer entering my freshman year looking through books, sample code, and other online resources to try and at least get a glimpse of what it took to create my own app,” said Meyer.

At the start of ninth grade, Meyer had created and uploaded his first app to the App Store.

“The feeling of having just a few hundred people use my own creation was indescribable,” said Meyer.

Ever since he has continued to develop apps and other such products.

“I think it’s really nice that he’s making apps because it’s inspiring, and it shows people that they too can make the next app,” said sophomore Haley Sambursky.

Meyer’s app development process is an orderly one.   He first comes up with a detailed plan that includes a list of all the features he wants to add, as well as design sketches, and potential plans for implementing the features.

Meyer’s most popular app has been his flashlight app, which was created in 2010 and has over three million downloads.

“I saw that I could make some pretty cool photo apps that utilized the new camera flash.   A few hours later, I wound up with a fully functioning flashlight app.   I still believe to this day that I was the first person to develop a flashlight app for the iPhone,” said Meyer.

There is a wide variety of tutorials and guides on coding and app development available on the Internet for aspiring app designers.  As a self-taught developer, Meyer advises beginners looking to learn on their own to work with sample pieces of code.

“Delving into already existing sample code projects allowed me to learn the most,” said Meyer. “Just try and figure out what to do, and before you know it, you’ll have a basic understanding that you can build upon.”