KJHK streaming app to update

Ryan Lane | @RLaneKU

Beginning March 1st, KJHK app users will need to upgrade their apps to continue streaming through the app as it begins a much-needed upgrade.

This update follows a similar streaming software switch performed on kjhk.org in June 2020. It’s a small step towards the complete redesign of the app’s code and user interface. 

According to Technology Director at KJHK, Marcus Becerra, the current app code uses JavaScript, which is outdated and not very user-friendly, making it almost impossible to easily make timely improvements to the app. 

“JavaScript is a language used to make websites, it’s not a language used to make apps,” said Becerra. “It just makes it really hard to make updates to it, especially if someone new is coming in and trying to do it for the first time.” 

Becerra is redoing the code completely from scratch using React, a form of JavaScript that is much easier to learn, understand, and update.

A more user-friendly code means it will be easier [KCL3] to upgrade the app’s user interface, or UI. Much like the code, the look and the feel of the app has not had an update in quite some time[KCL4] . Communications Director at KJHK, Erin Bugee, has been working on a prototype for the modernized UI since winter break.

“The app we have now hasn’t been updated sine 2010 or 2011. So visually, it’s kind of outdated,” Bugee said. “I completed the first protype this week and it seemed like everyone really liked it” 

With the UI upgrade, the app will feature updated logos and a more user-friendly navigation bar. Despite the changes to the code and UI, the app will keep the same functionality, just with a more modern twist.

The app upgrade will create an easier code for the technology staff at KJHK and give users a more modern, user friendly UI,  while also providing a great learning opportunity for KJHK staff to apply classroom skills to their radio positions. 

Becerra, a computer science major at the University of Kansas, said he was exited to apply what he learned from class and group projects to a large-scale, independent project. Bugee, a visual communications major, said she was looking forward to seeing her design become an actual working product. 

“My class is always about ‘make it look pretty,’ but it doesn’t actually work,” Bugee said. “[This project] is the whole shebang, design and code, and it’ll work.” 

The app upgrade has been a work in progress since summer 2020 and is expected to be fully released later in the spring semester.

The first major update arrives March 1st, where all KJHK app users will need to update their app through their phone’s app store in order to continue streaming KJHK

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