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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

COMIC: Rat’s Nest #3
Olivia MoreyFebruary 28, 2024
 

UA senior to launch Android and iPhone app encouraging interpersonal communication

Turki Allugman/  Arizona Daily Wildcat

Ufree mobile application created by Stephen Ost and other students to help knowing who is free to meet up a certain time.
Turki Allugman
Turki Allugman/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Ufree mobile application created by Stephen Ost and other students to help knowing who is free to meet up a certain time.

Few students spend their semesters preparing for the launch of their own iPhone and Android application while attending class.

Stephen Ost, a computer science senior, founded the application Ufree in December of 2011. Ufree is built for collaborative scheduling, according to Ost, and will officially launch in March. Ufree simplifies scheduling by allowing users to plan a meeting based on their friends’ schedules.

“Ufree is all about live availability,” Ost said. “When you look at Facebook, you can see who you can chat, but that’s not getting out in person to meet your friends. Ufree solves that problem and it allows you to leave the Facebook atmosphere and interact face-to-face.”

Ost came up with the idea for Ufree three years ago.

“I want [the users of the application] to be able to simplify their day-to-day interactions with their friends, instead of texting and calling to see who is free,” Ost said.

Kaitlyn Macaulay, a communications sophomore, is one of Ufree’s interns.

“[The] UA is a great campus to start out because we have such an active social life,” Macaulay said. “After a while of texting and calling people, your hour break is almost over and can become limited to half an hour. This is a great way to connect our virtual lives with our personal ones.”

The Arizona Center for Innovation has an internship program that allows Ost to utilize students in preparing for the launch of the application. Davis Bauer, a marketing junior and an intern for Ufree, said that this application is distinct from those already available.

“Ufree is completely different than Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,” Bauer said. “It is bringing people together on an interpersonal level. Ufree wants to create and accomplish the mission of bringing people together in their free time instead of them usually spending their free time on other social media networks.”

Some students said they saw the potential benefits of the application.

“I think it is going to be helpful in the sense that you can see the live availability of your friends,” said Brittany White, a marketing junior. “For example, if you have a question that you need answered right away, you can check this application to see who you can ask so you are not bothering them.”

An exact launch date for the application is not yet set, but Ost hopes for it to happen after spring break. The release will be held on the UA Mall.

“There are a lot of kids that I see sitting alone on campus during lunch,” Ost said. “It makes me feel good that those students have a person to contact [with Ufree]. We are trying to get everyone to interact more.”

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