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Computer science students challenged to create next must-have app

Press release issued: 3 March 2015

Computer science students from the University of Bristol have been challenged to create a new app from scratch in a 24-hour marathon coding session.

The fourth annual Appathon, hosted by the University’s Computer Science Society (CSS) and sponsored by one of the UK’s leading mobile consultancy and enterprise app developers, Mubaloo, will take place on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 March.  The event is open to any student involved in computer science, design or business.

Students, in teams of up to six, will develop a new app that will be able to deliver real value to users. This year students can create whatever new app they want, whether it’s the next Flappy Bird, WhatsApp, Instagram or Summly.

Josh Hargreaves, Vice President of CSS, said: “The Appathon has become one of the highlights for students interested in innovation, to challenge themselves to create a new app in 24-hours. The event is important to help test skills in an intense competition where sleep is the enemy. One of last year’s attendees is going to work for Apple. This is an event that tests skills, stamina and teamwork.”

As a sponsor, Mubaloo’s team of Bristol-based designers, developers and strategists will be running educational talks in the run up to the event.

Olly Berry, Head of iOS at Mubaloo, said: “A number of our developers have come from the University of Bristol. It’s important for us, as a company, to help provide our insight to the industry and approach to developing apps. By sponsoring the Appathon, since it began four years ago, we’ve seen a number of interesting concepts come out and some truly talented developers. This is now a multi-billion pound industry where the best developers can create ground-breaking new apps that can help, entertain, enable and empower people.”

Apple announced that $500,000,000 had been spent on apps and in-app purchases in the first week of 2015. With over 1.4 million apps available through Google Play and 1.3 million available through the Apple App Store, competition means only the best apps make it to the top.

Over the Christmas period, mobile devices accounted for around a quarter of total online retail sales in the UK, raking in £8 billion in sales. Apps are also having a vast impact on the way in which businesses operate. Unite Students created an app with Mubaloo in 2011 for its maintenance team that led to a 30 per cent increase in the number of jobs its team could get through.

Hargreaves Lansdown is another Bristol-based company that has also seen the benefits of creating an app. HL Live for iPad, a fund and shares trading app created by Mubaloo, in December 2013, went straight to the top of the free finance iPad apps and saw ten per cent of all fund trades on Christmas day 2013. The app remained in the top ten throughout 2014, winning numerous awards along the way.

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