When I first downloaded the new MobileMason app on my iPhone a few days ago, it is safe to say I was a little hesitant. More than once, I’ve downloaded applications that I thought were going to be extremely handy, then been disappointed when the design and follow through of the application just wasn’t there.

MobileMason, on the other hand, has landed a new spot on the first page of my applications, right next to my text messages, so that I can check it frequently to keep up with all of the exciting interactive features.

My favorite feature is definitely the map section, which features interactive campus maps for Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington. The great part about the MobileMason maps is that you can type in any building that you’re trying to find and the application will give you a detailed map with distance and approximated walking time. For freshmen, visitors and people like me who get lost on a regular basis, this feature will be a lifesaver.

Having Blackboard integrated into the application is one of the biggest reasons why I’ll be using MobileMason every day. My professors are constantly changing assignments and adding things to their courses, so being able to quickly check in on my classes while I’m on the go will be invaluable this year.

The Office of Media and Public Relations does a lot of neat work with students and professors across all three campuses and I’m really glad the new app is a venue for all students to view the stories, videos and pictures the office produces. I interned at the Office of Media and PR this summer and I was shocked at all the great stories they were producing that don’t seem to reach the eyes and ears of many of the students at Mason. I hope that more people click through the news, video and photos section to get a better idea of the exciting things professors, students and staff are doing on our campuses.

I expected the emergency information menu to be another redundant source of campus emergency news that is already available on our phones and emails through Mason Alert. I was pleasantly surprised to find that instead, the emergency section lists all the relevant emergency numbers for not only the police, but sexual assault services, fire safety and facilities power outages. I never would have had the access or the knowledge of all of these direct phone lines and I appreciate that the creators thought about emergency preparedness so thoroughly.

As a developing sports fan, I also really appreciate the athletics section of the app, which is neatly organized and easy to use. Game schedules and scores are available with just a tap and recent stories from GoMason.com are featured. MobileMason does a great job of simply and cleanly integrating several useful features.

The only thing I feel is missing is the Today at Mason calendar, which would be a great resource for students to quickly and easily check out what is going on around campus each day.

Overall, I am very impressed with the app, and I hope that everyone downloads it and gives it a try.