Getting news about the University of Michigan just got a lot easier. The latest news from The University Record and Michigan News is now available through the Michigan App for smartphones and any Alexa-enabled device.
Information and Technology Services introduced a redesigned the Michigan App last week. Besides the addition of news, the upgraded app includes location-based content like bus stops, dining options and parking as well as academic event reminders.
“Adding U-M news to the Michigan App and Alexa align with our goal of making U-M news faster and easier to access,” says Kallie Bila Michels, vice president for communications. “We understand that members of our community may want to consume their news about us in different ways and we want to make sure we’re catering to those preferences.”
Two U-M stories, featured on both platforms, highlight the university’s impact in the state of Michigan and beyond.
One story features U-M researchers in the College of Engineering and their work in developing the world’s smallest computer. The second story highlights a U-M alum and how he is using lessons from his student research days to enhance the work he does as the fifth-generation owner of a Leland fishery – a cog in the community, a contributor to the local and state economies and a player in historic, maritime preservation in Northern Michigan.
Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo use a flash briefing skill – similar to an app for a smartphone. Once the skill is enabled, consumers can ask, “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing?” or “Alexa, what’s in the news?” and Alexa will read excerpts from the latest Michigan News and University Record stories.
“This is just a starting point,” says Christopher Billick, director of digital strategy for the Office of the Vice President for Communications. “We expect to add other news sources in the future that will ultimately bring together the latest in digital media, audience engagement and mobile design to tell the story of the university.”