The idea for an Ivies app started out as a simple enough concept: a countdown to the most hyped week(end) of the year accompanied by the question, “Is it Ivies yet?” Now that Ivies is upon us, I can’t help but give thanks that the brainchild of Tristan McCormick ’13 and Connor Smith ’13, with graphics by Youngshim Hwang ’13, has evolved to be the functional ‘Ivies Companion’.
Still don’t know your limits? Track your BAC with Ivies Companion. Are you ‘killing it’? Transpose the words ‘Killing it’ on your classiest Ivies photos just so that’s clear. Wanna call Randy? No need to scroll through your contacts…
By the time inspiration for the app hit McCormick and Smith, however, there wasn’t much time to get it approved by Apple and on the virtual shelves of the App Store. “Hackathon!” McCormick remembers proclaiming when he committed to the project—alluding to an infamous scene in ‘The Social Network.’
While Ivies Companion is McCormick’s first product, Smith has a job as an IOS developer lined up for after graduation. The seniors describe the experience of making the app in such a short amount of time as both tense and invigorating.
“We were up on the top floor of the tower, the sun was rising and the pizza was cold,” McCormick says.
“We had a big bag of Sriracha chips–that was a good mediating presence—and Sangria. We killed [the Sangria] after the all-night on the day we submitted it,” Smith explains.
However, the sleepless night(s) paid off–with an acceptance to the App Store and positive feedback from those who have downloaded Ivies Companion thus far. “I think most of the praise we’ve gotten is because Youngshim’s design is so good,” says Smith humbly. The neon artwork within the app is uniquely Bowdoin with various references to the Polar Bear.
“She whipped that together no problem,” McCormick says appreciatively.
Given more time, the seniors might have thrown in a list of rules for popular drinking games, and possibly a power hour timer. But as it was, they had to convince Apple that the app would be a force for good and not dangerous debauchery. Apparently they succeeded: the app is listed under “entertainment” and “health and wellness.”
Looking back on four years of Ivies, McCormick and Smith point to Saturday’s concert as a highlight. “It’s a very music festival vibe and that sort of thing is something you don’t experience at Bowdoin other than Ivies,” Smith says.
“People are throwing Frisbees, there are beautiful women in sundresses…it’s the Elysian Fields,” McCormick adds.
As for any low moments of Ivies, Smith muses, “I get to Pine and I’m just a zombie…you know what would have been cool? A hangover cure section of the app.”