ST. GEORGE — Students at Dixie Technical School recently completed their group Final Project Demonstrations, unveiling the Android apps they developed this year.

The students were asked to create a “life companion app” over the course of just one month.

Bubba Hall, the program director, challenged his students by giving them a difficult deadline to build a “life companion app.”

“It usually takes six months to build a functioning app,” said Hall. “I gave them one. They did good for what they accomplished.”

Students at Dixie Technical College show off their apps at Dixie Technical College, St. George, Utah on Feb. 26, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Layce Lundy, St. George News

Hall’s assignment was centered around Android and its operating system, Android OS, because it is a more lucrative industry than developing apps for other devices, such as Apple’s iPhone operating system called iOS.

“There are more jobs out there right now in Android than on iOS, but the current market is flooded because there were layoffs,” Hall said. “The people that work hard have a good chance of getting a job over those who don’t.”

The students used XML, or Extensible Markup Language, due to familiarity with it is vital knowledge for breaking into the industry as a software developer.

“Most of the world is still extensively using XML views right now,” he said. “To have a job in Android, you have to know XML.”

The students were made into groups and got to work. Hall said he had no doubt each group would put their minds together to make a good end product. Each group had distinct, functional Android apps at the end of one month.

Dixie Technical College campus in St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Dixie Technical College, St. George News

Group 1 created “Toon,” an app designed for guitar players. It provides preset and customizable tuning options, a reference tone player and a tuning accuracy meter to assist users in achieving precise tuning for their instruments.

“I liked the guitar tuner,” Hall said. “They took audio input with different views for the different ‘Input’ tabs.”

Group 2 created the “Frugalytics” app to assist users with financial management. It allows users to track spending across categories such as fast food, gas, groceries and entertainment. It also has a setting for making specific budgets for various transactions and generates detailed spending reports to help users understand their financial habits better.

Group 3’s “Live” used the month to create a platform for social interaction among friends. The creative app includes a customizable magic eight-ball, facial recognition, object-tracking technology to assess “evilness” and an AI-powered search engine that delivers simplified responses by rephrasing questions into one-word answers.

Stock photo. | Photo by iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Group 4 and their “Personal Time Tracker App” sought to help those who struggle to manage effectively. It has features like a persistent timer and the ability to schedule work shifts. This was designed for those seeking to enhance their productivity by closely monitoring and managing their time on various projects.

Hall acknowledged the complexity of each of the projects.

“The facial recognition had to have been insanely hard with object detection,” said Hall.

Looking ahead, the students will now study more intricate parts of XML using the newest version, Jetpack Compose, now that they have a better understanding of app development, Hall said of the student’s future.

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