The Yellow Jacket may soon be seen in the App Store

Executive Editor Andrew Hreha works continuously to bring the newspaper to a new digital dimension

The Yellow Jacket could be coming to the App Store in the near future. Executive Editor of The Yellow Jacket, Andrew Hreha, started working on the Yellow Jacket App over winter break last year. 

Hreha had some previous experience making websites, but making an app was a whole new level of expertise.

“I am very familiar with creating websites, I was new to the process of creating an app. I found a website that promises easy app creation and began designing an app for The Yellow Jacket,” Hreha said. “While the process of creating the app was easy, it had low functionality and the process of publishing was out of my expertise. After many failed attempts, I decided to seek outside help from experts in the app development field.”

This past summer Hreha started to reach out to developers to help make the app. The first developer didn’t go as Hreha planned.

“The first developer I reached out to sent an automated quote with a price that was way above what I was anticipating,” Hreha said.

That did not stop Hreha from pursuing more help for the development of the app. Hreha found Simpalm Development and was able to set up a Zoom meeting with Piyush Jain, the founder of Simpalm.

“Piyush Jain was extremely helpful in explaining what an app needs to qualify for the app store and how Simpalm could create such an app for The Yellow Jacket,” Hreha said.                                    Jain also provided a plan that would include a convergence of content from WCTV and WCYJ-FM in the app. 

This project is not final as of right now though as The Yellow Jacket is needing funds to go through with the app.

“We are looking to do a fundraiser at the start of next semester so that we can provide the funds to Simpalm and have the app developed before the end of the school year,” Hreha said. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Yellow Jacket has gone digital-only for the time being and the app is the last piece to an all-digital newspaper.

“Since transitioning to a digital-first publication last year, our web presence has vastly increased and our readership has grown far beyond what is possible with a traditional print approach. Thousands of eyes reached our content this semester, and our average viewership has continued to grow each semester,” Hreha said.

Hreha believes that with the app more eyes will be attracted to The Yellow Jacket with easy access for readers on their phones.

“With the assistance of an app, I believe viewership of our content can expand even further. Having an app will also be another aspect of Waynesburg’s Department of Communication that will stand out from other schools,” Hreha said.

Hreha has come to the realization that the app might not be out to the App Store before he graduates this coming spring, but he wants future Waynesburg University communication majors to have access to it.

“While I am aware of the possibility that this project may not be completed until after I graduate, I am determined to get us as close as possible so that the classes below me can continue our growth as a newspaper and as a department,” Hreha said.