App of the week: Uni Niche

By Christopher Reyes
BUSINESS EDITOR
@cd_rey

Countless apps are available to college students that solve life’s everyday problems. A nearly universal issue that students face is interacting with their roommates.

They need to stay in touch with each other, split expenses and pay bills regularly. With so many students having busy schedules, students should have a quick and easy way to do all of these things.

To make this task easier, two roommates, Sean Thielen and Jonathan Miller, created Uni Niche, an app that streamlines all of these processes.

“The two of us are roommates, and we wanted to create something to make the experience of living with roommates in college even better than it already is,” said Miller. “We created Uni Niche to help students stay aware of what their roommates are up to, and to help them keep track of what’s going on as a group.”

Uni Niche puts the functionality of various other apps and services all in the same place.

Users can keep their roommates up-to-date on common “statuses,” such as, “Chase is going to the grocery store” or “Sean needs some ‘privacy.’” A few taps shares the status with the user’s roommates.

The app also allows users to share expenses more easily. Shared expenses can be logged into the app which will then notify roommates. The founders hope this will eliminate the need to keep receipts and try to evenly split various expenses. Once the app totals the expenses, roommates can pay each other in cash and log it into the app or pay directly with a debit card.

Another function of the app is to remind roommates of scheduled events. It can tell you to take out the trash and when to move your car for street sweeping.

The app does not offer any functionality that is not available elsewhere. But, it packages it into a single, easy-to-use and fairly comprehensive app that has the potential to reduce roommate conflict and just make life a little bit easier for everyone.

Is this necessary when so many apps exist that can do the same thing?

Senior Kalvin Tousant is skeptical about the necessity of the app. “I really like the idea, I just don’t see why there needs to be another app for this,” said Tousant. “What’s wrong with just texting your roommates? We already have a FB feed, Instagram feed, Twitter feed, etc. Is another app really what we need?”

The app is currently only available on the iPhone but an Android version should be released within the month.

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