SFU Snap has so much potential, but its bugs need to be fixed first

The app could be a one-stop information hub about all sorts of things going on around campus

Oh snap, the SFU Snap app just crashed on me again. Photo: Chris Ho/The Peak

By: Kelly Chia, Staff Writer

Oh, SFU Snap. 

This app tries its best, but has fallen short so much that it’s often my last resort instead of being my go-to app for SFU content. I want to be able to check my class locations and exam times without the app loading like a snail. My Gen Z attention span cannot wait for it to finish before hurriedly loading go.sfu.ca and wondering why I didn’t do that first. That’s the problem — SFU Snap is not reliable enough to be used as a one-stop app for the variety of purposes the student community needs.

In the three years I’ve been at SFU, every time I’ve trusted Snap I’ve been betrayed by the app crashing or not loading at all. To be fair, this is probably because signals don’t travel well in some areas of our beloved concrete campus. In the past, the app would constantly boot me off, so staying logged in was a pesky issue too. SFU Snap’s unreliability has definitely prevented it from being the useful app that it clearly wants to be. That being said, it has been slightly more reliable this semester, so that’s something.

There is still room for improvement, however. Take the Room Finder feature. I’d like to be able to scroll or zoom in and out on the map to view different parts of the campus, and I can’t do that. This seems to be a recent problem for other students too, based on some reviews on the app page. This feature should be better optimized for more cell phones. I’m sure it would be super helpful for freshmen to be able to quickly find their room while running late for class, especially since the Burnaby campus can be intimidating to navigate with all of its weird basements and interconnected modules.

And wouldn’t it be neat to have some sort of event page on the app? In an ideal world, this app would be the first thing we check to know if there’s anything going on around campus. We can already check for severe weather through the app to keep from being trapped on campus, but it’d be cool if the app also showed events that were happening in that day, too. 

If SFU Snap showcased school events, it could have the potential to create more of an engaged school community. It would give all students, no matter where they are on campus, a surefire way of knowing when something neat is happening.

This might be a bit ambitious for an already buggy app, however. As it is, I just want SFU Snap to work properly. All the features they have are great and helpful, but I only notice this when the app isn’t crashing on me. All I can really do is continue giving feedback and hope it steadily improves before I graduate.