Oddly took York Region's wealth of information for new international students, and made it available in an app for Android and iOS.

Seneca College approached Oddly to bring York Region’s International Student Guide into a mobile-friendly format. Oddly had the multidisciplinary skills in design, web development, and mobile development to complete the project.

Simple app, valuable information

We used Ionic and Google Translate to quickly build a cross-platform mobile app full of useful information for students new to York Region.


This project had some specific objectives for our team to complete:

  • Build an app for iOS and Android with a small team and limited amount of time
  • Gather all the content from the existing International Student Guide and make it work on small screens
  • Make the app’s content available offline
  • Support multiple languages without access to Google Translate when offline


As we started talking with the team at York Region and prototyping, the solutions became clearer:

  • We leveraged our experience with the Angular framework by using Ionic to build a hybrid mobile app
  • To gather content, we built a site scraper to download & transform pages and images from the existing International Student Guide website
  • We examined the amount of content, type of content and how often it was updated, and found we could store it all within the app for offline viewing
  • We used Google Translate’s API to translate the content and bundle the resulting translated HTML files into the application for offline viewing along with the English files

Within a few weeks, versions of the International Student Guide were installed and running on the stakeholders’ iOS and Android devices. With the technical challenges out of the way, we continued to refine the experience for users by adding a search feature and improving accessibility.

The app is available on Google Play and App Store, and students new to the country can get helpful information whenever they need!