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Desktop Finder

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Android Desktop and Friend Finder Application


This Android Application is currently only available as an open Beta release. To get the app you must signup as a tester and download/install the app via this URL: Until the app has been formally published it will not be available through the Google Play store itself.

Use the Android Desktop and Friend Finder application on your mobile phone to quickly locate a lab with free desktops. You can also authenticate (with your School of Informatics login details) and then opt-in to sharing your location with friends and find labs where your friends are. This application must be run through a wireless connection on the Eduroam network, it will not work using mobile data. Intended for all students with an account in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh.

Get this application from the Google Play Store, you can find it by searching for "DesktopFinder". Download and install.

Opening the application will show a list of labs containing DICE desktops, ordered so labs with the most available free desktops are shown first. The listing includes the lab name and the number of free desktops. The list refreshes automatically every minute when the application is open. You can manually refresh at any time by swiping down. Note that the application does not have access to the lab room bookings (when labs are used for tutorials for example), so although a lab may be shown with available desktops they will not actually be available if the lab is currently booked for use by a specific course/group.

Touching the "friends" icon at the top right of the application toolbar will show you the friends setup screen. In order to use this screen you need to register by authenticating with your DICE username and password. You only need to authenticate once, after which you will be automatically registered until you uninstall the application.

Once registered you can opt-in to tracking. This records centrally which DICE desktop you are currently logged into and means your friends can find you. You can opt in and out at any point to enable and disable discovery. This does not alter any friends configuration.

Below is a list of your associated friends. To invite someone to be your friend enter their UUN in the search box. They will show on the list as an INVITE. Revoke the invitation by swiping the entry left. If an INVITE entry does not appear on the list try entering the UUN again in case you mistyped it. An invite may also not appear if the invited user is currently opted out. If someone else has invited you to be their friend then this will show on the list as ACCEPT. Simply touch and hold that entry to accept the invitation. Reject the invitation by swiping the entry left. Other entries on the list will be your associated friends. To remove an association swipe the entry left. Assuming you are currently opted in then if any of your associated friends are currently logged into a DICE desktop and are also opted in then FRIENDS will be shown beside the relevant lab entries in the main screen showing the list of available desktops. The list of friend associations refreshes automatically every minute when the screen is open. You can manually refresh at any time by swiping the list down.

Privacy Statement


Please read this privacy notice carefully and contact us with any questions or concerns about our privacy practices.

The School of Informatics (the “School”) is part of the University of Edinburgh (the “University”).

This privacy notice applies specifically to the personal information the School will hold within the DesktopFinder service. We will explain how the School will use your personal information in this context, how long the School will keep it for and if the School will share it with third parties.

What information do we collect?

We obtain personal information about you from the following sources:

  • From the School of Informatics account management system (Prometheus). The information we obtain is your first name, last name and University username (UUN).
  • The friendship associations you have personally managed - so other users you have invited to be friends, other users that have invited you to be friends, other users that are registered as your friends.
  • Only if you have consented, from desktops managed by the School of Informatics. The information we obtain is your username while you are logged into the console (graphical session) of a desktop. Only your currently active console login (or logins) are held, no history of logins is retained.

How do we use your personal information?

We use your personal information to manage authentication and consent for the service and to maintain your friendship associations and, assuming you have consented, to show your friends which labs you can currently be found in.

We do not use your personal information for any other purpose.

What legal basis do we have for processing your personal information?

Our collection and use of personal information from students and staff to run this service is carried out as necessary for the performance of your contract, to enable us to meet our committment to you by providing a service to easily locate free desktops to work on.

Our collection and use of any other personal information from students and staff using this service is carried out by consent.

When do we share personal information?

All personal information will be treated confidentially.

The information you give us will not be shared outside the School.

Where do we store and process personal information?

All personal information is held and processed on servers located within the School.

How long do we keep your personal information for?

The information gathered is retained for as long as it is necessary to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected, so while you are a current student or member of staff.

Personal information that is no longer needed is explicitly deleted in its entirety from our systems and cannot be subsequently recovered.

Use of automated decision-making and profiling

We do not use any decision-making processes (automated or otherwise), including profiling, as part of this service.

This privacy notice is continued


How to contact us?

For further information about data privacy in the School, please contact X.Y (

For data collected under this privacy notice, the University is the Data Controller (as that term is defined in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679), registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, Registration Number Z6426984).

The University’s data protection policy is on our website at

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