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New City Catechism app will be pull from Google Play

I first made the New City Catechism (NCC) Android app back in June 2013. I think it was first called Weekly New City Catechism. It basically displayed a simple webpage that I had made which had all the NCC questions displayed in a responsive way. The main reason I made this app was because there wasn’t one available. I also liked the idea of showing the current question for the week. I figured the reason there were 52 questions was because of the 52 weeks in the year.

In December 2013 the executive director of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) got in contact with me and wanted to see if this app could become the official one. I was thrilled with this idea and made a few adjustments to make it look more like their official webpage and called the app just New City Catechism. Tim Keller even tweeted a link to my app. After that I kinda lost contact with TGC, but that wasn’t before I saw a beta version of a redeveloped site (not the one now) and I also passed on the Spanish translation of catechism that I had gotten my hands on.

Fast forward to last week, where it looks like the NCC has been re-launched with a new website, Apple & Android apps and even a paper version – all brought out by Crossway. In no way do I want to compete with or be seen to be against Crossway or the other people behind the New City Catechism. Since they now have a presence in the Google Play store, I think it is time that I must decrease so they can do their thing.

I emailed Crossway my plans and also my concerns about losing functionality. I offered my code and Spanish text, but they didn’t seem to need it. This is completely fine – if I’m honest my code would probably have been useless to them.

The functions that I think have been lost in the new app are:

  • it doesn’t progress through the questions each week, ie every time you open your app you have to advance to the question you want to go to; and you can’t set a start date from when you want to do the catechism
  • there is no widget to display the weekly question on your home screen
  • no links to the videos
  • no Spanish translation

They said they would be working on some of these features in the future.

My course of action is to put up a new screen on start up, wait a week or two so the update has a chance to push out to as many devices as possible and then pull the app from the Play Store. I was going to nuke the whole app, but I think people may miss the functionality, so if you have the app now, just don’t uninstall it. I will also leave the latest APK on this site.

This has been one of the more successful apps of mine. I don’t put this down to my great code, but to the great content of the catechism. I will post again in a few weeks with a re-cap of this app, once I have taken it off the Play Store.

Christian. Husband. Father. Son. Canberran.

12 thoughts on “New City Catechism app will be pull from Google Play

  1. Eric

    As someone who’s been involved in open source software development for a long time, I’ve seen plenty of instances where two or more projects focused on similar goals mean unnecessary duplication of effort and unhealthy rivalry. But in the case of your New City Catechism app, I can’t see that being an issue, and I’ll be rather sorry to see it vanish from the play store. For all the reasons you mentioned, plus a few more, I still prefer it to the official Crossway app!

    In a way, this is a little like my preference for AndBible over the official ESV Bible app (which has been effectively orphaned for years by Crossway, maybe for lack of resources). Your app provides a look and feel as well as content that’s meaningfully different from Crossway’s, and I think there a place for both, as long as you don’t mind maintaining yours!

    A few small reasons beyond what you’ve already mentioned: your app doesn’t require me to tap to see the answers; you include the accompanying historical commentary and/or prayers rather than a modern commentary, and in what I find a more readable format; and it’s much, much lighter weight (why is the official app over 50MB??!).

    Please reconsider. 🙂 But regardless of your decision, thank you!!!

    1. ampers

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for posting and for your kind words. I do appreciate it.

      The main thing about this app was that it wasn’t open source. The NCC wasn’t released under some sort of creative commons rules. TGC and Redeemer owned the content and now Crossway does. Unlike TGC and Redeemer, Crossway brought out an Android app, so I do not want to be encroaching into their space. In the same way, I don’t think I should be printing out books that Crossway publish.

      I also have to say that AndBible is also my favorite Bible app. 🙂

  2. Jonathan Rowe

    I heartily agree with Eric’s comment above. Your app has been invaluable to my young family. I have recommended it to many others. It’s just an excellent work used by God to bless the world. I understand and respect your sentiments, but please reconsider.

  3. Rachel marr

    Great app. Please don’t pull it . I know a number of people who are finding it helpful. I particular the older commentary (as appose to modern) and the prayer.

  4. John Parks

    I love everything about your app. The question, answer, commentary and Scripture all on the same page. The direct link to the videos. I am especially fond of the classic commentary, and the reference for each. I’m going to miss it. Please reconsider pulling it.

  5. L Randt

    Very disappointed this morning to find the NCC app pulled. I have thoroughly enjoyed your version and can say that after installing and reading through Crossway’s version I am even more disappointed. I prefer the style, functionality, and especially the content of your app version. Would love to see you bring it back…and quickly!!! Thanks so much for offering it in the first place, it was very enriching and much shared while I had it.

  6. Onwilson

    I love this app, it’s great. My family and I read the app’s weekly Q&A, commentary video and prayer every night as part of our “Bible Time” for the past 3 yrs. I don’t like the new one and this will be great missed. God Bless.

    1. ampers

      Hi Brandon,

      The old audio is still hosted on the TGC site. I don’t know if they have a page that lists the audio files, but my mobile friendly NCC site still links to them here: http://ncc.ampers.x10.mx/child-version
      (when I view these pages in Chrome I get a little download link next to the audio file. FireFox and IE doesn’t see to give its users a download button)

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