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Canberra Men’s & Women’s Christian Convention websites

I have been a bit quite on the app front. (I have recently picked up an extra role at church, so this may mean even less time for apps.) However, I do help out with Canberra Christian Conventions with their website.

We have just released the new sites for the Men’s and Women’s conventions this year.

The images we used this year were taken and tweaked by our communications team. I’m really happy how they have turned out. Making them ourselves means we had lots of flexibility and optiones on what we could take that was consistent within the theme.

Some of the features of the sites are:

  • Using the Divi WordPress theme
  • Email pop up that allows you to copy and past a pre-written email in your mail client, or if you use Gmail a button to do that automatically for you
  • Correct use of meta fields for Facebook sharing
  • The forms are JavaScripted in by elvanto and are then custom styled within the site
  • Google maps are themed using Snazzy Maps
  • I also turned on the SSL certificate we got with our hosting so everything is on https

Overall I think these two conference sites are up there with the best Australian Christian conference websites available (and we looked at a few for ideas). Check these conferences out at:

Two Ways To Live typo corrected

Someone emailed me pointing out that there was a typo in the Two Ways To Live app. I how now corrected this and pushed it out in the Play store.

If you do find any typos in any of my apps, please let me know. By far it seems my Australian Daily Prayer app has the worst amount of typos in it, but I am grateful for those who do notice them and let me know about them so I can get on them. Unlike the Two Ways To Live app, I can update the Australian Daily Prayer content without a whole app release, as the actual content is hosted on this website.

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.

2016 in Review

Ampers apps has had some ebbs and flows in 2016 year. I started out keen by making a Twitter account (I now have 261 followers), doing some patching and released the Inductive Bible Study app. But then life happened, I had some family members in hospital and we had our third child. So things got a bit busy.

In May I set up an Amazon app account, so people with kindles can download my apps. I have still left the APK links on my site, for people who still want to side load my apps. I don’t really count these downloads in my stats, as they are pretty small.

In the later half of this year I made a concept app for a para-church organisation, but they said to hold off till they updated their website. This still hasn’t happened (although I have seen a screen shot of the new layout). Someone from Twitter has offered to do a Hungarian translations of an app, so if they get back to me with the text, I’ll update that app.

Another thing I am working on is a website that displays the Bible text cleanly, without distractions.

I do have more ideas for 2017, but I am going into this year a bit less ambitious. I now have three children, and other responsibilities, so this app thing is going to be pushed back a little in the hobby basket.

Below is an overview on how my apps went in 2016. Overall the stats suggest they are down from 2015.

A simple gospel presentation by Glen Scrivener
10th Nov (1.2.1): fixed broken links
Total installs for 2016: 121 (Google) + 5 (Amazon from May)

Australian Daily Prayer
Displays the 1995 Australian Anglican Prayer Book morning and evening services and uses the 2005 Weekday Lectionary.
9th May (2.1.0): Send daily readings to the Inductive Bible Study app
Total installs for 2016: 360 (Google) + 120 (Amazon from May)

Communicate Jesus
Displays content from the Communicate Jesus blog run by Steve Kryger
Total installs for 2016: 45 (Google)

Inductive Bible Study
An easy to use method to study the Bible on your own or in a group.
12th February was the initial release (1.0.0)
9th May (1.1.0): receive passages  the Australian Daily Prayer app, landscape tweak
Total installs from initial release: 1,021 (Google) + 497 (Amazon from May)

Mobile Multiply
Simple discipleship program written by Francis Chan
2nd May (2.6.0): a few visual tweaks
Total installs for 2016: 6,006 (Google) + 89 (Amazon from May)

New City Catechism
A modern weekly catechism written by Tim Keller
17th Jan (4.1.2): widget date patch
25th Jan (4.1.3): minor widget update again
Total installs for 2016: 4,583 (Google) + 270 (Amazon from May)

OpenSpritz Bible
Allows you to quickly read the Bible without moving your eyes.
21st Feb (1.1.0): a few visual tweaks
Total installs for 2016: 677 (Google) + 34 (Amazon from May)

Two Ways To Live
Simple gospel presentation by Matthias Media
12th Sep (1.1.0): Added Chinese
Total installs for 2016: 2,370  (Google) + 20 (Amazon from May)

Who Will Be King?
Children’s version of Two Ways To Live by Matthias Media
Total installs for 2016: 62  (Google)

Below are screen shots of my Google Play dash and my Amazon app dash.

With the Google Play stats you can see that my total downloads is now over 50,000 (up more than 15,000 from last year) however, my active installs in 2016 (15,742) is less than last year (22,097). This means, compared to last year, there are about 6,000 less of my apps out in the world being used.
These Amazon stats are only from May, but as you can see, it’s reach is much smaller the the main Google Play platform. Total installs since May on Amazon is 1,005

Two Ways To Live in Chinese

two-ways-to-live-chinesesI haven’t touched my Two Ways To Live app since December 2013. I had reached an agreement with Matthias Media, that when they released their official Android app I would pull mine. Since then I haven’t made any adjustments to this one or Who Will Be King?

A few weeks back someone requested a Chinese version, and since the Chinese text is also freely available on their website it wasn’t that hard to put that in this app. If anyone wants another language up that is freely available, just let me know.

This would have gone up sooner, but I made all my changes one lunch time, and then for some reason or another, I accidentally overrode my code my in my git client, so I had to start over again.

The new update has been pushed to the play store, and has been updated on this site. I still need to work out how to push out an app update on the Amazon store

Ampers apps now on Amazon

Amazon-badgeOne of the main reasons I have been putting up the APK’s of my apps on this site is so Kindle users could sideload them on their devices. I did this because when I first made a few apps I received a few requests for them to be available for Kindle. At that time I didn’t really investigate Amazon and how their app store works and I kinda forgot about it.

Anyway, if you have an Amazon device you can now search their store to get my apps, no more sideloading. You may notice that Who Will Be King? isn’t there, that is because it didn’t pass Amazon’s screening process. I stopped working on Two Ways To Live and Who Will Be King? a few years back, so I really don’t want to go over them and fix it up. The strange thing is, I would have thought Two Ways To Live would have also failed their process as they are pretty much the same app and are both using material from Matthias Media.

I realised after pretty much copying and pasting all the Google Play information into Amazon’s store that the screen shots I put up were for phones, and will most likely look different on a Kindle device. That is something that may fix in the future, when I get around to it (and don’t forget about them).

Send Bible passages from the Australian Daily Prayer app to the Inductive Bible Study app

Two apps updated in one day, that is value adding.

The Australian Daily Prayer app can now send the readings of the day, or the Psalm(s) of the day to the Inductive Bible Study app. If the Inductive Bible Study app is installed, an icon will now appear next to the daily readings or Psalms (see picture) and if pressed the text will then be sent across for you to create a new Bible study.

Hopefully this integration will allow more interaction with your daily Bible readings. It might be a good tool to use if feel you should read and study the Bible more, but don’t know where to start.

I was surprised as to how easy it was to actually send content from one app to another in Android. It really is no different to sending content from one screen (or activity) to another, both can be done via a simple Intent.

Because I had to edit both apps to get ready to send and receive content from each other, it also meant I had a chance to get in and adjust a few landscape layout issues I was having on my 10″ tablet. Now, in both these apps, the margins are bigger, meaning the text in landscape doesn’t span across the whole length of the screen, making it easier to read.

Both updates have been pushed out the Play store and also to this website.

mobile multiply show/hide toggle and other minor changes

multiply compareI am about to start going through the Multiply material again this year (well at least Part 4 on the Old Testament). When I opened up the app I thought it was getting a bit long in the tooth. Ideally I will update it to fit with the material design, but until I find the time to do that, I have pushed out a minor update.

The most noticeable is the show/hide toggle for the resources and Bible readings. Having the box on the left on narrow screens was a big ugly, and I am not sure how much the resources are really used, as it is the same as what is in the app the user is looking at. This way the resources are hidden away, giving more screen real estate for the text.

I have also removed the zoom toggles, which I found annoying. You can still pinch to zoom, although the text does not re-flow, which again I find annoying. There was a space at the top of all the pages which have been removed and overall the font has been increased slightly.

It should update soon on the Play store, or you can download the APK from the portfolio page.

15,000 downloads for #NewCityCatechism android app and other milestones

I have been a little asleep at the wheel with my Android development. This is due to some personal things going on, and a laundry rebuilding project I’m doing at home. For the time being things will still be slow in this area. However, I noticed that a few milestones for total downloads have been reached.

The New City Catechism app crossed over the 15,000th download, and at this point in time there are around 10,0000 devices that still have it installed. I’m pretty happy with that retention rate. I noticed on the day that the app clicked over to 15,000 total downloads there was a small spike in installed. Looking around twitter I saw that Alistair Begg and his ministry Truth For Life tweeted a webpage that links to this app.

NCC daily downloads

I also noted that OpenSpritz Bible app crossed over 1,000 downloads (with only a 20% retention rate) and that my new Inductive Bible Study app has been downloaded more than 100 times (at the moment it is actually 172 time).

As with all these milestone updates, I would like to say “thank you” to everyone who downloaded my apps, even if you uninstalled it right away. Thanks for taking the time to at least check them out and my prayer is that you learned something new about the God who is really there.