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Two Ways To Live in French

Two weeks ago someone on Twitter asked if it was possible for this app to be done in French. It already has Chinese in it, so the framework to change to another language was already in there. Also, the official site already has the text in French, so really this was a bit of a copy and past job.

I haven’t really invested much in this app, as I don’t own the rights to it, but if you think there is a need for this material in your language and either you want to translate it, or it’s already up on the official site, then I will see what I can do.

This update is on the Play Store, this site and is pending review on the Amazon store.

Who Will Be King? targetSdkVersion API 26 update

While this app was meant to be updated last because of its placement in the alphabet I jumped to this one because Google pulled it from the Play store. This was because this app is aimed at kids and it didn’t have a privacy policy. Anyway, I quickly whipped up this fantastic privacy policy and added that to the meta information on the Play store. So, while I was at it, I recompiled this using the Oreo SDK libraries.

The app is now up on Google Play and this site. It is currently pending on Amazon.

Australian Daily Prayer targetSdkVersion API 26 update

Continuing on the Play store push to update all new apps to Oreo (Android 8.0), I have updated the Australian Daily Prayer app to conform to this new standard. There could be some minor improvements that come with the updated libraries, it may be hard to notice.

On the web side of things for this app, I have tweaked it a little bit, mainly dealing with the new ESV API. This tweak also affected passage headings in the app, which this new version should fix up.

Also, hopefully, I have improved the error message about the API reaching its limit due to too many requests per day. I honestly didn’t think this app was that popular to reach the daily limit. I think sometimes some web crawler hits the site causing a bit of request in a short period of time. Also, some amateur hackers try to hit the site trying to do an SQL injection using queries that have things like “1=1”, “1=2” or “AnD BenchMark” in them. (This won’t actually do anything because the website doesn’t run an SQL database, the site’s data comes from csv and xml files, some of which you can download and see from the site easily enough.) But these attempts also make queries to the ESV API, again bumping up the requests per day. Ideally, I will mitigate these queries, maybe in the future…

The new Australian Daily Prayer app is live on the Google Play store, this site and on the Amazon Appstore.

321 targetSdkVersion API 26 update

Google Play has said they want all their apps now to be at their SDK API version 26, or Android 8.0 or Oreo. I thought I might slowly re-roll my apps to conform to this standard, starting in alphabetical order.

To update to the newer version I had to update the permission requesting, so now users are prompted at the start if they want this app to save movies to their file system. Also, a bunch of libraries have been updated, so possibly it might be quicker or more secure.

While I was updating 321 I also came across a bug that meant you could keep on clicking the download image to download your video you may not have, and every time you clicked it would queue that download again, meaning that if you click multiple times when your download was running, you could end up with the same file multiple times in your “movies” directory. I have fixed that.

I would like to also give this app a more visual overhaul, but that will require more time.

This update is now live on the Play Store and on this website. Amazon sent me an email saying they have improved their app submission process, but because of a simple click on their system, this app is now locked for review and I can’t update it till 7:30 pm tonight – even though I hadn’t even uploaded the new APK… So I might give that a pass for now…

ESV text in Australian Daily Prayer fixed

Crossway updated their ESV API to version 3 which last week caused a bit of a problem with the Australian Daily Prayer app and website. I have since registered the Australian Daily Prayer app with them and have adjusted how the data is pulled on the website, so now both should be displaying the daily readings correctly. The app doesn’t need to be updated as it pulls the content from the website.

If this app ever gets popular the API usage has a limit that may get hit, but I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.

2017 in Review

So 2017 felt more like treading water for ampers apps, or if anything it went a bit backwards.

There were no new apps this year and I pulled one of my most successful app because Crossway filled the void and made an official Andriod app for the New City Catechism. On Amazon, my Inductive Bible Study app got suppressed as it was claimed that I was breaking copyright for using the ESV – even though I am using a legitimate Bible API (it’s even open source so you can see how it works). I told this to Amazon but they said I had to contend the claim with Crossway, and I kinda didn’t bother as my Amazon presence is really small. Besides if you want to sideload any of my apps, this site has the APK’s.

Life also got in the way a bit. I stepped up my role at church a little and sold and bought a new house. 2018 looks no different with time restraints as I am now working one day a week at Church as a youth minister, still working my normal job and have my normal family commitments.

Below are how my apps went over the course of 2017 (not including APK downloads from this site):

321
A simple gospel presentation by Glen Scrivener
Total installs for 2017: 187 (Google) + 17 (Amazon)

Australian Daily Prayer
Displays the 1995 Australian Anglican Prayer Book morning and evening services and uses the 2005 Weekday Lectionary.
A few typos were corrected throughout the year, but a new app is not needed for the changes to take place.
Total installs for 2017: 401 (Google) + 129 (Amazon)

Communicate Jesus
Displays content from the Communicate Jesus blog run by Steve Kryger… (I’m thinking I should really pull this app as it doesn’t really work and was more going to be a test for push notifications which I never got round to)
Total installs for 2017: 20 (Google)

Inductive Bible Study
An easy to use method to study the Bible on your own or in a group.
Total installs for 2017: 891 (Google) + 268 (only until 22nd July when it was suppressed on Amazon)

Mobile Multiply
Simple discipleship program written by Francis Chan.
Total installs for 2017: 4,038 (Google) + 176 (Amazon)

New City Catechism
A modern weekly catechism written by Tim Keller.
12th April (Final version) was pulled from the Play Store
Total installs until 12th April: 2,207 (Google) + 1,336 (in doing these stats, it seems I never pulled this from Amazon)

OpenSpritz Bible
Allows you to quickly read the Bible without moving your eyes.
Total installs for 2017: 337 (Google) + 53 (Amazon)

Two Ways To Live
Simple gospel presentation by Matthias Media
3rd May (1.1.1) Fixed a typo
5th December (1.1.2) Fixed another typo
Total installs for 2017: 2,502 (Google) +22 (Amazon)

Who Will Be King?
Children’s version of Two Ways To Live by Matthias Media
Total installs for 2017: 69 (Google)

Comparing from last year, it seems my apps are on a decline. While overall installs have gone up about 10,700, active apps, those used in the last 30 days, has gone down by about 3,000 this year. Still, that is with no advertising, removing one of my most popular apps and not introducing anything new this year. Really things are just ticking on.

 

Fixed typos in Two Ways To Live and Australian Daily Prayer

I was tidying up my emails last night and noticed that someone has previously emailed me pointing out a typo on the welcome screen for the Two Ways To Live app. This has now finally been fixed, and the update has been pushed to the Play Store and the portfolio page on this site.

Also last weekend someone tweeted to me pointing out another typo in the Australian Daily Prayer app. Since the data is pulled from a website, it was easy to update without having to re-roll another app with the correction embedded in it.

If you do find any more typos, please let me know. Hopefully, I won’t take months to fix them…

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:

https://canberrachristianconventions.org.au/womens
https://canberrachristianconventions.org.au/mens

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.