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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.

OpenSpritz Bible visual tweak

OpenSpritz Bible comaprisionI use Bitbucket for managing my Android code. They are free and allow you as many repos of any size that you want. Last month they changed the way they sort your repos with the introduction of “projects”. I decided to move my two open source apps into a “project” called open source and set the permission for that group to be public. Anyway in doing that, it changed the repo’s link, which meant I had to update this app with the new open source link. I think if someone goes to the trouble to code something that you use and makes it open source, you too should respect their licence and make your stuff open source as well.

Anyway, since I had to update this app with a new link, I thought I might fix a few other things with the interface. They are minor, and only took me half a lunch time to fix, but I think it is a better improvement. The main visual change is the progress bar isn’t at the bottom of the screen, but is now under the Spritz section. This makes it even easier to see where you are in the progress of your passage. You eye moves even less. Also the open/close view text click wasn’t working very well, so I replaced that with a toggle button which seemed to have fixed the issue.

Like always this update is on the Google Play store and also on the portifilo page.

New App: Inductive Bible Study

Screenshot_2016-01-28-17-30-37I have been leading Bible studies on and off for about 8-10 years. During this time I have used many different methods, study guides, booklets, materials etc… however, about 4 (or so) years ago I saw the Inductive Bible Study method demonstrated and I got hooked. I liked this method as it is simple, completely focused on the text and is easy to reproduce (ie you can teach someone else to do the same thing easily).

I pretty much made this app for my own use, as every week (or fortnight) I would use this method in preparation for Bible study. Then as a group we would use the same method together. While using MS Word for preparing the study and saving it to a device or printing it out is possible, I’m hoping this app means I don’t have to copy and past any Bible text, nor have a need to use paper. Also, 1 minute after the study I can email the group a pdf of the notes I had made.

So hopefully, since I think there is a need for this app, others might also use it. The app can pull down a Bible passage (with or without the translators headings) and then be saved so you can mark up the text. I used an open source module for the marking up, so in return this app is also open source and be downloaded here.

Within the app here are instructions for each phase of the method. These instructions are a bit technical, but I figured, if you have it with you all the time, you can use it as a reference to go back to if you want (or just ignore them and tweak the process to suit your own needs). I’ve also put these notes online, just because I can.

So check out the app on the Play Store or to side load it, you can download the APK from this site.

Minor New City Catechism widget patch

Hopefully I now have got the hang of Android widgets. I noticed that after the new update the questions weren’t moving:

I first thought the date calculation was off by one week, but as I dug into it it seemed that it wouldn’t go back to the correct position if you opened up the answer for that question. I have also tweaked the widget code a bit making it a few lines shorter here and there. Hopefully it means it is more robust

The widget should now work as planned. If you do go forward or back and open up that answer, you should be able to leave it there and the next time the widget updates it will take you back to the week/question you should be on.

Fingers crossed.

New City Catechism date patch

NCC widget ScreenshotI must admit that I am a bit slack with checking in with the New City Catechism every week. But for this year I am going to try and check out each question per week (as it is intended). However, for awhile I have noticed that the widget would always default back to question one, and since the beginning of this year the actual app seemed to be having trouble working out what question it should be displaying.

I’m on the cusp of releasing a new app and I generally only like working on one app at a time, but the date not changing correctly finally annoyed me so much that I sat down last night to fix it. This is the second patch I have tried for the widget, so fingers cross this one will work.

I have just push the new update to the Play Store and if you can’t wait for that to update you can download the APK from the portfolio page.

2015 in Review


As I did for 2014, I thought I should post on what I achieved in 2015. Last year seemed to be the year of the update with no new apps released. I don’t feel that bad as some of the updates were as big as whole apps. Also two of my apps crossed over the 10,000 downloads mark.

I am working on a new app that should be out by the end of the month (hopefully!), stay tuned…

I also just started a new twitter account, @ampers_apps which will hopefully give more updates about what I am up to for 2016. Feel free to follow that.

Anyway, below is a quick rundown of how my apps went this year.

A simple gospel presentation by Glen Scrivener
Sep 16 (1.2.0): Added in 9 more languages
Total installs for 2015: 357

Australian Daily Prayer
Displays the 1995 Australian Anglican Prayer Book morning and evening services and uses the 2005 Weekday Lectionary.
Dec 11 (2.0.0): Whole new interface rewrite, now in Material Design.
Total installs for 2015: 315

Communicate Jesus
Displays content from the Communicate Jesus blog run by Steve Kryger
Oct 15 (2.0.0): Updated interface to Material Design
Total installs for 2015: 81

Mobile Multiply
Simple discipleship program written by Francis Chan
Apr 15 (2.5.0): Added Spanish translation
Total installs for 2015: 6,400

New City Catechism
A modern weekly catechism written by Tim Keller
3rd Feb (4.0.1): Added in Spanish introduction
2nd Jun (4.1.0): Added in a home screen widget
23rd Jun (4.1.1): Tried to fix a widget bug
Total installs for 2015: 5,688

OpenSpritz Bible
Allows you to quickly read the Bible without moving your eyes.
Total installs for 2015: 453

Two Ways To Live
Simple gospel presentation by Matthias Media
Total installs for 2015: 3,247

Who Will Be King?
Children’s version of Two Ways To Live by Matthias Media
Total installs for 2015: 117

I also added a websites portfolio to this site to showcase a bit more than the android apps that I make. In 2015 I updated this site, Canberra Christian Conventions and Body@Work Physio websites. I don’t really have the stats for all three of those to say how much exposure they all got.

For a general overview of how my apps are going, here is how they stood on the 1st of January 2016. From the table below it seems that there are nearly 22,100 ampers apps currently installed on android devices*. Comparing the below table with one from October 2014 (Total: 14,423/19,499) , you can see that the retention rate has dropped to 57% from 74%, but overall numbers has increased (as you should expect) and most apps have doubled in total installs.

end of 2015 stats* Current installs does not including the direct downloads from this site, and it does not include inactive devices. This means someone may have installed one of my apps and then bought a new phone and just threw the old phone out without uninstalling it.

New interface for Australian Daily Prayer

daily_prayer_comparisionI have finally done what I wanted to do with The Australian Daily Prayer app. Now, instead of displaying a web view, this app displays the content nativity in Android layouts and widgets. It now has recycler views, are expandable tabs, pager views, hiding toolbars and floating action button. Also it still changes theme colour based on the church season.

Previously I had made my website output some JSON data for this use, but I never got round to implementing it. Now that I have, this means the app will use less internet data. Previously the webview would come in around 750kb*, now the JSON data is about 50kb.

If anyone else out there wants to suck down the some JSON data this app uses, they can read about using it on the daily prayer site.

It should be noted that this update is just for the displaying of the data in the android app. The data still comes from the website. While testing this app I found some errors in the data which I will go back and fix up (things like “22th” and not “22nd”, one <br> tag being broken etc…).

It has also been pointed out to me that this app doesn’t show the Australian Lectionary readings. If I knew what those readings were, I would implement them. I only go with the Church of England’s 2005 Weekday Lectionary because they provide a grid (pdf) in how to work out what readings go where. If anyone knows of some lookup table for the Australian Lectionary that I could see that would allow anyone to work out the readings for say 5th of June 2018, I would appreciate it.

This update will be on the Google Play store soon and is on it’s portfolio page.

*This may only be on first load, as your browser may cache some of the page after that.

Communicate Jesus in Material Design

Screenshot_2015-10-15-15-57-18Communicate Jesus is my least popular app on the Google Play store. This is probably because you can just visit the website without the need to have an app at all. As this is really a testing app for me, I went ahead and looked into the new Android Material Design, and if I screwed it up, it would only affect 14 people who currently have the app installed on their device.

Anyway, I have now updated this app to use Material Design and it should even be backwards compatible to Android 2.2 (Froyo). I have no idea what it actually looks like on devices running that, but it compiled and didn’t throw up any errors. I think the app looks much much better.

I have updated the APK and screenshots on both the portfolio page and the Google Play store if you want to check this new version out.

Since I have now worked out how to make things in Material Design, hopefully other apps I have made will make the move soon….