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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.

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.