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Australian Daily Prayer website fix

Since around mid December, my web hoster has been transferring their free sites from cPanel to DirectAdmin. In this process, it meant that the Australian Daily Prayer website, and by extension the app as well, stopped working.

Once I was able to log back in there was some subdomain permission settings and SSL certs that needed to be set up. It seems to be going ok.

I think there is a display bug in the android app, in that it doesn’t deal with you selecting any old date, as it will display the same readings and prayers for whatever the current day is. (The website allow you to go to any date). I will try and find time to tweak this.

This move also broke my New City Catechism and multiply subdomains, but they too are back up and running again.

Australian Daily Prayer – https fix

It seems that in my last update to get everything up to API 29, it caused an issue with the Australian Daily Prayer app. It turns out that from Android 9, by default http calls are blocked to encourage everyone to switch to https.

Now, after I released the previous update my Pixel 2 stopped working so while I am waiting for that to be fixed I am on my old Nexus 5, this is on Android 8. Still, today I tweaked the app, (assuming this was the issue), to make https calls to my dailyprayer website. Turns out I already had an SSL, so I didn’t have to tweak anything on the server, just the app.

I have already emailed all those who asked about the issue, and one person has gotten back to me saying it is now working on Android 9 from the Play Store. Hopefully, that is the new norm. APK on this site is also updated.

targetSdkVersion API 29 update – Australian Daily Prayer, mobile multiply, 321, Two Ways To Live & Who Will Be King?

Google has reset the minimum target for all of their apps on the play store. So today, since it was too cold to go outside, I thought I would re-roll a few of the easier apps in a new SDK. I also played with using Android App Bundles for publishing the final versions to the play store and I got to re-setup my development environment on my new PC.

The following apps now have a target for Android 10 (one version higher than the current minimum).

There are no visual improvements to these apps, which I think most of them now need. I would like to update them to a more material design (except for the Australian Daily Prayer app), but I do need to find that time. They also all have a swipe out menu from the left, and in Android 10 you can now make that gesture to mean “back”. Still, I was happy to see a few thousand active installs (devices online in the last 30 days) using my apps.

Hopefully, I will also get on and update my last two apps (OpenSpritz Bible and Inductive Bible Study). These ones are more functional than the others, and I do have more updates I would like to do. But the main issue is finding the time. Maybe we need more cold snaps.

Like always you can also find the updated APK files for these on this website.

Website and apps are back up

This website has been down for nearly a week, but today it came back up. I use a free web hoster so I really can’t complain too much, as you do get what you pay for. While waiting for this to come back up I did set up a new account with another free hoster and was seriously considering moving everything off this site to them. That would mean a fair bit of re-setting up (emails, web apps, domains, app updates etc), so I am kinda glad I didn’t have to do that.

The Australian Daily Prayer app is dependent on this site to pass the readings and prayers of the day to it. This meant that for the last week the app has been broken, displaying a connection error. Thank you to those who emailed me to let me know that the app wasn’t working. As you can see now, this site is back up, and so is the app.

Australian Daily Prayer app re-published

Just after Christmas, I received an email telling me that the Australian Daily Prayer app had been removed from the Play Store because it was in violation of their metadata policy. The email didn’t say exactly where I was in violation, so I didn’t know exactly what I should change. One of the issues could have been excessive detail – even though they give you a text box that is allowed 4,000 characters!

Anyway, in my description I removed the list of features and a few days later (without notification – would have been nice for them to also email me to say it was back) I saw that the app was republished in the Play Store.

Here is the offending text which seems to have violated the metadata policy:

Features:
– Defaults to the morning or evening service based on the time of day
– Displays the Common Worship translation of the Psalms for group readings and defaults to the main Psalm of the day
– Displays the ESV text of the readings for the day, including the mp3 download link
– Displays the festivals and daily saints and the collects on the appropriate days
– Colour scheme changes depending on the church season
– Can jump to any date
– Displays the 39 Articles
– Swipe from the left of screen to open up the menu; or press the button on the top left
– Integrates with the Inductive Bible Study app


Retiring the Communicate Jesus Android app

This app never really did what I wanted it to do. I wanted to test out push notifications in Android apps, so when the website updated you would get an alert to go read it (of cause it would come with an option to turn this off). But I never got round to implementing this. (I also thought it would be good promotion for my friend’s site).

I configured the app to work around a previous theme for the Communicate Jesus website. Since then the site has changed a little, so some of the native menu links give you 404’s. I have also never been a huge fan of “site apps” – you might as well just save a bookmark on your phone’s home screen to the site you want and view it in the browser and not bother with an app at all.

This app wasn’t very popular. Since its launch in June 2014 on the Play Store, it has only been downloaded 161 times. In the last year, it was downloaded once on Amazon. I’ll leave the APK up on this site (of which it has been downloaded 98 times)

Mobile Multiply targetSdkVersion API 26 update

This app is really long in the tooth, it could do with an update where everything is displayed using the material native UI. But for now, I have just done a quick update to get it to the Google Play new standard. The app bar was using some old libraries that I had to run a bunch of function override’s to get it to work on the settings screens, and also it has lost the menu icon on the top left. But I don’t think the menu was that useful. You can still side swipe to access it.

I found a bug when you rest to the default language. This has also been fixed

The new update is live on the Google Play and this site. It is currently pending on Amazon.

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.