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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):

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:

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