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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


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.

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.

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…

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.

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.