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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)

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….

New App: Communicate Jesus

logoA good mate of mine, Steve Kryger (@communic8jesus), runs the Communicate Jesus blog. In 2011 that blog just made it onto the top 200 Christian blogs, which is no small feat. At the moment, according to really only one source, Communicate Jesus is ranked 247th. It is even beating Ed Stetzer (he is at 261) and is only 4 places below The Briefing.

I once told Steve (a bit candidly) that if he updated his site to be responsive, then I would make him an app. While Communicate Jesus isn’t running a responsive theme, it is running a WordPress plugin called WPTouch that works as a mobile theme, depending on your device.

I initially thought the android WebView would act the same as a mobile device and WPTouch would recognise it and act accordingly. However I found that I had mixed results with the style coming down. To get around this the apps styles up the page once it has been downloaded, using a bunch of post JavaScript injections. This means the page kinda “pops” when it is loading, going from blank text to the pretty theme. It also means I can control the look a bit more. I have removed the change to the full theme button and the top webpage bar. The theme didn’t seem to have a search box, so I put that in the app as well.

So anyway, this has just been pushed to the Google Play store so it maybe a few hours before this link works, or you can head over to my own profile page and download the APK from there.