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Android apps

There is huge potential for cell phone and tablet apps that can serve minority language communities in the area of Scripture Engagement and Language development.  Some can be used as is, some will require contact with the developer and some will merely serve as examples of what is possible.

It’s been too long since I last updated this page but I can point you to growing and comprehensive lists maintained by the Mobile Ministry Forum

Android Apps for Outreach & Spiritual Life
and  iPhone Apps for Outreach & Spiritual Life 


I’ll update my page in the next couple of months and perhaps include some extra thoughts on how to assess resources. (many are good but some are better for specific audiences).

Meanwhile my earlier jottings are included below

I now have the privilege of using a Scripture App Builder program developed by a colleague working in West Africa and will be building apps in lots of languages  (more on that soon). You can find an English Bible app built with the program at http://1000bibles.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/a-new-shareable-app-for-the-world-english-bible/ .

I’ve also been privileged to be involved in discussions about other apps in development. Organizations do not have to build (and maintain) everything themselves. There are a community of amateur programmers and big companies who can be worked with.

Back in 2013 I began to document just a few of the current android apps. The number of apps available on Google play rose from 850,000 when I first compiled this in April 2013 this, to over 1,300,000 by Aug 2014. The number of Bible and other Christian apps has also rocketed in that time.

All apps listed are available on Google play store unless otherwise indicated. Inclusion does not include endorsement of the app or the developer. Some will be following appropriate copyright restrictions others may be using content for which they do not have appropriate permissions.


What apps do you recommend? How should we catalogue and share such info?

Clues to phone use by language communities

The Facebook advertising system give a clue as to how many speakers of a particular language in a country are on facebook, it can also suggest how many of them use a smartphone. Now that’s useful for anyone wondering whether to develop an app for a particular language community. Not everyone with a smartphone will be on facebook but many expat workers will be surprised to find how large a proportion of the community is on the social network. We can’t tell exactly how many facebook users actually speak a language, we can tell how many ‘like’ the language.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/   put in a website that you want to advertise (you can stop short of actually advertising it. From choose your audience first select a country (you can also select regions or towns), then type in the language name as an interest (eg “Welsh language” or “Welsh people”). This will tell you how many people have listed this as an interest. Further down is an option for selecting broad interests where you will find several categories for mobile users from which you can filter for smartphones and tablets or even by operating system and phone type).

The facebook interface is also available in about 100 languages including 18 known to have current Bible translation projects (not necessarily by SIL). See https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=234620679915275#How-can-I-request-to-have-Facebook-translated-into-a-new-language?


App, e-pub, ppt, pdf, or something else?

This document focuses on apps but there are many other ways to share material on a smart phone. Sometimes simpler is better.



Apps worth exploring

NB some descriptions have been updated since originally listed in 2013

Name:                     Bible
Publisher:              Faith Comes By Hearing / Hosanna
Description:         Audio bible, text, Jesus film
Type:                       Bible app
Comments:           App allows for downloading of audio files one chapter at a time. Also possible to download audio scriptures from FaithcomesbyHearing without using the app

Name:                      Bible
URL:                         https://www.bible.com/mobile
Publisher:              YouVersion
Description:          Bibles and NT’s in over 700 languages, reading plans and groups.

Name:                       Bible Study
URL:                          https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=biblereader.olivetree
Publisher:               Olive Tree Bible+
Description:           Bibles plus commentaries
Comments:             Some free items but other content is charged for

Name:                      Laudate         *****
URL:                         https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aycka.apps.MassReadings
Publisher:              Aycka Soft
Description:         “The most comprehensive Catholic App . Available in English, Español, Português, Française, Deutsch, Italiano, Bahasa, Polski, Slovenski, Hrvatski, Việt and Românesc. Daily Mass Readings, Order of Mass, Liturgy of Hours, New American Bible, Rosary and Latin Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy (on Rosary screen), Seven Sorrows Rosary, Chaplet of St. Michael, Holy Wounds Chaplet, St Jude Chaplet, Franciscan Crown Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Saint of the Day, Catechism of Catholic Church, Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), Daily Examination of Conscience, various prayers and prayers in Latin with English translation. Podcast for Rosary and Stations. Daily Meditations. Podcasts of Daily Readings with read-along text and meditations. Ability to bookmark prayers and create own categorized prayers. Export/Import for prayers. Edit prayers on your Mac or PC and Import into Laudate. Douay-Rheims Bible for offline use. Second Vatican documents, Code of Canon Law and papal encyclical letters.”
Type:                        Catholic prayers, liturgy
Customisable?:     12 Languages by 2013, I suspect the programmer would welcome more

Name:                       Gospel in Every Language
URL:                 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.globalrecordings.fivefish
Publisher:                Global Recording Network
Description:            Listen to the Christian gospel spoken in virtually any language using The Gospel in Every Language App (5fish). Access Christian messages from the largest collection of languages in the world (over 5,000 languages and dialects). Download free content: Bible stories, basic Bible teaching, Scripture, Christian songs and testimonies. The recordings are useful for learning about the Christian faith and sharing lessons with others.

Bible stories have been selected from the Old and New Testaments. They include stories about significant events and people such as the creation of the world, Noah, Abraham, Moses, King David, the prophets and Jesus’ life, miracles and teaching.

The recordings have been produced by Global Recordings Network (GRN) and other Christian ministries.

Comments: Not quite every language yet and the 5000 refers to languages and dialects but an impressive collection from an organisation with a long history in audio scriptures.
Customisable?: I’ve met the developer and he’s open to feedback. Also raised the idea of using FCBH new software (or similar) to encourage people to offer fresh recordings.

Name:                      Childrens Bible
URL:                         https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.christianapps.childrensbible
Publisher:              Christian Apps
Description:          218 bible stories for kids, taken from the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Comments:            Text no pictures. Text is not directed at children and this could more easily be an ebook but perhaps more will find it as an app. Being able to easily access stories by title rather than chapter and verse may be helful for many new Bible readers.


The above list was complied in 2013. Here’s a list of 48 apps courtesy of: Disciplr for 2015 click through for details.





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