The LDS Tools mobile team has just released an upgrade for Android and iOS (Apple). New features make the app more versatile for connecting with other members, leaders, and missionaries. According to Justin Krebs, product manager for LDS Tools, “The addition of missionary contact information in LDS Tools makes it easier for members to contact missionaries and coordinate their efforts in hastening the work of salvation."
The monthly user base of over 1 million devices running LDS Tools is evenly spread between iOS and Android. If you are a mobile user, you will find the upgraded app a valuable resource in your line-up of mobile favorites. Here are some key features:
1) Reports and additional membership data are now available to members of the ward council, including their presidencies and secretaries, which give them access to reports from Leader and Clerk Resources (LCR) on their mobile devices. The additional data access for leaders requires a Passcode (iOS) or a PIN (Android) to keep sensitive information private. If the app is left idle and open, the user's session times out and requires the user to reenter their LDS Tools Passcode or PIN.
2) The missionary menu shows missionaries assigned to your ward and missionaries serving from your stake, along with photos and contact information. The information is kept up to date by the local mission office, so you can keep up with your missionaries by performing a data sync. Both member and missionary profiles connect to maps to help find where people live and to locate meetinghouses. Members have contact information for missionaries, and missionaries in missions with mission-issued mobile devices have member information for their assigned wards.
3) Navigation within the app is improved. A new directory sort called “Family” is available for Android, and is set as the default which makes scrolling through the directory, and tapping on individual members, easier to manage. A “Household” view is also available on iOS, which shows a head of household and family members in a new window when the head of household is selected from the directory. Privacy settings within a user profile allow members to decide what contact elements are visible to which groups, and directory search now uses both street address lines.
4) Improved functionality could easily be overlooked by the simplicity of the menu structure. For example, you can add events to your device’s native calendar by “long-pressing” on a calendar event (iOS) or tapping the share icon (Android). When you select a member from the directory, you can create a new contact or update an existing contact on your mobile device’s contacts app. When you add a contact, the information is copied, so it does not automatically update when you re-sync your LDS Tools. For that you will need to edit the contact.
A useful feature in LDS Tools is the ability to create custom member lists from within the protected environment of the app. You create the list, add names from the directory, and then use the list to send email or text messages. A new feature allows you to sort your lists, or sort members within lists, in different ways. Custom lists do not disappear when the app is upgraded. The same annotation syncing service retains your custom lists (similar to notes in Gospel Library). Lists created in LDS Tools on one mobile device automatically migrate to your other mobile devices.
New versions of LDS Tools for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 were also recently released. Adding additional functionality including membership data and reports to the Windows versions of LDS Tools to match what currently exist in the iOS and Android versions of LDS Tools is being evaluated, but no timeline has been established at this point.
Additional help for LDS Tools may be found at the following links:
Join the LDS Tools Beta Test Group: https://www.lds.org/help/support/join-the-lds-tools-beta-test-group?lang=eng