The use of Church-produced smartphone apps among Church members is steadily increasing. Seminary teachers, for example, have noted that many of their students have begun to use the standard works provided by the Gospel Library app in place of traditional scriptures, citing the convenience of pulling up their scriptures on their phones as opposed to hauling the printed volumes around.
Use of these technological resources is limited, however, as not all Church-produced apps are available to all smartphone users. There are currently five official Church mobile applications — Gospel Library, Mormon Channel, LDS Tools, Scripture Mastery, and LDS Youth.
All five apps are available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Apple devices, but only Gospel Library, Mormon Channel, and LDS Tools are available to Android users. The potential audience for the Scripture Mastery app is drastically reduced because it’s only available on Apple devices.
Android Scripture Mastery Features
With this in mind, Product Manager Jimmy Smith is working to develop an Android Scripture Mastery app. It will mirror the iPhone app, providing tools and activities to assist seminary students and all other Android users interested in learning the Scripture Mastery verses.
The following screenshots are from the iPhone Scripture Mastery app and serve as a prototype for the Android app:
As with the iPhone app, a memorizing game will allow users to practice reciting a verse while seeing only the first letter of each word in the verse, or removing a select number of words from the verse. A flashcard function will be provided, as well as a quiz option testing the user’s knowledge of key themes or principles relating to a particular verse. The Articles of Faith, also included on the iPhone app, will be included on the Android app as well.
Increasing App Usage
Developing the Android app should help increase the circulation and popularity of the Scripture Mastery app. The iPhone app was released earlier this year, and while it has already been downloaded more than 40,000 times, many seminary teachers say the app is only being used by a handful of their students, and remains a largely unknown resource.
For example, Michael Goldhardt, a South Jordan seminary teacher who has embraced the use of Church apps, said well over half of his students have smartphones, but less than half of those are iPhones, meaning the app’s circulation within his class is still quite limited. He says an Android app would be a huge help.
Technology in the Classroom
One benefit of smartphone apps in the classroom is the convenience of not having to bring bulky printed scriptures to school, as well as not having to either haul them home every day or remember to bring them home at the end of the week.
Goldhardt said he would like a computer lab in the seminary building to give students a chance to access Church talks, genealogy sites, and use resources on youth.lds.org. In his case, the increased use of smartphones and the emergence of these Church apps are helping him build a sort of mobile computer lab.
Getting Involved in the Project
We’re looking for volunteers skilled in Android app development and passionate about digitally sharing the gospel. To get involved in the Scripture Mastery Android project:
- Sign in with your LDS Account in the sidebar.
- Click Projects at the top.
- Click the Projects subtab to see a list of all community projects.
- Scroll down and click Scripture Mastery Android in the left column.
- Click Join.