The New LDS.org Menu Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Wednesday, 01 August 2012

LDS.org has a new menu in place. The Menu and Tools menus have been replaced with four new navigation options: Scriptures, Teachings, Resources, and News.

New menus to navigate to content

These new menus are designed to help members easily find the most used content on the site, such as scriptures, General Conference, magazines and manuals, First Presidency messages, ordering church materials, and more.

Straightforward Naming

As you explore the menus, you’ll notice that names are more straightforward and plain than in the past. Rather than “Church Media Library,” the option is now “Video, Audio, and Images.” Rather than “My Study Notebook,” the option is “Notes and Journal.” Rather than “Online Store,” the option is “Order Church Materials.”

 
LDSTech Broadcast on Friday, August 3: Personal Video Conferencing and Meetinghouse Webcast Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Personal Video Conferencing and Meetinghouse Webcast Broadcast

The next LDSTech broadcast, scheduled for Friday, August 3, at 12:00pm MDT, will focus on Personal Video Conferencing (PVC) and Meetinghouse Webcast.

You can attend the broadcast either online during the live stream or in person at the Riverton Office Building. Kurt Olsen and Rod Hyde, meetinghouse technology product managers in ICS, will give the broadcast.

What Is Personal Video Conferencing?

Personal Video Conferencing (PVC) provides local Church leaders and members of the Church workforce the ability to personally interact with one another, regardless of their location, using just a personal computer.

PVC is a telecommunication technology that allows for two-way video and audio transmissions. The Church provides PVC to local leaders and employees worldwide for the purpose of reducing travel while still accomplishing face-to-face communications for meetings, interviews, trainings, and other purposes. You can use PVC for one-on-one meetings and for small groups.

 
New in JIRA 5.106 -- Rapid Boards, Customizable Issue Fields, Mentions, and More Print E-mail
Written by Rob Goates and Tom Johnson   
Tuesday, 31 July 2012

All users who have access to JIRA, an application used for software defect tracking and project management on many LDSTech projects, may have noticed some important changes in the most recent update to JIRA.

In JIRA 5.10.6, you can now use Scrum Rapid Boards to manage the agile workflow, customize the Create Issue fields to hide fields that aren't relevant, include "mentions" to notify specific team members about updates, and more. Together these new features help improve collaboration and workflow on project teams.

Scrum Rapid Boards

Scrum Rapid Boards are a new tool in JIRA to help streamline and improve the agile workflow. Ray Maxwell, an application systems engineer over JIRA on the Application Lifecycle Management team, says, "JIRA Rapid Boards provide a flexible way to view, manage, and report work in progress. In this update, both Kanban and Scrum Agile methodologies are supported. The Scrum Board supports planning, prioritizing, sprinting, and reporting."

The best way to understand Rapid Boards is to create one for your project. To create a Rapid Board, go to your JIRA project page, and then click Agile > Getting Started. Click the Scrum tab, and then follow the on-screen steps to create a new Rapid Board.

Creating a new rapid board in JIRA


 
Book of Mormon App for Android and iOS Now Available for Beta Testing Print E-mail
Written by Rob Goates   
Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A new app for Android and iOS called “The Book of Mormon” is now available for beta testing. Intended for missionary efforts, this app provides a simple, footnote-free digital copy of the Book of Mormon in a variety of languages.

Instead of giving tangible copies of the Book of Mormon, missionaries (both full-time and members) can give out cards with QR codes directing investigators to the new app.

A QR code operates on a graphic that consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square pattern on a white background. This QR code, after being scanned by an iOS or Android device, opens a site where investigators can download the app. 

The following screens show the Book of Mormon app on Android and iOS.

Book of Mormon App for Android

Screens from the Book of Mormon app for Android. Reading the Book of Mormon (left) and listening to the audio narration (right).

 
“Newsletter”: A New Tool Available on LDS.org for Publishing Newsletters Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Friday, 27 July 2012

Through Newsletter, a new tool on the LDS.org Tools menu, local unit leaders can publish news and messages to members in their wards and stakes. Newsletter gives you an online alternative to the paper or e-mail newsletters that organizations typically create.

LDS.org Newsletter home page

Screenshot showing a sample newsletter home page (fictitious ward and data)

One advantage to using the newsletter is that it is always accessible on LDS.org, available to any member of your ward or stake who can sign in with an LDS Account, regardless of whether the member is on your e-mail list, in attendance on Sunday, or even active. The newsletter gives members an opportunity to get inspirational updates, news, messages, and other information from their local unit leaders at any time.

 
LDS Tools for Android 1.5 Available for Beta Testing Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Thursday, 12 July 2012

LDS Tools for AndroidLDS Tools for Android version 1.5 is now available for beta testing. The new features to test in this beta release include the following:

Calendar integration. The LDS.org calendar is integrated into LDS Tools. The events appear in a list sorted by day, with the calendar color shown beside the event. When you click an event name, more details appear.

Photo upload. You can update your LDS.org directory photo directly from LDS Tools (rather than updating it from the directory on LDS.org). If you’re an administrator, you can also update other member photos in your ward or branch as well. To update your photo, browse to your profile and click your photo. Then click the camera icon that appears in the corner. (Once you upload the photo, note that an administrator in your ward or branch must approve the photo before it appears to others.)

New interface. The app's interface has been modernized with a new look and feel to match the latest versions of Android. For example, the app now has a navigation ribbon to navigate from one screen to another, and it uses the new Android Action Bar to access system menus and perform application actions (such as Search or Select Unit).

Improved tablet support. If you have a Galaxy Tab, Xoom, Kindle, Nexus 7, or other tablet device that runs Android, LDS Tools features a dual-pane display. For example, on the Callings screen, you can browse organizations on the left and see details on the right. The dual-pane makes the navigation experience more similar to the desktop version of the directory on LDS.org.

 
Interactive iPad App Developed to Highlight Southern Alberta Mormon History Print E-mail
Written by Rob Goates   
Friday, 29 June 2012

Mormon History Sites Alberta LDS iPad appThe Church History Department recently released "Mormon Historic Sites in Alberta," an iPad app available on the Apple App Store. The app directs users to key historical sites and markers in Southern Alberta and enriches their visit with audio, video, image galleries, and articles that tell the story of the early Latter-day Saint experience in that area.

The first Mormon settlement in Alberta was Cardston, named for Charles O. Card, who led a party of pioneers to the area in 1887. It is home to the first temple built outside of the United States and remains a predominantly LDS community today. The app focuses on the early pioneers of Alberta, culminating with the dedication of the temple in 1923.

Created for and announced at the Mormon History Association Conference in Calgary on June 29, the app was created in three months with help from LDSTech community of volunteers that contribute their time and talents to help create software applications for the Church. Many of those who participated have ties to Alberta or Canada, including Lana and Bill Proctor, two Albertan photographers who volunteered to take modern photography of key sites for the app's "Then and Now" galleries.

 
How to Update Your LDS.org Directory Photo Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Monday, 02 July 2012

You can update the photo in your LDS.org directory profile either from LDS.org or from LDS Tools for iPhone. Having an up-to-date directory photo helps others in your ward and stake recognize you, and when others upload their photos, you can better recognize them. Adding photos to profiles helps convert lists of names to real people and has the potential to make your ward and stake a friendlier place. 

Follow these four steps to update your directory photo:

  1. Take your photo
  2. Upload your photo
  3. Get the uploaded photo approved
  4. Make sure your profile is visible

Note: To encourage members to update their photos, you can download and print the following quick reference guide. The one-page guide is an extract from the more detailed information in this article.

Update your Directory Photo Quick Reference Guide

Step 1. Take your photo

You can upload an overall household photo as well as an individual photo for each household member.

 
LDSTech Broadcast on July 6: "Introducing LDSTech Swarm" Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Thursday, 28 June 2012

Join us for our next LDSTech Broadcast on July 6 at 12:00pm MDT. Kevin Fitzpatrick, a quality assurance manager in ICS, will introduce LDSTech Swarm — a new tool developed by LDSTech for crowdsource testing.

Swarm Broadcast Description

Swarm allows project teams to identify a series of test cases (or tasks) that they want users to perform in an application. Users can test as many test cases as their time allows. As users note whether the application passes or fails the test cases, reports are sent to the project team. The following screenshot shows test cases for the Mormon Channel for Android project.

Sample test cases in Swarm

If a user marks a test as failed, Swarm automatically logs a bug in JIRA for that test case. The reports of all users who fail the same test case appear as comments on the same JIRA item. This consolidation of feedback in JIRA helps project teams quickly sort through the feedback for each test case in one place.

 
ICS Project Leaders Working with LDSTech Community Volunteers Print E-mail
Written by Rob Goates   
Friday, 29 June 2012

Ben Minson, a senior technical writer within the ICS department, was recently approached with a big project that he knew he couldn't complete alone within the project's budget or time frame. It was at that point he turned to the LDSTech community of volunteers for help. 

“We had a group of ten volunteers who actively participated and completed tasks on the LDS Account Help project,” Ben said. “It involved getting the initial set of knowledge-base articles used by the Global Service Center (the Church’s IT support) into a help format that the general public could understand and use. It saved effort, time, and money to have volunteers go through and test the different answers and solutions in each article and update them for the next version of LDS Account.”

LDS Account

The LDS Account Help project team worked on improving documentation and help materials for LDS Account.

One volunteer on the project was Anna-Marie Robertson, from Rigby, Idaho, who felt the project offered a good opportunity to serve, especially since the project interested her and connected with her writing skills. She also enjoyed working with knowledgeable, like-minded people.

 
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