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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.

 
Personal Progress Site Now Allows Leaders to Update Progress for Young Women Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Young Women Personal Progress site now allows the appropriate leaders, such as Young Women presidents and bishops, to update value experiences for young women through the Leader Summary section of the site. If young women have opted to use the site, leaders can mark updates for value experiences to better track and view progress of all young women in their ward or stake.

Viewing the Leader Summary

To view the Personal Progress site, from LDS.org, go to Menu > Youth. On the Youth site menu, click Personal Progress. (Or go directly here.) Once on the Personal Progress site, sign in with your LDS Account. Then click Leader Summary in the lower-right column.

 Young Women Personal Progress

When you view the Leader Summary, you see a grid showing the progress the young women in your ward have made on their value experiences. The names of all young women using the system (which you have responsibility for) appear as hyperlinks. If a young woman has not started using the system, her name does not appear as a hyperlink.

 
Church Service Missionary Opportunities for Web Developers Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Thursday, 21 June 2012

Church service mission opportunitiesAre you interested in serving a Church-service mission? We are currently looking for volunteers with experience in web development. Here are the position details:

Web Developer

#9996 in the Salt Lake City Area | #9997 in the Provo Area

Description: A Church-service missionary (CSM) is needed as a web developer at the Riverton Office Building. The CSM's primary responsibilities would be to develop and test XQuery, HTML, and JavaScript code for LDS.org.

Skills: This Church-service missionary would be required to have experience in XML, HTML, and JavaScript. It would be good to have experience in XQuery (will train), JSON, and CSS, but it is not mandatory.

If you're interested in the position and want more details, send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information about the location, see Riverton Office Building.

For additional mission opportunities and information, see Church-service missionary opportunities with LDSTech.

 
Setting Up a Local Web Development Environment Print E-mail
Written by Tom Johnson   
Thursday, 21 June 2012

If you're working as a developer on a community project, such as the LDSTech community project, you will most likely need to set up a local web development environment on your computer. Setting up a local web development environment allows you to create and modify web applications on your own computer rather than uploading the application files to a server to run the files.

To set up a local web development environment, you will need to download and set up a web server, such as Uniform Server, on your local machine. Uniform Server (similar to WampServer or XAMPP) simulates a web server on your machine with the LAMP Stack resources (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP), which are essential for working with LDSTech Swarm, Joomla, Mediawiki and other applications.

In addition to a web server, there are a few other programs you'll need to work with application files. One is Notepad++, a text editor that lets you write and edit various types of code, including PHP. You will also need to install TortoiseSVN, a subversion client that helps you manage versions of source code.

For step-by-step details on setting up these resources, see this new article on the wiki: Setting up a local web development environment.

 
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