UU iPhone Apps – What’s on your wish list?


The other day I had phone with a friend / colleague who develops websites and iPhone apps.  We had a great discussion about what could be created to help UUs share our faith,  info for newcomers,  and apps for congregations.

Last night on Facebook the issue of apps came up with some UU colleagues.

At some point UUs are going to need to develop some apps for mobile devices.  I’m wondering what you’d like to see.  Any ideas?  Anything specific on your iphone application wish list?

I’d like an app or apps featuring:

  • UU historical timeline
  • A Famous UUs application sortable by category w/search
  • An app template that could be customized per congregation to link to news feed, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube accounts
  • An elevator speech app – shake it and it displays one of a random set of statements about our faith
  • A UU quote / wayside pulpit feature – shake for new quote
  • How about a calendar that shares event info for the UUA, all districts (choose those you care about in settings), and UUA affiliates –  It is way too hard to find out what’s happening.

What are your ideas?

Know any UU iphone app developers?  Share this post with them.  We should start connecting people who can make something happen.  Oh, and if you or a UU related organization (including the UUA) are already working on apps, speak up.

10 thoughts on “UU iPhone Apps – What’s on your wish list?”

  1. Each of these options — and any others I can think of — seem a waste of developer time, which does not come cheap.

    My assumptions.

    1. A one-trick app gets about as much use as a one-trick kitchen implement, and by just as many people.

    2. Time and effort is better spent in making websites optimized for mobile devises.

    Also escapes siloing effort to a particular vendor. Lots of Blackberry users still, and an increasing number of Android users (like myself).

  2. 1) a virtual chalice you can “light” (see the iShabbat app)
    2) with Erik Walker Wikstrom’s permission and support, a set of virtual “prayer beads” that you can slide, with accompanying suggested prayers
    3) an app with chalice lighting and chalice extinguishing words for church meetings.

  3. I agree with Scott, but I would add that the 2 are not mutually exclusive. Build the website, optimize it for mobile (I am also an Android user), then the last priority would be to build an App which basically was just a slick thin client GUI to the information from the site. The iPhone app being the last and lowest priority.

    As a UU that sometimes travels a “What’s happening in this area” type site could be cool. The problem would really be to get all congregations, districts, etc. to make that information available in usable format. Some congregations, and districts still have hand edited sites for their upcoming events.

    A UU timeline is a cool idea the now ancient timeline my wife put together http://webuus.com/timeline/ still gets hits. If their were real interest from contributors and end users alike I could see turning it into something more useful. There would need to be some definition as to how the site would be used. Does anyone else already have anything resembling a timeline?

  4. Have to agree with Scott on this one. 1, 2, 4 & 5 could all be combined into one really, and aren’t these functions we’d like to see integrated into congregation and UUA websites more readily instead of focusing on a proprietary platform? And remember that these are all about consuming information – need to think more broadly about producing/sharing content, which is the direction that we’re moving.

    Number 3 is better done as a template within a CMS, much as your own site here does it (with a very small amount of customization, your twitter and facebook feeds could be incorporated). An app template where every congregation would have to submit their app to Apple for approval seems to me like an investment in a tool that would never get used.

    I like the idea of number six, but again this shouldn’t be built first as an app. Effective calendar implementations are already available, it’s more about these groups using them. More than anything it’s going to be the data that’s the problem with this one. Most congregations and districts don’t even publish their calendars in ical standard formats. I see them most often as PDFs of Publisher files, which are useless in this context.

    I appreciate your encouraging this discussion and debate, but I do think we need to focus on which tools are going to actually have productive rather than consumptive value. Have to ask, “How are these tools focused on furthering a conversation, an engagement, enabling our work, etc.”

  5. A UU iPod/iPhone app is being created that will allow the user to choose a spiritual or religious category, press a button, and a quote from that category pops up. If the quote is from a UU a chalice will be next to their name. Click on the chalice and a short bio of the UU will appear.

    Send feedback and favorite quotes (include possible category) to me at tkoerger@uua.org.

  6. I’d like to see two apps.

    1.) A design your own chalice app. Cause I think it would be cute.

    2.) A wayside quotes and other readings app.

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