Category Archives: iphone app

iPhone App Users – Meet WorshipPlanning.com Mobile

WorshipPlanning.com Mobile DevicesAfter much discussion among our team, we have decided the future of accessing WorshipPlanning.com on all mobile devices will be via the mobile website version of WP rather than a native app, like something from the App Store or Android Market. We are very excited about this decision because we truly believe it will offer the best user-experience for a broader range of mobile devices.

All you have to do is point your mobile device’s web browser to http://wplan.me, and sign in. Like the main website, there is nothing to install, authorize, or sync. You might even consider removing the WorshipPlanning.com app you installed from the App Store, since this new way of accessing it will give you more functionality with better performance.

Here are the specific reasons we think you’ll love the new mobile version:

1. HTML5 is as good as native apps – Unless you’re programming math- or graphics-intensive applications, the technology in modern mobile browsers (known as HTML5) allows developers to create interfaces as good as, or better than, native apps. In fact, the current mobile version of WorshipPlanning.com (we’ll call it WPM) actually does more and performs better than our iPhone app.

2. Shorter development cycles – Coding native apps for all the different smartphones out there requires specialized skill-sets and complex project coordination, costly from both time and financial perspectives. We already know how to code web pages and WPM is simply an extension of that knowledge. We can update WPM as fast as we can update the main WP website. The native iPhone app requires at least a week for Apple to approve each version update (no matter how small).

3. Instant updates – Just like the main site, when we do roll-out updates, you’ll see them instantly without having to wait for approval from Apple and then manually update the app on your device.

4. One app, many devices – WPM is smart enough to detect device attributes like screen size and OS type. This means we can make WPM show different features depending on the capabilities of your device….all from one site (one web address, one code base).

5. Launch WPM from a home screen icon, just like a native app – In just a few steps, you can create a shortcut to WPM from your home screen. After doing this, you’ll probably even forget that it isn’t actually a native app.

Many developers are moving away from native apps in favor of web-based mobile apps for the reasons we’ve described above (among others). The technology is here to make this a seamless experience for users. We loved being able to say we have a native iPhone app; but we believe our mobile users will be much better served with the new web-based mobile app of WorshipPlanning.com.

If you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment or contact us via our support site: http://support.worshipplanning.com

Updated Audio Player

Updated Audio GUI

We are excited to tell you that the audio player in WorshipPlanning.com has been updated (finally!) with an interface that is much more useful.  The biggest feature improvement is the added scrub bar.  And a less-obvious feature that you’ll soon reap the benefits of is that this new player supports several different audio formats.  We’ve got a little more work to do before that is ready, but it is coming.

This new audio player was actually first implemented in our new mobile app, which is currently accessible to Android and iPhone/iPod/iPad devices (see our blog post for more details).  In fact, we recently updated the mobile app player to fix a known scrub bar issue for Android devices.

Happy listening!

WorshipPlanning.com Mobile – Public Beta Now Live

WorshipPlanning.com Mobile App

WorshipPlanning.com Mobile (WPM) is a mobile version of WorshipPlanning.com for Android and Apple devices.  Many of the functions you can do in MyWP can also be done in WPM, with more functionality on the way.  WPM differs from the native iPhone app in several ways:

  1. Performance is much improved.
  2. The audio player is more functional, and other types of attachments (including PDFs) can be accessed.
  3. It runs in the mobile browser, as opposed to an app that needs to be installed (though we plan on making WPM be the update to the native app).

Ready to give at a try?  On your mobile device, point your mobile web browser to: http://m.worshipplanning.com (NOTE: If you go to this web address on a regular computer, you’ll be redirected to the main WP site.)

Keep in mind, since this is a pre-release (beta) version you may encounter some bugs.  Feel free to report them via our support center.  We are already aware that the scrub bar (audio fast forward and rewind) does not function properly for Android devices.

WorshipPlanning.com Mobile

WP Mobile

The wait will soon be over, smartphone fans.  In just a few weeks, we expect to roll out a version of WorshipPlanning.com that is designed to run in the mobile browser of most fairly-current smartphones on the market.  The initial functionality will be similar to the current iPhone app, but  more responsive and polished.  Here are some reasons we are really excited about this mobile web version:

  • Android owners will finally have mobile access to their WorshipPlanning.com data, with the ability to respond to assignments, view service and song details, access contact info, and listen to audio.
  • iOS owners will be able see an improved audio player, be able to open PDFs, and submit notes with their assignment responses.
  • We will be able to develop and deploy more functionality much more easily (read “a lot quicker”) than before.  If you, the user community, like how the mobile web version works, we should be able to easily leverage what we’ve done to make device-specific apps (including tablet apps!).
So, keep an eye on our blog, tweets, and facebook updates!

Song Library and More

As many of you saw in an email from us, we recently applied some major site updates to WorshipPlanning.com.  In addition, we’ve begun improvements to our communication channels that we think you’ll find helpful. Let’s start with the features we rolled out Monday evening.

Song LibrarySongs Library
We’ve changed the page layout to make it easier to find the song(s) you want and quickly view the information you need. You can perform actions on multiple songs through the use of checkboxes (i.e. add a theme/category, change life-cycle stage, delete). And churches that have hundreds or even thousands of songs, you should notice the page loads MUCH faster.

Songbooks – This organization tool lets you virtually create and save personal or team libraries (or ‘books’) of songs. Team members (even of other teams) can be given access to view or modify the songbook contents. And while building a worship flow, you can open a one of your songbooks and pick songs from its concise list, rather than having to search through the long list of all your church’s songs.

WP’s Most Popular Songs – We’ve compiled a list of the most popular songs in WorshipPlanning.com and given you access to it. Each song contains general information, including title, author, and record label. But, to really help you and your team out, we have found the YouTube video and Amazon MP3 pages for most songs. This means your team can now have instant access to the music, either freely streaming from YouTube, or by buying it from Amazon.

We’ve created a few short videos on how to use these new features. Just browse to http://support.worshipplanning.com/tutorials.cfm, and find the Songs Library section.  You can also just click on the Help icon in the upper right corner of the Songs Library page to access the videos.

iPhone App
If you follow our Twitter, FaceBook, or Blog, you have seen that our iPhone app was finally approved by Apple in late June (for the record, Apple has yet to tell us the reason for the very long delay). We certainly will start promoting the app more on our site, but in the meantime you can find it in iTunes and the App Store by searching for Worship Planning. Keep in mind, this is the first version of this app, and we have plenty of more functionality planned for it. If you are so inclined, tell us your suggestions at feedback@worshipplanning.com

Social Media Updates
We’ve hired an expert to help us take advantage of the social media channels. Our goal is to open up the communication between our team and yours, and provide you timely, valuable information. Follow us on Twitter (@worshipSense) and/or Facebook (http://fb.worshipplanning.com) to get in the action!

Newsletter
And speaking of communication, we are in the planning stages for a recurring newsletter that will cover worshipplanning.com happenings, as well as other planning related information. Our next communication to you should have more details on how to sign up for that.

iPhone App – Finally!

WorshipPlanning.com iPhone AppThe big news we have been waiting for has finally arrive. The WP iPhone app was approved by Apple this afternoon, and we are delighted! It is now available in the App Store (just search for “Worship Planning”). Once installed, you may notice the version number on the splash screen to be 0.9rc2. If we had our druthers, it would have said version 1.0. But the source code is virtually identical. In the confusion to get Apple to approve our app (see our June 15th blog post), this 0.9rc2 version was submitted instead of version 1.0. Again, they both contain the exact same code, just a different version number.

What you can expect from this app is functionality similar to MyWP. Future releases will certainly contain functionality that more closely resembles the main site. But for this release we wanted an app that had features used by both Planners and Helpers.

So, feel free t

o install and give it a try. We look forward to your feedback to help shape the future releases. And, as always, if you have any questions or issues, feel free to give us a call (1-877-399-3342) or send us an email (support[at]worshipplanning.com).

WP iPhone App…Testers Wanted

Our iPhone app is oh so close to Testing phase. If you are interested in helping test and being the first to use this slick extension of WorshipPlanning.com, we invite you to sign up now using the link at the bottom of this post. Here are answers to a few questions you might have:

Q: Can anyone be a tester?
A: We have a few requirements.

  • Own an iPhone or iPod Touch.
  • Have a Planner or Helper account with a church that is currently subscribed to WorshipPlanning.com (no trial accounts).
  • Be willing to give us feedback on the app.
  • We are also putting a limit on the number of testers, so if you want to sign up, don’t dilly dally.

Q: When will the app be ready to install?
A: We are hoping around the middle of February.

Q: How long will the test phase last?
A: It depends on the kind of feedback we get. Ideally, a month of testing would be nice. But if our testers find many things we need to fix for the first public release, it could be longer.

Q: How will I provide feedback on my experiences?
A: A few times throughout the test phase we will create some brief online surveys using our 360WP site. If you need immediate support, or just can’t wait to give us your thoughts, we’ll ask that you use our Support Center (http://support.worshipplanning.com) to contact us.

Q: What can I do with the app?
A: The app offers most of the functionality of the MyWP pages: view services, respond to assignments, access contact info of team members, download (some) files. If you find it is missing functionality you’d like on your mobile device, let us know. We plan on updating the app on a pretty regular basis.

Q: What happens after the test phase?
A: Once we certify the public release version as being ready, we will submit it to the App Store. Current estimates for app approval by Apple are up to 3 weeks.

Q: Will the app cost anything from the App Store?
A: No, the app will be free. Of course, it will only be useful to people with accounts in WP.

Q: Will trial accounts be able to use the App Store version?
A: Yes.

Q: Once I sign up to be a tester, what will happen next?
A: When the app is ready for you to install, we’ll email you a couple of files and the instructions on how to install it (using iTunes 9). Then, you’ll need to take an old ball cap, write “Quality Assurance Tester” on the front of it, and wear it whenever you run the app.

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