From the start, I had the plan to make sure Prayer Odyssey was a “mobile first” type application. Most people (including myself) would be using Prayer Odyssey from their phones, or tablets, given how portable they are and simple to interact with, just like a notepad is. With that in mind I built Prayer Odyssey as a responsive app, first leveraging Zurb Foundation and later using Angular Material to make this happen. While this has been working well, I’ve come to the realization that a native mobile app is needed to make the experience really function as intended.
One of the key features of Prayer Odyssey is the notification feature. As I’ve discussed on the about page, I think there can be a lot of power in that instant notification when somebody has prayed for you, and getting that notification to occur requires some kind of notification tool, unless I want to rely solely on e-mail/twitter/etc that the user has to link up to.
For that, I need a native mobile app. I also want the app to be ready on multiple platforms almost right away. For that, I’m leveraging a platform I’ve been long following (and anxious to work with): Xamarin. With Microsoft acquiring Xamarin earlier this year and making it free for users to build their apps with, this lowers the barrier of entry significantly for me. I can use the C# language I’m already familiar with and take advantage of the Xamarin.Forms library to build native looking layouts for each platform (iOS, Android, Windows) without worrying about a lot of the nitty gritty details. They’ll share the same code base, which will save time. I’m very excited to get this off the ground!
Once the apps have been built, they will need to get into their prospective App Stores, which will require license fees and some related monetary expenses. If you haven’t yet, please consider donating to the project to help support these costs. Every little bit helps.
At this point the app is stable and the core features are in place to work with while I build out the native mobile apps. Once they are complete, I can start refining the app more and more and continue to let things grow. I’ll provide updates on progress and probably share some interesting insights into mobile app development that I come across along the way.
Thanks for being here on this journey. Here’s to many more exciting things to come!