I just submitted the next update of MinistryMate for certification. I’m really excited about this release because of some of the new features I was able to add that will greatly enhance the user’s experience. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s included:
- Better backup and restore using Dropbox.com – I added backup/restore functionality back in version 1.3, but some users have reported issues with connectivity to the remote server which the backups are sent to. In order to overcome that problem, as well as to give the user more flexibility and access to their data, the backups will now be sent to the user’s own Dropbox account. This transition was made dramatically easier thanks to the DropNet API developed by Damian Karzon. NOTE: To utilize this feature, you will need to create your own (free) account at Dropbox.com, if you don’t already have one.
- Easy error reporting – I’ve tried hard to create an app that is bug free and will provide the user with a reliable, stable experience. But the realities of the mobile app world are unavoidable. Sometimes the users will experience errors that neither I nor Microsoft have encountered in testing the app. To address that situation, I added some error reporting code in this release. It catches and logs any errors that cause the app to shutdown unexpectedly. Then the next time you launch the app, it prompts you to email the error report to me. The hope is that more information on more errors will help me make a better experience for the users.
- Edit RVs on the bulk edit screen – Version 1.4 saw the introduction of bulk editing of placements as part of an improved time managment process. I left out the editing of RVs because I assumed the automatic calculation that takes place would be sufficient. But the voice of the users has been heard, and I have added RVs to the bulk edit screen in the new release.
- Service year totals for pioneers or traveling overseers – This was another commonly requested feature that I was able to add in this release. The totals will automatically display at the top of the ‘reports’ screen if the publisher type is set to Regular Pioneer, Special Pioneer, or Traveling Servant.
- Turn a house-to-house entry into a call – Another user-requested feature that I was able to deliver with this release.
- Send a text message to a call – Instead of just clicking on the person’s phone number to call them, a user requested the ability to send a text message to the phone number. To use this new feature, you just click and hold on the phone number. A menu will popup allowing you to select whether you want to call or text the person. Clicking on the phone number still works the way it always has.
- Spanish and French versions – Thanks to the efforts of a couple of our brothers, every line of text in the entire application has been translated to Spanish and French. Hopefully their efforts will benefit more of our brothers who have been waiting to use this application in their native tongue.
This is easily the biggest update I’ve made to MinistryMate since the initial release back in January. I hope you enjoy the new features, and, more importantly, I hope they make your ministry more productive as well. Please continue to provide feedback — positive or negative — and I’ll keep working to make this app better.