Features needed for adoption in youth programs

Any discussions around the Gospel Living App on various mobile devices.
joebuckwalter
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:05 am

Features needed for adoption in youth programs

Postby joebuckwalter » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:15 pm

As my ward's technology specialist I want to recommend that all ward communication happen via the Gospel Living App. While this is possible for the Elder's Quorum and Relief Society there are two major issues preventing adoption in our youth program:

  • The app is not available to children who do not have an Android or iOS device
  • Parents have read-only access to youth circles

I'm looking for any recommendations on how we can work around these limitations.

More details on the two issues above:
The app is not available to children who do not have an Android or iOS device
  • Neither of my children have a phone but both my 11-year-old and 13-year-old have access to, and regularly use, laptops (for school) as well as Kindle Fire tablets
  • A web app would be a huge help in providing children with access to this content especially those without an iOS/Android device
  • I wouldn't think it would be too difficult to add the app to the Amazon App store since most Android apps can run on Amazon's Fire OS which would make this much more accessible to youth

Parents have read-only access to youth circles
  • A common scenario with my son whose quorum currently uses GroupMe for group texting/communication is that someone announces this week's activity and then a parent asks a clarifying question to the group - this is currently not possible in the Gospel Living app without logging out of the parent account and in with the child account
  • Since many children do not have personal mobile devices it is often left to parents to receive "push" notifications and pass that info on to our children - currently I am only receiving push notifications for the circles I am a member of which unfortunately does not include my children's teacher's quorum and deacon's quorum circle. This means I have to regularly open the circle to receive messages
  • All of this could be resolved by simply adding parents as members of youth circles

As mentioned above I really want to recommend this app for all youth communication however with these two limitations I'm pushing for alternatives such as GroupMe, What'sApp, Discord, Slack, Facebook Messenger etc. Part of me wishes the church would contract with a company that specializes in channel based communication (e.g. Slack/MS Teams/Discord) rather than attempting to re-invent this technology. For those that have used this imagine how powerful it would be to add the entire ward to a Slack workspace where individuals could "subscribe" to (or be automatically subscribed to) the channels they care about (for me it would be the deacon's and teacher's quorum channels among others) but would be able to view other channels for awareness of what else is happening in the ward. Perhaps this is the vision of the Gospel Living App (unfortunately I fear the church will always fall behind the capabilities that larger companies can develop when they are 100% focused on that market segment).

Based on the version history (pasted below from the iOS app store) the pace of development for this app seems to be slow which further reduces confidence that the development team will be able to address these major limitations and these are just to get the app to be useable by the youth. I have a much larger list of nice-to-have features that I enjoy in other channel-based communication apps.


1.6.1Feb 17, 2021
Bug Fixes

1.6.0Jan 4, 2021
Goal Completion

- Simplified way to mark a goal complete.

Share Completed Goal

- Share a completed goal with circles.

Reflect on Goal

- Record thoughts on completed goal.

Favorite Discover Content

- Mark Discover content as a favorite.

more
1.5.1Nov 18, 2020
Bug Fixes

Added more translations

1.5.0Oct 29, 2020
New to the app:

“What’s New”, a place to learn about new features in the app and receive important announcements.

Updates to the app:

User interface enhancements.

Improvements to notifications.

(For administrators) Improvements on reported content.

more
1.4.1Sep 1, 2020
Add People to Existing Circles

Administrators can now add ward or branch members to an existing circle.

Link Membership Records to Church Accounts

The app will prompt you to connect your membership record number to your Church Account when applicable.

Activity Creation

A few enhancements were made to the interface for creating activities.

User Interface Enhancements

more
1.4.0Aug 25, 2020
Add People to Existing Circles

* Administrators can now add ward or branch members to an existing circle.

Link Membership Records to Church Accounts

* The app will prompt you to connect your membership record number to your Church Account when applicable.

Activity Creation

* A few enhancements were made to the interface for creating activities.

User Interface Enhancements

more
1.3.0Jul 3, 2020
Added Church Account profile photos & profile photo editing

More Dark Mode enhancements

Upgrade authentication system

Bug fixes

1.2.1May 7, 2020
Bug Fixes

1.2.0Apr 22, 2020
Search the discover feed

Share discover feed articles outside of the app

See your children's activities in the Today view

Bug fixes

1.1.8Mar 19, 2020
Bug fixes

iPad Support

1.1.7Mar 7, 2020
Bug fixes

1.1.6Feb 27, 2020
Bug fixes

1.1.5Feb 24, 2020
Bug fixes

1.1.4Feb 11, 2020
Bug fixes

1.1.3Jan 28, 2020
Bug fixes

1.1.2Jan 22, 2020
Bug fixes

1.1.1Jan 10, 2020

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 10062
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Re: Features needed for adoption in youth programs

Postby lajackson » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:12 am

joebuckwalter wrote:. . . the development team . . .

I believe your suggestions are good ones and that you ought to provide them using feedback through the app (Send Feedback under the Profile tab). That is how the decision makers receive suggestions.

That said, I think the guy that works this app is a very busy person, and probably not assigned solely to this app. And what happens to the app is driven by the assignments he receives from his priesthood leaders at Church headquarters.

But it never hurts to suggest, and all suggestions are given consideration as far as we have been told.

User avatar
sbradshaw
Community Moderators
Posts: 5254
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Utah
Contact:

Re: Features needed for adoption in youth programs

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:13 pm

joebuckwalter wrote:... I want to recommend that all ward communication happen via ...

Settling on a single channel for communication is likely to leave out a percentage of your ward, no matter which channel it is. It's good to compare tools and narrow down to a limited set of options, but ultimately I think the best communication strategy is to communicate everything important through multiple channels.

In addition to your suggestions above, I'd love it if Gospel Living were able to relay notifications to text or email according to the user's preferences. That would allow for some level of multi-channel communication while reducing effort on the sending side.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.


Return to “Gospel Living App”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest