Orthodox Android - part 3




Well, here it is:
a list of apps that will hopefully be of use to Orthodox users of Android devices.  These come largely from my own use and experience.  I made some recommendations for iPhone apps in a similar post last year.  Although it has an Android equivalent, the "Orthodox Prayer Book" app is substandard compared to some of the other prayer apps for Android so I have omitted it from this list.   In addition to those listed below, there are Orthodox calendar, Bible, and prayer apps in Google Play in other languages which may be worth exploring by speakers of those languages.


This is the well-known Holy Trinity Calendar (which also appears as a widget at the side of this blog), in the form of an app optimised for Android devices. It gives the saints and other commemorations for each day according to the Church calendar, along with the main troparia and kontakia, the fasting rule, the full text of the daily appointed readings both from Scripture and the Synaxarion, and a selection of icons for many days of the year. While the default is to give the details for the current day, any other date may be easily viewed instead.  Users can toggle between the English and Russian languages.  This is the universal calendar of the Byzantine Rite of the Orthodox Church, incorporating additions from the local calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church (which includes a number of the Saints of the British Isles and elsewhere).


As with the iPhone equivalent, take this with a pinch of salt. It is from an independent group and contains one or two odd things peculiar to that group. However, if you are willing to ignore the small amount of strangeness, you will find a superb selection of daily prayers, patristic quotations, catechetical materialas, a calculator of the date of Pascha and the moveable dates based thereon, as well as the people's text of the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. Despite my caution, this is the best Orthodox app that I have found so far.


This is from the same source as PilgrimApp and contains a collection of prayers and psalms for various times of day.  It also incorporates feeds from the Holy Trinity Calendar and a version of the Meletian calendar, though an internet connection is required for these features to work.


I cannot recommend this highly enough.  It contains the Jesus Prayer; a full set each of morning and evening prayers; akathists, canons, and other prayers for both before and after Communion; various prayers of intercession for those in various states of need, prayers for use on entering and leaving church, the daily troparia and kontakia from the Octoechos, as well as the Sunday troparia and kontakion of the Resurrection in the eight tones, Orthodox catechetical materials, and more.  It even has a customisation section in the settings into which the user can enter the names of the living and the dead for whom he wishes to pray, the name of his bishop, his patron saint, and so forth, and these names are automatically added to the relevant sections of the various prayers supplied by the app, and all of this is against a very aesthetically pleasing background with smooth transitions from one screen to another.

This is by far the best prayer app that I have ever seen.  The cost is minimal but there is a free version that is supported by advertisements.  Read the description for a comparison.


This is very simple app requires little explanation.  It calculates the date of Easter for any given year.  It gives the date of the secular holiday as well as the Orthodox feast.  Moveable feasts based on the paschal feast are not included but can be worked out very easily.


This isn't a specifically Orthodox app but it has its benefits.  Many church websites include a gallery of photographs and/or videos which show something of the social and worshipping life of the parish.  This requires a discreet photographer who knows how to perform the task without distracting worshippers.  Unfortunately, the stock camera app that comes with Android devices has no facility to silence the noise that is made when the shutter is pressed or when videos are taken - even when the phone is set to silent mode, the camera will make a noise, which is hardly appropriate during services. A number of alternative camera apps do exist but the quality of many of them is questionable.  Camera ICS+ is based on the stock Android camera, with the same design and functionality as the original.  Everything is in the same place so this requires no learning.  It simply provides some extra settings, including the ability to shut off the sound.

There is a free version with adverts.


Again, this is not a specifically Orthodox app but many Orthodox books are available for Kindle download, including the Orthodox Study Bible.  As I have been unable to find any Orthodox Bible apps whatsoever, this is perhaps the best way to get a full Orthodox Bible in the English language on an Android device.  The second best alternative for an English-language Bible would be to download one of the apps that contains the Douay-Rheims translation of the Vulgate or just visit this website.

AFR & OCN

Some of you will notice the absence of apps for Ancient Faith Radio and the Orthodox Christian Network.  This is due to the fact that these bodies have not produced Android apps.  I missed these when I gave up my iPhone. AFR suggests an alternative which did nothing for me but others may wish to have a stab at it.  I can still access the podcasts by adding them to my "Listen" subscriptions.  Apparently, the "Listen" app comes as a standard part of Android on some devices.  If, like me, you find it isn't on yours, you can download it here.

If you have any other helpful apps to suggest, please comment with a link and your thoughts.

12 responses:

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Michael,

Thank you so much for the link to the silent camera app ! I find the shutter sound on the normal Android camera incredibly distracting :-)

I recommend Daily Thoughts from the writings of St Theophan the Recluse:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eir.thoughts.free&feature=search_result

I also have the GO Calendar of Feasts and Saints on my Android:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eir.synaxarion.en&feature=search_result

Huw Raphael said...

The G.O. Metropolis of CHicago has an App that streams AFR

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shoutem.n964826

Andrew said...

thanks

Michael Astley said...

Elizabeth, thank you very much for the St Theophan daily quotations app. I look forward to the daily treats. :-)

I hope the camera comes in handy. I have no idea why Google didn't include the option to shut off the sound. It is such a rudimentary thing.

Huw Raphael, thank you for that! Is there one for OCN?

Andrew, you're welcome, and welcome! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this list. There's also a useful app for both iPhone and Android called iChant. It might be useful for Western Rite Orthodox, in fact anyone interested in plainchant.

http://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/5763/finally-ichant-gregorian-app-available-for-android./p1

Tom

Ian Climacus said...

Thank you for these. I was given an Android phone at my last job and soon it became indispensable which shocked me: as since 1999 I have only wanted a mobile phone that is just a phone.

I have the Pray Daily app; Pray Always seems a bit more comprehensive. As does the Orthodox Calendar app compared to the Greek Orthodox of America's Daily Readings app which I use which gives readings, Saints and the fast rules.

When I was visiting a ROCOR monastery, a fellow visitor told me of a wonderful app from Pravoslavie, a well-known Russian Orthodox website. All in Slavonic currently (until I begin to learn it I won't be able to navigate), but he was very impressed and it read to you as well so you could listen and pray with it.

editorOrthodoxNorthwest said...

All 3 Reviews were interesting and useful. Keep up the good work. The Holy Trinity Calendar is a wonderful site! I use it regularly.

Good Fast to you!

Anthony

T. Ward said...

Hi Michael,

Just wanted to let you know Ancient Faith Radio has just released its app and lets just say it's all that and a bad of chips. I use it daily.

Another recommendation is Tune-in Radio which haas many Orthodox channels including OCN, AFR and Radio Al Orthodoxiye a Arabic channel broadcast from Beirut that plays Arabic chant. Even though I dont speak very much Arabic (only a few simple phrases) I find the channel delightful.

Thanx for this list and keep up the good work.

T. Ward said...

Hi Micheal

Just wanted to say thanx and let you know AFR has just released their app. It's awesome, I use it daily.

Tune in radio is another great app that allows you to hear the live broadcasts of AFR music and talk, all three OCN channels among others. One of my favorites is Radio Al Orthodoxiye broadcast from Lebanon playing Orthodox chant in the Arabic language. Thanx again and keep up the good work.

Michael Astley said...

Thank you for this, T. Ward, and welcome. I did come across the AFR app the other day and added a brief post about that. However, I am delighted to learn that the OCN channels can be accessed through TuneIn Radio. I have had it since I got my phone and had it on my iPhone but only ever used it for Radio4. I feel a fool now. :-)

I shall add it to my regular channels immediately.

T. Ward said...

One more really neat app is Prayer Rope. It's exactly that a virtual prayer type that counts your repetitions of the Jesus Prayer etc.

School Fundraising Catalogs said...

These prayer apps are a perfect combination of religion meeting technology. These will be great for the people who are strong believers as using this app they can pray anywhere, anytime. Thanks!

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