For the past six months I have slowly been chipping away on a major new update to the PrayerMate app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Today I am thrilled to announce that v3.0 is now live on the App Store – and though I say this every time, it really is the most exciting version yet! Here is an overview of the new features you’ll find.
Subscribe to online prayer diaries
Until now, PrayerMate has focussed on letting you enter your own personal prayer points. Now, in addition to that, you can also browse a gallery of prayer feeds from organisations such as Open Doors, who provide bulletins from the persecuted church around the world; UCCF The Christian Unions; Christians in Sport; Church Society; and a number of local churches. The PrayerMate app will then automatically download new content every time it is published, helping you be faithful in prayer for the organisations you care about.
Any church or organisation can request to be added to the gallery – all you need is an iCal feed (if you’re using Google Calendar) or if that’s not possible, then an RSS feed (as generated by most popular blogging platforms). Alternatively, there is also a new companion website, http://www.prayermate.net/, which makes it incredibly easy for churches to publish their prayer points online by simply copying and pasting from your church bulletin or newsletter.
New features for new users
I’ve made a few tweaks to make it easier for new users to get up and running more quickly: improved default data, including a few tips on using the app; a link to the “getting started” blog post; and a new “Quick add” feature that lets you create lots of subjects in one go by simply selecting entries from your address book. Linking a subject to an address book entry will now also pull in any associated images from that contact.
Send SMS messages whilst praying
Once you have linked a subject to a contact in your address book, you can now send both emails and SMS text messages to that person whilst praying for them by pressing and holding on their card.
Improved Dropbox syncing
Whilst this version of the app does not yet support continually keeping two devices in sync automatically, it does pave the way for that functionality in the next major update (I promise that this is top of my list of priorities!) It does, however, improve the Dropbox import/export functionality so that it no longer duplicates your data each time you use it, but will reuse existing categories and subjects as long as the names have not been altered.
And in case you hadn’t noticed it, PrayerMate now also has a shiny new logo, designed by the wonderful Dan Gould.
If you’ve found PrayerMate helpful, and you live in the UK, please consider nominating it for the Christian New Media Awards so that even more people can hear about it.