We are delighted to announce that MSIA has just released what for us is a game-changing platform for studying the teachings – a mobile app for the iPhone. To find it in the Apple iPhone App Store, search for “MSIA” and download the (free) MSIA mobile app.
We decided to begin with the Apple platform for the app because more people in MSIA have iPhones than Android phones. Plus, it is a lot easier to create an app in one format and then build it in another format, versus building both formats simultaneously.
Our app features access to Soul Awareness Discourses and SAT Series seminars, and a spiritual exercises timer that you can customize with various gong sounds, Ani-Hu chanting, meditation music, and J-R excerpts. You will also be able to easily seed, tithe, or make other kinds of donations. The front page of the app will be updated daily with the Loving Each Day quote.
When we first announced the app at this year’s MSIA conference, the enthusiasm with which the announcement and demonstration was greeted far exceeded our expectations. At that point, we knew we had a hit on our hands.
The story behind the app project began a couple of years ago when MSIA engaged Ben Faithi at DTE Media, to help us build the next version of the MSIA website. Ben, along with Jessica Lim and their team, began by first looking deeply into the user interface aspect – that is, who is visiting the MSIA website, how are they interacting with it, and what we want visitors to experience and take away from being on our site.
A tremendous amount of analysis went into the design of the MSIA website before we actually embarked on the project to build it. Some great things came out of the collaborative process with DTE. For example, we love the MSIA Chrome browser extension that mirrors the home page image with the Loving Each Day quote.
One thing we enjoy about working with DTE is that they have come to understand our culture so well that they will often make suggestions on how we can share or experience the teachings that we hadn’t thought of.
Interestingly, DTE Media’s specialty isn’t website design as much as it is building apps. Once our website was completed, we started to discuss how we could create what for us would be a groundbreaking MSIA mobile app.
We kicked around a lot of ideas and it all came down to how the app could be extremely useful on a day-to-day basis to MSIAers. We took inspiration from existing meditation timer apps already out there and, of course, we also looked at how we could make the giving of seeding and tithing as simple as possible.
I have been helping to test the new app for several weeks now. It has been a new experience for me to listen to SAT seminars on my phone (I was using CDs before). The feature I personally use the most is the S.E. Timer. It is really cool to incorporate the different sound options like the Ani-Hu chant and J-R calling in the Light to begin Spiritual Exercises. I have preset the sounds for several different S.E. sessions so I can choose the one I am in the mood for that day.
MSIA is just getting started on what we hope will be a quantum leap with this first release of the mobile app. We have lots of ideas for additional features to come, such as sending the Light via the MSIA Prayer List.
Future development will be largely based on the feedback we get from users, so please feel free to give us feedback and tell us what you would like to see.
The MSIA mobile app will also run on the iPad.