I still remember the Spring day I unwrapped the iPhone gen. 1; it was like unwrapping the future and holding it in the palm of your hands. I also remember the day Steve Jobs (RIP Steve, RIP) introduced the iPad. I dont think I have ever been so excited for a consumer product. Needless to say, I pre-bought the iPad and it really was a “magical, revolutionary device.” I never leave home without it. Yet, as the novelty of the IOS (the operating system that runs iPad/iPhone) family has worn off, it has not lost its luster. It has become my right hand, electronic tool for ministry and non-ministry related situations. This usefulness has not come without recommendations from friends and that is what i hope to do for you with this article; recommend 7 great apps for life and ministry.
The IOS platform is not as “user friendly” as Apple enthusiasts want it to be and through using the iPhone/iPad for over four years, I can attest to the fact that finding the right app in the apps store can be like finding a needle in a haystack. That is why I would like to share a few of the gems that I have found along the way. I also want to include a few alternative apps to the 7 main ones, because finding the right app is similar to finding the right pair of shoes. They have to fit you. So do not be afraid to download the apps i am recommending (many of them are free) and try them out.
- Flipboard essentially allows you to take most forms of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.) along with Google Reader (think blogs with this. Imagine having timothytennent.com and seedbed.com coming to you everyday in the same application) and have them formatted like a magazine. The design is clean and modern, while the application itself is very easy to navigate. I use it daily to keep up with the world of ministry, parishioners, and global events.
- Heritage is simply beautiful. It essentially compiles pictures of the worlds most beautiful places and allows you to view them (and download them) on your IOS device. I use this app to remind me we live in a beautiful world (and occasionally for sermon slides).
- GloBible is an app I have only recently discovered and it is visually stunning. It takes the Bible and gives it a 3D feel. The clean interface and the depth of content allow for Bible software that is useful for group presentations as well as a great app to recommend to laity. For language work though, I do recommend the Accordance and Logos apps.
- Pages (and Penultimate) is (are) great for writing. It has almost every feature a full word processor has and integrates flawlessly with Word. It also has the ability to convert your document into a PDF. For “hand written” notes, I recommend Penultimate.
- Huffpost (and AJE Live, NPR, CNN, and Fox News). It has been said that a great ministry leader has a Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. With the advent of IOS, I think that can be changed to the Bible and the iPad. I have four of the five news apps on my device and it allows me a balanced view of news as well as a plethora of stories to read for sermon illustration.
- Mass Text Message. Now this one is going to cost you a little bit ($2.99), but as a youth pastor, it is worth every penny. Essentially it allows me to create lists of people to send text messages as well as add and delete names as the need arises. Messages on IOS allows you to create lists of people, but you can’t add or delete names. The ability to add and delete comes in handy when you are texting hundreds of people at a time and need to add that new student to your list.
- Keynote (and Prezi) allow(s) you to create and present information slides. It is the Apple version of the archaic software known as Powerpoint. Prezi, on the other hand, is a new presentation software that ministry leaders need to become familiar with. Check out their website at prezi.com, create a prezi, and then present it on your iPad with the Prezi app.
Along with these 7, I recommend to you the Kindle, UZU, Temple Run, IHOP KC, Dropbox, and Skype apps. If you have come across other great apps that have helped in ministry or help you simply “enjoy life,” share them in the comments below.