Super long post ahead!
Android users, don’t dismay! Come back *next Tuesday for the best LDS apps on the Android market!
*If I remember next Tuesday… Remind me?
You know what I think is funny? I announced that I was going to do a Top 10 Tuesday weekly post… and then promptly skipped the next week. Which sounds about right. :) I’m hitting it up again, and linking this up to Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings.
You know what I think is fun? iPads. I borrowed my mom’s iPad for a couple of days (and somehow stretched it into a couple of weeks!) (thanks again, Mom) while our internet was down. Of course the first thing you do when you have an iPad at your fingertips is hit the App Store. I quickly downloaded free (or free versions) of some Apps. Compared to Android, there was a great selection of LDS apps that the kids and I got to try out.
10. eTrail to Eagle - a must if you have boys involved in the Scouting program. Our scout leader signed up our son for this and we put the app on our phones and my husbands Android tablet. It’s available for the iPad/iPhone too! You can track what your son needs to do to earn his next rank, you can even see what merit badges he’s earned. $1.99
You may also like: try searching for other scouting apps like how to tie knots!
9. LDS Tools – this one is one of the most useful apps yet produced by the Church. You can search your entire ward and stake directory, and you can also view by callings. That way you can dial the newly called Elders Quorum president, even though you didn’t quite catch his name. Free.
You may also like: LDS Gospel Library – the official app for the Scriptures, text versions of magazines, manuals, and more.
8. Mormon Channel – also put out by the Church, this is the app you want if you like to stream music, General Conference, and the Scripture Stories program for children I’ve mentioned frequently in the Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool posts. We like to stream this on Sunday mornings for commercial-free Church music! Free.
You may also like: LDS Music, a free Hymn app that downloads both the sheet music and the music itself.
7. Child Scripture Stories - This app streams the Scripture Stories videos directly from the Church’s website. This is extremely handy to have as many of the FHE Made Easy lessons feature Scripture Stories videos. That makes Family Home Evening even easier! All you have to do is turn on the iPad and begin! $2.99
You may also like: Bible Videos. The Church is making amazing videos of the life of Christ. We used this quite a bit through 24 Days of Mormon Christmas. I love the theatrical quality, available free!
6. The Coat - this animated story is a true story from the life of Pres. Heber J. Grant. It’s a great ‘read’ around Christmastime, but we love it all year long! I would love to see the church produce more of these stories. Free.
You may also like: LDS FaceMatch – learn the past and present prophets and apostles in a fun matching game!
5. The Friend Magazine - the Church hasn’t yet produced an app for the Friend magazine, but I loved this version. You get the current issue free, but can buy a 2 year subscription for only $2.99! The reviews aren’t great due to a bug that I didn’t have an issue with, so those may since be resolved. Free, optional subscription.
You may also like: The Ensign app produced by the same company, or the Ensign app by the Church. The Ensign app made by the church appears to have some issues and bugs and is still in beta testing. There is also another Friend Magazine and the Ensign Magazine that looks completely free! I haven’t personally tested this app, but I really like free stuff. :)
4. LDS Coloring Book - Available in both a free version and a ‘deluxe’ version for $4.99. I can’t tell you how much I love the illustrations in this app! The artists are well-known illustrators often used in the Church magazines. With the free version you get an Old Testament coloring app and an option to buy additional coloring ‘books’ for $.99 each. With the deluxe version you get all 13 coloring books, including Church History, Book of Mormon, General Conference, Articles of Faith, and more. Best part: these coloring ‘books’ are available free to anyone to print and color! Free or Deluxe for $4.99
You may also like: LDS Laughs, a free LDS ‘joke of the day’ type app with comics by the well known artist, Arie Van De Graaff.
3. LDS Youth - if you work with or have your own youth of the church, this app is simply a must. Videos, articles, talks, and music all with a teen-specific message. Knowing how ‘connected’ the youth are today, the church hit the nail on the head by putting this app available in their hands any day of the week. (Psst, teens: feel free to use that to convince your parents you need an iPad. You’re welcome.)
You may also like: Scripture Mastery (free), or the iPhone only ‘Strength of Youth’ app ($.99).
2. LDS Children’s Sing Along - this app wins the ‘cute award,’ and yes, that’s a thing. Oh my stinking heck. Both a Lite version (with approximately 25 songs) and a paid version ($4.99, 203 songs!), this app plays music from the Children’s Songbook and displays pictures in the background. Your child sings along as a ball bounces over the lyrics. They are working on adding all the songs that don’t have copyright protected lyrics, and will update often as they add more. See the list of songs they are adding and songs they can’t add here – the list is extensive! Lite version (free), or paid version ($4.99).
You may also like: LDS Hymns Sing Along – same concept, but with the hymns!
And my top choice for the best iPad apps for Mormon families?
1. Book of Mormon Stories HD - it took me a bit to get the hang of this app, but once I fully understood what it was about, I fell in love. Even better, my kids fell in love. Fell in love with what, exactly? Acting out the scripture stories! In the free version, you get about 15 characters to use in telling a story. Think of this like a totally interactive felt board for the modern age. You choose your characters for the story (the free version comes with Nephi, Lehi and Sariah, Laman and Lemuel, Laban, etc.) Then you choose your backgrounds. You can even add your own images to use as your characters and your backgrounds! From there you are creating your movie. Hit record and slide your characters across the screen as you tell your story. You can even hit pause and remove characters or switch up the background for more ‘professional’ results. The free version lets you purchase additional ‘felt’ sets, and the Director’s Pass includes all sets with purchase! This is the app that had my kids entertained the most consistent amount of time, and the one app they’ve begged me to get since we gave back Grandma’s iPad! Free or $3.99 for Director’s Pass.
You may also like: Bible Buddies HD (Free or $3.99 for Director’s Pass)
Okay, I can’t resist adding a couple of ‘honorable mentions:’
Track My Missionary – $1.99
LDS Scripture Heroes - $1.99
LDS Daily Verse 2012 – $.99
I hope you find some inspiration in my Top 10 iPad Apps for LDS Families!
Question: What is your favorite LDS app for iOS or Android? If you had (or have) an iPad, what are the first (or were the first!) apps you’d search for in the App Store?
*Full disclosure: I have no affiliation with any of the above apps, Apple, Android, or the App Store. I was provided the use of an iPad for several weeks by my mother and chose to review these apps and others during that time. Because I’m a nerd like that. :)