Appcelerator Integration Partner: ROAR Makes Apps For Churches
One of the most crucial factors in ensuring the success of an app is finding a niche audience and fulfilling their specific need in an effective and elegant manner. Matt McKee was living in such a niche for ten years as a pastor, before he decided to help the faithful get digital. As a pastor, McKee knows that one of the key aims of a church is evangelism; combine this with his background as a communications major and it’s understandable that he found himself asking: "How can I leverage technology to spread a message?" Eventually, he discovered the answer and formed ROAR; a mobile app company with the goal of helping non-profits spread their message. ROAR became a system integration partner with Appcelerator and began producing a series of custom and cross-platform mobile apps.
ROAR has created apps for hundreds of religious establishments around the world with the Appcelerator Titanium mobile framework. The apps produced range from simple bible apps to comprehensive church apps that allow users to view sermons, organize events, share their prayers, and more. One app, The Sounds of Night, provides a lovely children’s book about overcoming their fears. The Sounds of Night includes illustration, animation and Easter eggs.
ROAR's customers range from churches to mosques and brings many of them international reach. The International Youth Convention is one example of an app that reaches across national barriers to find a common culture in faith. The app allowed attendees of the conference, held in Denver, Colorodo, to view the schedule of events; it allowed both attending students and leaders to effectively plan their time at the conference. Another example of the reach of ROAR is the Friends Church, Yorba Linda application. Though the application was made for a church in California, it is available in Arabic, Chinese, Dansih, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. This allows Friends Church to reach out across nations and cultures to spread their message. The app includes features podcasts and videos of sermons from the church, an interactive wall to share with other app users, and a variety of other features.
Not all apps have such an ambitious reach; the Follow MCC app focuses on local ministry, allowing the attendees of Montgomery Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio to connect. Follow MCC allows users to access study questions, sermons and event schedules to unite the church's existing community. Another app, Liberty Christian School, provides the students of LCS in Argyle, Texas with up-to-date news on school events in the form of both articles and video. Students can share particular stories via Facebook or Twitter, as well. Another interesting application, InHisGrip, combines Golf and Religion. The application corresponds to a series of Golf Tournaments that connects male golfers from churches across the country. The app provides Christian golfers with a schedule of upcoming tournaments, a way to register and an in-app store to purchase merchandise from the pro shop.
Non-profits can choose between 20 different modules currently built on ROAR's platform. This allows the apps to have a very custom feel, since any module can be used as often as needed. ROAR’s customers can choose modules to utilize photos, audio podcasts, video podcasts, push notifications, QR Scanner, locations, events, live video Streams, and RSS Feeds. Partners of ROAR love the ability to have a custom app at an affordable price and so ROAR has seen tremendous growth.
Before deciding on Titanium as their premier mobile app framework, ROAR tried a variety of other options for mobile app development. “We looked at the possiblity of exclusively using native code and tried PhoneGap, along with others - but when it came down to the time it takes to develop as well as the amount of code that you can reuse, Titanium was the only choice,” stated McKee. “We wanted to build on technology that we knew would advance as fast as we needed. and believe Titanium is that product.”
The cross-platform capabilities of Titanium allow ROAR to offer both iOS and Android apps to churches.
To learn more about ROAR, check out their website here, follow them on twitter @ROAR_pro and check out their video below:
The ROAR App from Josh Jensen on Vimeo.
Photo Credit: Liz Carter