iBCP: Keeping up with the times

Today I downloaded a new app on my phone, the iBCP and my head has been spinning with possibilities ever since. The iBCP is the 1979 Book of Common Prayer on my phone, the whole thing. The designer Alexander Orozco stresses that this version does not have the official seal of approval of the Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer, and is based on a private transcription of a public domain copy. (I thought all copies were in the public domain?) Its the most expensive ap I’ve ever bought but for $5 I’ll have the BCP on me at virtually all times. All aps I have so far update for free so it will only get better from here!

It seems easy to use. The font is clear and large enough to read easily. The graphic here is uploaded full size. The only place I have found so far where I question the font size is in the psalms. The first half of the verse is regular size but the second half is quite small. Its readable, but it could be hard on the eyes over a long read. It is designed basically like a highly hyperlinked web site with a highly detailed table of contents. The table of contents replicates that in the BCP plus collections of hyperlinks on psalms, prefaces, confessions, collects etc. at the bottom of the page. For example, you can find a link directly to each of the psalms through the hyperlink collection on psalms. All references within the BCP to other areas are also linked.   The one disappointment is that it doesn’t have a search engine. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized how difficult it would be to find unique search words that would pull up a reasonably good search. The extensive hyperlinked table of contents seems like the right way to go.

Most comments I’ve seen on the iBCP refer to it as a beginning and it is a good beginning. The possibilities for bringing church resources to  smart phones and perhaps tablet computers are mind boggling. I’ll save conjecture in that realm for another day.

After reading a few reviews from priests saying how indispensable the app is and how much they use it in practical ministry, I couldn’t help imagining all afternoon various times when a priest pulls out his phone for some quick liturgy — my favorite being a dignified grave-side funeral with the priest reading from his iPhone.

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2 thoughts on “iBCP: Keeping up with the times

  1. Michelle, I have been debating about downloading this app. You review was helpful. Thank you. Are you familiar with the Lectionary app? It is a very nice, easy to use app for the BCP lectionary as well as the Episcopal RCL. Right now it is for Sunday only and does not have the Daily Office.

    Peace, Mike+

  2. A good model for a more comprehensive Episcopal liturgical app for the iPhone would be iMissal for Roman Catholics. It combines the Mass, the Roman Catholic Lectionary and the liturgical calendar.

    In addition, Church Publishing offers eCP: electronic Common Prayer 2.0 for BlackBerries and Palms. This app also includes the Daily Office readings and other features for an astronomical $40.00 price.

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