Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bible Spelling Game - The Beginnings

Project Status: Design Phase
Update: Bible Spelling Game - On The Back Burner


The Idea

If you are interested in the original idea posted here on this blog, then please be sure to check it out. As of today I am beginning to put pencil to paper in an attempt to try my hand at making this app.

The Target User Group

First I will try to get the smallest simplest version of the idea running that I can. During that development phase it could be referred to as an Alpha version. I, the developer, would be the only one able to use it until a stable enough version was made so that I could release a Beta version.

The Beta version would, in theory, be available on the Android Play Store. This version would be very limited in features, but would allow many different types of devices to begin using the app.

At first I plan to only market to Android devices. IOS is not something I want to get into at this time, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't eventually branch out to IOS at some point, if things seemed to be running smoothly.

Furthermore; the audience will be limited to Android version 6.0 and up, at least in the beginning. At the time of this posting that is unfortunately only 36.1% of Android devices in use according to the Android developer's dashboard. I would limit to this version because as I add features, several extra permissions may be required. Android 6.0, aka Marshmallow, and up have the ability for users to approve permissions. The versions below that force users to choose between accepting all permissions or not using the app. I want users to have control over which extra permissions are allowed, so that means I am limited to Android 6.0 or higher.

The App's Goal

For users of the app I would hope the goal would be to learn to spell Bible names, places and words better over time. I'm hoping they would even have a little bit of fun doing so, maybe evening sparking more Bible engagement.

On the back-end of the app the goal would be to learn from common misspellings of words within the Bible so that Bible apps would have more insight potentially allowing for better search results within Bible apps. While I do not work for or develop any Bible apps, I would like to freely provide any information learned from this app to existing Bible app companies in hopes of helping them out with what they do.

While any of that may or may not happen, I should be able to learn from my progress or my defeat here. I have always had tons of app ideas and projects to work on but have never completed any of them. So hopefully pushing myself to work on this project will help me to improve my coding skills and to learn more about Android app development in general.


Down The Road

The plan is to start out small and slowly expand over time. One feature I would really like is to have the app read out a Bible verse to the user. While hearing a verse read aloud it will be also written on the screen. One of the words read aloud will be missing from the verse shown on the screen and in its place will be a blank line.

One way to accomplish that would be to obtain permission from something like the listener's Bible, which already has many versions of the Bible available in audio format. That option might be costly or not available for me, I am not sure though and would need to check into it.

Another interesting way to provide audio verses would be to allow users to record their own readings, both for themselves to study from and to share for others to learn from. This option would provide several unique pronunciations for complicated words, and that alone would help immensely in trying to learn how different people say and spell Biblical words. Technically speaking though; this would be difficult because I would need to find a way to store lots of audio files and to moderate them to prevent any intentional misuse.

An easy option would be to connect to a text-to-speech app already on the market. This provides a very lightweight and simple solution from a development standpoint, but at the same time loses all the great things about the previous two formats mentioned. As you can imagine, when a robo-voice pronounces very unknown words by trying to emphasize each letter, there will be a major difference in how people spell words than how those same people would have spelled them having heard a human's pronunciation.

Summary

Who knows how far this project will go or if it will even even get off of the ground, but here's to trying. I know there are some obstacles ahead that I can see now and I'm sure there are plenty that I know nothing about yet. This should be pretty difficult though seeing as I am such a horrible speller myself that I have never published an app, but here goes. I'll try to keep you posted during the process, but don't hold your breath.

Update: Bible Spelling Game - On The Back Burner