Things I'd Like to See in eChurch's (Pushpay) Church Mobile App


(Dave Mackey) #1

Hi Folks,

We are currently building out our mobile app using eChurch (part of Pushpay). For those who aren’t aware, Pushpay acquired the church mobile app portion of the second largest church mobile app builder (Bluebridge, Subsplash is the largest). I figured it might be helpful to others to outline the different things in the app I’d like to see enhanced or added in the near future. I know I always like to know the limitations of software I’m planning on using, not necessarily so I can choose a different application, but so I can plan for the limitations or challenges I may experience.

  • Pending Changes - One is able to make a number of changes to one’s mobile app and then “publish” them. However, there is currently no way to view a list of the pending changes (to see what one is publishing) and no way to edit the list of pending pages (it would be great to be able to remove various changes before publishing).
    – Note that when you publish changes you are publishing changes made by every user with access to your account, not just the changes you yourself have made. It is important to ensure no one else is in the middle of changing something that you then accidentally push into production.
  • Versioning - Currently there is no way to view past iterations of the app, to revert to older iterations of the app, etc. I don’t know about you, but this makes me very nervous! I’m used to being able to hose things up and go back to a last good config. I haven’t talked to them about whether this is possible from their end, but doesn’t seem to be possible from the users end.
  • Backups - I’m sure that Pushpay/eChurch do all sorts of backups on the mobile app content - but I sure would like to be able to download a copy! That’s text, images, links, layout, and configuration.
  • Hiding Content - Right now if one adds content to the app it becomes visible. There is no way to hide content temporarily. In our use case the issue I’m running into is making drafts of content, deciding it isn’t ideal and creating another draft. The original draft has to be deleted or the content has to appear duplicated in the app to the end user - not an ideal experience.
    – What I’ve taken to doing is burying a container within other containers where it is less likely to be seen and keeping the old draft content in this folder, in case I decide to go back to it.
  • Scheduling Updates - There is currently no way to schedule when an update will be released. This means if you have content you want to go live at midnight on February 1st, you have to be up at midnight on February 1st or let it post earlier.
    – Also, if you make an update after making content you want to go live at a specific time, you can’t publish just a select update, everything will be published.
  • Fuller CCB Integration - Right now one can integrate with CCB, but the integration provides pretty basic functionality - the ability to pull in the calendar feed and the ability to search groups. Both of these functions could be provided by using a webview and the UI for groups is fairly simply styled.
    – I’d like to see eChurch integrate with the CCB authentication system.
    – I’d like to see eChurch integrate with CCB forms.
    – I’d like to see more completely styled UI for groups.
    – I don’t know what Events looks like, it isn’t returning anything currently (apparently this is something on our end…still figuring out what).
    – Currently the integration has to be performed entirely on eChurch’s side, there is no UI for the implementation on the user side, would be great to be able to perform the integration ourselves.

I’ll add more items as I find them. Are you using Pushpay for your church app? If so, have you run into any limitations I should be aware of?

Thanks!
Dave


(Dave Mackey) #2

A few additional items:

  • Default Required Permissions - eChurch asks for a lot of permissions upon install. Would be ideal if the number could be reduced in general, also on at least the Android it is possible to not request permission until first use of the necessary functionality - this makes the permissions requested much less overwhelming for users.
  • Message Notes - (Low Priority) Right now one has two separate types of notes, one in which you can type anything, the other in which you can fill in the blanks of provided sermon notes.
    – Add the ability to save these notes in a formatted manner (right now dumps to plain text).
    – Add built-in functionality for sharing (uses smartphone’s native sharing functionality, which can be a bit clunky).
    – Allow images within the fill-in-the blank notes.
    – Provide a full editor experience (one can format the sermon notes but this needs to be done outside of the editor using Microsoft Word, etc. then pasted in).
    – If a blanked word in the fill-in-the-blank notes is too long to fit on a single line it wraps around to the next line which looks strange. Some auto-calculations on length could ensure that the word appears as one unit, not broken across lines, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Navigation Bug - If one navigates into the app and goes from the Home screen to another section, then within that section select another item, then select another section outside that section, if you click on Home it takes you back to the previous section’s item rather than back to Home.

Hope this is helpful to others. :slight_smile:


(Dave Mackey) #3

And one more…

  • Push Category Subscriptions - Right now if a user downloads the mobile app and chooses to receive push notifications they are subscribed automatically to all push categories. Ideally, one would be able to select one or two “core” categories that everyone should receive and mark all others as optional.
    – For example, we probably don’t want everyone subscribed to push categories such as Nursing Mothers, Addictions Support Group, etc.

(Dave Mackey) #4

And…

  • Notification Audio Controls - Would be nice to determine whether we want our app by default to make a sound when a new notification is received by an individual.
  • Push Category Editing - Right now push categories have to be managed from the eChurch side, there is no way to perform this through the app studio, would be nice to be able to do this without needing to submit a ticket.

(Dave Mackey) #5

And…

  • Ability to Export Message Notes with Formatting - Right now if you create notes in the sermon notes functionality there can be formatting utilized, but once the notes are exported it becomes a plain text file.
  • Ability to Add Images to Message Notes - Right now there is no supported functionality for adding images to message notes, it has to be all text.
  • In-Depth Metrics - Right now metrics are pretty basic and don’t really show how individuals are using the app. Would be great to have insight into how many people are hitting which views, how often. Also user paths - e.g., what path does a user take through the app?