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Introducing The All New iOS iPhone Siddur

Published September 27, 2014

Our Siddur app for iOS was one of the first Jewish apps available for the iPhone. We first introduced it back in July 2008, that was over six years ago. Since then we’ve made hundreds of updates to the app but today, we are introducing our largest update yet. The Siddur is used by thousands of people across the world on both iOS and Android.

The new iPhone Siddur has been completely redesigned, in fact, it is almost unrecognizable from the original version. It also has been mostly rewritten from the ground up, that means the behind-the-scenes code has been updated. Since so much has changed, we have decided to document below what is new in version 7.0 of the Siddur since version 6.x of the Siddur.

Here is an outline of what has changed but scroll down to see more detail:

- iOS 7 Flat Design
- iOS 8 Extensibility Notification Center With Luach
- iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Layout Support
- 64-bit Support
- Core Code Rewrite Touches Everything
- New Navigation Menu Slides Out From Left
- Navigation Menu Widget On Footer Displays Important Daily Information
- Luach Design Revamp With New Month View & Colored Tips
- Mizrach Design Update
- Tefillin Mirror Won’t Lose Your Place In Prayers
- Holiday Top Notification In Prayer Section Revamped
- Alerts Section Now Native Interface
- Revamped & Optimized Map View
- Added More Localization
- Location Settings Improved With Minyan Now Controls
- Enable Sharing Of App
- Content Improvements & Fixes
- Bug Fixes & Stability Improvements Across The App
- Tons Of Testing But We’re Sure We Missed Something

New Siddur Design:

We know, iOS 7 has come and gone and now there is iOS 8 but for the past several months, we have been working on an update to the Siddur design to conform with the iOS 7 design best practices. We’ve spent countless hours, meetings, done usability tests and AB testing and have come up with what we think is the best design for the Siddur app.

We’ve added as much Siddur text as possible to the screen by removing the bottom navigation bar and enabling a slide out menu from the left. The menu can be accessed by sliding your finger from the left side of the screen to the right or by tapping on the three line menu at the top of the navigation bar. The menu brings you all the features of the Siddur without losing your place while praying. (Note, in settings, you can turn on the old bottom menu by selecting "tab bar mode."

As you can see, the new screen shows a lot more prayer text on the page. The first image below shows the header when in afternoon services (Mincha). But as you slide through the prayer, the header hides itself to add more prayer text. The third screen shows Shema, followed by the split view option with the English upgrade:




Of course, the navigation to the prayer selectors are still there and the scroll wheel to jump between sections remains, but with an updated design.

The Zmanim, Minyanim, Mizrach, Maps and other screens all got a nice refresh as well. But our Lunch, Jewish Calendar, was completely revamped. Here are some images of the new overall design:

Luach Design:

One of the biggest complaints about our Siddur was not about the Siddur but rather about the embedded Jewish Calendar, the Luach. We have completely revamped the design, adding a new month calendar view, with colorized dots to symbolize Jewish holidays, personalized events and more. The list agenda view is still available, as it the jump-to-date feature, but now we have added a new month view. You can still export and sync the data with your calendar as well.


Siddur Widgets in Menu & Native Notification Menu:

The Siddur also added two types of useful widgets, one to the menu bar’s footer within the app and one to the native iOS 8 notification menu. If you look at the footer of the blue navigation bar, you will see a widget that scrolls with data from sunrise, sunset, weekly parsha, the daf and much more.

Also, part of iOS 8, we added the ability to add some of this data to your native iOS 8 notification menu. This is known as iOS 8 Extensibility Notification Center and it shows under the Siddur Calendar menu including the Hebrew date, Parsha of the Week and The Daf Yomi.

iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Screen Size Support:

We have also added support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes in version 7.01, coming out soon. Without that version, things seem a bit stretched on those devices.

We added 64-bit compatibility, along with stability improvements for iOS 8 and more devices. We improved the location manager, so it uses your location in a more desired way for the user (i.e. Minyan Now support or not). We made tons of bug fixes, content updates and many small usability improvements. This all supports the RustyBrick mobile account system, to back up your data and sync it between devices and platforms.

Finally, we now enable you to share your favorite app with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, SMS, email or other networks you belong to - so go ahead and share it with your friends. While you are at it, leave us a review so others know how much you like the Siddur app.

If you have feedback, problems or support requests, email us through the “Email Support” section of the app, so we can address your concerns.

For more, check out the iPhone Siddur page.

Thank you,
RustyBrick Mobile Team!

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Barry Schwartz is the CEO of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. Barry is also the founder of the Search Engine Roundtable and the News Editor of Search Engine Land. He is well known & respected for his expertise in the search marketing industry. Barry graduated from the City University of New York and lives with his family in the NYC region.

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