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Mobile apps
A screenshot of the Allen & Heath QU-32 mixing app, one of the many choices available that provides access to audio mixing consoles via apps on cellphones or tablets.

Mobile Apps: With Available Tools, Flexibility Within Reach

For a church tech, there are a variety of mobile apps that will allow you to ditch the laptop to handle a variety of tasks.

Over the last ten years, the computing power made available to us in our hands has increased exponentially. Among other things, this has put the Bible at our fingertips, to be shared at any moment, with anyone. This same power enables us to share videos and photos of messages and events in real time.

When you consider battery life and portability when using a phone or tablet, over a laptop or especially a desktop, such apps are a huge advantage.

As believers, we are called to utilize what God has given us to the best of our ability, and this includes technology.

Mobile apps are slowly replacing functions that used to be done exclusively on desktop computers. One of obvious examples is simple word processing. For example, I can write this article on my Apple iPad from anywhere in the world.

For a church tech, though, there are a variety of other apps that will allow you to ditch the laptop to handle a variety of other tasks.

Let’s take a look at a few different categories that can be a huge benefit, especially when you’re short on time.

Photography

With the new camera features on cellphones, many are able to capture still images that can rival a DSLR camera. While the built-in camera apps are usually OK, look to upgrade your experience with Camera+ 2, or ProCam 6 for iPhone and Camera FV-5 for Android.

Each of these phone apps unleash the full power of your phone’s camera.

Once you have a great shot, look to use an app like Snapseed for editing. If your church already has an Adobe subscription, you can take advantage of Adobe Photoshop Express, Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Fix. Each of these will give you amazing editing power in both your phone or tablet.

If you’re looking to add some text to your photos for social media posts, look to Typorama, Canva, and Font Candy, as each provides the ability to use your own images or a wide selection of free stock images, along with adding text to them, to help promote your event to the fullest.

With many of these apps, you can have something of high quality up and posted to social media within minutes. This speed can be important, when trying to tell a story of what is happening in your church or ministry.  

On many Sunday mornings, I’m in my church media booth, many weekends I’m at a racetrack serving and praying for racecar drivers, their families and their teams. I don’t have the luxury of sorting through and editing things on a laptop. Race schedules are often in flux, and when updating teams on what time service is via social media, speed is critical.

Videography

The phone feature is just the start. Shooting great video and then being able to post-process it right from the same device, is a remarkable advantage.

That being said, while the video quality may be phenomenal, keep in mind that the audio quality for the spoken word may be anything but, when using your cellphone. So while you can capture some great footage with a phone or tablet by itself, for the audio portion, you may want to add music over it as an alternative. Options to do that include iMovie, Splice, Quik and Video Collage, which offer great ways to trim, edit and add text and music to your movies. Adding a video collage can be great for social media posts, as it will allow two videos in one frame.

File Sharing

For shipping files back and forth between devices, stop using email!

Dropbox, iCloud Drive, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, among others, all can allow you to view your files right from your mobile device. Just because you step away from your laptop, doesn’t mean your work has to stop. Each of the aforementioned apps will allow you to share your videos, images, and more, between not only your devices, but other people as well.

Service Apps

A whole new line of apps can permit you to step out of your media booth. Presentation software such as ProPresenter and OpenLP allow you to control the show from anywhere in the room. You still need the computer running, but you don’t need to be tied to the computer. While this may not be practical on a Sunday morning, during a midweek service, where you may be short-staffed, this can be extremely valuable.

The major brands of digital sound boards also have apps that allow you to control the console from your tablet. This is especially useful if your mixing booth is in a less than ideal position in your worship space or elsewhere. With the benefit of such an app, for instance, you can mix from the middle of the congregation. In this case, using a tablet can give your congregation a better overall experience in your church.

When you consider battery life and portability when using a phone or tablet, over a laptop or especially a desktop, such apps are a huge advantage.

We are able to connect people in our church with God in ways never before imaginable.

While it is important at times to unplug and focus on God’s word and our relationship with him, let’s use the tools and time that we have readily available to glorify him.

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