Scripture Publication and Distribution Made Simple
Traditional print publication and distribution has some positives.
- Ownership of a physical product can result in appreciation of the product and use.
- Language prestige in having a book (specifically God's Word) in the language.
However, there are many negatives.
- Unusable by the illiterate portion of the population.
- High production costs.
- Purchase costs means that many copies just sit in storage waiting to never be bought.
- Once printed, the formatting is fixed until enough time has passed to warrant a revision.
The Scripture App Builder is one tool that can help overcome some of those negatives.
As with the other App Builders, this isn't a simple click and you're set installation. In addition to the SAB program, you need to install current versions of Amazon Corretta, SDK files, and aenneas (for audio synchronization). While not something for the novice computer user, this install tends to not have the same issues that many users face with installing and running Dictionary App Builder.
Setting Up a Project
You will need a keystore and password and need to follow some very specific instructions to make sure that copyrights, permissions, and general settings. Thankfully, the instructions are easy enough for the average user to follow.
The program can read and import your Paratext SFM files.
Synching audio recordings with the Scripture has been trouble-free based on the one project that I have done with audio. The audio can be stored in the app (not generally recommended due to size restrictions), downloaded from the Internet,
You can add extra material the end product such as written songs, storybooks, videos ...
You can translate menus and other items to have the app interface completely in the translated language. You can even pair it with a custom Keyman keyboard (developed in the Keyman Developer app) so the end user can easily take notes in the vernacular.
Compiling the App
The first time you use SAB to create an app, you will need to be connected to the Internet. Subsequent app creations can be done completely offline. This means that if you want to create an app in a remote area with limited to no Internet, you will want to compile a trial version of the app while you still have Internet access.
The resultant Scripture app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store (we do not create apps for iPhones as Apple products are generally not available to our targeted end users. The app builder can do it themselves by creating a Google developer account or can have Scriptoria do it for them.
The apk (Android install file) can also be shared from within the app, sent via Bluetooth or downloaded from shared wireless network devices such as a Library Box. This means that people with smartphones or Android tablets can obtain the app and access to vernacular Scripture for free. A language committee or representatives can do a patrol through a language area and distribute the translated Scriptures to anyone who has a phone or tablet.
SAB is a must have for anyone wanting to get translated Scripture into the hands of the people.