The Siddur and Zmanim for the iPhone and iPod Touch
Siddur & Zmanim for iPhone/iPod Touch
-- Gabrielle Loeb
Your iPhone won't actually daven for you, but the iPhone Siddur is the next best
thing. Not only does this new application include all the prayers, from
Shacharis to Maariv, but it has every prayer in three different
nusachs: Ashkenaz, Sfrard and Sefarad Mizrachi. With the iPhone 3G
Siddur application, davening three times a day is made simple with enlargeable
text and your choice of font. Although we may still be far off from having a
synagogue where all pray into their phones as they shuckle, this new tool can
still come in handy especially for travelers and mourners.
For those who travel often and carry their prayerbooks wherever they go, it is a
convenience not only to reduce baggage weight, but also to find out the prayer
times at the current location. The Zmanim feature of the Siddur
application allows users to enter a location or use the current location
detected by the GPS (Global Positioning System) built into the iPhone. Once
entered, a list appears with the specific times for each tfila, for sunrise and
sunset. Want to start early? "In order to say early Maariv or make early
Shabbos," the iPhone explains as you tap the "Plag HaMincha" button on
the list, "one must daven Mincha before this time." With this iPhone
application, there are no longer any excuses for missing a tfila.
A whole new way to daven
Not only does the iPhone provide prayer times for every location, it also
provides prayer locations for every time of day. The minyanim tab lists
every orthodox minyan within 40 miles of the iPhone's current location. Each
minyan's meeting times are listed, along with its website, its address, and its
Rabbi's phone number and email address. All of which can be accessed directly
from the iPhone using its GPS, phone service, web surfing, and email server.
Mourners can now easily locate the nearest minyan and fulfill their duty of
saying kaddish three times a day.
In addition to minyanim, the iPhone application also includes a Luach,
or Jewish Calendar, allowing users to look up any date on the secular calendar
and immediately convert it to the Jewish date or visa-versa. Also included are
all of the Jewish holidays and parshiot, allowing users to plan ahead of
time to future parshiot, or find out the date of a yarzeit or
Although the iPhone Siddur application's fifth version includes many useful
features for the comparatively low price of $10.00, many users would still like
many features added. Above all, the top demand among users is an English
translation and transliteration of the Hebrew text. "While I'd like to improve
my davening skills," an anonymous user explains, "it's not entirely practical to
take all day trying to wade through all the prayers."er themselves Orthodox, and the Siddur application fails to address the other 90% of Jews who may prefer to pray in a synagogue of their denomination. By listing only Orthodox minyanim, the Siddur application ignores the other branches of Judaism; however, this dilemna may perhaps be addressed in a future version of the appplication.
Despite the iPhone siddur application's lack of English and exclusively Orthodox minyanim, it certainly remains a great tool, and is continually being improved. Plans for future editions include Siddur bookmarks, Chabad nusach, and a mizrach compass to point to the direction one should pray. The first version, published on July 25, 2008, did not even include the minyanim database. Less than two months later, on September 16. the 6th version was published with far more features than before. At this pace, the coming features will arrive in the very near future. For more information about the Siddur and Zmanim for the iPhone and iPod Touch, visit their website or contact email@example.com
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