Well, they aren’t exaggerating with the title of this app, it’s definitely MEGA. Mega Catholic! I’m still not sure if that is a good thing or not…maybe you can help me decide?
I downloaded this free app and I was excited to see what it had to offer.
Here is what appealed to me:
- What first appealed to me was that it was free – I will always love free!
- The second thing was its design-very elegant look that incorporates beautiful artwork.
- The third was its title – MEGA…surely they are exaggerating a bit. Well I was wrong. After my first initial preview I was actually so overwhelmed I had to just walk away. I didn’t know where to start with it, there was just so much information! Every touch of a button accessed a wealth of catholic “stuff”.
So I’ve spent the week slowly going through the menu and seeing what this app had to offer. My overall feeling is that the information in this app falls into three categories: “Very Cool Stuff”, “Things With Potential”, and then there was the “Not So Useful Stuff”. Since I always try to be positive lets start with the good stuff first.
The main menu is great, although somewhat deceiving because you have no idea how much information is packed behind those five little buttons. I love the simplicity of this page and I spent some time just admiring the beautiful artwork displayed on it.
The first button is entitled PRAY.
I loved all the resources instantly available for me at the touch of this button. Seriously, every prayer you could possibly ever want were available at the touch of a finger. I couldn’t help but think what an awesome resource this would be for someone just joining the Church, or someone learning the prayers in a second language, or even for my kids who are just learning some of the main prayers of the Catholic faith.
But really there is something for everyone, even those of us who have been practising our faith for years. It even has links to:
- an online Breviary;
- daily mass readings and reflections;
- the Bible;
- Stations of the Cross;
- Confession resources;
- Rite of Adoration,
- and so much more. MEGA MORE!
- It has a little rosary guide which has an audio option and rosary that colours the beads as you go.
Simple but effective.
The second button on the menu is LEARN.
This leads you to a menu of awesome resources for learning about your faith. The Catechism, EWTN, the Vatican, Catholic Register, and numerous other resources right at your fingertips. I know all this can be found online on your own, but it’s really nice to have it all put together nice and neat and easy to access.
I’m going to skip the third button for the moment and go to PRAYER.
This is a nice little feature where you can post a prayer or prayer request and the app community can pray for you. There is also the ability to post comments on posts.
The last thing I’m going to include under my Very Cool Stuff Section is that the creators provide lots if opportunities for users to provide feedback under several menu items entitled “Improve This App”. You can send them comments and links/resources to include in the app. I guess the goal is to get this to be a one stop shop for all things Catholic.
I’m going to include the third button on the main menu under this category, not because its not a great resource, because it is, but only because I think it can be improved. The LENT button has some awesome resources for helping young and old to observe a great Lent – I think this is great!
My dilemma with it is that it isn’t seasonal … I mean its not Lent anymore its EASTER! It would be great if this menu item would change with the seasons of the Church. I think it would be awesome to have all these resources at the touch of a button for whatever season we are celebrating right now.
The other area I wanted to talk about here was the interactiveness of the app. There are many areas where the developer has provided opportunity for people to interact and engage with one another (i.e. the Prayer Wall, galleries, discussion boards, sharing holy pictures, links to social media).
I put this under the Potential area because these tools are not very widely used. I’m not sure if it is just a case where it will take time to develop or if it just isn’t something people want or need. It’s a nice feature, but it’s probably something that should go if its not being used.
The MORE button on the main menu, this has great stuff, but talk about overwhelming. It’s just a huge list of amazing resources, but I think it would be more useful if it was somehow broken down into more manageable groupings. There were also things in here that could go under the other main menus, like the Divine Mercy Chaplet could go under prayer.
I hate to see more clicks being needed to get to the information, but I think someone smarter than me could think of a better way to organize these awesome tools to grow in our faith.
Then again, maybe this is just something only a Type A person (that’s me) would struggle with. Lots of great resources found here in any case, like the “Connect” menu item that gives you info on events and retreats.
As if this app wasn’t MEGA enough, there seems to be some random things thrown in that just don’t belong. Remember the Sesame Street song… “One of these things just doesn’t belong…” Like the car finder and a Tip Calculator? There is also a menu item called “Essentials” that takes you to a book to buy, I don’t think that is a good use of a menu item.
There is also a “Shop” menu item that takes you to the same book. There is already SO much on this app that I feel like there needs to be a bit more discernment about what goes in it. A bit of filtering and organizing would go a long way in making this a fantastic app.
Overall, I’m glad I downloaded this app. It’s given me a great tool to easily access wonderful resources which will help me and my kids grow in faith. With a bit of work, I think this app could become a real Go-to app for Catholics young and old.