Last week I posted over on Google+ a call to anyone who goes to church to Not be that guy.
The guy (or gal) I was referring to is the one on the front row whose phone goes off loud and clear in the middle of the service. This almost always is some odd and embarrassing ringtone and suddenly under the pressure they have completely lost their way to the volume button.
Let’s be honest; we have all seen this uncomfortable scene go down. And while we are being transparent – you have probably been that guy before. Don’t worry – there is room at the cross for you too.
Solution? You can make obnoxious announcements and slides to tell people to turn off their phone. That works – sometimes. Alternative solutions? I am glad you asked!
I came across an announcement that an app called IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That, was now available for android. Intrigued I decided to check it out. For those unfamiliar with the application (which is by no means new) in short It allows you to create conditional actions called recipes on your smartphone using the simple logic of if <this> then <that> happens.
Some popular examples of usages for this app include:
If I take a picture with my phone then email it to me.
If it is going to rain tomorrow then send me a notification.
If I arrive at my office then send my wife a text.
The feature that most peaked my interest were the location based actions. You can define on a map a radius that once you enter or exit that radius an action can be performed like sending a text or changing your phone’s ringer volume.
So this last weekend I set up 2 new recipes. One that would put my phone on vibrate once getting to our church property and a second that would turn the volume back up when exiting that same radius.
Conclusion so far – these recipes worked great once actually triggered. Downside? it would seem that none of my rules are actually triggered until the phone is unlocked and in some cases not until the app is then physically launched – not complaining, but this removes a lot of the convenience that make this an effective solution.
If you are going to try it out make sure not to zoom your location in too tight – the app so far does not respond well to a very specific target area.
What about you – Is there another app or solution you have for this 1st world problem? What other useful and ministry related uses could you see with an app like this?