Understanding the Church’s mobile presence

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Fernando V. Camilo did a brief live demo of the Church’s mobile resources at his session “The Mormon mobile revolution — an introduction to the Church’s mobile products.”

Fernando V. Camilo explains the church's mobile products. (Photo by Elliott Miller)
Fernando V. Camilo explains the Church’s mobile products. (Photo by Elliott Miller)

Camilo, manager of product awareness in the Priesthood Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, began the discussion with the reminder that mobile development hasn’t really grown until recently.

“Two years ago we didn’t have a lot of mobile product for the Church,” he said. “Now we think, ‘how can we get this on mobile first and then spread to other devices?'”

This “mobile first” mentality has also more consistently been pushed by Church leaders.

Camilo quoted Elder Neil L. Anderson, who said, “For those using the Internet and mobile phones, there are new ways to invite others to ‘come and see.’ Let’s make sharing our faith online more a part of our daily life. LDS.org, Mormon.org, Facebook, Twitter — all provide opportunities.”

Camilo also mentioned Elder M. Russell Ballard’s technology reference in Tuesday’s Education Week Devotional.

“Yesterday Elder Ballard referenced Instagram — it gave me chills,” he joked.

According to Pew Research Center data that Camilo shared, 91 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone, 61 percent own a smartphone and 34 percent own tablets. He also mentioned that tablets are generally being adopted more quickly by an older generation.

“My mom bought a tablet and it’s the most expensive set of scriptures she ever bought, that’s the only thing she knows on it,” Camilo said, reaffirming that older users are also striving to evolve with technology.

Camilo then explained some of the changes in Church apps, specifically for iOS or Apple devices. There has been an increase in mobile responsiveness, or the ability for webpages to shrink according to page size, which helps users avoid scrolling and minimizing while viewing webpages on mobile devices.

Camilo also walked through the new Gospel Library 3.0 app. The app is an updated version of the 2.5 version, but is a completely new app that had to be rebuilt from the ground up. Camilo cautioned app users to sync their Gospel Library 2.5 to avoid losing all annotations, highlights and other personal changes. The app can be synced by tapping the engine icon in the top right in 2.5 and on the left-hand side in 3.0 and logging into account settings under sync. Make sure to log in to both apps for the sync to complete.

Users can also subscribe to church magazines and other frequently released materials by tapping on the publication, pulling down the menu and sliding the subscribe button on.

While there were many things to cover and many questions from audience members, Camilo encouraged users to not be afraid to try the app out and learn independently.

“Go explore. You won’t break anything I promise, just keep trying,” he said.

Users can also access a User Guide through the Gospel Library feature located at the bottom of the Library menu.

While Camilo showed excitement for the new features and hope in their potential, he was not afraid to admit they are not perfect, saying there are some apps that are not 100 percent developed.

“There are lots of bugs that they’re trying to squish as many as they can,” Camilo said.

Camilo’s slides for the session will be available online at ldsmediatalk.com sometime next week.

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