AMITIAE - Thursday 16 January 2014
iman - Islamic prayer time app
By Graham K. Rogers
The app is aimed at the Muslim community, of course, but the iTunes description adds a beautiful comment from the developer, ". . . and Not Yet Muslims: You'll know the perfect time to arrange meetings and other outings with ur fellow muslim friends (sic)." Although Thailand is a Buddhist country, several provinces in the south of the country are predominantly Moslem. There are also communities in other parts of the country, with a fairly large population within Bangkok. Many of my students are also Moslem.
The free app opens with a guide over several screens. For most users it may be useful or even interesting to run through this tutorial. It covers a number of points, including changing screen themes, finding accurate times when not in Singapore or Malaysia; addition of notation types; sharing with Twitter, alignment with Mecca, finding a Masjid (mosque), prayers and related items. This may be accessed again via Settings.
The main screen displayed a countdown to the next prayer time and the times of the other prayers throughout the day (Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha). As the default was for Singapore, Malysia and Brunei, I had to reset it for my location. According to those opening screens, this meant accessing Settings.
An icon to the top left of the screen reveals a menu displayed to the left of the panel. The top item is Settings. Within this section the user may also set the app for specific locations throughout Malaysia. I also changed the language to English. Then worked through the other options in the menu:
If the warnings are to be left on, the specific call may be adjusted, or a user may simply have an iOS default sound. Most of the 6 calls (plus 2 of the 4 beep types) need upgrading to the Pro version. This is available for $0.99. It is also possible to set a time for the warning. The default is 'On time" but options run from 1 minute to 30 minutes before.
When any of the pages is accessed, the screen remains active, so there may be a drain on the battery if a user forgets. I would like to see this changed to offer an ON/OFF option.
Obviously, the app is aimed at Muslims. Those with Moslem friends or perhaps people who are intent on doing business in such communities might find some of the data available useful.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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