Seems as though Apple is jumping on the religious bandwagon. With the iPhone 6 + iOS8 releasing later this year, and a lack of innovation since Jobs death in 2011, Apple is taking unconventional steps to promote its newest product.
Philip Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, announced yesterday in a press conference that the company would be incorporating certain features lobbied for by the religious faithful. He quotes…
“Christians are some of the most stable customers out there. Their tenacity as consumers has helped paved the way for this nation’s reputation. It would be foolish of us not to try to advertise to a piece of that market.”
Schiller said that none of the enhancements from the wish list will be hardware based, allowing designers to focus on the software within.
- iPray integration is coming to Siri. This will allow you not only to dictate your prayers to Siri, but also allow you to schedule automatic prayer times in which Siri will recite your words to the Almighty. This feature will allow busy Christians a few extra minutes of sleep or additional time in more important matters while still getting in their morning and evening vespers. Apple is also in talks with A&E about licensing Duck Dynasty voices for the playback.
- Voice Recognition is also getting upgrades. Thanks to an algorithm from an MIT grad student, during “Sermon Mode” Siri will listen to the Preacher and succinctly blast out an “Amen!” or “Hallelujah!” when it picks up on key phraseology. Preferences for intensity and frequency of shout outs will accommodate and be adjustable to the individual.
- Another feature that has many upright Christian men breathing a sigh of relief is the new Siro male-voice version of Siri. After an unprecedented number of iPhone-user confessions to Apple Care, claiming Siri’s “sultry” and “seductive” female voice has caused them to “stumble”, the new Siro feature will provide men not only a sense of digital accountability, but of “true Christian brotherhood” — not to mention the rapid retrieval of information that Siri is already known for.
- Taking a nod from The Dialectizer website, Safari will feature a skin that won’t change the text but the style of any web page to look like an electronic Bible. Pericopes, verse numbers, superscript, and even some red lettering will allow anybody sitting next to you to believe you are interacting with the scripture during a sermon. This feature was requested so parishioners wouldn’t be seen as disrespecting their pastors while they look up more important items, like March Madness scores, Playboy articles, and sushi menus for after church fellowship.
- Safari will also be offering an optional “Intercession Mode.” When activated, any website that contains a “Comment Section” will instead have a “Prayer Section,” wherein users can candidly lament the state of the “fallen world” after watching a secular music video on YouTube, openly bless the likeminded writer of a Christianity Today article, or freely call down fire and brimstone upon the heresy of the Democratic National Committee’s Facebook page.
Other Apps for iOS8
- Christiandom has seen many slip-of-the-tweet over the past couple years. Whether its a Piper/Bell debacle, a Warren misquote, or a semi-plagiarized Driscoll thought, Christian leaders are now somewhat gun shy in their interaction with social media. That’s why SocialFlo is working on Amanuensis Assistant. This app will double and triple check tweets and posts before publishing, not only for spelling and grammar, but also for accurate references and whether or not you might sound like a douchebag.
- For the first time ever, iTunes is offering an optional “Purity” setting, which users can apply to their Library when they want to cleanse their music of various degrees of secular influence. The setting offers 5 levels of purity, the lowest of which filters out songs with graphic content and censors curse words, and the highest of which basically blocks everything except Michael W. Smith.
- No one may know the day or the hour, but the new Rapture Tracker app for iOS8 can bring you up-to-the-minute notifications on potentially rapture-related events. This new app instantly scours all international news sources and runs them through its “Scripture Filter,” which can be customized to send an update whenever a story has as many “Biblical Hits” as you choose. Additionally, it will list the reference for each hit if you want to explore on your own, however, no context is required.
Schiller also went on to say that all press is good press and that he is not overly worried about backlash from secular groups, since the features will be optional. Corporations have been slowly target-marketing to religious groups over the years as research has found that they will buy anything with “Christian” stamped on it.
—reported by Justin Ryan Boyer and Jacob Ryan Feld