Buddhist Applications for iPhone
Some of us in my sangha have discussed having Buddhist applications for the iPhone (or iPod Touch). It would be convenient to have our daily service, and the various sutras that we use in it, available easily. Since none of us program in Objective C, it isn’t a project that has gotten very far. (I’m actually partial to the “Monastic Office” book with the rubberized cover that Shasta Abbey put out back in the day as a useful format for carrying around as well.)
I see that within a Tibetan context, someone has recently done this. You can go to http://www.buddhistapps.com and see the homepage for a Tibetan Buddhist application. It is a pretty basic application, focusing on taking refuge, generating Bodhicitta, mantra recitation, and then dedication of merit.
The nice thing about it is that it gives the Tibetan prayers in transliterated Tibetan and they recorded a monk chanting the prayers in Tibetan.
For anyone who has practiced within a Tibetan context in the past, as I have, the way that non-native speakers chant Tibetan is all over the map and is often not very melodious. This makes it a helpful touch.
I wish that this was available as a general framework. I could see using the same structure (with some additional steps) with an app for the Five Mountain Sangha for daily practice as well.
I’d also like to see an application put together to allow for sutra reading for all of the sutras that are available as unencumbered English text. That might be a taller order given the variability in quality of translation.
For those interested in the application, you can get it here though they would like $1.99 for it (which is pretty minimal).