Audio for iPhone Users

(released 10/02/19) – Recently Apple released the latest version of their iPhone and iPad operating systems —  version 13.0. There were many improvements. However, one step back we noticed is that iPhones and iPads no longer support background audio for Progressive Web Apps, like this one. The WELS App makes audio podcasts available for the Daily Devotion, Through The Bible in Three Years, Military Devotion, and Early Childhood Ministry Educators Devotions. The audio will still play, but if the screen goes to sleep or you switch to a different app while the audio is playing, it will be suspended. We have been given no indication when or if Apple will restore this feature which had been available on previous versions. Of course, you can keep the page open while the audio plays, say to read along, and everything will work fine.

The news isn’t all bad though with this latest update. Siri Shortcuts continues to improve on the iPhone and you can easily instruct Siri to play the Daily Devotion or Through My Bible audio readings with a simple command. Read this blog post to learn more about how to install the Shortcut and different ways you might use it, including a hands-free way to hear God’s word while working out, driving, etc.

WELS App Has New Design

(released 06/18/19) – This summer the WELS App will be getting a number of new features. To kick things off we are rolling out a new home page design. The one you are looking at is cleaner, and should be much faster to load. It also features rotating Forward in Christ and Q&A articles. Stay tuned for text message notification options, a way to configure your own home screen, and health-related news from the WELS Benefit Plans Office. There is also quite a list of great suggestions that some of you have made which we intend to implement as time permits. Keep those ideas coming! Our goal is have the WELS App appear on the home screen of every WELS smartphone user. Thanks for using the app and pass the word to those who might be missing out on the great devotions and news features available every day. Remember simply visit https://wels.app to get started.

WELS Daily Devotions now on Alexa

(released 01/08/19) – The audio version of WELS Daily Devotion can now be added to Amazon Alexa’s “Flash Briefing” function. If you have an Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, etc. you can set up a “flash briefing” that plays through a list of available items, or “skills” of your choosing. You can hear news from NPR, the local weather forecast, a daily joke, and almost anything else you can imagine. Once you have it set up you can just ask Alexa to “play my flash briefing” or “what’s in the news?”. There are other commands you can use as well. CNET put together a nice article on how to enable this feature.

As of today, you can now add WELS Daily Devotion to that lineup. Each day WELS provides a 3 to 5-minute devotion based on a Bible passage. These devotions are written by WELS pastors across the country and globe. They are then “read” by a few individuals within the WELS Congregational Services team. What a great way to put technology to work for you as you sit over your morning coffee or get ready for work.

If you do have an Echo (perhaps there was one in your stocking) and decide to use this “skill”, be sure to leave a review in the app. This will increase the likelihood of it being found by others, who can then also hear the Good News! Look for more skills in the near future including our “Verse of the Day” and “Through The Bible” readings.

Christmas Music Available

(released 12/05/18) – Did you know that WELS has an internet radio station? In the WELS App, go to the Sections page by tapping “Sections” in the bottom menu bar, then look for the “Radio” section and then “Christmas Music.” This will open a new window to the WELS “traditional” radio station which is now playing all kinds of season favorites through the end of January. Look for Lenten & Easter music when that season comes as well. All the music on the station is from WELS musicians.

If you are interested in finding the same station on your computer, you can open your favorite browser and go to http://wels.net/news-media/radio/christmas-radio/

As always, thanks for using the app, and share with a friend. Simply tell them to visit https://wels.app.  May God bless your use of His Word!

Audio rewind and campus ministry search

(released 10/08/18) – The “WELS App” was updated last week with a couple of new features! For those of you who like to play the audio for Daily Devotion, Bible Readings, Military or Early Childhood devotions on their iPhones and iPads, we’ve now given you an option to rewind or fast forward the audio in 15 second increments. This will allow you to “go back” if you missed something or wanted to hear it again.

The second feature update has to do with the Online Yearbook, which is available through the App, but also at https://yearbook.wels.net. You can now filter your searches to look for churches who offer campus ministries. If you or your son or daughter is looking for what churches serve your campus of choice, just check the Church (with Campus Ministry) box in the filters section. You can also go directly to a campus ministry search page at: https://yearbook.wels.net/cmsearch.

As always, thanks for using the app, and share with a friend. Simply tell them to visit https://wels.app.  May God bless your use of His Word!

Feature Updates to WELS App

(released 08/17/18) – The refreshed “WELS App” has been available for a few months now. We pray you have been enjoying the new design, additional content and greater reliability it brings. You may have noticed that the latest release brought with it an improvement to the readability of the text. A number of you had suggested that the main paragraph font was a little too small and faint. As a result we have made the text a little bigger and darker. Hopefully this will allow everybody to read the content without any issue. Feel free to let us know how you feel about the change.

We’d also like to encourage you to let us know about any other features you’d like to see added. Fall is a time we have set aside for rolling out enhancements, so let us know what you think might be helpful to you. One thing to look for is a notifications feature. You can “subscribe” to receive alerts, news, and other realtime items of interests. Watch for that in the coming months.

As always, thanks for using the app, and share with a friend. Simply tell them to visit https://wels.app.  May God bless your use of His Word!

The new WELS App is here!

(released 05/11/18) – Today we are announcing the launch of a brand new version of WELS Mobile! There are a number of changes, including the name. We’ve dropped the “mobile”, so now it’s just called the WELS App. It also no longer can be found in the Apple App or Google Play stores. The versions there are being retired. In it’s place, the WELS App is available at https://wels.app. It is mobile friendly and is technically called a “progressive web app” or PWA. Without getting too technical, PWAs give you all the features of a store app, but get updated right away and offer similar experiences on any device. They get progressively better as your device (and it’s browser) get more capabilities. We are excited about offering great new features in the WELS App like Favorites, Sharing, and more great WELS Content. In the very near future there will be bookmarks, notifications, offline access, and availability as an app on the Windows Store. We hope you like it!

Some have asked “why the change?” WELS Mobile seemed to work just fine for me. There were two major reasons to offer the PWA version:

  1. The synod has limited technical resources to maintain mobile applications that are offered in the traditional Apple/Google app stores. It requires deep technical knowledge of both platforms and testing on many, many different phones. We spent more time trying to take care of bugs, than offering new features. Maintaining only one app will allow us to push out new features much more quickly.
  2. A second benefit is that PWAs can run safely and consistently on many more devices/platforms. Because they are simply websites, apps like the WELS App can run on older and newer devices on many different systems (Amazon, Apple, Google, etc.). This will allow more people to take advantage of great WELS content.

Thanks for giving the WELS App a try. Tell others. Enjoy the experience and the beautiful messages it carries.

Early Childhood Ministry Devotion Now Available

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The latest release of WELS Mobile (iOS 2.5.8 & Android 2.5.7) now includes the option to read or listen to an Early Childhood Ministry Devotion. This weekly offering provides inspiration and guidance from God’s Word for those working with his little lambs. Give it a try and share it with others. You will find it in the side menu under the Read or Audio entries.

How do you use WELS Mobile?

We’d love to know how you use WELS Mobile. Do you listen while you do the dishes? How about reading it at the dinner table? Maybe it gets you through your morning jog? Let us know by using the Contact Us feature under Information in the side menu!

iOS 9 Version 2.5.6

October 14, 2015

If you have updated your iPhone or iPad to Apple’s latest iOS 9 mobile operating system you may experience inconsistent behavior while using WELS Mobile. Our most recent WELS Mobile Release, version 2.5.6, should resolve those issues. Please be sure to go to the App Store and update the app.

A couple of fixes are included:

  • Social sharing is now available on all devotions and Bible readings
  • When sharing devotions on Facebook the correct image is now displayed for that day

iOS AND Android users stay tuned for version 2.5.7 as we introduce a brand new weekly devotion for early childhood educators!

Blessings!

iOS 9 Bugs

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September 17, 2015

If you have updated your iPhone or iPad to Apple’s latest iOS 9 mobile operating system you may experience inconsistent behavior while using WELS Mobile. We are working hard at correcting any bugs introduced by iOS 9 and will release a new version shortly. Be sure to keep your app up-to-date by visiting the App Store on your device and selecting Updates.

We appreciate your patience and continued usage of WELS Mobile.

Blessings!

Interactive Faith examines Elisha

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The next Interactive Faith online Bible study is underway. Rev. Keith Wessel, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn., will lead the study twice each Wednesday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (central) through Oct. 7.

Wessel will be leading participants through a study on Elisha. This is his second time leading Interactive Faith; his first study examined Elijah.

Thousands of WELS members have participated in the Interactive Faith Bible studies, which are held twice a year and led by a WELS pastor or professor. Many congregations gather as a group for the study; other WELS members connect as couples or individuals. The studies are designed to have 10 to 15 minutes of lecture by the instructor, followed by 5 to 10 minutes for congregations to discuss a question or two or do further study. Participants can interact with the instructor via a chat box on the live stream.

To learn more or join the study, go to wels.net/interactivefaith.

Version 2.5 Released

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We’re happy to announce that WELS Mobile 2.5 is available. If you haven’t updated, please visit your device’s app store and download the latest. The following updates/fixes were made:

  • Restored local playback for Today’s Devotion, Military Devotion and Three Year Bible. When the new WELS.net was launched the previous version opened a browser window and played the web version. Some devices had issues with playback. The current version now plays the audio file from within the app without loading the WELS.net version.
  • Converted Verse of the Day source to one hosted on WELS.net. The previous version was using Bible Gateway to deliver the verse of the day. Now the source and sharing all come from WELS.net. This gives greater control over what verses are used, and the translation.