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iPhoneIts undoubtedly the most popular gadget of the decade - the iPhone has changed the future of mobile phone technology forever. With a record number of applications available on it, we have a look at some of the Sikh apps out there for you to download. A lot of time and effort has gone into creating these applications so well done to the developers. Its also a very costly process so do visit the relevent websites and donate to the projects. They are also always looking for feedback so don't hesitate to contact them with your suggestions and opinions.

Gurbani Anywhere logoGurbani Anywhere
www.gurbanianywhere.com

Authors : Gurbani Anywhere Team
cost : Free

First up, is the Gurbani Anywhere app. Back in the day (well, a few years ago I mean) we had Gurbani Searcher for Mobile Windows. It was loosely based on the desktop version of Sikhi To The Max and created by a uni student for his final year project. Although quite buggy and full of mistakes, it did the job - and that was to sit in a Gurdwara divaan, pop in a few letters and bring the shabad up which was being sung on to their Pocket PC allowing them to sing along and find the English translations. It wasn’t updated at all and the project was pretty much scrapped. However, Gurbani Anywhere surfaced this year and it promised to be everything the Gurbani Searcher wasn’t. So was it worth the wait?

Of course it was! The GA app is fantastic. Its such a large and complexed app that you have to install it either over a Wi-fi connection or whilst you are connected to your laptop. It’s only on version 1.0 and to think they are still developing on top of it is exciting to say the least. Its beautifully simple layout, buttons and language ensure its one of the neatest and most accurate Gurbani iPhone apps out there. It boasts a full Gurmukhi keyboard on one screen and you can easily switch between the available Granths including Sri Guru Granth Sahib and Sri Dasam Granth Sahib as well as Bhai Gurdas Jee's Vaaran. Its built to make the most of iPhone's power and style to deliver you a familiar interface. You can search word by word, the first letter of every word or the first letter of any word in a sequence. To understand each mode can be a bit tricky - you have to try them all out to familiarise yourself with it properly. In addition, it doesn't save the preferences meaning you have to keep selecting "First Letter" every time you load it. Can be a pain seeing as its by far the easiest way to search Gurbani yet its not the default.

As soon as you begin to type, the app automatically begins to search for you and narrows down the results as you type more letters. Once you have found your shabad, double press on it with your finger and it again asks you for more options such as whether to display Gurmukhi only or to include English and/or Romanized text. Again, this could do with a "Save your preferences" option rather than having to select each time you load a shabad. Once you do select an option, you are presented with a beautifully laid out screen of the Gurbani and the English text which is so elegantly laid out and easy to read. You can navigate to the next or previous shabad using the arrow buttons at the bottom, find out more info about it such as the composer of the shabad or search by Ang numbers and skip to another shabad. But that’s standard stuff. What I really love is the "Quick List" and "Favourites". The "Quick List" provides shortcuts to certain Baniyaa such as Japji Sahib, Sukhmani Sahib, Lawa etc. It’s great but doesn’t seem to include full Nitnem such as the Panj Baniyaa, Rehraas and Sohila. I don't see why that is but it could possibly be down to the fact that different jathas recite different "versions" of Nitnem. Anyway, a few variations of Panj Baniyaa wouldn't go amiss. And as well as the predefined Baniyaa, you can use the "Favourites" to create your own! It gives you the ability to create shortcuts to any shabad you want. Great especially if you are a Keertani and use your iPhone to help you remember shabads or if you want to save the Hukamnama from your birthday! The options in the app allow you to change simple things such as the font sizes, colour, number of search results etc.

All in all, it’s a very well thought-out and beautifully designed app. It lacks the ability to save preferences but I am sure the GA team are working on that. The Gurbani is constantly updated as well to try and ensure it’s the most accurate database of Gurbani and translations out there and I think the GA team have done it. It’s certainly not cheap to create such an app and for GA team to give this one away for free is VERY generous. You can donate by going to the GA website which we really recommend you to do - you can even buy a Gurbani Anywhere T-shirt which donates all proceeds back into the project. Thanks GA!

 

iNitnem logoiNitnem
http://www.thesikhspodcast.com/

Authors : The Sikhs Podcast
cost : Free

I think one of the reasons GA may not have included Nitnem on their app is because of iNitnem - the app which provides you full Nitnem in an app. Its design is very simple with three buttons at the bottom reading "Morning", "Evening" and "Night"... quite obviously providing you different Baniyaa for the relevant times of the day. Its really quite great, you can read the Panj Baniyaa in one go or selecting each of them individually. It also provides ardaas for different times of the day, so rather than having to get stuck when it gets to stating what the ardaas is about, you can simply read it without stuttering. Unfortunately though, there aren’t any English translations or Romanized and the real annoying thing for me is lack of next page or previous page buttons - meaning you have to keep sliding your fingers up all the time to go to the next page which can really get annoying. The app includes extra Baniyaa as well such as Panj Granthi, Shabad Hazarey, Aarti and more too. If it’s a "gutkaa in a pocket app" you want, then iNitnem is certainly that. A few improvements to be made that we hope will be included in future versions. Great effort by Sikh Podcast.

 

Singh Sabha logoSingh Sabha
http://www.thesikhspodcast.com/

Authors : The Sikhs Podcast
cost : Free

Not really much of an app this one. It’s a four-page app just giving information about Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Derby. Not really sure why you'd want this one to be honest - I'd just go to the website! It includes information on the daily programs, events and opening times of the museum as well as useful contact information. Not really worth downloading unless you like the look of the Singh Sabha logo on your home screen!

 

Sikh Podcast logoThe Sikhs Podcast
http://www.thesikhspodcast.com/

Authors : The Sikhs Podcast
cost : Free

It’s the newest Sikh app on iPhone by the Sikh Podcast team. This apps primary and only function at present is to display the Sikh podcast which is released every other or so, in one neat application and it certainly does that. The layout of the podcasts page could do with a bit of a better layout and more summarised information on each one. It’s a neat app though if you are a fan of the Sikh podcast. They make some great videos which are definitely worth the watch so worth the download just to subscribe to the weekly broadcast. There’s no details whether it automatically will download the latest video to your iPhone or not, nor does it do much else. The question that nags at me in my mind though is "Why?!" because again it doesn’t seem to offer anything I cant already do with my iPhone - meaning if I want to use watch the latest Sikh Podcast, I can go to YouTube and watch it there or find the links on their site. However, it’s a new app and one I am going to keep because I am sure there’s more and better to come.

Dhur Ki Bani logoDhur Ki Bani
http://www.thesikhspodcast.com/

Authors : The Sikhs Podcast
cost : Free

This app is purely for those wishing to broadcast live Keertan from Sri Harimandir Sahib to their iPhone. Definitely a must have. Very simple app and it works without taking up too many resources. What I would love on this app is an alarm clock! I would love to set a time in the morning it will wake me up to live keertan from Sri Harimandir Sahib. Please please please Sikh Podcast Team, fulfil my request!

 

SikhNet Radio logoSikhNet Radio
http://www.sikhnet.com

Authors : SikhNet
cost : Free

Probably the best online radio stations are hosted by SikhNet and this app streams them nicely to your iPhone. It’s very simple - load the app, select the feed and listen in. No messing around with options or settings. The audio loads up fast and rarely has any buffer issues - although that is dependant largely on your reception as well. Again, it could do with an alarm clock function or snooze and wish it would tell me more about each "Artist" that is playing. It has various live feeds from Gurdwaras all over India too so that’s definitely a great selection to have.

Conclusion

So there you have it, our pick of the best Sikh iPhone apps out there. Gurbani Anywhere has really done excellently by creating the essential app for all iPhone owners and The Sikhs Podcast seem to be cooking up something exceptional. One of the main factors that made me actually buy an iPhone in the first place was because of Gurbani Anywhere and it is worth every hard earned penny.

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