My family are devoutly Hindu, and we tend to chant complex Sanskrit verse as part of our daily prayer, with each chant repeated sometimes, 1008 times. Other religions and even non-religious people follow similar practices. Most people use a rosary, but when things aren't in multiples of the number of beads in the rosary, it can be an issue. It's also cumbersome carrying a rosary. But I always carry my phone.

Most apps I try don't have the ability to keep count in the background. They also don't let me look at some text to recite it AND keep count. A lot of the apps on the market tend to loop audio files a certain number of times. That is hard for me as during my study, I find a lot of obscure mantras to chant, and good quality recordings aren't easy to come by.

My idea was to create an app I would use.

What it does

  • Saves verse in text in various scripts
  • Keeps count through touch screen and through volume up buttons
  • Saves your progress.

How I built it

I found the basic tutorials on Coursera's How To Build An Android App very useful. I created wireframe designs, and implemented them using Android studio. The designs were made after a lot of consultations with target users (my family, and several meditation lovers at Disrupt!)

Challenges I ran into

  • My first ever Android app
  • It is very hard to get button actions when phone is locked.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • My very first Android app!
  • My grandma is proud of me.

What I learned

  • Making Android apps need not be intimidating.
  • User research techniques/ Requirements analysis
  • Android features and libraries.

What's next for Mantra

  • Fix bugs, upload to appstore, iteratively improve product.
  • Library of common chants for quick starts, with Search.
  • Extend this to all kinds of counting - e.g. im yet to find an app that lets me automate calling out my exercise routines. I'd like it to call out 20 situps, 20 pushups, 20 crunches, and then repeat the whole thing three times... doesn't seem to be a thing on the appstore yet.

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