One of the problems I have with novenas is being able to remember to pray them during each of the nine days of if you are doing a novena of novenas during that time frame. So last Friday being a traditional day of starting a novena I remembered that I had recently seen an iOS app designed for novenas and so purchased it. Simply called Novena and priced at $2.99.
There are many ways a mobile application could help with praying a novena as far as scheduling goes. Unfortunately this app came up with none of these ideas. No push notifications. No scheduling. Nothing to track what day of a novena you might be on.
Neither was I impressed by the design of the app. Apparently not much effort went into design and it only worked in portrait mode in one orientation. Being a universal app for the iPhone and iPad it at least supported both platforms. Yet on the iPad the menu was apparently the same as for the iPhone or so just took up a small area at the top right part of the screen.
On the plus side novenas were grouped in several ways that could be useful in finding the one you want. You could also favorite one to easily come back to later. The artwork seems to have been taken from German holy cards and I did like the look of these cards and they did give the look of the app some consistency. Once selecting a novena you were presented with the individual novena and you could select or swipe to a history of the saint involved.
One nice feature was that for each image you could select Symbols to show a text overlay explaining some of the symbolic components in the image.
Overall I was disappointed by this app for missing obvious features and having a poorly designed interface and menu. So if anyone knows of an iOS novena app with push notifications and/or some form of scheduling please let me know.