Siddur is a Jewish weekday prayer book but Siddur, the iPhone app from RustyBrick, is something more than that.
Two heads being better than one, I consulted with my wife Lorri before writing this review. I’m not much of a Hebrew speaker, but my wife understands it. My specialty is iPhone apps, let’s just say she isn’t as savvy.
To get an idea of just how intuitive Siddur really is, I handed my iPhone to Lorri and told her to take it for a test spin. To Lorri a phone is something you talk to people on. Apps? She couldn’t care less. Within minutes, she was able to put the app through its paces and declared it a winner.
Siddur (the app) has four primary functions: prayer book, daily prayer times, Jewish and secular calendar, and information about synagogues. Those functions are represented by icons aligned across the bottom of the screen. There’s a fifth icon for Help.
The app contains four Siddur versions — Ashkenaz, Sefard, Sefardic/Edut Mizrach and Ari (Chabad).
Siddur is location aware, so it displays local times and nearby places, but the developer warns that the calculations for Zmanim (daily prayer times) are not 100% accurate and recommends you consult a rabbi before relying on it.
When we tapped on the Minyanim icon, Siddur pulled up a list of synagogues within a radius of 37 miles. The distance may vary in other areas but we have no immediate way of checking.
Tap on the name of a congregation and you’ll get the address, name of the rabbi, telephone number, Web site URL (if there is one), and other need-to-know info.
The Luach, or calendar, is really handy, Lorri said. It displays Hebrew dates, secular dates and upcoming Jewish events.
The “Help” function is impressively comprehensive, especially for someone like me who is unfamiliar with all its true capabilites.