Tfillon: My Favorite Free Android Siddur

This is the eleventh installment in my series, 15 Educational Apps in 15 Days. You can view a list of all of the posts in this series here.

When loaded with Jewish apps, one can have a veritable library of seforim always available in one's pocket using a smartphone. I love to share these apps with my students since I do not know if they will remember to bring a siddur or chumash with them on the go, but I know that if it is not Shabbat or Yom Tov, they will always have their phone.


And best of all, many of these apps are FREE.



Just today while I was at another wedding, I used two of my favorite Jewish apps on my phone. I had some down time towards the end of the simcha so I decided to catch up on some of this past week's Parshat Hashavua using BetaMidrash, my favorite Torah app, which I blogged about last week. And there was an impromptu mincha minyan after the first dance so I whipped out my phone and opened my favorite android siddur app, Tfilon.

About Tfillon


Tfilon is a free siddur app with a rich feature set including a beautiful typeface, every type of Tefillah and Nusach, and Zmanei Tefillah, the times for prayer. See a screenshot of the opening page below.




Special Features


The app not only includes all of the prayers but allows one to navigate to a specific section of a prayer by clicking on the circle with three dots on the lower right. The app knows what day it is so it will include the special prayers for that day and will even color them differently so they are noticeable, usually in a shade of red. Whenever there is a new prayer beginning for the first time, say that it is Rosh Chodesh and one must remember to say Yaaleh Veyavoh, then the prayer will be shaded in bright red. If one has said the new prayer for a while, it is the middle of the summer and one must continue to remember to include Morid Hatal, then the prayer is shaded in a more subdued reddish color. When using this app and actually looking inside during davening, I have never forgotten to say a special prayer, something I regularly do without the app using a conventional siddur. See below for an example of Morid Hatal in an orange/red color.


And an example of the special Birchat Hamazon at weddings which I recited earlier today in which the added prayers are in bright red.


Prayers for Members of the Israel Defense Forces


The siddur always reminds me of my brothers and sisters in Israel by including prayers for times of distress for the State of Israel, for members of our Israel Defense Forces and our security forces. I vividly remember early last summer when using the app was especially poignant. Every time I opened it, the app had a reminder and special prayers for our three boys who were kidnapped and later discovered to be viciously murdered at the hands of Arab terrorists.




Zemanim


The app also features a list of the Zemanim for that day, the times for prayer personalized for your metropolitan area. See below.



This is really the only siddur one will ever need on an android device. The only down-side that I can see in this app is that since it is designed in Israel everything is in Hebrew. There is obviously no translation of the prayers and one needs to learn a few technical terms in order to navigate and set up the app properly.

For example, הגדרות means settings which one should press to set up the Nusach Tefillah, Ashkenaz, Sefard, and Edot Hamizrach and the place, which can be most large Jewish metropolitan areas throughout Israel and the diaspora. It is important to set the location since the app uses the smartphone's built in clock and calendar to know the date and prayer times for a particular day. One can also use settings to set up the size of the font and the color of the text and background. I prefer a black font on a white background to match a conventional siddur. Others might prefer the opposite.

Hebrew Settings Explained


Below are the Hagdarot with my explanation in English of the most important settings.




iPhone Siddurim

You might be wondering if there is a similar app for the iPhone. The answer is there is an excellent iPhone Siddur app created by Rusty Brick which offers many of the features listed above as well as English instructions and translation. The only downside is it costs money. (Which honestly makes sense since the developers need to be compensated for their hard work.) You can purchase it for $9.99 in the app store here. Alternatively, one can get one of the free iPhone/iPad siddur apps. I prefer this Pocket iSiddur. It includes the text of all of the Tefillot but does not offer the advanced features of Tfillon or the Rusty Brick Siddur to know which day it is, additions to prayers etc.

I encourage you to share these smartphone Siddur apps with your friends, family, and students so that when they are on the go, they will always be able to pray the proper way, from the siddur.