I will admit: like most people my age, I am literally tied at the hip to my smartphone. I use it for entertain­ment and study on my daily commute, to keep up to date on the latest news and, of course, to pass time (think Angry Birds) waiting in line.

With the almost universal adoption of smartphones, we at Chabad.org knew it was time to shift some of our development resources into mobile apps. I am happy to share that after months of planning and development, we have launched Shabbat Times, an app to easily and conveniently find out when Shabbat starts and ends in your city.

The app displays the times that Shabbat begins and ends in your location, and the name of the weekly Torah portion, with convenient access to the Parshah section on Chabad.org’s mobile site. Users can also plan ahead and look up times for future weeks.

Frequent travelers will appreciate the hassle-free location detection option that automatically shows times for your current location, wherever you may be.

Mobile apps present their own unique development challenges. As with most of our offerings, this tool was developed in-house, allowing us maximum agility and control of the software.

When dealing with Shabbat times, a slight error in calculation or interface could theoretically result in our users unwittingly desecrating the Shabbat. We worked hard to make sure that this won’t happen. As an example, we were not satisfied with simply showing the user’s GPS coordinates—that would be insufficient to warn the user that he or she may be viewing the times for the wrong location. We made sure to convert the coordinates to a human-readable city name using a reverse-geocoding Google Maps web service.

The app is currently available for iOS [iPhone, iPad and iTouch] and Android. Future upgrades will include alerts, a home-screen widget, custom time adjustments and some other tweaks.

Look out for a Jewish.TV video app and other surprises coming soon from your friends at Chabad.org.

Click here to learn more about the Shabbat Times app. You can download it on iTunes or Google Play.