Last month we took a look at some new things coming down the pipe in Bible software and just after the article went live at our website, a few new developments surfaced. The most interesting comes from LifeChurch.tv, the publishers of the YouVersion Bible app for most platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet. Here’s what’s new in the simple Bible reader. Then we’ll look at a couple of other updates.
YouVersion Bible App
The app offers a useful menu that users access by tapping the menu button in the upper left corner of the app.
On the new menu Bible readers can quickly access their reading plans at the bottom of the menu where the app shows the plan progress. It also shows up under the Plans menu item.
People who like to highlight verses or passages can now see all their highlights as a list by tapping the Highlights item on the new menu.
The new Bible home screen got an update as well. It shows the Verse of the Day, which many people like to read and then share to social networks. There’s also a “stream of Bible activity” which will include things like friend updates, highlights the user adds and things that a user’s friends post or highlight. The app also shows friend requests and acceptance.
When a friend highlights something in the Bible app, the user can tap on one of the three icons below that notification on the new home screen. The heart button is like hitting Like on Facebook. The quote balloon lets the user make a comment on their friend’s highlight and the Bible icon will open the verse highlighted. This makes reading the Bible more social.
When using the Bible app for reading one of the many available reading plans, users can choose to make this reading public so their friends can see it. This might help with a group of readers keeping each other accountable for their daily reading. The user controls whether this content becomes public or stays private.
PocketBible for Mac and iOS
One highly anticipated releases comes from Craig Rairdin and Laridian (http://www.laridian.com), the makers of one of the first mobile Bible apps – PocketBible. Their Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1268870794/pocketbible-for-mac-os) raised enough money to make developing their great Bible app for the Mac.
A recent Kickstarter update showed off a pretty mature interface and the new methods the app will use for doing a “look up” of both search topics and Bible verses. I’m really looking forward to finally getting my hands on this app and the way things look in the video Rairdin posted on Kickstarter makes it look like things are getting close.
Follow the the progress for yourself at the Laridian Blog.
The company also updated their iOS app to version 3.1. (http://blog.laridian.com/?p=2426) In this update, users who upgraded to the Advanced Feature Set, a few extras that make the app more useful, can now change the behavior of the “touch zones” – the nine box grid that PocketBible uses for quickly switching between verses, chapters and books of the Bible as well as open Bibles or user owned books.
The notes editor comes with buttons for formatting the font of a user’s notes. The app adds a few other features, bug fixes and usability improvements.
Logos Bible App
By the time readers see this, Logos should now include the awesome Exegetical Guide in their mobile app. Logos includes other guides which show up in the computer version, but only a couple of which show up on the mobile app. Here’s the list of guides, what they do and whether they’re available on mobile or just desktop.
Passage Guide – searches whole library for content related to a passage and shows up on both computer and mobile apps
Exegetical Guide – searches for grammar and language study tools like dictionaries for all the major words in a passage as well as content in Greek or Hebrew grammars for the passage. It’s now in both computer and mobile apps.
Topic Guide – searches the library for books that contain content related to a topic, like grace. Only in the computer versions.
Bible Word Study Guide – searches for a specific word in English, Greek or Hebrew and finds content and data about that word. It’s in both the computer and mobile apps.
Sermon Starter Guide – a new guide that finds content to help a pastor get started with research related to a sermon or Bible study and it only shows up in the computer version.
Until now users could only use the Exegetical Guide on their computers. A beta that now includes the incredibly useful Exegetical Guide will likely see full release by the time this edition of CCMag hits computers.