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PocketBible 1.3.0 – Bible/Devotional Reading Progress Tracking

Posted on: September 22nd, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.3.0 has been released to the Google Play Store. If you downloaded the app from Google Play, you should be automatically updated. If you are using a Kindle Fire (or other non-Google Play device), you can download the latest version by browsing to http://lpb.cc/android while on your device.

This update features full devotional/Bible reading plan tracking and the ability to sync your reading progress with your other devices. Complete details on how you can use this new feature are included in the Devotional section of Help.

The PocketBible app offers a variety of free reading plans and devotionals with registration. You can purchase additional devotionals and plans at any time.

Other enhancements included in this update are:

  • GoTo Navigation – we’ve added two alternate methods for going to a specific verse in the Bible: Calculator and Spinner. The default remains the current style of the Book/Chapter/Verse picker. You can change styles from the menu: Settings | Program Settings | GoTo Style.
  • New highlight option – you can now choose Underline, Dotted Underline or Dashed Underline as a verse highlight option.
  • You can now delete PocketBible books from your device without an internet connection.

PocketBible for Mac OS X is Now Available

Posted on: August 22nd, 2014 by Craig Rairdin 6 Comments

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 6.56.40 PMWe’re pleased to announce that version 1.0 of PocketBible for Mac OS X is now available for download at the Laridian website! You can find out more about PocketBible and hundreds of Bibles and reference books available now for Mac here.

Easier Searching

The Mac version of PocketBible implements an improved search algorithm we first introduced in PocketBible for Android a few weeks ago. Rather than asking you to learn the language of Boolean algebra and regular expressions in order to be able to formulate a search specification, PocketBible allows you to simply tell it what you’re looking for, like ”faith comes by hearing”. PocketBible performs about a dozen parallel searches to find not only every verse in which the phrase you’re searching for occurs, but also verses in which words that sound like or have the same root word as the words you’re looking for appear in the same order or close to the same order as you entered them. The result is that PocketBible for Mac OS X is more likely to find the verse you’re looking for than were previous versions. So a search for “faith comes by hearing” finds Romans 10:7 in the KJV even though in that verse, “comes” is “cometh”.

PocketBible for Mac also takes advantages of capabilities of our electronic books that we have never exposed before. For example, you can search a commentary not just for its discussion of a passage, but for everywhere the passage is mentioned.

Download Free

PocketBible for Mac requires OS X 10.7 and is available as a free download. Installation is easy: open the downloaded disk image and drag the PocketBible icon to the Applications folder (just like any number of Mac apps you download from the Web). PocketBible will prompt you to create an account or log into your existing account to gain access to dozens of free Bibles and reference books, or in the case that you are already a Laridian Bible software user on another platform, access to Bibles and books you’ve previously purchased for use in that program. Once you’ve entered your login credentials, you download books directly from the “Cloud Library” feature of the program as opposed to downloading an installation program from our website. Watch instructions below:

Sync your Personal Data

If you have notes, highlights, bookmarks, or devotional reading progress in another version of PocketBible that you have sync’ed to the Laridian Cloud server, you can turn on automatic synchronization in PocketBible for Mac and have access to all your user-created data on that platform as well.

Customize the Screen Layout

PocketBible allows you to customize the screen layout, arranging books into any number of tiled panes. You can open any number of books in each pane. Panes can be resized, and books can be moved from one pane to another by simply dragging the tab corresponding to the book into the tab bar of the target pane.

There’s More to Come!

As good as PocketBible is, we’re not done with it yet! We’ll be implementing a number of advanced features that will be available for a nominal price. These include multiple tabbed layouts, the ability to rename your highlight colors, journal notes (notes that are not connected to a Bible verse), and an expanded Autostudy feature you may have seen in PocketBible for iOS. We’ll have more to say about the Advanced Feature Set in upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, the best way to find out how PocketBible for Mac OS X can enhance your Bible study is to download it today!

What’s in the Pipeline?

Posted on: August 16th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 117 Comments

We often get asked about what we are working on. While you can be sure we are always working, and that our work probably involves some version of PocketBible, we understand you may be interested in a more detailed explanation of what is going on behind the scenes. It is in that spirit that we are going to try something new with an occasional post on what’s in the pipeline for apps and books.

You’ll notice we don’t talk about release dates. We’ve been in this business for a long time and have learned that our best-laid plans often go awry. In fact, in the software business, that’s the rule rather than the exception. So we don’t spit into that wind nor tilt at those windmills. We’re pursuing the goals you see below at our best pace and will release new books and updates to our apps as soon as they’re ready.

Apps

  • PocketBible for Android – Version 1.2.1 was released on 8/5/14 with enhancements to the search feature. Next up is adding devotional tracking features. Follow us on Google+ for the most up to date info.
  • PocketBible 3.1 for iOS – version 3.1.0 was uploaded to the App Store on 3/28/14. Next major update will probably coincide with whatever Apple breaks in iOS 8. We also want to look at features we’ve added to PocketBible for Mac OS X and see what could be ported to iOS.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – Version 1.0 is ready for you to download. We’re now working on what will become the Advanced Feature Set for the Mac version.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – Version 2.2.0.318 was released to the Windows Store late in 2013. This update supports Windows 8.1 and adds new advanced features including the ability to listen to any type book and add notes directly from the notes pane.

Books

Here’s what our editorial team has in the queue for you (not in any particular order):

  • Additional volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary Series (IVP)
  • The Applied New Testament and Old Testament Commentary (Cook)
  • The Open Your Bible Commentary (Kingsley)
  • Wesley Study Bible (Abingdon)

Disclaimers: All this is subject to change in priority, feasibility, copyright licensing, etc. That means we reserve the right to never release these features or books. We are sharing with you the current plan which is written in sand, not stone. Also, just because something is not on this list doesn’t mean we are not considering it. Finally, we are open to your requests, suggestions and comments!

Cornerstone Biblical Commentary Series: Now Complete for PocketBible

Posted on: August 8th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

We have released the final three volumes of the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary Series (Tyndale) for use with PocketBible. These last three volumes in the 20-Volume series are:

You can purchase each volume separately for $19.99 or all 20 volumes in a bundle for $399.99. The books are available for use with PocketBible for Windows PC, Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Windows Mobile.

The Cornerstone commentaries offer some unique features:

  • Comments are based on the New Living Translation Bible text (although you can use the commentary with any Bible in PocketBible). Many of the authors and editors of the commentary series participated in the creation of the NLT.
  • The commentary is recent scholarship (2006 to present).
  • Presents the message of each passage as well as an overview of other issues surrounding the text

PocketBible for Android 1.2.1 features Enhanced Searching

Posted on: August 6th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 6 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.2.1 has been released to the Google Play Store. If you downloaded the app from Google Play, you should be automatically updated. If you are using a Kindle Fire (or other non-Google Play device), you can download the latest version by browsing to http://lpb.cc/android while on your device.

The major new enhancement to this version is to the search capabilities. We have completely overhauled the search feature to make it more thorough, more flexible, and more usable (no Boolean operators needed!).

Easier Searching, Better Results

Type any word or phrase in the search field. The results you get back will be broken out and ordered by relevance. There are 5 key results you’ll see:

  • Exact – whatever you searched for was found literally in the text, in that exact order.
  • All – We found places in the text where all the words you searched for were present, but they were not in any particular order.
  • Any – These sections contain any key words you searched for. We ignore some words based on how frequently they are used (a, an, the, etc.).
  • Roots – We found these sections based on slight variations of the word you searched for. This accounts for things like verb tenses, pluralization, and the like.
  • Sounds – These sections contain words that “sound” like what you searched for.

In addition, a new display setting has been added to allow you to mark or not mark search results in the text (Menu | Settings | Display). Search hits can be marked by color, bold, etc. and this is a temporary marking while the search is active.

Focus Your Searches for Faster Results

When you are creating a new search, you’ll see that you can limit searches by custom ranges – this would include pre-defined sections of the Bible or a specific book of the Bible. You can also choose to search only verses you have highlighted or bookmarked previously. Plus you can now search your own personal notes.

Search by Strong’s Number

We have had many requests in the past for the ability to search your Strong’s Numbered Bibles (i.e. KJVEC, NASEC, HCSBEC). This feature is also included. If you have open and active your Strong’s numbered Bible, you can search in the following ways:

  • Simply enter the Strong’s number (g26, for example) to see all occurrences of that Strong’s number.
  • Enter a colon and the Strong’s number after a word (love:g26) to see all verses where the word love is translated from the Strong’s word g26.
  • Enter a colon and hyphen plus the Strong’s number (love:-g26) to find all the occurrences of a word that are not translated from that particular Strong’s word.

Complete details on how you can use this new search feature are included in the Help option of the navigation menu in PocketBible.

You can see the new search capabilities in action here:

PocketBible for Mac Update

Posted on: July 12th, 2014 by Craig Rairdin 4 Comments

Very random screen shot

It’s been a while since I updated you on our progress on PocketBible for Mac OS X. I’ve been doing more frequent updates for our Kickstarter backers but not as many general posts here. So below is a video update that demonstrates most of the features of PocketBible for Mac. The video is rather long but it covers a lot of ground.

Even though I say in the video that I’m going to show you “everything that’s implemented”, I don’t. But I do show a lot of features. In particular, here are a few things I didn’t demonstrate:

  • You can change the screen layout to choose from a variety of predefined configurations of panes instead of creating/closing panes one at a time.
  • I’ve demonstrated searching before so I don’t show all those features. However, since you last saw it I added the ability to limit searches to predefined ranges of verses, like “New Testament”, “Pentateuch”, etc.
  • You can find everywhere that a verse is cross-referenced in a book by doing a search for the reference.
  • If you enter “John 3:16″ in the Find field (that is, not the Go To field) while a Bible is active, the program will treat it as a “go to” operation and take you to that verse. Similarly, searching for a word in a dictionary will instantly go to the entry for that word if there is one.
  • I didn’t demonstrate how you create bookmark categories or create a bookmark in a category, but you can do that.
  • I didn’t show how you set “preferred books” that get used in certain situations where the program has to choose which of your Bibles to open.
  • The Help button opens the PocketBible User Guide in the active pane.

I think that’s about it. There are a few Advanced Feature Set features already coded, but I have those disabled unless you actually own the Advanced Feature Set, and of course nobody owns the Advanced Feature Set yet except me. I’ll start implementing and exposing more of those during the beta period.

We’re currently in beta with a limited number of testers. I’ll be opening the beta up to more testers once we get past the unavoidable initial rounds of bugs. No need to “apply” or to tell me you want to be a beta testers — I’ll post a call for testers here when I’m ready.

How to create a parallel Bible in PocketBible

Posted on: July 3rd, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 3 Comments

Comparing translations of the Bible can provide great insight as you read. In the printed book world, a parallel Bible will display one or more translations of the Bible side-by-side. PocketBible not only mimics this type of book but takes it to a whole new level of flexibility!

At its simplest, you can create a parallel Bible in any version of PocketBible as follows:

1. Open up two panes or windows in the app
2. Open a Bible translation in the the first pane.
3. Open a different Bible translation in the second pane.
4. Make sure you have checked the PocketBible setting to Sync Bibles/Commentaries. This will keep your Bibles (and commentaries) on the same verse at all times. Of course, if you don’t want your two Bibles to be on the same verse, you would simply “uncheck” this option.

The fact that you can vary the Bible translations you are using in PocketBible, makes it more flexible than a printed Parallel Bible. You can also open more windows (up to five on some devices) and compare that many more Bible translations.

iOS users – if you have the Advanced Feature set for PocketBible, you can use Autostudy to instantly view the same verse in ALL your open Bibles.

PocketBible for Android v1.2.0

Posted on: June 10th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 13 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.2.0 has been released to the Google Play Store. If you downloaded the app from Google Play, you should be automatically updated. If you are using a Kindle Fire (or other non-Google Play device), you can download the latest version by browsing to http://lpb.cc/android while on your device.

The major new feature in this version is the ability to add notes to Bible verses. If you have previously taken notes with other versions of PocketBible, these can now be synchronized to your Android OS device. Your data must first be synced from the other devices to the Laridian Cloud. Version 1.2.0 also includes a fix for an SD card storage issue which popped up in the latest version of Android (4.4+ – kitkat).

You can see the new note-taking feature in action here:

PocketBible for Mac OS X Status Update

Posted on: June 2nd, 2014 by Craig Rairdin 4 Comments

PocketBible for Mac OS Kickstarter ProjectPocketBible for Mac OS X is moving right along. Last month I published a simplified version of my to-do list so I thought I’d update that list and let you know how it’s going.

If you’re a Kickstarter backer of this project, you’ve been getting regular video updates from me. One went out last night. If you’re not getting these updates, check your settings at Kickstarter or just go visit the the Kickstarter page and log into your account there to view all the updates. For those who didn’t get in on the funding of the project, I’ve posted a few updates here on the blog and made some comments in the comment sections of other blog articles as people have asked. We’ve been more open about this project than we have any other project in the 26 years I’ve been writing Bible software. If you want to know what’s going on and can’t find it here, just ask.

On May 1 I was projecting “mid-June” for being done with the basic feature set (not the Advanced Features). I’ve slid about a week since then. Here’s an update on that to-do list I published last month:

  • Autosync – (Automatically sync changes to notes, highlights, and bookmarks to/from the Laridian Cloud.) This is done and working.
  • Pane management – (Provide a way to open and close panes.) This is done but I’m still seeing some flakey behavior from time to time.
  • Button icons – I’ve made a user interface change that has cut down on the number of new button images I need to create.
  • Note editing/searching - I need to spend a couple more hours on the note editor. Note searching is done and supports most of the key features of book searching (that is, results sorted by relevancy, sounds-like searches, and root-word searches).
  • History – (Implement back/forward.) Haven’t started this yet. Hope to lift the design from iOS.
  • Search – I am currently working on a couple of special features of the search pane. For example if you search the Bible for “John 3:16″ the program now shows you John 3:16 instead of searching your Bible for the text “JOHN 3:16″. And when you do a Bible verse search in any book, you’ll see a list of places in the book where there is a link to the verse.
  • Devotionals – I believe devotionals are done.
  • Highlights – Highlights are done, including renaming highlight colors if you own the Advanced Feature Set.
  • Preferred Books – Provide user interface to choose preferred books.
  • Remove some features that actually belong to the Advanced Feature Set. The program now automatically adjusts to the presence or absence of the Advanced Feature Set; I just need to make sure I’m turning on/off all the appropriate features.
  • Fix a few bugs I’ve been living with but you won’t want to. I keep finding more of these. :-)

The plan is still to make the free version of the program available first, then implement the Advanced Feature Set. Right now, the list of Advanced Features Set features looks something like this:

  • Autostudy – Word study, verse study, and I’m hoping to add a new study called “Today”, which will pull today’s Bible and devotional reading into one convenient document.
  • Saved Layouts – The ability to create different “desktops” or “layouts” for different study configurations.
  • Open All Books – Open all installed books into a predefined layout.
  • Journal Notes – Notes that are not attached to a verse, just like the Journal features on PocketBible for iOS.
  • Named Highlight Colors – The ability to rename highlight colors to something meaningful instead of just “yellow” and “pink” etc.  This is already done.

I think that brings you up-to-date. I’ll post a video update to the blog sometime soon that demonstrates more of the features that the Kickstarter backers have seen but I haven’t shown publicly.

As always, thanks for your support during this process. And if you like what we’re doing here, give us a High 5!

New for PocketBible: Francis Chan Titles

Posted on: May 22nd, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

Here are four new PocketBible titles from pastor, church planter and author, Francis Chan:

Francis Chan was the founding pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, and is the founder of Eternity Bible College. He is known for his passionate, biblical, and honest style in preaching and writing. You can learn more about Francis at his website, crazylove.org.

Crazy Love, Forgotten God, Erasing Hell, and Multiply are available for use with PocketBible for iOS, Android OS, Windows Phone, Windows Store, Windows PC and Windows Mobile and MyBible for Palm OS. List price is $9.99 each or they can be purchased together in the Francis Chan Bundle for $29.99.

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