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Archive for the ‘New Products’ Category

PocketBible 3.2.3 for iOS Now Available

Posted on: June 2nd, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 5 Comments

PocketBible iOS IconApple has approved PocketBible 3.2.3 for distribution on the App Store. This version is a minor update intended to fix a few problems mainly on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. (We’re just going to pretend that 3.2.0 never happened.)

The new iPhones have larger screens. PocketBible has absolutely no problem with larger screens. In fact, exactly the same code runs on the iPad and iPhone. PocketBible asks iOS how big the screen is, then proceeds to fill it. Apple, however, has to protect you against apps that assume that the only possible size the screen can be is one of the known sizes as of the date of release of the app. So when we ask iOS for the screen size, it lies to us and tells us the size of the iPhone 5 screen. Then it multiplies the pixels by 1 + a small fraction and blows our user interface up to fill the screen.

The result of this “lie and blow up” strategy is a blurry app, as you can see on the left, below (click for full resolution).

PocketBible on iPhone 6

On the left is version 3.1.0. On the right is 3.2.3 (misidentified as 3.1.1 in the picture above). Version 3.2.3 jumps through the magic hoop that tells iOS that we understand the larger screen size. The “hoop” consists of using a different method to display the “splash screen” that appears when you launch PocketBible. When iOS sees we are using this method, it knows that we must know about the iPhone 6, so it stops lying to us about the size of the screen and allows us to use all the pixels on those great new displays. As you can see, the screen shots were taken just two minutes apart. It’s literally the same PocketBible code displaying non-blurry text. (Can you tell that this frustrates me a bit? I’ll post a link in the comments with more ranting about this if you’re interested.)

One nice change in this version is that you can change the password on your account without being forced to delete your books and your user-created data. The previous version believed you were trying to log into a different account, so it forced you to delete your books and answer some hard questions about your notes, highlights, and bookmarks before it would continue. The new version realizes all you have done is change the password, so it doesn’t ask you to do any of that.

If you DO log into a different account, it will still ask you to do something about your user data so that it doesn’t get corrupted by being sync’ed to a different account, but it isn’t as insistent that you do it right away.

This all being said, you shouldn’t be switching user accounts. If you think you need to bounce between user accounts, talk to us so we can figure out what you need and solve it correctly.

Behind the scenes, PocketBible 3.2.3 is now using https: connections to talk to the server for all connections, not just the ones where personal data like passwords are being transmitted. This takes advantage of some security changes we’ve made at the site in the last few months and makes all your data more secure than it needs to be.

The App Store on your device will notify you about the update, or you can just go get it now.

Here’s the full list of new, enhanced, and repaired features in 3.2.3:

New Features

  • Recognize and take advantage of the increased screen size of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus instead of allowing iOS to scale the screen, which caused text to be blurry.
  • Support “custom Bibles” from BookBuilder which specify custom versification by referencing existing versification schemes. (Reader Engine version 1.073.)

Enhancements

  • Allow the Font / Size / Brightness setting window to rotate to landscape and to fill the full width of the screen.
  • Allow user to change password without forcing them to delete books and user-created data (notes, highlights, bookmarks, etc.).
  • Allow user more affirmative control over disposition of user-created data when logging into a different Laridian customer account.
  • Use https: connections throughout, even though no personal data is being transmitted.
  • Do a better job selecting italic and bold/italic fonts with families that support heavy, bold, demi, semi, medium, etc. variants.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that caused text-to-speech reading to stop at an empty verse.
  • Table heading tags were getting filtered out of notes.
  • Opening a devotional with no existing start date would create a start date, overwriting the existing start date that might not have yet been sync’ed from the Laridian Cloud.
  • Fixed a memory leak when displaying lists of bookmark categories.

BookBuilder – Create Your Own PocketBible Books

Posted on: March 12th, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 2 Comments

BookBuilderIcon512Laridian BookBuilder gives PocketBible users the unique ability to convert virtually any electronic text into a book that can be read by PocketBible on any of our supported platforms. Whether you want to have access to any of the tens of thousands of public domain Bible reference texts you an find on the Web or you want to create original reference materials from your own studies of the Bible, BookBuilder gives you the ability to view them side-by-side with your other PocketBible Bibles and books using the same tools we use in-house to create the add-on Bibles and books you can buy at our site.

Laridian has long had a commitment to creating an open ebook ecosystem, starting with our founders’ involvement in the creation of the only industry-wide binary standard for Bible software, the Standard Template for Electronic Publishing (STEP) in 1995, and in the definition of the Open eBook Publication Structure (OEBPS) in 1999, which later became EPUB. When it became clear that a common binary standard for Christian publishing was politically impossible and that OEBPS/EPUB wasn’t interested in extensions to support Bibles and Bible reference materials, Laridian went in a different direction: Releasing as a commercial product the tools needed to create electronic books for its readers.

While most Bible software companies provide some method for Christian publishers to convert large quantities of text to their proprietary format (often for thousands of dollars per title), Laridian is one of the few (maybe the only) commercial Bible software companies to offer an end-to-end publishing solution for everyone from individual PocketBible users to multinational Christian publishing houses — and to do it for only $49.99.

BookBuilder is available for both Windows (desktop) and now for Mac OS X. The Standard edition ($19.99) contains the ability to convert tagged text to a Laridian Book for personal use. The Professional edition adds two additional tools, DocAnalyzer and VerseLinker, and gives you the option of creating a book that can be sold or given away to other PocketBible users (including hosting your book on our server for easy distribution to users of our iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows Store, and Mac OS X versions of PocketBible who download books from within the program). In addition, the Mac version allows users to launch PocketBible on each successful build of their book for easier proofreading.

User-created books live side-by-side with Laridian PocketBible reference books and have all the same features as the books you purchase from our site. You can do sophisticated word and phrase searches, synchronize your user-created commentary to scroll alongside your Bible, look up words in your own dictionary, link to the Bible or other reference books from within your books, etc.

As an individual user of PocketBible, you might consider these uses for BookBuilder:

  • Convert your PocketBible notes into a commentary. You can log into your account at our website and download a fully tagged version of your Bible notes that is ready to be converted into a commentary for PocketBible. You only need the Standard edition of BookBuilder to do this.
  • Convert reference material you find on the Web into a PocketBible book. This could be anything from your pastor’s sermons to classic Christian reference material that is in the public domain. The Standard edition of BookBuilder will work for this, though the additional tools in the Professional edition come in handy when working with files that you did not originally author using the BookBuilder tagging format.
  • Create books for distribution to others either for free or at a price of your choosing. Unlike other Christian ebook publishing solutions, there is no royalty paid to Laridian on sales or distribution of your books. You’ll need the Professional edition to do this. Note that this doesn’t mean that Laridian will sell your books, but rather that you can sell them. You can host them on our server for easy distribution, but they don’t show up in our catalog.

Books you create for PocketBible have to contain special tags that tell us how to format the book. The basic tags are what you would recognize from HTML: <b>…</b> for bold, <p> and </p> around paragraphs, etc. To those we add some special tags to tell PocketBible what kind of book it is (commentary, dictionary, etc.) and to define the book’s table of contents (which we do using HTML heading tags, not a separate table-of-contents file as you might see in some other electronic publishing formats). You do all this using your own text editor, then run the text through BookBuilder to create a Laridian Book (LBK) file. This file is then copied to the appropriate location on your device or desktop computer so that PocketBible can find it.

If you’re going to distribute your books, you’ll need the Professional version of BookBuilder. Once your book is finished and proofed, you send it to us and we’ll assign it a unique publisher ID and book ID so that it can co-exist with other books in users’ Laridian library without interfering with other books there. We’ll host it on our server and tell you how to authorize other PocketBible users to download it. This authorization is normally done manually (you log into your account and manage your books from there) or it can be automated if you have the ability to write the appropriate script for your website to send us a special command via HTTP POST. It should be noted that most people can’t do this. Generally if you’re not already confident you can do this as you read this, you can’t. But the capability is there if you need it.

You can read more about BookBuilder here:

Here’s an introduction to the Mac OS X version of BookBuilder:

I record these videos in my kitchen; hence the folk art painting in the background. :-)

Advanced Feature Set Now Available for PocketBible on the Mac

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

While PocketBible for Mac OS X is our most powerful and flexible version of PocketBible to date, we have put together some additional features to create an Advanced Feature Set that we think will enhance your Bible study even further! The Advanced Feature Set is available via in-app purchase (PocketBible Menu | Buy/Apply Upgrade) or can be purchased at the Laridian website for $14.99.

This video overview takes you through the extra features you will enjoy with the Advanced Feature Set:

What can Advanced Features do for you?

The Advanced Feature Set for Mac OS X offers additional study options that will show up on your menus in PocketBible for Mac OS X after you purchase the set. Some items are enhancements to existing features and some are all new features.

All New Features

  • Library Navigator – use this new option on your Study Panel to get an ongoing report of everywhere in your library the currently active verse is discussed. This is most useful with commentaries but you can choose the type of book or specific books to receive this information about.
  • AutoStudy – if you are using Advanced Features on an iPhone or iPad, you will already be familiar with this feature. Right-click on any verse, passage or word to produce and in-depth study using all (or selected) books in your PocketBible library.
  • AutoStudy today’s readings – use this to produce a document of your day’s readings or devotionals (with Bible verses included). You can then read as-is, print or save to a file.
  • Maximize pane or book – if you used PocketBible on Windows CE or Mobile device, you may remember this feature. It allows you to temporarily zoom in on a specific book or pane – maximize it in your window. Since an actual layout is created, you can save the view to easily return to later.
  • Hover over Bible verses to view the verse(s) mentioned in a verse reference. This is a much-requested feature that saves you time when using cross-references.

Enhancements to Existing Features

  • Journal Notes – add notes to PocketBible that are not attached to a Bible verse.
  • Search all – choose to search your entire library at once for a word or phrase (normally, search applies only to the active book)
  • Rename Highlight Colors – change the name of any of the 16 highlight colors to something more meaningful to you (i.e. change Aqua to God’s Love)
  • More layout options
    • Create multiple, named screen layouts for different purposes (for example, one for devotional reading, one for lesson preparation, and one for note-taking during sermons).
    • Create a special layout for devotional reading that will be activated when the Today button is pressed.

How to upgrade

If you are already using PocketBible on your Mac, you’ll need to make sure you are updated to the version 1.1.0 or later. If you are not, you can check for updates under the PocketBible menu in the program. You can then check under the PocketBible menu and choose Buy/Apply Upgrade to purchase from within the app. Be sure to check your Special Offers while you are there before purchasing (another Advanced Feature is the ability to turn off the Special Offers notices that occur occasionally while you are using the app).

Note: While Bibles and books are “buy once, own forever”, Advanced Features are sold separately for each version of PocketBible. This is to support current and future development for each operating system.

To our KickStarter supporters: if you chose a reward that included the Advanced Feature set, this should already be available in your account. If it is not, please contact us at support@laridian.com so we can take care of that for you.

PocketBible for Mac OS X is Now Available

Posted on: August 22nd, 2014 by Craig Rairdin 7 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!

PocketBible 3 for iOS Now Available on the App Store

Posted on: October 31st, 2013 by Craig Rairdin 38 Comments

PocketBible 3 is now available on the App Store! Version 3 is fully iOS 7 compatible but runs on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices back to version 5.

PocketBible 3 is still free, and for existing PocketBible 2 users it should show up as an available update. If you already own the Advanced Feature Set, it will unlock the Advanced Features of version 3.

What’s New

As you can see here, PocketBible 3 introduces our new iconography for iOS, which is based on the “Holy Spirit descending like a dove” from the old stained-glass icon from version 2. So don’t be surprised when you can’t find the old PocketBible icon after you upgrade. Just look for the dove.

Here are a few things you will notice as new in version 3:

ADVANCED FEATURE SET

  • The Journal lets you create notes that aren’t associated with any Bible verse. In all other respects they act like notes in PocketBible, including being sync’ed to the Laridian cloud — though they will not yet be visible in versions of PocketBible running on other platforms.
  • Name your highlight colors to make it easier to remember what your colors mean.
  • All the previous Advanced Feature Set features from version 2 are present in version 3, and your version 2 Advanced Feature Set will enable the version 3 features without an additional purchase.

STANDARD FEATURES

  • Autosync allows you to automatically sync changes to your notes, highlights, bookmarks, and other user-created data with the Laridian Cloud without pausing to manually sync as you had to do with version 2. You have the option to require WiFi for autosync in order to avoid data charges. Manual sync is still available, and it runs much faster than the older sync protocol.
  • Added underline, dotted underline, and dashed underline highlight styles.
  • Added option to display one verse per paragraph. (Start each verse on a new line.)
  • Now supports book (non-Bible) notes on iPhone. Previously, these were only available on iPad.
  • Added a Night Reading color scheme which puts white text on a black background for reading in the dark.
  • iOS 7 users will have multiple user interface color schemes in addition to “Night Reading”.
  • Optional Book Position Indicator at the bottom of each book pane shows you how far into the book you are.
  • Added Pane Options button to the iPad toolbar. Lets you turn on/off tabbed panes and select the number of panes you’re viewing.
  • Better management of notes, highlights, and bookmarks by being able to delete them from lists using the standard iOS “swipe” gesture. When deleting a category, all the bookmarks in that category are now deleted rather than being moved to “uncategorized” as they were before.
  • Improved the iPad launch speed for users with lots of notes, highlights, or bookmarks.
  • A number of small user interface tweaks, including:
    • Rearranged the Main, Context, and Settings menus to move frequently accessed items to the top and collect similar operations together under task-related headings.
    • Got rid of Undo and Redo in the iPhone note editor; added Bold, Italics, and Unordered List buttons to the iPhone note editor toolbar.
    • Made the Toolbox Expand, Next Page, and Previous Page buttons smaller to increase the space available for the contents of the Toolbox panels. On the Note View/Edit panels, rearranged the controls at the top to provide more room to view the note.
    • Added Email Passage and Text Passage to the list of possible “Passage Actions” in the Context menu.

Here’s what to Expect

Here are some screen shots to let you see what the new version looks like. Visually, it’s similar to the previous one. Most of these images use the default color scheme. Click on an image to see a full-size version.

iPad

iPad with Toolbox, Toolbar with new Book Panes button, and default color scheme

iPad in landscape with Toolbox, multiple book panes, and Context menu

iPad with my favorite “Chocolate” color scheme, also showing Book Progress Indicator bars across the bottom of each book pane.

iPhone

Other than the iOS 7 color scheme, the iPhone version looks pretty similar to version 2.

An early beta view of the “Night Reading” color scheme on the iPhone. Toolbar buttons are in red to aid in retention of night vision.

PocketBible 2.0 now available on the Windows Phone Store

Posted on: May 10th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

We’re happy to announce that version 2 of PocketBible for Windows Phone is now available for free download at the Windows Phone Store.

For those using the standard edition of Windows Phone, you’ll find many usability enhancements including better images in the cloud library, being able to pause and resume downloading via buttons in the cloud library, improvements in back button behavior (set this to exit program if you’d like) and more.

For those using the Advanced Feature set with PocketBible for Windows Phone, a major new feature is the ability to synchronize your data including bookmarks, notes, highlights and reading progress with the Laridian server and other devices running PocketBible.

If you have a Windows Phone 8 device and are using Advanced Features you can take advantage of the great new voice capabilities of PocketBible. Have the program read Bibles and books outloud to you. Or use voice commands to launch PocketBible and open it at a specific verse.

Version 2 of PocketBible for Windows Phone is a free download from the Windows Phone Store. Advanced Features can be purchased from within the app for only $6.99.

Now available! PocketBible for Windows Store

Posted on: May 9th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 23 Comments

Windows 8 users, this one’s for you! We are pleased to announce the availability of PocketBible on the Windows Store. Download it now for free!

PocketBible for Windows Store runs on devices using Windows 8 (includes tablets, laptops, desktops). We think you’ll find this an amazing new version of PocketBible with a true Windows 8 look and feel! PocketBible for Windows Store features include:

  • 40+ Free Bibles and books with registration. Download past purchases of Bibles and books into the app at no charge. The 20 title download limit in the app can be exceeded with purchase of Advanced Feature Set ($6.99).
  • Move easily through Bibles and books by simply scrolling. Quickly move around the bible using an intuitive table of contents display
  • Quickly find any word or phrase
  • Split screen display
  • Mark your place with bookmarks
  • Share verses by Text, Email or Facebook
  • Use the daily reading feature to visually track your progress through a devotional book
  • Pin a book to your start screen!

We hope you’ll support continued development of PocketBible on this platform by purchasing the Advanced Feature Set for $6.99. Advanced Features include:

  • Highlighting of Bible text
  • Add notes to any verse of the Bible
  • Synchronize bookmarks, highlights and bookmarks with our server and your other devices that use PocketBible (and are able to synchronize)
  • Split screen into 2 to 5 windows
  • Download as many Bibles and books as you own (no limit but based on what you own)
  • Quickly access recent verses

If you are using Windows 8, we hope you’ll give PocketBible for Windows Store a try and let us know what you think!

PocketBible for Windows Phone now available!

Posted on: March 1st, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 19 Comments

We’re happy to announce that PocketBible for Windows Phone is now available for free download at the Windows Phone Store. This version of PocketBible works with Windows Phone 7.5 or later.

PocketBible for Windows Phone is designed to help you read and study the Bible on-the-go. It comes with the KJV Bible and you’ll be able to choose from 40 additional Bibles and reference books to download after registration. You will also be able to use any Laridian titles you’ve purchased in the past in this new program. An internet connection is not needed after initial download.

The standard features included with the free version of PocketBible for Windows Phone allow you to install up to 20 books at a time and use them for reading and studying. You can also search through and bookmark your books. Advanced Features are available for $6.99 and allow you to download an unlimited number of titles, view multiple books at once, add highlighting and notes and more. Additional Bibles and books can be purchased for use with the program at the Laridian website.

PocketBible for Android Now on Google Play!

Posted on: February 22nd, 2013 by Craig Rairdin 90 Comments

You can now download PocketBible for Android directly from Google Play. This has the advantage of giving you automatic update notifications and allows those users who cannot install third-party software outside Google Play to download the app. For those of you who have devices that do not have Google Play, you can still download the program directly from us by just entering LPB.cc/android into your Web browser on your Android device.

This doesn’t mean we’re done working on PocketBible for Android. We set a goal for ourselves of having certain features implemented prior to release on Google Play and once that goal was reached we uploaded the program. But we continue to add features. In particular, we need to get notes, highlights, and bookmarks working in the program, along with tracking of your devotional reading progress. These features will be enhanced as compared to our iOS (iPhone/iPad) version, as your data will be kept in continuous sync with “Laridian cloud” instead of requiring you to stop what you’re doing and perform a sync operation manually.

The released version of PocketBible for Android on the Google Play store should install over your “alpha” version. You shouldn’t have to delete the program before installing from Google Play, nor should you have to re-download your Bibles and books when you’re done.

The new version includes built-in help, so the old blog article that contained operating instructions will be retired soon.

We want to thank those of you who have been using the “alpha” versions of PocketBible from our site. We’ve been able to eliminate most of the major show-stopping bugs with your help.

Going forward, if you need help with PocketBible for Android, contact Technical Support through the “Help Desk” link on our website.

Laridian Logo Apparel Available at our Lands’ End Store

Posted on: August 21st, 2009 by Craig Rairdin No Comments

Laridian LogoOne of our PocketBible beta testers spotted a picture of Jeff in a Laridian pullover with me in a Laridian polo and asked if he could purchase Laridian apparel anywhere.

We have a long-standing relationship with Lands’ End going back to our days at Parsons Technology. I have a picture on my wall of the entire Church Software Division staff at Parsons in our purple Parsons polos from 1995, and for a couple of years I gave out Lands’ End gift certificates to them as Christmas gifts.

Lands’ End normally password-protects logos so that they won’t be used without permission. So I went fishing for a way that you can use our logos on your purchases there. Turns out they have a way for us to create our own store. We don’t get a commission, which is dumb, but you get to use our logos.

So here’s a link to Laridian at Lands’ End. There are two versions of the Laridian logo. One is the one you see here. The other has LARIDIAN in large type with a very small version of the flying book logo below it. That version is in black and looks good on most colors.

Note that you don’t automatically get the Laridian logo on everything you buy. You have to add it. Once you select your item, there’s an option to choose a logo and a location on the item to put the logo.

Like I said we don’t make a dime from these sales, but the quality is very good and customer service is excellent. We hope you’ll enjoy your Laridian apparel from Lands’ End!

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