Subscribe to Updates

Click here to subscribe to new posts by email. We use Google FeedBurner to send these notifications.

Archive for the ‘Product Updates’ Category

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:

What’s in the Pipeline?

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 111 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 1.2.0 was released on 6/9/14. Next up is enhancing the search feature to match what we’re doing on PocketBible for Mac OS X. And after that devotional tracking. 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 – If you’re a backer of the Kickstarter project that funded this work, you will get more frequent updates through Kickstarter. Otherwise there will be updates here on the blog from time to time. The program is currently coming together nicely and we anticipate a beta release to our Kickstarter backers soon.
  • 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 Cornerstone Commentaries (Tyndale)
  • Additional volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary Series (IVP)
  • Framework for Christian Faith (Generation Word)
  • 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!

PocketBible 3.1 Now Available on the App Store

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 19 Comments

PocketBible 3.1 is now available on the App Store. This update adds some new features and fixes to PocketBible Version 3.0.26.

PocketBible 3 is still free, and for existing PocketBible version 3 or version 2 users it should show up as an available update in the App Store. If you are still using PocketBible 1.4.7, we offer step-by-step instructions to move to PocketBible 3.

New Features:

  • Users with the Advanced Feature Set can change the behavior of the touch zones. The most common customization is to use swipe up and down for page changes instead of swiping left and right. Other customizations are possible.
  • Added buttons for paragraphs, bold, italic, underline, ordered lists, unordered lists, and list items to the Note editor on the iPad.
  • Journal titles are now included in searches (Journal feature is part of Advanced Feature Set).

Minor Enhancements:

  • Changed the defaults for “Sync Bible/Commentaries” and “Highlight Linked Passage” to ON.
  • Reduced the height of the expanded Toolbox in “upside down portrait” orientation so there’s more room for the keyboard to pop up without obscuring Bible text.
  • Allow the horizontal rule tag to appear in notes without requiring the user to take responsibility for inserting paragraph tags.
  • Preserve the user’s customer ID and password when resetting program settings to their defaults. This should reduce the occurrence of users inadvertently invalidating their user data and books.
  • Removed the “launch recovery dialog” that is displayed on launch after a program crash. The program will always retry without giving the user the option of deleting all their settings, which can result in invalidation of user-created data and the need to delete and re-install books.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed a crash when user has more than about 70-75 books open simultaneously.
  • Fixed a crash in the Note editor on the iPhone when inserting font size or font color tags.
  • Fixed the list of verses at the top of the Note editor so that it gets correctly updated, especially when the Lock button is turned on.
  • Fixed erroneous cursor position after inserting certain HTML tags in the Note editor. Confirmed in iOS 7; could still be incorrect in earlier versions.
  • Fixed a misbehavior of the pop-up “menu” view on the iPad under iOS 7.1 in which it was not getting properly dismissed when subsequent toolbar buttons were pressed.

PocketBible for Android v1.1.1

Posted on: November 19th, 2013 by Jon Grose 33 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.1.1 has been released on 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. You can see the new features in action here:

The added features of this version include:

  • Improved navigation menu, now with icons for each screen
  • Preferred Bibles & dictionaries can be set in Settings >> Program Settings
  • Improved managing of bookmarks, now a simpler, cleaner UI.
  • Show & manage lists of highlights, similar to what bookmarks already had.
  • Initial Android 4.4/Kit Kat support.
  • Various bug fixes, mostly having to do with managing bookmarks and syncing.

This update is mostly about finishing up some recent features. Previously you had highlights but no way to manage them. As we added this ability, we saw some ways we could smooth things out for managing bookmarks. The ability to set Preferred Books was a frequent request and easy addition so we included that here as well.

If you are thinking: “Wait, what about notes? I thought notes were next?” That is still our next major feature to roll out and the work we have done on improving management of bookmarks and highlights will be of benefit there. I have already started working on it this week and things are moving right along!

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 for Windows Store 2.2 – Support for Windows 8.1 and more

Posted on: October 26th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 6 Comments

An update to PocketBible is now available on the Windows Store. This update provides support for the recently released Windows 8.1.

Enhancements to Version 2.2 include:

  • Windows 8.1 support. Uses the new controls, handles the new Windows 8.1 re-sizing features, and makes use of the efficiency changes in Windows 8.1.
  • Open Books menu now indicates which book is currently displayed by a checkmark
  • Option to turn off the display of verse numbers in Bibles
  • Zoom in using pinch to zoom on the content of a book

Advanced Features enhancements include:

  • View and edit notes directly from the notes pane or in a secondary window
  • Have any type of book read to you (not just Bibles)

Here is what the new note editor looks like (click on picture to view larger):

Download PocketBible for Windows Store for free!

NOTE: Some of the features mentioned above may require the purchase of the Advanced Feature Set for $6.99.

NOTE: There is a known issue in displaying images with Windows 8.1 that has been submitted to Microsoft (slows down app). Images are temporarily turned off in the program, however, there is an option in the program to turn images back on if you’d like.

PocketBible for Android 1.1.0 – Sharing Verses

Posted on: October 24th, 2013 by Jon Grose 18 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.1.0 has been released on 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.

There were a number of small changes, but the big features are being able to copy and share selected verses! If you select a verse, or verses, by tapping on them, just press the newly added share and copy buttons added to the contextual action bar at the top of the screen. Copying text will copy the selected text to the clipboard allowing you to paste it in other apps. Share will provide you a list of all the apps on your device that can receive the formatted text, like texting, email, facebook, twitter, etc. If you want to see that in action, you can watch the video below:


PocketBible makes it easier than ever to share God’s word!

To change how the selected text is formatted, go into Settings, then Copy/Share Settings and adjust things like showing verse numbers, including references, including translation names, and making each verse on its own line.

Download it today and share the Bible with someone you know!

PocketBible and iOS 7

Posted on: September 20th, 2013 by Craig Rairdin 62 Comments

This week brings the release of iOS 7 from Apple. As this new version of the operating system rolls out to more and more devices we’re beginning to hear from you about what’s working and what’s not. I want to take a minute to tell you how to work around the one problem we know about, then tell you what we’re doing to fix that, then tell you what I think about all this. Since that flows from absolutely important to “who cares?”, you can stop reading as soon as your questions are answered.

“Go To Verse” on the iPad

iOS 7 removed a feature of “popover views” (the box that pops up out of the toolbar to show you our “go to verse” buttons) that allowed developers to specify the size of the contents they were putting in the view if that size changes after the initial contents are placed. As a result, after you choose a book, the view gets resized to its default size, and the chapter buttons get cut off.

There are two work-arounds for this:

  • Press the button in the upper left corner to go back to the list of books and choose your book again. This little bit of magic seems to break Apple’s concentration and they quit trying to resize the view.
  • Choose a different go-to method for the time being. To do this, go to the Settings menu, scroll down to Program Settings, and choose a different Bible Verse Selection method. There are two other than the book/chapter/verse buttons that are the default: The Calculator method and the Spinner method. Of the two, the spinner is the easiest to use and is less quirky. Choose the Spinner and work your way out of the Settings menu. Next time you choose Go To, you’ll see the Spinner instead of the buttons.

There are other small cosmetic issues you may or may not notice as you use the program. We don’t know of anything that affects the actual function or usability of the program beyond the one mentioned above.

What We’re Doing About It

While developers have had access to beta versions of the iOS 7 developer’s toolkit for several months, we’ve found in the past that you can waste a lot of time chasing the changing specifications of the new version of the operating system if you start your work too early. For iOS 6, many developers were stunned to discover the apps they developed and uploaded to the App Store using the final beta version (which was approved by Apple for submission to the App Store) did not function correctly on the final released version of iOS 6. They had to scramble to make changes. So with all this in mind, and after reviewing the new features in iOS 7, we decided to wait until we had a version of the developer’s toolkit that was closer to final.

We’re working on version 3.0 of PocketBible, which will be fully iOS 7 compatible. Most of the changes we have to make are user interface related. That is, tweaking colors and behavior of the UI to match the new, flat look of iOS 7. There are several new features in PocketBible 3, but these have been in beta for a few weeks now and are in pretty good shape. In particular:

  • Advanced Feature Set – New Features
    • Journal Notes allow you to take notes that are not associated with any particular Bible verse.
    • Assign names to your highlight colors.
  • Features in the Standard (Free) Version
    • Autosync feature allows you to synchronize your user data (notes, highlights, bookmarks, etc.) with the Laridian cloud automatically in the background while you continue to work. Manual sync is still available if you prefer.
    • Synchronization speed is improved.
    • Added underline styles (underline, dotted, and dashed) to the list of highlight choices.
    • Display one verse per paragraph (start each verse on a new line).
    • Support iOS swipe gestures to delete notes, highlights, bookmarks, etc. from lists of those items.
    • When deleting a bookmark category, the bookmarks themselves are deleted (instead of being moved to “uncategorized”
    • Added “Email Passage” and “Text Passage” to the list of “Passage Actions”.
    • Various speed improvements and minor bug fixes.

This version of PocketBible will be uploaded to the App Store soon. We’re still working through all the issues brought about by the release of iOS 7. In the meantime, the only thing you really need to do is change your go-to-verse method.

So What Do We Think About All This

One of the frustrations with our industry as a whole and Apple in particular is the pace at which it changes. Most of the changes in iOS 7 that affect us are cosmetic. Apple has decided that it’s their user interface, not their limited availability and high price, that negatively impacts their sales. So they spent a lot of time turning everything flat, gray, and translucent. Many of those changes are applied to programs automatically, but not all of them are implemented well.

For example, in the intrest of transparency, the system status bar (the signal strength indicator and clock across the top) is now transparent. That’s great, but our app is used to a solid status bar and would never bother to put anything behind it. Now, since that bar is transparent, the OS tells us it isn’t there and tricks us into writing under it. So when the status bar is laid over top, it just is unreadable since it’s either black or white text on top of a white page of black text. So we had to take the time to create a little colored rectangle to put under the status bar so you can see it.

While changing the look of table views (those lists of contacts, appointments, settings, etc. that you see all over iOS), they decided the headings between groups of choices should ALWAYS BE UPPER CASE. So it looks like THE PHONE IS YELLING AT YOU all the time. Furthermore, they limited the text to six lines without documenting the limit nor truncating the text. So it’s possible for text to flow over the list items. This would be fine if they provided a way to say DON’T YELL AT ME but they didn’t. So we had to implement custom text views to put in those locations.

This is all characteristic of a philosophy that has little sense of history or the importance of supporting existing apps, existing versions of the OS, or existing hardware. For example, PocketBible 3 will be compatible with iOS 5 devices, but you won’t find much, if any, mention of iOS 5 from Apple. I know people running iOS 4 and 5 who just never bother to plug their device into their PC/Mac to download updates. It’s working for them, so why bother? I’m typing this blog article on a PC running Windows XP. It works great. Why upgrade? Apple doesn’t understand this idea. They assume everyone rushes out and buys a new phone every year or two, or they at least upgrade the operating system every time an update is available.

As a result of this blindness to the past, it’s not unusual to discover that something is broken in the OS and it’s just never going to get fixed. For example, we depend on a particular method being called (viewWillDisappear:) when one of our “dialog boxes” is dismissed. I found out yesterday that iOS 7 breaks that rule (it’s been around since version 2) in certain cases. As a result, instead of one programmer at Apple fixing one bug, it creates millions of bugs in hundreds of thousands of apps, and each of those hundreds of thousands of programmers has to take an hour or two to figure out how to work around it. Apple doesn’t care because programmers who start programming new apps tomorrow will never know any differenc and will always code as if viewWillDisappear: won’t always be called, and they are the only ones who matter.

It’s as if Apple has incubation pods where they harvest new programmers. They pull them out of their drawer and they start writing code with no sense of what came before. A year later, after working 24×7 with no sleep, they are recycled to feed the next batch, which are harvested just in time to release the next unnecessary update to the operating system.

Anyway…

We’re still in the process of making changes, but this is just a couple little things we’ve run into in the process of moving PocketBible to iOS 7. We think you’ll like PocketBible 3 when we’re done, but it’s going to take a couple more weeks to get there. In the meantime, change your go-to-verse settings and 2.0.6 will continue to work fine.

PocketBible for Android 1.0.6

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 47 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.0.6 has been released on Google Play. If you downloaded the app from Google Play, you will 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 1.0.6 is the ability to highlight Bible verses. It is easy to do – just tap on a verse and PocketBible will temporarily underline the verse. Choose the pencil icon from the menu to select a color and you’re done!

Along with the highlighting, PocketBible will now sync your highlights with the Laridian Cloud. So if you have highlighted verses in other versions of PocketBible, those will be transferred over to the app as well. In conjunction with this, you’ll find a new setting option on the menu for Sync Settings where you can specify how and how often your data is being synced.

While we were at it we threw in some other popular requests like the ability to view Bible verses one line at a time, set the screen in PocketBible to not time out and the ability to hide the status bar. You’ll find these new options in the Setting menus.

Updated: PocketBible for Windows Store

Posted on: June 1st, 2013 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Windows 8 users, an update to PocketBible is now available on the Windows Store.

Enhancements to this Version 2.1 include:

  • Automatically update the application’s tile with the current book and position
  • Save and re-use multiple layouts, enabling you to save the layout (panes and books) exactly as it was and come back to it
  • New 3-pane layout option for convenient arranging of your books
  • Go to a bible verse by typing it into the verse table of contents flyout
  • Make multiple selections in the device library
  • Open one or more books directly from the device or cloud library application bar
  • Book selection context menu now displays the book titles sorted

Download PocketBible for Windows Store for free!

NOTE: Some of the features mentioned above may require the purchase of the Advanced Feature Set.

©2014 Laridian