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Archive for the ‘Product Updates’ Category

PocketBible for Windows Store 2.2 – Support for Windows 8.1 and more

Posted on: October 26th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 7 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.

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.

PocketBible 2.0.6 Available on the App Store

Posted on: October 31st, 2012 by Craig Rairdin 14 Comments

We’ve just been notified that our latest update to PocketBible (version 2.0.6) has been approved by Apple. It should become available in the App Store over the next 24 hours.

We apologize for the delay getting our iOS6-compatibility fixes into PocketBible. We ran into a couple of issues getting our update past the Apple approval process. In the end, being forced to address those issues caused us to find a couple tricky bugs that wouldn’t have turned up otherwise. But the whole process ended up taking longer than we wanted.

The complete list of new features and bug fixes is below, but a couple are worth highlighting. First, this version adds support for the Greek New Testament. You should find the SBL Greek New Testament in your list of downloadable books in “Add/Remove Books”. There are instructions in the built-in Help for enabling the Greek keyboard so that you can do searches in Greek.

Several bugs introduced in iOS 6 have been circumvented. In particular, you may have noticed PocketBible would only read the first verse on the screen to you when you asked it to start reading. This has been fixed. And it’s not really a bug, but PocketBible will now take advantage of the full height of the screen on the iPhone 5. (This wouldn’t have been a problem except that Apple “lies” to our app when we request the size of the iPhone 5 screen, apparently to maintain compatibility with apps that aren’t as clever as PocketBible by making them think they’re running on an older device.)

I believe we’ve finally fixed the problem of books and voices disappearing when memory runs low. Apple changed the way they do this a couple of times over the last year or so and kept defeating our efforts to preserve our files. We think we have it figured out now.

Finally, PocketBible now requires at least iOS 5. The latest version of the development tools only produces ARMv7 binaries and there are no ARMv7 devices that don’t support iOS 5. We’d like to support older versions of the operating system, but we’re limited by what the development tools support.

 

What’s new in this version?

  • Support for the SBL Greek New Testament including display, searching and copy/paste.
  • Added “Find Selection” to the Selection menu. Rearranged the Selection and Context menus to put more frequently used items closer to the top.
  • iOS 6 compatiblity including:
    • Fixed a bug where PocketBible would stop after one verse when speaking the text
    • Addressed rotation issues
    • Added 4″ Retina launch image and support for the full height of the new iPhone 5 screen
  • Bug fixes including
    • Fixed a bug in certain books with images where they did not appear when “shrink to fit” was selected
    • Changed the way text is selected to address sluggishness on devices with Retina displays
    • Fixed a problem that manifested in ZIBBCNT and HBH where images in tables were not shown if “shrink images to fit” was selected.
    • Made sure the built-in KJV, Help, and Welcome documents plus downloaded voices all get marked as “do not back up to iCloud”.
    • Related to the above, downloaded books and voices were moved to a folder that should not be purged under low memory conditions.
  • Set the minimum iOS version supported to 5.0.

NEW! Export, Share and Publish your PocketBible Notes, Bookmarks and Highlights

Posted on: October 16th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 26 Comments

Are you a prolific note-taker, highlighter or bookmarker in PocketBible? We have wonderful news for you! We have a new option on our website that lets you instantly pull your personal data (notes, highlights and bookmarks) out of PocketBible for the purpose of sharing, re-purposing or turning into your own PocketBible book (with BookBuilder). Whichever you want to do!

Possibilities abound

Over the years, PocketBible users have asked for the ability to export their valuable personal data out of the program. Yes, you can now do this but we’ve taken it a step further. You choose whether you want to export your notes, highlights or bookmarks. With any of those three options, we provide you with an html file that you can:

  • Use as-is
  • Bring into a text editor and reformat and publish in a format for sharing (i.e. PDF, .doc, .txt, etc.)
  • Publish as a PocketBible book using Laridian BookBuilder program (sold separately)

What kind of book could you publish for PocketBible?

  • A dictionary of your Bible bookmarks, where each dictionary entry is a bookmark category.
  • A commentary based on your verse notes.
  • A dictionary of your Bible highlights, where each dictionary entry is a highlight color.

To encourage your self-publishing efforts, we’ve lowered the prices of both versions of BookBuilder:

There’s never been a better time to consider publishing a PocketBible book!

Getting Started

The first step is to synchronize your PocketBible data with the Laridian Server. A synchronization option is available in every version of PocketBible (except Android OS – still to come!) The second step is to login to your account on the Laridian website and choose the new My Data link. You’ll find complete information on what you can do with your data and how to do it.

Let us know what you think

We hope you like this new flexibility in using your personal PocketBible data. Is this something you will use? Let us know how you will share your writings in the comments below.

Greek New Testament Now Available for PocketBible for Windows

Posted on: September 12th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 7 Comments


The SBL Greek New Testament is now available for use with PocketBible for Windows (versions 1.100 and later).

The SBL Greek New Testament is a new text edited by Michael W. Holmes. Mr. Holmes utilized a wide range of printed editions, all the major critical apparatuses, and the latest technical resources and manuscript discoveries as he established the text. The result is a critically edited text that differs from the Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies text in more than 540 variation units. This new text was jointly sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and Logo Bible Software to provide a free, reliable, critically edited version of the Greek New Testament for use by students, teachers, pastors and laypeople throughout the world.

The PocketBible version of this text is available for use with PocketBible for Windows, Windows PC-based Bible software which can be ordered and downloaded for free. Current users of PocketBible for Windows will need to update to version 1.100 (book reader engine version 1.071) to use the Greek text. This can be done by logging in to your Laridian account at the Laridian web site and downloading the latest version of the software.

PocketBible for Windows Updated

Version 1.100 of PocketBible for Windows includes the following updates and fixes:

  • Support for Greek books:
    • Searching
      • Added underscore (_) as a wildcard character that matches zero or more diacritical marks
      • Modified question mark (?) wildcard character to match one character and its attached diacritical marks
      • Enabled Greek character support in the search entry fields
      • Searching requires the installation of a Greek keyboard input method in Windows, which is done through the Control Panel and is fully described in the updated Help included with the program
    • Hover text (tool tips)
    • Copy/Paste
    • Added capital letters with iota subscript to Laridian Greek font
    • Normalized the order of Greek diacriticals in books, search phrases, and notes
  • Note Editor changes:
    • Added <pb_lang> HTML Helper
    • Used the font and size selected by the user for the Note Tab in the Personalization Window. Notes are now displayed and edited using the same font.
  • Other enhancements:
    • Changed the behavior of phrase searches so that punctuation between words in a book will not cause it not to match
    • Updated the Help file
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed a bug introduced in 1.014 where the wrong Bible abbreviation would be attached to text copied using Copy Passage (“KJVEC” instead of “KJV” and “HCSBEC” instead of “HCSB”.
    • Fixed a long-standing bug in which browsing to a new verse while editing a note with the note lock turned off would cause an error, and doing so with the lock turned on would cause the note to be saved to the current verse instead of the verse it was originally on. Also put code in place to keep user from editing or deleting a note that was already being edited.
    • Fixed a bug in which accented characters in the name of a book or Bible were displayed as HTML character entities instead of the actual character.
    • Fixed a long-standing bug in which the left mouse button appeared to be stuck down after opening or closing a book in parallel display mode. This caused text to be highlighted as the mouse was moved until the user clicked the mouse or toggled the “parallel” button.
    • Fixed a problem in which book categories were not indicated correctly for the NABRE. (May not have affected the Windows version.)

Why Have All My Books Been Updated?

Posted on: February 1st, 2012 by Craig Rairdin 2 Comments
If you’re using PocketBible on your iPhone or iPad, you may have noticed a message on the “Add/Remove Books” screen saying that many of your books have been updated. You’ll also see a similar message if you use PocketBible for Windows or one of the older mobile platforms and visit the “Downloads” page in your account at our website.

I mentioned in a recent Android update that we were going to have to rebuild all our books to support some new search features in the Android version of PocketBible. That turned out to be a 6-8 week rather than a 1-2 week exercise. Part of the reason is that since we had to touch every book that we publish, we used that opportunity to fix all the reported errors that we had on file for each book.

Many of these errors are all but invisible to the user. As a result we tend to let them accumulate for a while rather than jumping on every typo and minor formatting error as soon as we hear about it. The problem is that those things add up after a while and frankly our list had gotten overwhelming. We had one BookBuilder customer who volunteered to help a while back. He did a few books but then gave up. So this seemed like a great opportunity to just clean that list out since we had to look at every single book anyway.

In order to minimize the load on the server from everyone being told all their books had been updated, we created a way we could update the files on the server without the server thinking they had been updated. So the only time we allowed the server to know a particular book had been updated was if it was on the list of books in which noticeable changes had been made. If all we did was change “Laridian Electronic Publishing” to “Laridian, Inc.” (because one is our name and one is not) in the book’s meta data, we didn’t bother to have the server tell you about the change. But if we fixed a number of links or typographical errors — something you would notice — we had the server tell you about it.

We were also a little concerned about the load on the server if everyone went out and started re-downloading all their books. So we didn’t make a big deal about it, and we uploaded the books a few at a time over the last couple of months.

So if PocketBible or our website is telling you that a book has been updated, it means we fixed something that you might notice if you were paying close attention. In reality all the books were updated, but none of our programs currently make use of the new features that necessitated the update. So it’s only necessary to update the ones that say they need to be updated, and then you really only need to update them if you’re picky about every little typo.

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