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Archive for the ‘Android’ Category

PocketBible for Android: What can Advanced Features do for you?

Posted on: February 13th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments

If you are using PocketBible on your Android OS device or Kindle Fire, here are some good reasons to upgrade to the Advanced Features (and how to do it).

Why upgrade?

The Advanced Features available for PocketBible on Android smartphones and tablets offers some handy additions to the basic features of PocketBible.

You can watch an overview of the Advanced Feature Set below:

Autostudy – Verse, Word or Today

Autostudy makes it easy to pull information out of your library on a specific verse or passage. Choose a verse and AutoStudy will put together information about that verse from your PocketBible Bibles, commentaries, cross-references, etc. on one page. It can even give you a definition from your installed dictionaries for every word in the verse. You can get more details on this feature in our article: Have you discovered Autostudy? You can also do a today Autostudy that puts all your Bible and devotional reading for “today” on one page.

Autoscroll

Autoscroll will scroll the text of a Bible or book for you for easier reading. You can adjust the speed at which the text moves along. This feature is great for public or devotional reading.

Listen to the Bible

Would you like to have PocketBible read the Bible to you? The Advanced Feature Set adds the ability to do this using the text-to-speech voice already installed to your Android device. These voices are synthesized which means they are electronic and therefore not always perfect in pronunciation or inflection. However, they don’t take up as much space on your device as an “audio Bible”. There are many benefits to listening to the Bible. I have found this feature extremely handy for keeping up with my Bible reading in the car, as I clean the house, on a run — time that might otherwise be wasted can be reclaimed for a good purpose.

Journal Notes

Even if you are not a prolific note-taker, you will enjoy the new Journal feature. PocketBible already lets you add a note to any Bible verse or book passage. Now you can create multiple free-form notes not attached to any book, that can be used for any purpose you’d like.

Customize your colors

New color options include the ability to rename your highlight colors. For example, you could change the label for salmon to love and use your highlights to collect and categorize specific verses (see video of this). We’ve also added an option you can use to create your own personalized color scheme for the app (see video of this).

How to upgrade

If you are already using PocketBible 1.4.0 or later:

  1. Purchase the Advanced Feature Set at our web site for $9.99 (it is also available in-app – choose Buy/Apply upgrade from the menu).
  2. Open PocketBible on your Android device and the Advanced Features should be automatically applied – a quick message will flash across letting you know this. If you miss the message, you can double-check on the menu | About PocketBible. It will say it is using the “Advanced Feature Set” there if it is installed.

If you are still using PocketBible 1.3.0 (or earlier) for Android, you can update by visiting our Google Play Store page or following the instructions for installing from our website for Kindle Fire and other devices not connected to Google Play.

Have you discovered Autostudy?

Posted on: February 11th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments

Sometimes a verse hits you right between the eyes and you want to know everything there is to know about it. That is what Autostudy does for you. It tells you everything there is to know about a verse (or word) in your PocketBible library…in just a few seconds.

What do you need to accomplish an Autostudy?

This feature is available exclusively for those using PocketBible on an iDevice (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch), Android smartphone or tablet or a Mac. It also requires that you own Advanced Features for the specific operating system as well (Advanced Features are sold separately for each OS).

How do you produce an Autostudy?

AutoStudy makes studying simpler. Choose a verse and choose Autostudy from the menu. Select which books or type of information you want to see on your AutoStudy report and choose to view.

What does Autostudy give you?

Autostudy tells you everything there is to know about a verse or word based on your personal PocketBible library. When you pick a verse to Autostudy, PocketBible will provide information regarding that verse from Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, etc. that you have installed. You can choose to see everything in your library or just items of a specific category (i.e. Other Translations, Exhaustive Concordances, Commentary). You can choose to exclude specific Bibles or books from results.

For example, if you chose to Autostudy John 3:16 and chose Other Translations in the options, you would see how John 3:16 reads in all your Bible translations.

The differences between the two types of Autostudy options – word or verse – is based on the type of information you are requesting. If you are doing a verse Autostudy, you will get information from books that are indexed by verse. This includes commentaries, cross-references, Exhaustive Concordances and other translations. It can also include definitions for every word in the verse. A word Autostudy will provide information from word-based books, primarily dictionaries.

You can keep your Autostudy results by copying them to another program, saving for later or printing (requires compatible printer).

One additional Autostudy option, available on Android and Mac, is a Today Autostudy. This is especially handy if you are reading multiple devotionals or a Bible reading plan that includes verses from different places in the Bible (i.e. OT/NT). Choose to Autostudy today, choose your reading plans or devotionals and PocketBible will present you with all your readings for that day on one page.

See an AutoStudy in action! Choose your platform below to see a short video of an AutoStudy (links to video on youtube):

PocketBible 1.4.0: the Advanced Feature Set is here!

Posted on: February 5th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.4.0 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 provides the capability to add notes to non-Bibles and supports the newly released Advanced Feature Set for PocketBible for Android. The Advanced Feature Set can be purchased from within the app (Dove menu | Buy/Apply Upgrade ) or via our website for $9.99. If you purchase in-app, the Advanced Features will be applied automatically. Otherwise, choose Buy/Apply Upgrade from the menu and it will be applied.

Advanced Features

  • Automatic verse studies. Select a verse and PocketBible presents the following to you. (See video of this).
    • The text of the selected verse from all your Bibles (you choose which ones)
    • The text of the selected verse with Strong’s numbers (if you own one of our Bibles with Strong’s numbers)
    • The definition of each English word in the verse from all of your dictionaries (you choose which ones)
    • The definition of each Strong’s word number from your Strong’s dictionaries (you choose which ones)
    • Commentary on the verse from all your commentaries (you choose which ones)
    • Cross references from the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (if you have it installed)
  • Automatic word studies. Select a word and PocketBible presents information from your library about the selected word including:
    • Definition of the selected word from all of your dictionaries (you choose which ones)
    • A summary of search results from selected Bibles (you choose which ones)
    • A list of related Strong’s numbers (original language words translated to the selected word)
    • Definitions of the related Strong’s word numbers (you select which Strong’s dictionaries)
  • Automatic today studies. Select a date and choose your Bible reading plan and Bible translation. PocketBible will give you today’s (or any day you select) Bible verses to read in a convenient one-page format. You can also have it put together all the readings from your devotionals for a specific day.
  • Listen to the Bible. Let PocketBible read the Bible or any book to you with its text-to-speech capability. (this feature only requires Android OS 4.1 or later)
  • Auto-Scroll text . Set a book to auto-scroll for easier reading. Increase or decrease the speed of scrolling to match your reading speed. Great for public or devotional reading.
  • Journal. Create notes which are not attached to any verse or book.
  • Customize Color Schemes. Specify colors for text, background, etc. exactly how you like it. See video of this.
  • Rename Highlight Colors. Name your highlight colors to something meaningful to you and categorize by name and color. See video of this.

3 Benefits of Listening to the Bible

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

What keeps you from reading your Bible? Time? Ability to focus? You may find listening to the Bible a way to combat these issues and more:

  • Engage two senses – if you read through several paragraphs and can’t remember what you just read, try listening and reading at the same time. This will help you keep your attention on what you are reading.
  • Redeem the time – listen to the Bible while you clean the house, run, work or commute and put this wasted time to a good use.
  • Multi-front approach – if you are trying to memorize or meditate on a specific passage of Scripture, reading and listening separately can reinforce your efforts.

PocketBible offers text-to-speech capability with all but the Windows PC version. To listen with PocketBible, you will need to purchase the Advanced Feature set for the version of PocketBible you are using on your device (Advanced Feature Sets are sold separately for each operating system). Additionally for the iOS version, you also need to purchase a voice; Other versions of PocketBible use the built-in voice capability of the operating system.

Here’s how to use the audio feature in each version of PocketBible:

  • PocketBible for iOS – with the Advanced Feature Set and a voice installed, you can use the contextual menu to start the reading from any verse in the Bible. Or turn on the Audio remote (icon looks like megaphone) to easily stop and start the audio.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, use the right-click menu to start speaking from the current location of your Bible.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, select Menu | show audio controls and then press Play to start listening.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, choose Audiobar from the menu and tap the play button to begin the audio.
  • PocketBible for Android OS – with the Advanced Feature Set installed, choose Listen from the menu.

What’s in the Pipeline?

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 135 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 1.4.0 with support for the Advanced Feature Set was released 2/5/15.
  • PocketBible 3.1 for iOS – version 3.1.0 was uploaded to the App Store on 3/28/14. The program seems to be working well under iOS 8, so there wasn’t an update specific to iOS 8. We’ll be taking another look at PocketBible for iOS soon.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – Version 1.1.0 with support for the new Advanced Feature Set was released on 10/28/14.
  • BookBuilder for Mac OS X – Currently working on this. The features of BookBuilder, VerseLinker, and DocAnalyzer (components of BookBuilder Professional) will be integrated into one program. The basic BookBuilder and DocAnalyzer functionality is complete and we’re working on pulling in VerseLinker.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.

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)
  • Wesley Study Bible (Abingdon)
  • ESV and NASB Bible text Updates
  • Add Words in red to KJV text

Website

We’ve been working through a process of enhancing the security of our website. There are three parts to this:

  1. More of the communication with our apps is now being sent through SSL connections. PocketBible for Mac OS X, for example, uses only secure connections for its Web-based traffic such as the bookstore and cloud library.
  2. An extended validation SSL certificate has been added to the site. This gives you a reassuring green address bar (what it looks like depends on your browser) that says “Laridian, Inc.” to verify that you’re really at our site and not someone else pretending to be us.
  3. We’re currently upgrading our credit card processing to use a more up-to-date payment gateway instead of the CyberCash system that has been serving us reliably and securely since 1998. This will allow us to support CCV and AVS for added security and to do voids and refunds without actually storing your credit card number or any other personal financial information on our servers. The new gateway is in use at our main site and will roll out to on-device stores over the next couple of weeks.

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!

Setting up and Delivering a Message with PocketBible on your Kindle Fire (or other Android OS tablet)

Posted on: November 18th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

One of the amazing uses of PocketBible is for delivering a message. It’s layout and features provide an excellent electronic Bible with its own built-in notebook, and it has all the tools you need to prepare your message, whether it’s for the classroom or the pulpit. This tutorial will look at setting up the message in PocketBible and then using the multi-screen feature for preaching and teaching.

Setting up the Message

There are several features of PocketBible that help in preparing sermons and classes. The features I like are Notes, Bookmarks, and Highlights. Here are a few of the ways that I use them together to prepare sermons.

NOTE – PocketBible has a lot of fine tools for the actual sermon prep itself including Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries, study Bibles, books, and more. We’ll go into detail about using them for sermon prep in future posts.

Notes

Tap on the verse where you want to place a note and select the notebook symbol on the Action Bar. In the notes area, you can type or paste in any kind of information you want. You can format your text to make it easy for you to use. Bullets are great for simple outlines. Add things that you want to make sure you remember to say. At the end of the note you can type the next verse. This will create a clickable link so you can quickly navigate to the next verse in your sermon.

Bookmarks

Once you’ve chosen the references you will use, you can bookmark them in a folder just for this message. I like to name the folder with the title I use for the message. If I need to, I can go to the bookmarks list and see every verse that I’m using in my sermon. This list can also be used to navigate to the next verse in your sermon.

Highlighting

This step is optional but I find it easier to see the verses I want to use if I’ve highlighted them. I like to use a different color for different topics. If my message is about the Scriptures, I like to highlight the verses green. This helps when navigating to the next verse. You can find it quicker because you know what color to look for. This is more effective when you’ve only colored the verses in your sermon that color. You might consider using a special color or marking just for this message.

Example


For my sermon I’ve created a bookmark folder called Sermon 001 The Word of God. It contains references to the following verses: Ps 119:11, Ps 119:16, Ps 119:80, Ps 119:89, Ps 119:105, 2Ti 2:15, 2Ti 3:16, 2Ti 3:17, 2Pe 3:16. I’ve colored all of these verse limegreen and each verse has a note with my primary point and a link to the next verse.

Ps 119:11 is the first verse I want to go to. It has a note that talks about the importance of memorizing Scripture. It also has a link to the next verse – Ps 119:16. The note on Ps 119:16 talks about how we should enjoy reading and studying the Scriptures, and how we should keep God on our minds and in our hearts by thinking and meditating on the Word. After this I have typed POINTS TO MAKE followed by two bullets:

  • Love the Word
  • Memorize the Word

After the note is a link to Ps 119:80, which contains a short note and the next reference. I continue this until I reach the end of the message. This can be as detailed or as simple as you want. If another point or verse comes to me during the sermon, I can navigate to it and still have my notes visible so I know where to go next.

(more…)

PocketBible 1.3.0 – Bible/Devotional Reading Progress Tracking

Posted on: September 22nd, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 15 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 options – 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.
  • My Special Offers – you can now see any special offers available for you when shopping inside the app.

Take a look at the devotional features in the video below:

PocketBible for Android 1.2.1 features Enhanced Searching

Posted on: August 6th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 8 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 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 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!

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