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Archive for the ‘Company Insights’ Category

Craig Rairdin, Christian Computing Hall of Fame Inductee – Part II

Posted on: September 30th, 2011 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

A couple of months back we reported the great news that Craig Rairdin, President of Laridian, had been inducted into the Christian Computing Hall of Fame. For those who enjoy the story behind the story, Christian Computing has published an article in their September issue, written by Laridian Vice President Jeff Wheeler, that tells more about Craig and his contributions to the Bible software industry.

Laridian President Inducted into Christian Computing Hall of Fame

Posted on: July 29th, 2011 by Michelle Stramel 13 Comments

We’re pleased to let you know that Laridian President, Craig Rairdin, is one of five charter inductees into the Christian Computing Hall of Fame. Craig is being honored for his significant contributions toward the use of computers and technology in Christian ministry.

The inductees were announced in the July Issue (links to PDF) of Christian Computing Magazine.

Is the iPad the perfect platform for PocketBible?

Posted on: June 21st, 2011 by Michelle Stramel 41 Comments

In a recent post, I asked if you were still using a print version Bible along with PocketBible. Although not a scientific survey, of forty-some comments via Facebook and the web, around 35% of you are still using print regularly and another 20% are using it occasionally – mostly for personal study at home or in preaching (we still can’t trust electronic entirely!). I related to the person who mentioned that he uses print so he is not distracted by emails, texts, Facebook, etc. when he is trying to read the Bible. I can further add that a printed Bible does not attract the notice of children (or adults) in the same manner that an electronic device does, giving the printed Word another advantage for quiet times. In summary, the electronic and print still seem to offer something that cannot be replaced entirely by the other. Although I couldn’t help but notice a certain “extra” enthusiasm about PocketBible from the iPad owners.

I’ve always thought the iPad looked cool but there’s no way I’d part with $500 for what I consider to be a non-essential electronic device. However, your comments intrigued me and I was able to borrow an iPad and use it for the last week or so. Let’s just say, I “get” your enthusiasm. I haven’t felt this way about a device since I first got my iPhone. As a personal study tool and a replacement for a paper Bible, I can’t imagine anything better. However, if I prepared Bible studies or wrote sermons, I think I would continue to use PocketBible for Windows at my desktop. And, of course, PocketBible on my iPhone would be used because I always have my phone with me. But, yes, PocketBible for iPad along with all the other features of the iPad is making $500 seem like a wise investment rather than an extravagance.

What’s to love about the iPad?

1. iPads are more portable than a laptop and they turn on instantly. I don’t carry my laptop around the house and it sure doesn’t turn on instantly even from sleep mode.

2. It still has that “geeky-cool” factor (as one customer put it) and everything, including PocketBible, game apps, web sites, looks great on it.

3. PocketBible for iPad. It beats out PocketBible for iPhone in my book for one really important reason: screen size. For the first time, I’m using the split screen option regularly – up to 5 windows open on the iPad is amazing. The extra buttons on the toolbar and the extra toolbox make changing settings and adding highlights and bookmarks easier. And I love that the search feature shows results for all my books instead of just the current one. On the iPad, there is more room to spread out and, for me, that makes it more enjoyable to use.

iPad owners, am I missing anything about PocketBible or the iPad in general?

Are you still using your print Bible?

Posted on: May 21st, 2011 by Michelle Stramel 44 Comments

Last week my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class ended for the year. If you are not familiar with BSF, it is an interdenominational group that offers weekly, in-depth Bible studies to men, women and children throughout the world. They have a four-fold philosophy where you first read and study the passage on your own, then you discuss it in a group, then you hear a lecture on it and finally you get explanatory notes on the passage. You are not supposed to consult reference material such as commentaries or dictionaries until you have gone through all four stages of study. It is a very organized way to study the Bible and I really like that they focus on the Bible text rather than taking a topical approach.

I have been participating in BSF for nearly 10 years and I find that my use of technology in studying the Bible has changed over the years. While I am still the only one in my discussion group that uses a phone instead of a printed Bible, I find myself using my phone in different ways now than I did at first. In the beginning, I was using my phone (actually it was a PDA way back when) for everything. I refused to carry a printed Bible. Perhaps there may have been a small desire on my part to convert the masses, I am the chief marketer for Laridian after all. But I also felt like PocketBible should do everything for me since I had loaded as many Bibles and reference books as my device could hold.

This year was different though. Maybe it was the fact that we were going through the book of Isaiah or maybe I’m not so rigid anymore, but towards the end of the year I dusted off my print Bible and started using it both in answering my lessons and in class, along with my phone. I really liked having the whole passage open for review. That is the one thing missing on my phone (although an iPad could help with that).

My secret weapon though is still my iPhone. While we can’t consult commentaries and reference material, I have a variety of translations installed on my iPhone. When the NIV leaves me wondering, I can quickly review a verse or passage in the Amplified, NLT or Message and I’m not cheating one bit. I also do that when I’m working on my lesson at home for the following week. And it is still much more convenient to look up related passages using my phone than to flip around the Bible.

The marketing side of me hopes that some day everyone in my BSF group is using their phone loaded with PocketBible at the meeting. The practical side of me realizes there may always be a place for the print and the electronic.

How about you? Are you still using your print Bible? If so, do you use the print and electronic together or for different times and purposes?

“How Is Jeff Doing?”

Posted on: March 24th, 2011 by Craig Rairdin 8 Comments

Back in January, Craig revealed here that I’d been diagnosed with cancer in November and was undergoing treatments. Since then, many of you have left comments here and on Facebook letting us know of your prayers, love and concern. (We’ve even received some emails from PrayerPartner users who have added my health to their PrayerPartner prayer list. As the developer of PrayerPartner, I was blessed by that.)

Recently, some have left comments here and on Facebook asking how I’m doing. Frankly, I’m never sure how to answer that question, as there isn’t a good, short answer. Should I address how we’re doing spiritually (we’re thriving)? Emotionally (ups and downs, but God is faithful)? Physically (it’s not clear today how I’m doing against the cancer)? How can I communicate our experiences on this unexpected journey that will glorify God, encourage the Christian community, and not put the focus on me, all in a short article appropriate for this blog (or in a Facebook comment)?

I still haven’t figured out how to do that. :-)

However, we do appreciate your interest, your expressions of concern and your related prayers. So, for those who might be interested, I’d like to invite you to my cancer blog, where I attempt to tackle some of the above. You don’t have to register, login or have a special account. You can read as much or as little as you want. If you’d like a summary of what’s happened and where we’re at now (that is, how I’m doing), I’d suggest that you start with this article.

As Craig said previously, “Thank you always for your prayers. It is our pleasure to be able to serve you through the work we do.”

Family News from Laridian

Posted on: January 6th, 2011 by Craig Rairdin 65 Comments

Craig and Jeff working on PocketBible at Java Creek Cafe

Our regular readers know that Laridian currently employs just two full-time programmers: me (Craig) and Jeff Wheeler. We have several part-time employees doing marketing and technical support work, but Jeff and I are the only full-timers. Jeff and I go way back, first working together in 1985. Except for nine months in 1988-89 when I left to join Parsons Technology and before Jeff joined me there, we’ve worked together ever since then.

I want you to know that in November of last year, Jeff was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. His prognosis is good, but the cancer is aggressive and calls for aggressive treatment. He’s had two surgeries, and recently began about an eighteen-week regimen of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Those of us who have had cancer victims in our families know that treatments and responses vary. However, during this period, it is expected that Jeff will go through a three-week cycle of nausea, then fatigue, then a brief period of feeling good before the cycle of treatment begins again.

Needless to say, we all at Laridian covet your prayers for the treatment to be productive and the side-effects to be tolerable.

Additionally, I want you to know how this affects our work at Laridian. Laridian is a small company and that is intentional. In an article in Christian Computing Magazine ten years ago we explained how our history of working for a huge, publicly-traded software company motivated us to create something different when we founded Laridian. We wanted to be small and stay small. One of the results of meeting that goal is that when one of us is operating at less than 100%, it affects all of us. It also affects our ability to meet our customers’ expectations. So we, too, would appreciate your prayers and patience during this period.

Of course, we all have troubles in this life. Your family has perhaps gone through a lot worse at one time or another. Jeff knows his particular problems aren’t any bigger than what you have experienced or might be currently experiencing. But we thought it was important for you to know what’s going on here so you will have some additional insight into how this situation may affect the work we do for you here at Laridian.

Again, thank you always for your prayers. It is our pleasure to be able to serve you through the work we do.


Laridian Launches All New Website

Posted on: December 31st, 2010 by Craig Rairdin 32 Comments

First, a little history.

Back in 1998 when we founded the company, we knew very little about the technologies that make up the Web. We contracted another company to create an e-commerce site for us and as such projects usually go, they got about 80% there and said they were done. In order to just get our site up and running we had to learn a little bit about Active Server Pages, HTML, SQL Server, and payment processing. We finished their job, which turned out to be a good thing since it forced us to learn how our site worked.

Over the years, we’ve expanded onto multiple platforms and multiplied our product range many times over. The days of being able to concisely list all of our products on a single order form were gone a long time ago, yet our lengthy order form persisted. The pressures of running a company and continuing to develop Bible software for a large number of different platforms took precedence over upgrading the website.

Five Years in the Making

Back in 2004 we hired a person who specialized in Web technologies and tasked him with re-engineering our site. We wanted a “catalog” and a “shopping cart” instead of an “order form”. We wanted it to be easier to roll out a Bible reader for a new platform and have its catalog already populated with our full range of Bibles and books. We wanted marketing people to be able to create catalog pages without knowing (much) HTML. And we wanted to consume fewer processor cycles serving pages so our site would be scalable and perform better.

We did an incremental update to the site that gave it a more contemporary look and handy pull-down menus, but retained the old commerce aspects of the site. Then Web-enabled cell phones came along and we needed a Web-based Bible product. Our new Web guy was the perfect person for this task. And when business started booming and we outgrew our Web server, we needed someone to negotiate the world of load balancing, multiple Web servers, database servers, email servers, firewalls, VPNs, and all manner of other issues. Our website redesign project spent a lot of time on the back burner while we put out the fires burning on the front burner.

The “Web-based Bible product” eventually turned into iPocketBible.com, the first Bible program for what was then the “new” iPhone. Other projects came and went, and eventually our fancy Web technology guy came and went, leaving us with lots of ideas, quite a few pieces of mostly implemented infrastructure, but very little to show other than one or two Web pages that demonstrated the color pallet we had agreed on.

Android: The Unlikely Motivation

When the Android OS had a surprisingly good Christmas in 2009 we knew we were going to have to start thinking about Bible software for that platform. Work began in late summer 2010. As the program came together we started thinking about what it was going to take to duct-tape another platform onto the old website and it was not encouraging. In November, I (Craig) made the mistake of saying, “I think if I just had a week during which I could focus on the new website, I could have it online and it would make releasing the Android version of PocketBible a lot easier.” Jeff (co-founder and VP Development) and Michelle (Marketing Director) looked at each other then at me and said, “Really? You should do that!”

Having “permission” to focus on the website was very motivating. Eight weeks later this site emerged. And that’s why we don’t pre-announce our ship dates. Thirty years in the software business and our estimates are still off by a factor of eight. :-)

Features

  • Login applies to the entire site, not just to your download account. Log in at any time and the site will automatically tell you if you already own the particular book you’re looking at.
  • If a book is part of a series or bundle, the site will point that out to you, allowing you to save money by buying it as part of a larger collection.
  • For each platform (iPhone, Windows, etc.) and each book type (Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries, etc.) the site automatically maintains best-sellers and new-releases lists.
  • A true shopping cart replaces the old order form. Purchase products for two or more platforms in one order (wasn’t possible before).
  • Purchase more than one license for downloadable products. (Again, wasn’t possible before.)
  • Cover images for books
  • Faster download account page.
  • “Programs” and “Books” separated on download page to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
  • Simplified options on the download page. Show only products you haven’t yet downloaded or only products updated since you last downloaded them.
  • No need to pick a platform before entering the site. Less intimidating.
  • Ability to browse the entire catalog regardless of your platform.
  • Support for Associates Program referrer codes on every page. More detailed Associates Program reports for better tuning of links for maximum revenue. “Copy Link” feature on most pages for easy creation of links containing your referrer code.
  • Easy site navigation and useful information in the footer.

Some Facts About the New Site

  • The old Laridian website had approximately 1600 hand-coded ASP and HTML pages. The new site covers an additional platform and has less than 70 hand-coded pages. The rest are automatically generated from a database of product information.
  • Product information is stored in a structured way with very little HTML tagging (bold, italics, and a limited number of links). This way, non-HTML-experts can create and maintain all the product pages. (Previously, each product required one hand-coded ASP/HTML page for each supported platform.)
  • Adding a new platform (like Android) to our product line used to require the manual creation of hundreds of individual product pages. The new site requires only one new page. The rest are generated automatically from existing data.
  • The old site required us to list every single product available for each platform on a separate order form. The new site automatically builds a catalog and has an integrated shopping cart.
  • The old site had very few product images. Each image had to be manually scaled to the appropriate size and uploaded to the server. The new site takes one product image and automatically creates it in several sizes to use in different contexts. As a result we’ve added cover images for every book and a graphical icon for every program.
  • The bookstore that is built into the iPhone and Android applications uses same technology as the main website to create its catalog. Only about a dozen small pages are required for the entire site. Individual product pages are created from the same data that drives the main website.
  • The method of determining what products a customer owns has been centralized making it faster and easier to use for a variety of purposes. For example, if you are logged in, the site can tell you whether or not you already own a product you are about to purchase.
  • The new site automatically builds best-seller, new-releases, and all other product lists without any intervention so that they’re always up-to-date.
  • The new site makes extensive use of CSS to make it easier to reconfigure and fix problems. It uses just a little JavaScript but is intentionally simple so that it runs on a wide range of browsers with little need to do any detection and special cases in the code.
  • The “big footer” was inspired by sites like Zappos and while it may be cliche and trendy we think it’s really useful. It’s our favorite way to get around the site.

Future Plans

  • There are a few small things “missing”, such as a way for users to modify their own contact information and support for the Associates Program. These will be coming soon.
  • The store built into the iPhone and Android apps has a “search” function. Since the on-device stores are built on the same foundation as the main site, it should be trivial to add this functionality to the main site.
  • This blog still sports the “old look”. We’re moving it to a new server and will be either styling it to look like the main site or going with a more attractive generic style.
  • I’ve always wanted to have a way for you to view your order history and print a receipt for any order.
  • We’d like to make it harder to end up with more than one account by testing your email address against our records before you purchase.

There will undoubtedly be some problems as we shake out the remaining bugs, so we appreciate your patience. We really like the result and hope you do, too.

Laridian and the Better Business Bureau

Posted on: November 12th, 2010 by Craig Rairdin 11 Comments

About a year and a half ago we let our Better Business Bureau (BBB) membership expire. We had been members since 2000, and were some of the earliest members of their “BBBOnline” program that sought to separate the better businesses from the scams that are so much a part of online life. At the time we joined, we paid $310 to join the BBB itself and another $225 for the BBBOnline program.

From the beginning, it was clear that the BBB was just a consumer con-job. From the fact that it has absolutely no power nor willingness to involve itself in resolving disputes, to the minimal requirements it places on its members, to the shoddy paper membership certificate it sends you to “display proudly”, the BBB is little more than an organization that shakes down businesses for $350+/year with vague offers of increased credibility while offering those businesses and the consumers whose interests it claims to represent little in return.

Now, ABC News is reporting here and here that the BBB is little more than a pay-to-play scam, where the terrorist organization Hamas received an A-minus rating, while Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants get F’s. The difference? Hamas (or at least, a blogger claiming to be Hamas) pays their dues. Wolfgang Puck does not.

I went back through my records and found three complaints in the ten years or so we were members. One complaint was from a customer who had purchased from us twice. The second time he claimed to be a new customer and as a result his new purchases ended up in a separate download account from his old purchases. However, when he logged in to download, he logged into the old account rather than following the login instructions in the confirmation email we sent him. This kind of thing happens fairly regularly, of course, and we’re always able to handle it through tech support. This customer, however, contacted the BBB before contacting us. Once he contacted us, of course, we resolved his problem instantly like we always do.

The second complaint was from a customer who had purchased a Bible but not the PocketBible program that was required in order to view the Bible. Again, instead of contacting us when he couldn’t view his Bible, he contacted BBB and filed a complaint. By the time we received notice of the complaint several days later, he had contacted tech support and the problem was solved within hours — all before we even received his BBB complaint.

Complaint number three was similar to the first. Customer orders a Bible but no reader. We tell him to buy the reader, which he does, but now claims the Bible is not on his download page. We log into the customer’s account, and there it is. We write back and tell him “it’s the third one from the top” and he files a complaint with the BBB. Again, problems like this happen from time to time, but we’re always able to solve them without any help from the BBB.

Unfortunately, when you look at our BBB status report, all it will tell you is that we’ve had complaints. It doesn’t say that they were all from customers who technically didn’t have a claim in the first place. It just says they were “resolved”. (Since we haven’t had any complaints in the last three years, our current report will say “no complaints”.)

My one big experience as a consumer using the Better Business Bureau was a complaint against a competitor who was advertising their software as “the only true PDA Bible study software”. I felt this claim was demonstrably false, since there were dozens of PDA Bible study programs available at the time. BBB is very particular about advertising claims. You can’t say things like “discounts up to 50% off” or even “lowest prices in town” (the latter is OK only if you can exhaustively demonstrate that it’s true). So I felt the claim that this company had the “only” Bible software was simply false, and since they were BBB members, the BBB should hold them responsible for their clearly false advertising.

The BBB forwarded my complaint to the company, and the company replied that their software contained Greek and Hebrew lexicons, and therefore was the only true Bible study software for PDAs. I wrote back with a list of six Bible programs that included Greek and Hebrew lexicons for the same mobile platforms as this competitor supported. That was the end of the discussion. The BBB didn’t do anything against the company even after an advertising review. The whole issue was simply dropped.

In 2004 we did a customer survey. We selected several hundred people who had purchased within the last week or two and presented them with a list of certifications like “Better Business Bureau”, “BizRate”, “Verisign”, “Verified by Visa”, “Good Housekeeping”, etc. We asked how important each of these were, and if any of them were instrumental in their decision to purchase from us. Here are the top four, in order from most important to least important:

  1. Verisign
  2. Verified by Visa
  3. TrustE
  4. BBB Online

Ironically, at the time, neither the Verisign nor Verified by Visa logos appeared on our site yet customers told us the appearance of those logos is what changed their mind about ordering products from us. (The exact question was: “I was uncertain about ordering from Laridian until I saw this certification.”) More importantly, these imaginary logos were more important (by a factor of almost 2) than the BBB certification that was actually on the site!

So a year and a half ago it seemed abundantly clear that (1) very few people were actually making use of BBB; (2) those who did make use of it were actually making baseless claims that were solved by tech support without help from BBB; (3) all claims, regardless of how specious, were counted against us regardless of their resolution; and (4) customers weren’t relying nearly as much on the BBB certification logo as they were on certifications which they only imagined seeing on our site. We explained all this to our BBB rep and told them we’d be willing to sign up for another year for $30 instead of $365. (We figured it might result in one or two more sales over the course of a year, so $30 seemed more than fair.) They declined our generous offer so we let our membership expire.

We hesitated to mention publicly that we had dropped our BBB membership because we were afraid of what that might imply. But now that the facts about the BBB have finally come to light, I think it’s safe to let you know that despite our current “A” rating and being complaint-free for the last three years, we are no longer paying protection money to this particular gang.

Thanks for your Feedback

Posted on: September 13th, 2010 by Craig Rairdin 24 Comments

Last week we received an inquiry about publishing an English version of the Koran for PocketBible. This isn’t the first time we’ve been approached with the idea.

As you may know, I wrote the first version of QuickVerse back in 1988 and took it to Parsons Technology. Within just a few weeks after starting work there, a lady came into the office carrying a copy of the Koran. Apparently her recently deceased husband (whose name I don’t recall) had created one of the most popular English translations of the Koran. She wanted to know if we were interested in publishing it.

We ultimately decided not to do it for a couple of reasons, and those reasons became the basis for our thinking on the subject (and related publishing opportunities) over the last twenty-plus years. First and foremost, we were a Bible software company, not a religious software company. We were Christians interested in Bible study, not scholars interested in comparative religious studies. We simply weren’t interested in spending any time on something that wasn’t going to do any good for Christians interested in studying the Bible.

Second, we knew that publishing the Koran was like the proverbial camel who gets his nose into the tent. Sure, we could publish the Koran — perhaps under the theory that doing so would help some Christians better witness to their Muslim neighbors — but next thing we knew, I’m sure there’d would be commentaries and other reference material that we would need to publish to support it. Pretty soon we’d be pressured to publish all kinds of Muslim material, none of which we personally had any interest in.

So when this opportunity came up last week my immediate reaction was “no”. However, it occurred to me that things were a little different now than they were twenty years ago. With the rise of Islamic terrorism there is more interest these days in understanding Islam so that we can be better equipped to win Muslims to Christ. So I decided to post a message on our Facebook fan page asking our fans there what they thought of the idea.

It was going to take an overwhelming tide of “yes” votes to change my mind. I have absolutely zero interest in doing anything to promote the Koran. You’ll notice there’s no picture in the upper right corner of this article. That’s because our stock photo supplier didn’t have any pictures of Muhammad or a burning Koran. I can’t imagine wasting any of my time on tagging the Koran for PocketBible.

In the sixteen hours or so that the question was up on Facebook, we received over 60 replies from 46 different people. 14 people were in favor of the idea and 30 against. A couple didn’t care one way or the other.

There was some controversy in the comments, with 9 of you essentially calling for a boycott of Laridian if we were to do this. Several people seemed to think we were already in the process of doing it, and three of you “unliked” our Fan page during those sixteen hours (two more of you “liked” us so our net loss was only one). I was a little disappointed that despite three follow-up comments from me there were still people who didn’t understand that we were just asking a question, not converting to Islam. On the other hand, at least one negative comment was deleted after I replied and the person had more time to think about their initial knee-jerk reaction.

As I pointed out on Facebook, the Koran is available for Logos in both English and Arabic. I haven’t heard of a mass boycott of Logos, so perhaps this isn’t as contentious as it might appear from our unscientific poll of Facebook fans. Or perhaps you expect less of Logos. :-)

I’ve deleted the post on Facebook so as to limit any further confusion on where we stand on this issue. Suffice to say that the idea of publishing the Koran in PocketBible was always a long shot, that we were just asking for your opinion, and that we have not been mass converted to Islam, despite what a number of you apparently think. :-)

You Might Need a Magnifying Glass…

Posted on: April 21st, 2010 by Craig Rairdin 27 Comments

I think I’ve mentioned before that the “iPad Version” of PocketBible is going to be what Apple calls a universal app. It’s not really iPad-specific. It will run on either an iPhone or an iPad. It decides at run-time which user interface to present and which features to enable. This differs from our Windows Mobile apps, which decide at install time which configuration to install (generally, a “PDA” version or a “smartphone” version).

We’ve been doing our development work on the iPad because that’s where the new features are. Yesterday Jeff installed to his iPhone just to see how we were doing. Everything worked fine, but we ran into a couple places where we forgot to do the “iPad Test” and as a result the iPad user interface was running on the iPhone. The result was the smaller of the two screen shots below.

Five panes on the iPad. Nice. Five panes on the iPhone with the font size set to 8 points. Ouch!

What’s cool is that it works fine. The tiny navigation overlays even pop up in each pane when you tap them in the center. It’s tough to hit the links, but then at 8 points, they’re tough to hit even with a full screen of text.

This points out a couple interesting facts about this project. First is that there are several features we created for the iPad that will “accidentally” start working on the iPhone, either in the next release or very soon after. For example, we’ll make it so you can open two panes (either two views into the same book or two books). And as I mentioned in connection with the video posted last week, some speed improvements that we made while developing for the iPad will affect the iPhone as well.

The other interesting thing is somewhat related. We share a lot of code between the iPhone, Palm OS, Windows, and Windows Mobile. So today when I was working on showing you a list of all your user-created notes, it was trivial to add the ability to search your notes because that’s a feature we added in PocketBible for Windows Mobile a couple years ago and it’s just been sitting in the shared code, waiting for a user interface on the iPad to expose it. (There won’t be any UI for it on the iPhone in the next release, but it could show up any time.)

The code that does note searching displays its results as a list of Bible verses. That is, if you have a note on John 3:16 that says “God loves me” and you do a search for “me” in your notes, you’ll see the text of John 3:16 in the results instead of seeing your note. So while I was in that code this morning I changed it to display the text of your note. In that case, the advantage goes the other direction — next time we build PocketBible for Windows or Windows Mobile it will automatically start showing the text of the note instead of the Bible in the search results.

I’m really liking the note-taking process on the iPad. With the new control panel, the entire application is still available while you’re writing a note. So just tap the “lock” button so your note editor stops synchronizing with the Bible text as it moves, and you can perform searches, follow cross-references, and copy passages without losing your place in your note. Leave that “lock” function active and you can follow a series of links from a note without having to go back to the noted verse and recalling the note. Again, this is an iPad-only feature in this case, since the iPhone is so much smaller. But it’s cool.

I don’t want to sound like an Apple zealot or iPad fanboy, but I’m starting to think the iPad is the platform for mobile Bible study. I know, I know — you’d like to make that decision for yourself. We’re getting close. It will be worth the wait.

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