PocketBible vs. pocket-bible

Posted on: July 10th, 2008 by Craig Rairdin 33 Comments

For those of you who have written expressing some confusion about a product called “pocket-bible” for the iPhone 2, no, that isn’t our product.

Yes, we do have a registered trademark on the term “PocketBible”. Our version of PocketBible for iPhone and iPod Touch is called iPocketBible but the trademark covers any software that is used to display the Bible text, regardless of platform.

We’ve had to deal with a number of trademark infringements over the years and so far they’ve all been handled very reasonably. We hope this one will be no exception.

33 Responses

  1. Josh says:

    Regardless, how about a native app for the Iphone. I did not see one from you guys so POCKET-BIBLE WILL BE GETTING MY MONEY AND MANY OTHERS SOON. I know you wanted to see how many people used you web site(it is not software) ipocketbible. But that was not even close to a solution, i never signed up. Why would I pay for a bible I couldn’t use in church?(no edge or WiFI. Please, Please tell me you are developing a iphone software solution.

  2. Jason Brett says:

    Speaking of the iPhone version, I anxiously downloaded iTunes 7.7 this morning and began searching the AppStore for an application I just NEW would be present. Obviously, my assumption was wrong. No Laridian PocketBible native iPhone application yet!

    So, is one forthcoming? This is kind of a big deal for me, since I don’t really want to pay a subscription fee for the online version, want the speed of a native app, and want to retain the near $100 investment in my Palm version and various texts.

    Once this application is available, I’ll be able to “ditch” my palm pilot and carry one device!

    So, is an iPhone native version of PocketBible on the way?

  3. Lawson Culver says:

    I’m sure that if Laridian chooses to release a version it will be just what I’m looking for, but I’m tempted to go ahead and purchase another program vs. waiting an indefinite amount of time.

  4. No doubt there will be a bunch of KJV-only Bible programs for the iPhone. The particular one in question has no features. It’s just the text. Is that what you want? I wish I would’ve known that — we could ship the KJV text with a fancy table of contents tomorrow.

    I said in a previous post that if we did PocketBible for the iPhone it probably wouldn’t be available on day one. So there should be no surprises there.

    We’ll have more to say about our iPhone plans soon.

  5. art says:

    There are other native iPhone Bible apps available. Rather tempting in the absence of any theoretical release date on the undoubtedly superior future laridian iphone app. Are we talking days or weeks or months for some news? You guys are great, I have used your software for many years.

  6. Josh says:

    Hi, I am one of the people who paid for an iPocketBible subscription, but I never use it because it does not have the performance I need. I knew that it wouldn’t, but at the time, it seemed like the only way to communicate my interest in an iPhone Bible app, so I voted with my wallet. (actually purchased two yearly subscriptions for me and my wife). We’ve both continued to use our palms or paper Bibles though because the online version is just not usable for us.

    So I too anxiously browsed the new app store this morning hoping to be surprised with a native version. There are several Bibles listed, including ones with versions that I use, but I’m not sure how user friendly they are, and I’d like to leverage my investment in Laridian books.

    I will almost certainly be buying one of the competing products tomorrow when the latest firmware is released. I hope it is just an interim solution until the quality product from Laridian is available. I don’t require too many features though (fast look-up, and decent search; switching between versions would be a plus), so maybe I’ll be happy enough with one of the other products.

    I really like Laridian’s MyBible products, and have been a loyal customer for many years, encouraging others to use MyBible on their Palms as well. I want to continue to be a loyal customer, and can’t wait to purchase a native iPhone version. I’m certain it will be excellent.

  7. Josh says:

    I just noticed that there was another “Josh” posting in this thread.
    Just to be clear, I’m the second Josh. We’re two different people.

  8. Chris McLoughlin says:

    Hey Guys,

    Add me to the list of people that downloaded iTunes 7.7 just so I could “search out” the App store, since it’s not yet published on the front of the iTunes store until tomorrow. Like Craig made reference to, I didn’t expect to see Laridian on there yet since he spoke previously that any potential releases wouldn’t be right at launch.

    I don’t have an iPhone and don’t plan on having one since I feel the plan is way too expensive compared to my Sprint Sero plan ($30 a month, unlimited data, great voice plan, etc). My wife, however, does have an iPod Touch. She’ll also be purchasing a new MacBook within the next week or two. Since she’s doing an educational purchase, she’s eligible for a free iPod Touch, so that’ll be mine.

    I look forward to downloading many apps to play around with, maybe take a few notes, or whatever else with my Touch. Many of my “gotta have ’em” apps are on my Windows Mobile phone (HTC Mogul) and yes, one of my most essential apps is PocketBible 4.

    Why would I buy a native iPhone/iPod Touch bible app if I already have it for my Windows Mobile phone? Experience. Interface. The iPhone/iPod Touch interface is hands down better than anything else out there… still, a year after the iPhone’s release. Many have tried to copy but no one has duplicated the look/feel/experience.

    I know the argument has been made before about internet access not being ubiquitous, I’m not going to rehash that. I often do bible reading on the NYC subway, where there’s no reception of any kind. If a native iPhone/iPod Touch ap for PocketBible comes out, count me in as an immediate customer!

  9. For those of you wondering why your comments aren’t showing up here: Unless there’s some strongly compelling reason to the contrary, I don’t approve comments that advertise a competing product. I’ve edited a couple of posts and just deleted the ones that are no more than essentially a link to another product.

    This business is tough enough (i.e. “with friends like these….”) without advertising the competition in your blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Marion Hawkins says:

    I also purchased the iPocketBible subscription but found it to be awful! Terrible design and interface. Two finger scrolling is so lame! My impression is that the only reason Laridian has been pushing the web version over a native version was for the continuous income stream of the subscription model instead of the normal release/upgrade model.

    MyBible for the Treo is the best software Laridian has sold (I’m not even sure they developed it). I’ve kept holding out hope that if I ‘invested’ in the iPocketBible a native version would be produced.

    Honestly, I’m tired of what I perceive as Craig Laridian’s continued arrogance and antagonism about if/when they will produce a native iPhone app, how much it costs to develop, and how really big the iPhone market is compared to blah, blah, blah! Anyway I’m giving my money to one of the first native iPhone Bible apps.

    BTW, there isn’t a pocket-bible on the AppStore. PocketBible is not unique enough for a trademark anyway.

    Hopefully OliveTree Software, who has been taking an iPhone survey for several months, will produce a native app that supports their product line.

  11. Marion,

    Two-finger scrolling is a built-in Apple-designed multi-touch behavior. Don’t blame us for that. I’m sure you saw that with a couple taps you can turn two-finger scrolling off by getting rid of the toolbar and going to a floating toolbar instead.

    Your perception that we’re “pushing the Web version over a native version … for the continuous income stream” is incorrect. We’re not pushing our Web version over a native version. We’re pushing an existing version, period. If we do a native version (and we haven’t said we won’t) it won’t be a subscription. None of our other products, including those that came out after the iPocketBible.com launch, are subscription products. Only iPocketBible.com, and that’s because it’s a Web app that requires ongoing costs on our end to host.

    I’m glad to hear you are enjoying MyBible on your Treo. A large portion of that product was developed in-house.

    My name is Craig Rairdin, not Craig Laridian. Laridian is a made-up word that is derived from the Greek “biblaridion”, which means “little scroll”.

    I’m sorry to hear you tire of our iPhone comments. We haven’t said anything about it for about 3-4 months. I explained exactly what was going on and why. We stopped talking about it because, like you, we tired of it.

    I can tell you right now why we haven’t said anything about our iPhone plans, and I can tell you very clearly. There are two reasons:

    1) As soon as we say we’re developing for the iPhone (or confirm that we’re not) we’re going to be inundated with email. If we say we’re developing for iPhone, there will be a constant stream of questions about when it will ship, why didn’t it ship on July 11, why didn’t it ship yesterday, why didn’t it ship last week, why didn’t it ship last month, when will it ship? Will it ship tomorrow? Will it ship next week? Will it ship next month? Will there be free upgrades? Will it be free for existing customers? How much will it cost? Will my existing Bibles work on it? Can I be a beta tester? Etc.

    2) If we make our plans known, competitors will have more information upon which to base a decision regarding their own product development plans. If we looked at the market and decided it wasn’t worth investing the time in a native app, then our competitors might be encouraged to stop their own plans, thus freeing them up to work in areas that directly compete with us. If we say we think there’s an opportunity there, then a competitor who previously wasn’t working on an iPhone app might be emboldened to launch their own efforts.

    We have to take these factors into account. If we pre-announce a product, we’re inviting emails and giving the competition time to react. If we don’t announce until the product is ready we reduce emails and surprise the competition, but we also lose business to early adopters who go somewhere else.

    I note that despite the comments on the pocket-bible Web site, there’s no pocket-bible product on the AppStore. It’s possible Apple already pulled it. It’s also possible it’s vaporware. I’m just going from what I read in the blogs. We’re in touch with the developer so we’ll see how it goes. We’ve been through this several times before and it has always worked out. We’re not worried about it.

    As far as PocketBible being too generic to register, that’s just false. Do a USPTO trademark search and you’ll find both PocketBible and MyBible are registered. We’ve successfully defended the marks against other infringers, and none quite so blatant as this one (which will make it easier).

    Thanks for your comments. Again, don’t interpret our silence on this topic over the last several months to mean anything one way or another.


  12. Ray Pace says:

    I have an iPhone and an N95 8G. I would like an application for either of these phones. I have a good many useless Laridian PocketBible(s) I have purchased that I can no longer use since I have left the Windows camp. If you do create an iPhone/Symbian app, please consider letting us bear the burden of a slightly more expensive PocketBible app that we can “import” our purchased Bibles into so that we don’t incur the additional cost of repurchasing what we already own of your products. It’s not worth the investment.
    Thank you,


  13. Josh 1 says:

    It think it speaks very highly of you to reply to our comments. I absolutely loved your programs on my palm and my Windows Mobile machines. I think you guys are the best and don’t want to go to one of the other Bible programs from the iTunes store. I know you are not saying you are or are not developing for the iphone so I will not say I am or are not going to buy another solution…but actually…I will wait. And please if you do or do not please let us use or use not our Bibles purchased for previous platforms….or not.

    Thanks for replying…or not

  14. All your Bibles work on all our platforms (almost).

    The way it works is if you buy a Bible for one platform then switch devices, you can download the same Bibles for the new platform assuming they’re available for that platform.

    So if we do PocketBible for iPhone, any Bibles you already own will be accessible. Not sure how that would work since iTunes adds another layer of complication to getting content to you, but you wouldn’t have to buy everything again.

  15. Lawson Culver says:

    I was pleased that when I purchased the iPocketBible subscription, all of the PocketBible books I purchased on my old PocketPC were still available to use. If anything, that helps to create brand loyalty…

  16. Keith says:

    I will wait for a native app from you guys for a short while. I have used your products on Palm OS and Windows Mobile and absolutely love them. I did not purchase a subscription to iPocketBible because I can’t get a signal in my church. As a result, an online application is worthless to me. If you provide a native application, I would buy it in an instant.

  17. Dave Z says:

    Hi Craig,

    Just want to let you know that both myself and my wife would be two people interested in purchasing a native iPhone Bible application from Laridian. I can also say I know of another two people that would most likely buy it. So there’s four customers already.

    Seriously, I’m not saying I might buy it. I’m saying I -would- buy it. Unless Laridian broke its trend (and said iPhone app was complete garbage), but given your track record for quality software, it’s more or less a done deal for me.

  18. James Gleason says:

    Craig, sorry for the pesty and testy responses you’re getting. I do feel the same way as the other posts (PocketBible doesn’t work well for me, I want a native app, etc…). But you guys are doing a good job.

    I’ve invested/purchased from you for years with the Palm/Treo products and have gotten great use out of these. As a Pastor I’ve really loved having multiple translations available right when I need them.

    That said, I am another one of those who will jump to the first “Real” company that introduces a viable, native product for the iPhone. Just the basics for me (NIV, NASB, NLT). That’s what I use daily in my reading, preparation, and counseling.

  19. steve says:

    I started with Laridian in Palm, moved to Windows Mobile (i think i have that right…) and so I bought the ipocketbible for iphone assuming that since web apps were the only way to do apps on the 1st iphone, Laridian was building a bridge to the future. I assumed there would be a native app and still assume so since the iphone market is likely going to grow. So just take this as another vote for a native iphone app! As a fellow business traveler, I’ll leave your business decisions to you with a thanks for your fine products.

  20. Dale says:


    I have been waiting patiently, and will continue to do so, for a native iPhone app. While I’m not getting an iPhone (I don’t use AT&T), I am wanting to get an iPod Touch. The ONLY thing holding me back is a native PocketBible app. I love the product so much that I will not be able to have a device without it. I recently switched to a Mac, and the only reason I have Parallels on my Mac is for PocketBible. I also have a Windows Mobile device that is several years old and am going to hang on to it until I know for certain if you are producing a native app for the Touch. I am well aware of your policy regarding spreading news of upcoming products, so I’m not looking for any new word, I’m just posting so you have one more vote in your basket towards producing a native app for the iPhone. Thank you for all that you have done and please keep up the good work!!

  21. Leonard Wee says:

    I join many who have posted their comments on this page in asking (again) for a native iPhone version of your PocketBible / MyBible software. We have corresponded before via email on this. I have been using your software for years, adding many modules along the way.

    I have read your replies very carefully, and would wait for further developments on this product from Laridian. For the moment, I am holding back further module add-on purchases. I hope you’d understand. I plan to switch to using iPhone as soon as it is available in my country (Singapore), and would have to make do with whatever Bible software is available for that platform then, if Laridian does not have one. Thank you.

  22. rpb says:

    Craig and others…

    I’ve just been reading all the stuff and am surprised at the latent animosity (anger?) in some. I’ve been a PocketBible user for several years on HP then Toshiba devices, then went to an ATT 8525 over a year ago to consolidate what I was carrying on my belt. I will be purchasing an iPhone as soon as PocketBible is available as an application (my key, deal-making app). I will not be subscribing to the web-based app, because the nature of the web is too inconsistent and speed–even 3G–is spotty, at best (witness my HTC/ATT 8525). Matter of fact, I’m not a fan of 3G browsing, period; and that is the primary reason I have not subscribed to a full Internet package with ATT (still using MediaNet).

    I’m at ease with and currently use Windows XP (my desktop), Windows Vista (wife’s tablet) and OS X.4.8+ (my G4 Titanium), so whatever I use will be–indeed must be–consistent on all platforms. We’ll be purchasing PocketBible for wife’s tablet–she likes ***** for its breadth of material and tabbed interface, but I’ve been working on her (sigh).

    Just wanted to give you a full picture of how we use PocketBible. Looking forward to a new iPhone, but as I said, PocketBible as an app is an absolute deal-maker/breaker.

    San Bernardino

  23. John E. Litton says:

    Longtime user.

    iPhone Comment:
    What I read into much of the comments made was a general frustration in that we who have adopted the iPhone, have truly no decent choice in Bible programs as of yet. We also are mostly converts who had been longtime Palm users who knew of, purchased and supported your products for years. I’m one.

    We are just saying that we need you you to get something for us so we can have the volume of Bible versions you make available, for us and at the full features expected from the new iPhone.


  24. John,

    I agree that there aren’t any good alternatives for iPhone at this point. Ironically, with all the begging for a native app that’s been going on, the features of our Web-based app still exceed those of the native apps. I’ve received some testy emails from customers who say “well I’m just going to go buy xyz from iTunes”. I don’t think they’re thinking about the fact that the available programs are all very limited in features and resources. Even those that have modern translations only have a few, and there are no supplementary materials (commentaries, dictionaries, atlases, devotionals) to speak of. These are all available on our Web-based iPhone app today, which works great on iPhone 2.0 — IF you can get your new iPhone activated. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Brent Lawrence says:

    I totally agree with you on this issue. iPocketBible DOES far exceed any native app out there. I’ve been using the subscription model for a few months now and honestly for those who have held off doing so at about $1.63 per month are missing out. I mean really, we can’t let go of one Starbucks coffee to get two months worth iPocketBible or whatever indulgences we may justify on a regular basis? ๐Ÿ™‚ I use a totally different Bible program for my Mac, but on the original iPhone your program is hands down the best of any native or web app Bible program. That having been said, I would be delighted with the native app, but if you don’t plan to do one in the near future, I’ll be back for my subscription.

  26. Dave says:

    I love the PocketBible web-based app, but I will add that as soon as there is a native app, I’ll buy it on day 1. Simply put, I would like to have a bible that does not require ANY network connection to function. I’ve been with Laridian for over 6 years and had several bibles on my old Dell PDA. While I am a current iPockeBible subscriber, I’m delighted with the prospect of a native app bible.

  27. William Ashcraft says:

    I am a long time user on a Palm, and a subscriber to the web-based iPhone software. Sadly only my Palm device is fast enough in church. So I have to carry to carry the Palm device to church or Bible studies where navigating among a number of passages quickly may be important. I have 4 translations including the NASEC which I love. I have loved the convenience of the ability to navigate quickly on the Palm. I know you had no choice, but to deliver a web based program for the iPhone originally, but loading web pages slows the program too much for practical use in a Bible study environment. I have been nursing my ancient Palm awaiting the native Iphone app. My Palm is DYING. I don’t want to buy another. Please look at the iPhone sales and don’t judge the advisablility of producing the native app on the number of people who subscribed to the web based app. Most of us knew it would be lame, but as one other writer said, we voted with our wallets anyway.
    Thank you for this great software.

  28. Andrew Mitchell says:

    I have been using iPocketBible since it launched. Although I prefer MyBible, My palm is rather old and I don’t want to carry around 2 devices – but that is my choice, even though there is no WiFi or Edge coverage at my church – very slow.

    I have been using it on 3G this morning for the first time in church which is very fast compared to normal O2 speeds.

    I bet you guys are working on a native app. There have been no updates for iPocketBible since April. I am hoping you have switched all development time to a native app because I am sure you guys will come up with a fantastic native app.

    Keep up the good work Craig.

  29. Steve Gore says:

    Hi all

    Also keen for a native version of PocketBible for iPhone. Love the WM version I’ve been using. It’s a great product – hence the yearning for a native iPhone version (there’s no reception in my church either).

    As others have said, continue with the good work.


  30. Al Moser says:

    Craig, I have loved using iPocketBible due to the integrated daily reading plans. They are awesome and make it easy to read and study each day. Some people have commented on the two-finger scrolling. I simply opt to use the one-finger scrolling. Tapping the side bar to bring up the navigation menu is very easy to get used to. I hope that you do decide to develop a native app, as you will be able to incorporate much better interface features than the web-only version now provides. God bless and thanks!

  31. Barrie Brown says:

    Dear Craig:

    I am deeply saddened by the lack of `agape’ in this blog. I promise to pray more diligently for you and your staff in the future; it would seem you are under attack from The Accuser.

    To those who have spoken harshly to Craig, I encourage you to: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christโ€™s sake hath forgiven you.”

    Love in Christ’s Name,
    Barrie Brown

  32. Anthony says:

    I think we are all just fustrated. If there was one company you could count on showing up on the iTunes App sotre, it would be Laridian. I as others will wait patiently for a release of local Bibles via Laridian. This is critical because once you are on a jet, wi-fi, 3G, Edge go out the window. Loooking forward to a ocal version sooner than later. Come on guys.. the kit has been out forever (in tech years). Yous are better than this.

  33. Anthony,

    Yours is an interesting comment. Why would you expect us to show up on day one at the App Store? We didn’t have the first Windows CE Bible app. We didn’t have the first Palm Bible app. We didn’t have the first BlackBerry Bible app. We didn’t have the first iPhone Web-based Bible app. We didn’t have the first Windows desktop Bible app.

    We don’t have a Nokia app at all. We don’t have Bible apps for BREW or any of the Java-based phones. We don’t have a Mac Bible app.

    We actually came out and said that you shouldn’t expect us to announce our plans until we have a product ready for release. We also directly said we probably wouldn’t have one “a week, a month, or even six months” after the SDK becomes available. I think the final SDK was just released within the last week — it’s just now out of beta. (That’s hardly “forever in tech years”.)

    I think what’s going on here is that we have some expectations out there that just don’t track with reality. While we’ve been secretive about our plans, I can say with no doubt whatsoever that we’ve never given the impression that we thought if we did this it was going to be a quick and easy task that we could crank out within a week of the final SDK.

    Sure, there are some other Bible products already available for the iPhone, but look at them! A handful of Bibles, mostly public domain, and no reference materials or even devotionals to speak of. Very few features — most have rudimentary searching, if any, and most have no annotation, cross-referencing, or any other significant features. They’re all newbies — no support for an existing customer base who already own content that they expect to transfer (free, mind you) to the iPhone.

    Is that what you’re looking for, oh ye who bought Web-enabled phones with no third-party app support, then complained about the speed of your Web access and lack of third-party apps? Do you want us to post the NIV as an HTML file so you can download it and browse it with Safari? Is that what you’re waiting to pay for?

    Anthony, I don’t mean to pick on you personally. We’ve heard the arguments. Some are better than others. Some are funny. Some are dumb. Some are very wise. Remember that while you think about Bible software once a week or once a month or once a year, we think about it 24/7.

    Let not your hearts be troubled. Let the peace of Christ dwell in you richly. Take no thought for tomorrow. All things work together for good. Be of good cheer.

    And with that I close the comments on this post.


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