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MotionApps and Palm Updates Address Pre Issues

Posted on: June 30th, 2009 by Craig Rairdin 26 Comments

Class CertifiedMotionApps and Palm have both released updates for the Pre to address compatibility issues. Further details can be found here: Classic v1.1 release is now complete.

Laridian’s MyBible 5, DailyReader, Memorize! and CountEm are all Classic Certified.

26 Responses

  1. Brett says:

    I hope, hope, hope that you will release a true PALM PRE VERSION….Classic based apps are very UNDESIREABLE….can’t stand Classic as an app.

  2. Chip says:

    I agree with Brett, and after updating everything as directed, I still can’t get My Bible to work through Classic. Once you play with a Pre you will understand why you need to make a native Pre App. I’m truly prating you will!

  3. Chip,

    MyBible works great with Classic. Contact tech support if you’re having trouble getting it to work. Others are using it with no problems so I’m sure they can get you up and running, too.

    Classic isn’t an ideal solution, but it’s not a bad compromise considering the Pre is a single device with very small market share from a company that abandoned its millions of loyal users by creating an OS that is not backwards-compatible with the hundreds of thousands of apps already developed for its predecessors.

    And to top it off, the SDK required for developing for Pre is not yet in general distribution.

  4. Tom Clegg says:

    I agree with the above post and sincerely hope Laridian will release an actual Palm Pre version. Until then I will continue to use websites for having the scriptures on my Palm Pre but this is a poor substitute.

  5. Darris says:

    I will chime in with the other three here. I tried Classic but won’t be purchasing it. Works fine, but takes up so much screen real estate that not having a stylus makes things fairly unusable. I’ll just wait.

  6. Angela says:

    I used Classic for the free trial period with MyBible and although it does in fact work, like Brett said, it’s not desirable. If I wanted my screen to look like my palm or treo I would have kept them. Not to mention the Classic app is $30 to purchase! For me that’s not worth it since I have no other apps that I need to run through it.
    If you can make one for the iphone, you can make one for the Pre!

  7. Angela,

    While the statement, “If you can make one for the iPhone, you can make one for the Pre” sounds innocuous and encouraging, it ignores facts that reduce it to a statement of mindless enthusiasm.

    There are a couple reasons we can “make one for the iPhone”. First is the enormous customer base for the iPhone. The last numbers I saw said they hope to sell 500,000 Pre’s by the end of the year, while Apple sold a million iPhone 3GS phones in the first 3 days. When you figure that there are over a billion Windows PCs supporting less than 10 Christian software companies (that is, companies with more than one or maybe two employees who earn their full-time living in the Bible software business), it simply isn’t reasonable to expect that a platform with only a few hundred thousand users can support even one. That means for smaller platforms we might never be able to pay the cost of development.

    The other major factor in your comparison of iPhone and Pre is that the iPhone uses Objective-C, C, and C++ programming languages. Not only is this important because of the huge number of C and C++ programmers available to code for this platform, but it means that there are hundreds of thousands of lines of code that can just be compiled and will run on the device with little effort. Furthermore, the iPhone OS and SDK are built on the successful and relatively mature Mac OS X. This means more support is available in the form of documentation, education, skilled programmers, working code, and more.

    The Pre, on the other hand, has an operating system and tool set, which, while built on open standards, are new and untested. There is very little code that can just be moved to the Pre from other platforms.

    To give you an example: Over a year ago I took a one-week immersive programming class for Mac programming to prepare me to write code on the iPhone. During the last day of that class I took out a USB thumb drive containing our PocketBible code for Windows Mobile and was able to successfully compile a large portion of PocketBible for the iPhone after only 4 days of classes and within about an hour. With about a week of additional work I was viewing PocketBible Bibles and reference books on the iPhone. All the file access, decompression, searching, text layout/rendering, user-created data (highlights, bookmarks, notes, and reading progress), and low-level support like database, character string manipulation, Unicode, endian-agnostic data storage, etc. came directly from PocketBible for Windows Mobile and were in place within days of starting the project.

    When we look at the Pre, however, we have absolutely no code that can run on the device, very little applicable experience with the technologies on the device (which are more suited for Web-based than device-based apps, and therefore require a different skill set than typical mobile developers have), and no significant installed base to pay for our development time.

    So to say “If you can make one for the iPhone, you can make one for the Pre” sounds good, but really is like saying “If you can pet a cat you can bring peace to the middle east”.

    I’m not saying you’re a bad person for making such a statement, but rather I just don’t want to let it go unchallenged. I wouldn’t want other people to get the idea that it’s correct because we didn’t respond to it.

  8. David says:

    I also would like to put my opinion in the pot. It would be great not to have to pay for a $30 Classic app for the Pre just to run my old bible software. You all probably want to create one for the WebOS. Just letting you know there are people willing to pay for it. However, $30 makes sense to someone that wants to run more than one old app. But I wouldn’t mind paying even more than $30 buying them again individually if it can work and look like a typical Pre application. I can handle it in the meantime.

    Of course, all I really want is Bible translations and a search capability. The rest I can wait for in subsequent updates however long after.


  9. Sue says:

    I have happily used your software since my Palm 650 days, and again on the HTC Touch Pro (Windows Mobile). I recently moved to the Palm Pre.

    For me, it isn’t the $30 – I’ve already paid it. It’s more that the Classic emulator just doesn’t work. It makes your elegant software clunky and hard to get around in. I can’t “tap” the chapter and verse numbers (and there isn’t an option to do it all at once, like in the WM version) unless I expand the screen, tap, and then immediately shrink it to be able to read it. It just makes your programming look cheap and tacky!

    I did read your July 15th post carefully, and understand the problems – there just aren’t enough of us users to justify the time and expense of programming. It’s a dilemma for us too though.

  10. Dennis Griess says:

    Craig, My $.02. I am really looking forward the the WebOS version. I get the market dynamics. I’m sure you aren’t putting too much into supporting the native Palm OS any more and that looks like a dying platform, so I’m sure it will become justified.

    For what it’s worth, I’d love to see it move up your priority list. I’ve sunk the cost for Classic. MyBible works okay enough. I haven’t been able to get daily reader find the Bible for my one year bible reading program. Wish I could get that to work like it used to. That would be good enough for now.

    Keep up the good work!

  11. Tina says:

    When I purchased Laridan over the other versions of a Bible reader for my palm, I never regretted it because it was 10x better than the others. I had a lot more options the way I want to use my bible with Laridan. I own a palm pre now and I do hope in the near future your company will develop a version for the palm pre. When I go to church I take my treo with me so I can use my Laridan.

  12. Reid says:

    There will be Bible software for the Pre. Hopefully, Laridian will do some MyBible love for the Pre – if not, it looks like there will be others.

    Craig, I understand your investment in iPhone and usability of developed code. Your note is not encouraging regarding Laridian’s desires to develop for webOS. It does make room for new Christian software companies, maybe those using web programming technologies, to have success on the Pre.

    You guys could hire a programmer to do this app at a level acceptable to most Pre users at this point…and then improve it over time. I can use web bibles on the Pre, but not on airplanes, so a native app is needed.

    Phase 1

    – A good reader that utilizes the UI of the Pre with excellence
    – An innovative search (though your code cannot be used, your algorithms can)
    – A few solid translations (NIV, KJV, ESV)

    Phase 2

    – Annotations, Notes
    – Additional books and xRefs
    – Split Screen Reading/Linking

    I own MyBible but I am not buying “Classic” and running Palm OS stuff on the Pre. Palm OS is going to die out – whether webOS has the future us early Pre users hope for remains to be seen. Yet there is money to be made on the Pre – the tiny app catalog has seen 2.5 million downloads. Hungry users.

    Maybe the Verizon launch in 2010 will get the numbers where you want them to be. Thanks for the great MyBible experience on my past devices and for being transparent with us here.

  13. Dave says:

    any thought to just porting over the ipocketbible website? A number of homebrew apps are basically ports of web applications to the pre, and supposedly with very little effort.

    speaking of which, has anyone tested ipocketbible on the pre’s web browser?

  14. Mike says:

    I am in the midst of deciding which phone will (soon) replace a tired old workhorse – a workhorse that spends a lot of time running MyBible. The depressing thing, however, is contenders on my list de-jour are the Pre (therefore the post to this blog) and one of several Android phones that are coming out this fall. It’s depressing because it appears that MyBible won’t be available for either one any time soon (and no, I am not counting the “Classic” program for the Pre as a real solution – have you used it? Not my cup of tea). It means enough to me that I would actually base my phone-purchasing decision on which of these might have a real MyBible solution in the near-ish future (but not enough to stick with my old WinMo phone – and I’m sorry, I can’t get on the iPhone bandwagon – nothing personal). Before I give up all hope and *sigh* find another phone+Bible solution (which would be a sad day, you guys have been great), is there even a faint glimmer of possibility that either platform will find its way into the Laridian family?

  15. Mike,

    We have not announced our plans concerning the Pre nor Android. Both have some strong negatives, though. The Pre involves a whole new way of developing apps and has some serious limitations (requires you to distribute your source code, for one thing). We’ve been approached by Palm to be “early adopters” of the Pre. We sent them five or six critical questions that we needed answered and they just didn’t respond.

    Android is Java-based, which means none of our C++ code runs on it. That basically means there’s no difference between us and the hobbyist coder — we’re both starting from scratch. And it’s Java, which means more serious limitations.

    I’m sure you’ll see Bible software for both of these platforms, and you may even see it from us. I’m just saying there are reasons why you’re not seeing a strong up-take in developer support for these two platforms — not like you see on the iPhone and Windows Mobile.

    Frankly we’re pretty sold on the iPhone, but if you live anywhere in the middle 90% of the country then AT&T’s coverage is all but non-existent, so it’s not very useful as a phone. It’s great at everything else, though. :-)

    We’re also very committed to Windows Mobile. While it’s getting old, there’s an update planned for next Spring and hopefully it will include an improved UI. There is a lot of software available and it’s a powerful platform.

  16. Cosma says:

    Please release a version for the Palm Pre. I have had this product since it was first published. I miss it and used to use it in church to track the sermon. The classic does not work dor me. Please release a version for the Pre. God Bless

  17. Steve says:

    I hear your issues with making the case for iphone, but the truth is that you have a lot of people that moved from PALM OS to pre and you are selling them out. We gave you the business! But money is money right? You will be starting with a whole new base. Does iphone really need you?

  18. Steve, we have a lot of people who moved from Palm OS to iPhone, too. And over the years one of our biggest sources of new Windows Mobile customers was converts from Palm. (It was always the case that proportionally more people abandoned Palm for Windows Mobile than vice versa.)

    We’re not selling you out, Palm is. We’re not the ones who told millions of loyal customers that none of the apps they spend hundreds of dollars on in the last ten years would run on their new phone from our company. In fact we are the company telling you that the Bibles and books you spent hundreds of dollars on over the last ten years will now work on your new iPhone. Money is money, yes, but free is also free. We’re giving away our iPhone reader and telling our customers they don’t even need to buy new Bibles.

    So I take just a bit of offense at your implication that a) we’ve “sold out” our customers and b) it’s just about the money. I think if you re-think this you come to a different conclusion.

    See my July 15 comments above for more details about developing for iPhone vs. Pre. Then see my comments just above from September 8. We haven’t said we’re not developing for Pre. We have said that we have significant issues that caused Palm to just quit talking to us rather than help us solve them. So there is some concern that Web OS might not be the right platform for us.

  19. Reid says:

    There will be Bible software for the Pre…even a simple reader will sell on the platform. Will be paying my money. The very simple KJV reader has already been downloaded close to seven thousand times in one day.

    I too enjoyed Laridian in the past but those using Pre and Android will have other options. I love the Pre and would pay 20 bucks to just read the ESV on an airplane and do a basic saerch.

    The iPhone has huge numbers and so they eat first…

  20. praizehm says:

    Has anyone experienced success with downloading Bible software into a palm Tungsten?

  21. Praizehm: This might be a more appropriate question for Tech Support, depending on what problems you’re having. MyBible works fine on a Tungsten.

  22. Vicky says:

    Look, we just want a basic for now. I’ve downloaded the “Simple Bible” app for free and while it is the KJV, it at least is a Bible everywhere I go. And if WebOS has open code, you can start looking at some of the new Pre apps and start applying them to your algorithms. The best companies are ahead of the curve not following it. Jesus will come when we least expect it. Will we be ready?

  23. Vicky,

    I just want to make sure I understand what your eschatology is:

    Are you saying that Jesus will come unexpectedly with the sound of a trumpet and in a loud voice cry, “I have returned for my bride, the church! Well, not you guys with Palm Pre’s because all you have is the KJV, but you guys with a complete Bible library on your iPhone, come and dine with me in heaven!”?

    Or are you saying it will be more like, “I have returned for …. wait! Hold up! All they have is the KJV on their Pre’s! Turn around, back to heaven” amid the sound of grumbling from the saints and angels?

    I just want to make sure I understand what particular heresy you’re accusing us of. :-)

  24. Jason Williams says:

    Craig, your July 15th comment about Web OS development vs. iPhone development rings true. I’m a developer (mostly on the Windows platform) and I agree that the Web OS is very, very different to program on. Thanks for getting your app certified for Classic. Hopefully that will help people transition to the Pre (and soon, the Pixi) easier.

    That said, I also want to throw my vote in the ballot box for a native WebOS port of your app. My dad has used your app for a very long time on his Palm devices as his primary Bible when he travels. He highly recommends your software. If Palm decides to terminate their support for PalmOS, I do hope you will consider continuing development for Palm users on their new operating system.

    Thanks a ton for your product and I look forward to being able to buy your app for my Pre. ;)


    P.S. The comment in response to Vicky (Oct 3rd) is hilarious!

  25. RobG says:

    interesting that it’s been many months since anyone has left a comment here which sadly reflects perhaps a declining interest of Classic as I too do not like the interface, very dated looking and takes long to boot – I also feel strung along by Simple Bible

  26. The folks at Bits of God Software continue to make progress. I talk to them every week.

    We get very few inquiries about webOS. The initial excitement has waned. Very few devices were sold. The company (Palm) was purchased by HP, which has sent mixed signals about its future – saying on the one hand they only bought Palm for their patent portfolio and on the other that they intend to continue manufacturing devices. Meanwhile Android has come along and sucked all the air out of the room.

    Again, we have been working closely with Bits of God Software on Simple Bible Pro. Because of our agreement I can’t comment on features or ship dates. You may get more information if you contact them directly.

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