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PocketBible 1.1.0 for iPhone Coming Soon

Posted on: October 29th, 2009 by Craig Rairdin 25 Comments

I’ve been thinking all week I was just about done with this semi-major point-release of PocketBible for iPhone but then something else would leap out and I’d have to take a day and fix it. I thought I’d take a few minutes to let you know what’s coming in this update.

Notes

The major new feature is notes. You can associate notes with any Bible verse. Notes are independent of the Bible you’re reading. So a note on John 3:16 in the KJV also shows up on John 3:16 in the NIV.

Notes are indicated by a “Note” link at the start of the verse. Tap the link to view the note, or simply tap-and-hold anywhere on the verse to open the context menu and from there, choose to view or create a note.

Any references to Bible verses in your notes will be automatically linked. While viewing a note, just tap the reference to view the Bible verse. Notes are happy to be just plain text, but if you’re comfortable with HTML you can use most HTML tags in your notes. We provide a menu of HTML tags you can easily insert, and bold and italics are available from a toolbar in the note editor. So select the word you want to italicize, then use the <i> button to italicize it. No advanced HTML tagging knowledge required.

The note editor supports undo and redo. Few iPhone apps do, and for good reason. The current state of the text editing features on the iPhone is pretty primitive. It’s difficult to get access to everything you need to support undo/redo.

Pasteboard (aka Clipboard) Support

The other major feature is “Copy Verse” and “Copy Passage” (actually two features, but very closely related). Both are accessed from the context menu. Tap and hold on a verse then select Copy Verse to copy the verse to the clipboard. From there you can paste it into any app, or into a PocketBible note. Similarly, you can select Copy Passage from the context menu, then select the start and end verse you want to copy.

We save both a plain-text and HTML version of the verse on the clipboard. If your other app supports HTML you get really nicely formatted verses. There are options to control how and if verse numbers are included in the passage, and whether your notes should be included.

Rotation Lock

Finally, in terms of significant new features, we’ve added a simple rotation lock. Rotate the device into the position you want, select Rotation Lock from the Settings menu, and then you can lie down, stand on your head, or whatever it is you guys all do that requires rotation locking. Just an aside: This should be a feature of the device. It’s silly to ask hundreds of thousands of applications to implement it instead of doing it once in the OS.

Usability Tweaks and Bug Fixes

I’ve also added some usability features. These include:

  • Changed layout of search input to avoid selecting highlights and categories. Users are accidentally searching non-existent highlights and getting zero search results. The new layout will help.
  • Added more info to “no matches found” message to avoid the same problem as above.
  • Changed tap-and-hold delay to 500 msec from 1000 msec to more closely match Apple’s tap-and-hold delay.
  • Close the context menu after choosing to toggle Strong’s numbers on/off
  • Implemented underline and strike-through
  • Be more rigorous about the way we determine the type of the book. This will move a very small number of books from the “dictionary” or “commentary” section to “other” books.
  • In connection with the last change, send “look up” requests to “other” books so they can try to respond if possible. Again, a very small number of books are impacted.
  • Changed the title field on search results to truncate on the left instead of on the right so you can see the most detailed portion of the title in non-Bibles. (This makes sense when you see it but is hard to describe.)

And finally, I’ve fixed a few bugs:

  • Fixed proximity picker position in landscape mode
  • Fixed Spanish book names in both 3-tap and spinner go-to controls
  • Fixed OT/NT buttons in Spanish Bibles
  • Fixed reversed Hebrew strings
  • Ignore touches that come in while we’re in the process of going somewhere. Otherwise we can have weird zooming issues.

Release Schedule

I’ll post another blog article when I deliver this version to the App Store. It will be a couple weeks after that before it’s available for download. I just need to finish up the Help to cover the new features.

Next up: Daily devotional tracking and other features related to devotional books.

25 Responses

  1. Ike says:

    Sounds exciting and promises to make a very good program even better. Looking forward to the update and especially for me, to test out the updated search layout as it has continued to be an area of struggle. Keep up the good work and God bless. Ike

  2. Kent says:

    Awesome, can’t wait! :)

  3. Steve Gore says:

    Sounds great Craig.

    Whilst your looking at devotionals, can I put my vote in for the highlighting that happens in PB on WinMo? So when you click on a passage from your devotional, it opens up with the passage highlighted? Cause then I know when to stop reading. Would be really useful.

    Thanks for the great work!

  4. John says:

    Thanks Craig. Continual improvement is part of what we value most this already excellent product. How is demand doing? Any third party reviews yet?

  5. Karl Ingersoll says:

    Just want to say thanks for this great app. I have had Laridian for years in my Palm days. I was disappointed at the monthly subscription option when I first got the Iphone . . . but you folks have come through in a big way . . . can’t say thanks enough.

  6. Ike: The secret of searching is not to limit your search to a particular color or category unless you really mean it. Make sure there is NOTHING selected for “category” or “color”. Then searches will work exactly as you expect.

    Steve: PocketBible for iPhone already works that way. You may have it turned off. Check the setting for “Highlight Linked Passage”.

    Karl: Remember we created the Web-based iPocketBible.com site when that was the ONLY way you could have a Bible on your iPhone. It was one of the first such products and still has features that exceed many of the Bible programs you can get for the iPhone. However, we agree with you that the native version is the way to go.

  7. Gregg says:

    Hi Craig,
    Thanks for the coming update. Any chance you could upload a video or two which demonstrates how to use some of the features you mention?

  8. Greg says:

    Are there any plans to release memorize for the iPhone? That would be really nice!!! I recently moved to S. Korea. It is so convenient to have God’s word with me everywhere I go.

    Thanks Laridian!!!

  9. Joshua says:

    Craig, thanks for the updates including rotation lock! Notes and pasteboard sound great as well. Is “night mode” (light letters on dark background) still on the agenda for features to be added?

  10. Greg: We have not announced our plans one way or another with respect to Memorize! for the iPhone.

  11. Joseph says:

    I love the app & use it daily.

  12. Steve Gore says:

    Thanks Craig! Guess I must have turned it off by accident. Works great now.

  13. Gary Cantwell says:

    Hi Craig,

    Will there be a way to import personal notes from PocketBible for Windows to PB 1.1.0 for iPhone? If not, is this something you anticipate adding in the future, or should we plan to begin re-tapping to enter our previous notes?

    I’ll add my kudos – PB for iPhone is a truly magnificent and useful bible tool!

  14. Gary:

    I’ve mentioned before that everything you see in our other apps will eventually be in PocketBible for iPhone. Sync’ing your existing notes is one of those features.

    We’re waiting to get all the user-created data implemented before we solve the sync issue. The last piece of the puzzle is devotional reading tracking, which is what we’re doing next. So you can anticipate it “soon”.

  15. Gary says:

    Craig, thanks for the response. “Soon” is good enough for me on the sync’ing of notes. I hope that PB for iPhone is proving to be a profitable venture for Laridian.

  16. Robin says:

    Hi Craig and Jeff and all,

    I just wante to say thank you for all you have done over the years to make the Bible accessible via our mobile devices.
    Incidentally one of your associate ministers used to go out and smuggle bibles into China. Whilst he was there he used to preach using MyBible on his palm treo 600. Whenever the police would stop him all they found was his phone!

    Thanks for this latest update, a good solid update.

    In Christ,

    Robin

  17. Frederic Zurcher says:

    I am currently using MyBible, Servant Software Copyright 1997-2003. I know that there is an update available since then that I am not yet using. I am currently using a PALM TX but I am considering upgrading to a Treo or IPhone. However, I will not consider the upgrade until I will be persuaded that all my current notes will transfer to the new system. I have over a thousand notes and retyping them would be a huge job. What do you suggest I do?
    Thanks for your reply,
    Fred

  18. Frederic: Contact tech support.

  19. bisi says:

    Ilove this app and have been a customer ever since. However, I am not sure if I am the only one noticing this issue:

    1. The navigation method in iPocketBible is different from that in the Commentaries e.g. Life Application. In Life Applicatio you scroll up and down to access hidden verses while you tap left or right edges to access pages in iPocketBible.

    2. In Dictionary same as above.
    3. Can we have consistent navigation methods for all? Or am I doing something wrong?
    4

  20. This article is about our native PocketBible application. You seem to be referring to our Web-based iPocketBible.com.

    Moving around in iPocketBible is the same whether you’re looking at a Bible or a reference book. Scroll up and down to see text that isn’t on the screen. Double tap an edge to move to the next “page” of text. In Bibles, pages correspond to chapters. In reference books, pages are harder to describe but the concept is the same.

    If you continue to have questions, contact tech support.

  21. Bill Cauthen says:

    I was very pleased to install Pocket Bible on my Ipod touch, especially at the price. I am wondering if anyone else is having a problem with the “search” function. I have attempted repeatedly to search without success. If I am doing something incorrect I have not been able to find what I am doing wrong. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

    Thanks for a great product and continued work to make it even better.

  22. Make sure you’re running 1.1.0 and it will tell you what you already should’ve known: If you select any bookmark categories or highlight colors in your search, and if you don’t really intend to search your bookmarked or highlighted passages, you won’t find anything. The latest version works exactly the same but tries to make it more clear that you shouldn’t select the options you’re selecting while searching.

    If you continue to have problems, contact tech support.

  23. Charlene says:

    I’d like to add my many thanks for this great app. I have used it for probably close to 20 years on palm, then windows mobile and really love it. I am so excited to have it on my iphone now instead of having to use my old ipaq for my Bible. Thanks so much for making this available! You guys are awesome and very much appreciated. I’m excited about having devotional tracking in the works… I really liked being able to mark it off when I had done my reading for the day, and if I got behind, to be able to see where I was. I would also love to see Memorize for iphone. I still use that a lot on my ipaq. One other request would be navigation where you slide your finger to move text up or down like on most other iphone apps. I thought that was available as an option sometime…maybe the beta version? But I haven’t been able to find it. Anyway, great app, great job, and thanks so much for all your work!!!!! Really, really, you are very much appreciated!!!

  24. Charlene,

    Thanks for your comments. See this post for info on scrolling vs. paging to move through the text.

  25. Steve says:

    Hi Craig

    Fantastic app for iPhone. I love it! Looking forward to all your future developments and new books.

    Thanks again for superb software!

    Steve

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