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.
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.
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.
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.