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What’s in the Pipeline?

Posted on: July 27th, 2015 by Craig Rairdin 53 Comments

We often get asked about what we are working on. While you can be sure we are always working, and that our work probably involves some version of PocketBible, we understand you may be interested in a more detailed explanation of what is going on behind the scenes. It is in that spirit that we are going to try something new with an occasional post on what’s in the pipeline for apps and books.

You’ll notice we don’t talk about release dates. We’ve been in this business for a long time and have learned that our best-laid plans often go awry. In fact, in the software business, that’s the rule rather than the exception. So we don’t spit into that wind nor tilt at those windmills. We’re pursuing the goals you see below at our best pace and will release new books and updates to our apps as soon as they’re ready.

Apps

  • PocketBible for Android – Version 1.4.4 is current. Includes support for upcoming BookBuilder improvements with respect to user-created Bibles.
  • PocketBible for iOS – Version 3.2.3 was released on June 1, 2015. We are currently working on some enhancements to the user interface and changing the way we do text-to-speech to make it easier to manage and less expensive.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – Version 1.1.5 with support for some upcoming BookBuilder improvements and minor new features was released on April 9, 2015.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.
  • BookBuilder for Mac OS X – Version 1.0.0 was released on 3/6/15. Currently working on some in-house features and better support for user-created Bibles.
  • BookBuilder for Windows Desktop - We’re about done refreshing the Windows version to improve the user interface, improve the integration between the various tools that make up the Professional Edition, and bring it into feature parity with the Mac version.

Books

Here’s what our editorial team has in the queue for you (not in any particular order):

  • Additional volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary Series (IVP)
  • The Applied New Testament and Old Testament Commentary (Cook)
  • Wesley Study Bible (Abingdon)
  • NASB Bible text Updates
  • Tree of Life Version (TLV)
  • More non-English Bibles (?)

Miscellaneous

In addition to the above we’re currently migrating our entire internet presence to a new hosting company. This takes a significant amount of effort and will cause some brief periods of time when the site will be either slow or entirely shut down as we migrate massive amounts of data from the old servers to the new ones. The benefit to you when we’re done will be additional security and speed. It will also cut our monthly internet service bill in half, which will help us keep our prices the lowest in the industry.


 

Disclaimers: All this is subject to change in priority, feasibility, copyright licensing, etc. That means we reserve the right to never release these features or books. We are sharing with you the current plan which is written in sand, not stone. Also, just because something is not on this list doesn’t mean we are not considering it. Finally, we are open to your requests, suggestions and comments!

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53 Responses

  1. Curious One says:

    Why would you require that users sync their notes and highlights to your Cloud. I understand why corporations would want this, as it will eventually be a commodity. But a lot of us would be perfectly happy syncing our notes and personal data only between our own devices, eg phone and laptop. Will you allow that?

    Thank you

    • Curious,

      We don’t gain anything from having your data on our server. It’s not a “commodity”. The color you chose to use to highlight Ezekiel 31:5 has no value to us nor to anyone but you. Hosting your data only costs us money.

      You don’t have to sync your data anywhere if you don’t want to.

      For the iPhone there is no direct connection to your PC to which we have access. The only way to get data from our app to your PC is by sync’ing both to a common server.

      Our original sync technology had the PC at the hub and everything sync’d to it and from there to other devices. The problem with this is that you had to connect to your PC, and you couldn’t sync one PC to another. Our server-based sync, which we’ve been doing for 6-7 years now, lets you sync any device with Internet access to any other device with Internet access.

      While you object to cloud sync and want to go phone to PC, others might object to cloud sync and want to go phone to phone. We’d have to invent ways to connect every device to every other device, and write the sync algorithms for every device. With our way, we have the sync algorithm in one place, and devices already come with the ability to connect to that place.

      Craig

  2. Bruce Gilliland says:

    RE: Syncing to the “Cloud”

    I was once wary of the “cloud,” primarily because I could not always expect to have an internet connection. I still don’t assume I always will. However, I daily use tools such as Evernote, Dropbox and e-book readers which are on my work PC, my home PC, my smartphone and my Android tablet. I have access to the latest data in all locations.

    With this much simpler and easier method of data syncing, Laridian ensures that changes we make in one location are available in all other places we use PocketBible. If I highlight a verse on my phone and sync it, that verse will be highlighted in PB-Windows when I get home and sync it. It can’t get much easier than that.

    Now, Craig, if you could save my current book location like my Nook app does, we really will be cooking.

  3. Curious One says:

    Craig,

    Thank you for the explanation. I wasn’t intimating that Laridian was viewing the Cloud as a commodity, as some companies do and will. I just did not understand why a server-based methodology was required. Now I do. It’s still not for me but I can see why it would be viewed as ideal by many if not most others.
    I s’pose I got spoiled with Windows Mobile and the ability to sync between my desktop and my PDA/Phone. I don’t own an iPhone and never have. It sounds like “my” ideal setup will not be possible with Android, through no fault of Laridian.

    Thanks again

    • Curious,

      The only benefit of directly sync’ing between a phone and a PC is that your data never leaves your control. If you put confidential information about yourself and others in your notes, and if you identify yourself and others clearly and completely in your notes so that a third party could read your notes and learn specific, confidential information about others AND learn exactly who those others are so they could take nefarious advantage of that knowledge, then I can see where you would be concerned. I would argue, however, that very few people are doing that and, if they do, they are storing that information not as Bible verse notes in PocketBible but in some kind of password-protected database software.

      The benefits of sync’ing to the cloud are myriad, and include:

      1. Your data is stored off-site, so if you lose or damage your device, it can be recovered. If your data is stored on your PC and your house burns down, it’s possible that both your phone and your PC would be lost. If your data is stored on a laptop, chances are even greater that both copies of your data would be lost.
      2. As long as you have a connection to the Internet (which is virtually 100% of the time these days, either via cellular or WiFi), your most recently added data is backed up. When sync’ing with your PC, you could lose a day or more worth of work, depending on how frequently you plug your phone into your PC. Back in the old days of Windows Mobile, you did this frequently — as often as every night when you charged the device. Nowadays most people almost never plug their phone into their PC. Then when you do plug it in, you have to take an additional, manual step to synchronize your data with PocketBible.
      3. You can easily move your data between devices which don’t normally connect to each other. You can move your data from Android to iPhone, from Windows Phone to Android, from iPad to Surface tablet. Not all of these devices offer a way for PC apps to communicate with them.
      4. You can easily move your data between devices which don’t connect to your PC, or offer limited features to PC-based apps. Windows CE/Mobile actually allowed PC-based programs to make “remote procedure calls” across the connection with your device, so the PC didn’t have to know how to open and interpret PocketBible data files but instead could ask Windows CE/Mobile to read those files and report the results. While PocketBible for Windows could see and manipulate your Android database, it may or may not be able to open the file and manipulate the data inside, and no similar remote procedure call interface exists, to my knowledge. And PC apps simply cannot access iOS data across the connection the device makes to a PC.
      5. We can take advantage of the capabilities of the device to hide your data from other apps. In order for your data to be visible to a PC, it needs to be visible to ANY application running on your PC. On some devices it also needs to be visible to other apps running on the device itself. We keep your data more secure by putting it somewhere private (on your device), while at the same time giving you easy access to it on any of your other devices (through our server).

      I should clarify that “the cloud” in this case is not iCloud or Google Cloud or DropBox or any other large, public storage space, but rather our server. While this doesn’t necessarily make it more secure, it could be argued that the Laridian server offers less of an attraction for a hacker. There are definitely better places to break into than our server. If the contents of my Bible notes are typical, there is very little there of interest that would justify the time it would take to hack your way in. :-)

      Craig

  4. Richard Thompson says:

    Are you planning to release the bible called TNIV?

    • We were the first company to publish the TNIV when it came out. It is no longer published and we no longer have permission to distribute it. It has been replaced by the 2011 edition of the NIV.

  5. Steve says:

    I just wanted to put in another plug for individual word or phrase highlighting vs highlighting a whole verse. (I did go to the referenced link above on this issue – but did not see any info. addressing it).

    Thanks for your product

  6. David says:

    Book suggestion.

    I have seen several people gain a better understanding and a greater interest in the Bible when they were exposed to The Living Bible. I realize this is a paraphrase instead of a translation but perhaps that is the very reason for a greater interest in the Bible.

    Is there any plan to include The Living Bible in Laridian’s Bible selection?

    Thanks,
    David A. Hale

    • David,

      I don’t believe the Living Bible is available anymore. Tyndale phased it out when the New Living Translation came out. Even then (1990’s) it was beginning to sound dated. We offer The Message, which is also a paraphrase, that kind of took over the Living Bible’s position in the market. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

  7. Robert Cohen says:

    Hi. I have used your product extensively over many years on many different devices. I love it!

    Is there any chance you could add the NIRV of the bible to your list?

    Cheers

  8. Roger says:

    The number 1 thing i want in Pocket Bible is for it to remember where I am up to in every single book of the Bible.
    If the preacher says turn to Matthew 5:4 and then says turn to Phil 1:6 and then says turn to James 1;1 and then jumps back to Matthew I want to be able to choose Matthew and then say go to where i am in Matthew (because I wont remember where we were in Matthew). My Bible on my Palm T3 does this.
    If i then choose to go to say, Jonah I want to be able to go to where I was in Jonah last time I had Jonah open whether it was last week or 6 months ago.
    This should be pretty easy to implement. There are only 66 books to keep a pointer in to keep track of where you are up to.

    • Craig Rairdin says:

      We don’t get any/many requests for a feature that keeps track of where you are in each book of the Bible, but you can accomplish most of what you’re asking about by simply using the “Back” button.

      There are more than 66 books of the Bible to keep track of, and there is more than one Bible so we’d probably have to keep track of where you are in each translation of the Bible and in each book of those Bibles. Then we’d have to provide user interface that allows you to somehow select a) I want to go to Jonah but not to a particular verse, just to the last place I was reading, and b) I want to go to the last place I was reading in Jonah in one of the other 30 Bibles I have installed, not the Bible I have open, and c) I want to go to the last place I was reading in Jonah in the KJV, but I want to go there in the NIV, and d) show me a list of where I was reading in each book of the Bible in each of my Bibles.

      So, yeah, it’s more complicated than you think. :-)

      We didn’t write MyBible and I don’t remember how it worked.

      Craig

      • Roger says:

        Thank you for your quick reply.

        Using the back button will only work
        In the current session
        And to go backwards.

        You cant then go forwards again.

        Laridian produced My Bible. I dont understand “We didn’t write My Bible”??

        The Olive Tree Bible app records your history, which, while not nearly as good as My Bible on the Palm, is a lot better than tring to use the back button.
        Unfortunately, the Olive Tree app is very slow to load whereas with the font made a little larger, Pocket Bible loads very quickly.

        I really find it incredible that in the 21st century, a smart device is not smart enough to do what a 10 year old Palm can still do (and much faster).

        • Craig Rairdin says:

          I’m not as familiar with our Android app as iOS, but there should be “forward” on the menu somewhere. And I’d be a little surprised if “back” only worked in the current session. Not too surprised; just a little surprised.

          MyBible was originally called Scripture and was written by David Fedor, who was an employee of Palm at the time. We contacted him back in 1999 and arranged to market his Scripture program as MyBible. His program was extremely simple, but that was the hallmark of a good Palm app. For example, it didn’t provide for any Bibles that contained the Apocrypha and it didn’t have any reference books — just Bibles. We didn’t take over development on MyBible until very late in its life. I think we might’ve had some code in MyBible 4 and certainly did in MyBible 5. But all the basic functionality of the program was written by David.

          Every Bible program is a little different. MyBible had a few features that we don’t support in our current apps, but then we have a lot of features in our newer apps that it can’t touch. It did highlighting differently — some would say better. But it didn’t sync with the cloud or with any other apps. Our searching is more sophisticated, our bookmarks and note-taking features are better, and our integration across your entire library is better. MyBible was a great little program, but it was a very simple program running on a very simple platform. We can do a lot more today.

          But the key take-away here is that every app is different. You’ll find that all of the PocketBible programs have similar features and philosophies because they all came from Jeff Wheeler and me. Jeff and I worked on Bible software together for 10 years before starting Laridian 16 years ago so we came to think alike with respect to Bible software. MyBible was different because it came from a different developer. Same can be said for the Noah app for Blackberry and Simple Bible Pro for webOS — we didn’t develop those either, but we did market them. It’s not that the things that are different are too hard to do on Android, but just that we look at the problem differently and some things might not fit well in one program and others won’t fit well in the other.

  9. Mark Richmond says:

    Hi,
    Please can I make suggestion for feature I would find very useful.
    I’d like to quickly navigate back to recently found references.
    I know that some list is held which I can go back to in order using teh ‘back’ key – but this is very detailed (i.e. if I scroll up within a passage then I have to revisit each time I stopped), and so if I want to go back to yesterdays reading, there may be a lot of intermediate steps.
    What I’d like would be a list of recently searched for & ‘go to’ verses that have been entered. I could select from the list, and jump back to, say, the main text in a sermon after we have looked at another passage.
    Do you think this ‘Recently Visited’ list would be generally useful? Maybe others are interested? Thanks, Mark Richmond

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      Mark, thanks for the feedback. That is something that is our our request list and I’ll add your vote to that.

      Michelle

  10. Christoph says:

    Hi Craig and team,

    Thanks for the constant improvements and additions to the SW and Library. I am missing though any bible in German. Maybe I am one of a few, but if you could look into including maybe a Luther- Text bible would be great and much qppreciated.

    Thanks and Blessed New Year 2015 Christoph

  11. Tim says:

    Windows Rocks – I have Win8.1 and WPHONE 8 and the app is terrific and syncs great between the two platforms.

    I would love to see an app for Xbox One – should not be too hard when Win10 comes out (since the OS will be cross platform). That will be great if you are having a small group meeting and then you can put the text, maps, etc. up on the big screen.

    Ever thought about pinning books, chapters, verses in Win8? I think you can pin just the Pocket Bible book.

    I would like to see some samples of content listed in the store or perhaps a 2-day trial mechanism. I’ve purchased some items that were not what I expected.

    Of course I’ll beta test!

    Thanks for a great product.

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      Tim, thanks for the feedback. We do have the pinning option on our request list for consideration.

      Keep in mind that we do have a 30-day money back guarantee on all purchases. If you find you don’t like a book you have purchased, remove it from any devices to which you’ve installed it and contact our support and we’ll process a refund for you. We also link to Amazon on each book page so you can sometimes look at their version of the book intro to see what it is about and check out comments from other readers. Hope that helps!

      Michelle

  12. Kelby says:

    The Windows Phone version is great… love it!! Would like to have more options on the type of voice when using the bible audio playback. I believe the ios version has an optional voice pack, this would be great for the Windows Phone Version. Thanks

    • Craig Rairdin says:

      When we did the iOS version, there was limited or no access to any built-in voice synthesis capability. So we went with a third-party system that required you to download voices in their proprietary format. On Windows Phone (and Mac and Android), we use the built-in speech synthesis features. So if there are any add-on voices or voice features for Windows Phone, they should work with PocketBible.

      • Kelby says:

        Okay, would like to make a request for the built-in speech synthesis to be Cortona as one of the default text to speech default options for Windows Phone. How about being able to tell Cortona which Book, Chapter or Verse I want and Cortona executing same. Cortona interacting with Pocketbible would be great.

  13. Victor Ong says:

    I’m using the iOS version. Is it possible to make Notes recognize a website URL and convert it to a hyperlink on future PocketBible upgrade?

    • Craig Rairdin says:

      It’s possible. We don’t currently do it because we can’t support links to websites on all our platforms. We may do this in the future.

  14. Steve says:

    A key improvement for the Windows Phone app is consistent “back” functionality. Usually hitting the back button takes you out of the app instead of back to where you just were (contrary to what I think the directions say). Thanks!

  15. K K Tan says:

    The Journal feature is really a great addition to the Android version. I would really appreciate it if the Journal feature can be added to the Windows Store version soon.

  16. I’m using the Android edition. I like using the Kindle Fire HD because of the split-screen feature so I can see my note next to the text. I like that I can create a category for bookmarks. I can use this to set up bookmarks specifically for a sermon or class that I’m teaching.

    One thing that would be helpful is the ability to create categories for notes (maybe you have this and I didn’t see it). This would let me write notes specifically for the sermon and I wouldn’t have to make headings within the notes (this part for ‘sermon name 1′, this part for ‘sermon name 2′, etc.

    Thanks,

    Randy

    • Craig Rairdin says:

      I’m not clear on what you’re doing with notes. If you are taking sermon notes that really don’t need to be attached to a verse, then you should be using the Journal Notes feature of the Advanced Feature Set. Let me know if that’s not what you’re looking for. It might be easier to correspond through support@laridian.com instead of doing it here.

      • Hi Craig. I place the references that I’m preaching from in a custom list of bookmarks that are titled the same as my sermon. Then I place a note on each verse. I’ve written an article about it here:http://blog.laridian.com/?p=2775 These are the notes that I use to preach from.

        When I use he same verse in more than one sermon I have to look through the note to see which portion of the note is for this specific sermon. I think it would be helpful to have categories for notes just like categories for bookmarks.

        Of course there is an advantage to having all of the notes together too. The Journal Notes might do what I need. I’ve already been planning to buy the advanced feature set. I’ll go ahead and get it.

        Thanks,

        Randy

      • The Journal was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!

  17. I just bought the Advanced Feature Set for Android and Windows 8. Now I can use my notes on both devices and sync them. I love it!

  18. vtgant says:

    please add the study and navigational features to the Windows store version. I use this product every day and hope that you will continue to be enhance it as the other versions. In other word, please throw some more love Windows 8.1 way. :)

    • Craig Rairdin says:

      The Windows Store and Windows Phone versions of PocketBible were developed by a PocketBible user in New Zealand who happens to also be a talented Windows developer. We throw him as much love as we can. :-)

  19. Victor says:

    Do consider adding a prayer journal module within the PocketBible application for future upgrade, if possible. Thanks.

  20. Bruce Gilliland says:

    I see where another [unnamed] Bible software vendor is releasing William Barclay’s New Daily Study Bible series in electronic form. The books were revised a few years ago with updated language and illustrations. Westminster-John Know had pulled the electronic versions of the older (1975-76) editions several years ago. Any chance of getting them for Pocket Bible?

  21. Frank Fichtl says:

    I was wondering if Chromebook support was on your radar?

    Thanks for your wonderful software.

  22. Judy says:

    I don’t know if this has already been addressed or not (did not see it here). Will we be able to just highlight verse numbers in Windows Store version like we can in IOS version?
    Thank you.

    • Craig Rairdin says:

      Each of our versions of PocketBible is developed by a different developer or development team. Sometimes little features like this show up in one version because the developer discovers it is easy to do while working on something else. In this case, there was a request from users of the iOS version to be able to turn off the display of highlights. While implementing that, I thought that only highlighting the verse numbers would be a nice “in-between” mode, between not displaying them at all and highlighting the entire verse. This feature may or may not show up in other editions of PocketBible.

  23. Roger says:

    I also want to be able to highlight different words in diff colours in the one verse like i can on my Palm T3.

  24. Craig Rairdin says:

    I’ve addressed the highlight-by-word question here before, so I put it in an FAQ: http://www.laridian.com/content/tsfaq.asp?RecordID=748&resultsFormat=categories

  25. Craig Rairdin says:

    Kevin,

    You don’t lose anything when you install PocketBible on a new device. It’s all in your cloud account right where you left it. Just download the books you want on the new device.

    The Serendipity Bible is on the suggestion list. Each book we publish (and haven’t published yet) has its own complications. It could be the copyright owner is a problem to work with. It could be the book isn’t available in an electronic format. It could be that you’re the only person interested in this title so we haven’t prioritized it. But if you’ve suggested it, it’s on the list. :-)

    Craig

  26. Bruce Gilliland says:

    Ditto. But there is a problem with earlier versions of Android not displaying all Greek letters correctly. That is why the SBL Greek New Testament is not available for Android. As more people move to Android 4.4 and beyond, maybe we can get an interlinear Bible.

  27. Steve says:

    I agree–this is a key piece of needed functionality!

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