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PocketBible for Android 1.0.6

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 47 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.0.6 has been released on Google Play. If you downloaded the app from Google Play, you will be automatically updated. If you are using a Kindle Fire (or other non-Google Play device), you can download the latest version by browsing to http://lpb.cc/android while on your device.

The major new feature in 1.0.6 is the ability to highlight Bible verses. It is easy to do – just tap on a verse and PocketBible will temporarily underline the verse. Choose the pencil icon from the menu to select a color and you’re done!

Along with the highlighting, PocketBible will now sync your highlights with the Laridian Cloud. So if you have highlighted verses in other versions of PocketBible, those will be transferred over to the app as well. In conjunction with this, you’ll find a new setting option on the menu for Sync Settings where you can specify how and how often your data is being synced.

While we were at it we threw in some other popular requests like the ability to view Bible verses one line at a time, set the screen in PocketBible to not time out and the ability to hide the status bar. You’ll find these new options in the Setting menus.

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47 Responses

  1. Bruce Gilliland says:

    I have 1.0.6 on both my Android phone and my Android tablet. I select and highlight a verse in my tablet, tap the menu button and tap Sync My Data. By the time I switch to my phone, tap the menu button and tap Sync My Data, the highlight shows up on my phone. That’s humming. Of course, “your speed and response time may vary.”

    Guys, I do have a question. The PB-Windows program has not been updated in a while, I don’t believe. I have not tested it yet, but will the current PB-Windows also sync with your servers for highlighting (and notes in the future)?

    • Hi Bruce, yes, PocketBible for Windows does sync all data with the server or cloud. Right now, you can only share highlights with the Android platform but other types of data will show up when we add those features into PocketBible for Android.

      Michelle

  2. Larry Baney says:

    Thanks for the update… so glad to be able to use Pocket Bible on my device.

  3. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the update.
    I was hoping that the copy/ paste function. would. work.
    when I copied 1 Cor 6.7-11, my tablet said, ‘copied to clipboard. that’s great. But when I pasted into a Docs To Go Word doc, I got this:

    y y

    p y y

    g y

    y g, y

    y

    g y

    y

    y , y j J y p

    Pls continue to work on the copy/ paste.
    Thanks..

    …Lisa

  4. Bruce Gilliland says:

    RE: Copying and pasting.

    On my Android 4.0.3 phone, I get results similar to what Lisa reported – trash. However, on my Android 4.2.2 tablet*, I was able to copy a verse and paste it into a Kingsoft “Word” document and into an Evernote note. The real issue may be the Android version, which can be device related. While Laridian may be able to do something, I suspect upgrading (if possible) to a newer version of Android may be the best answer.

    *My tablet is a Nook HD+ running Android 4.2.2 on a micro SD card. The Nook boots into the Android OS instead of the regular Nook OS. The Android OS is from a third-party source (there are at least three I know of).

  5. Paul says:

    “While we were at it…set the screen in PocketBible to not time out”

    Thank-You

  6. John Hopkirk says:

    The New verse on each line works well in all versions except the verses are in groups of eg. 2,3 or 4 where there are no headings or no need to be apart. This happens on both my Galaxy Note 10″ and 5″ Note/phone.

    • John,

      I’m not looking at the program right now, but by any chance do the groupings correspond to paragraphs when you display the text in its original paragraph form? If so, then my guess is this is an artifact of the way the text was originally tagged. We add line breaks at the start of each verse, but the original paragraph tags are still there. You get the Bible reduced to a list of verses like you want, but you also get an indication of the paragraph structure. It’s the best of both worlds. :-)

  7. John Hopkirk says:

    Craig
    Yes you are quite right Craig they are just following the original paragraphs. It dosnt really worry me as I use the newer ‘conversational’ style anyway.

  8. Susan A. Karnesky says:

    Are you working on being able to keep track of/synchronize devotional readings between platforms? I use the One Year Bible, but my start date is not January 1, so I have to manually locate my current reading, when I do some of my reading on a different platform than my phone. Also, when reading with the One Year Bible on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4, Android 4.2.2), I miss the highlighting of the reading selection that is available on other platforms. I have to keep referring to the reading schedule to confirm whether or not I’ve completed the reading, rather than knowing when I have because I’ve read the highlighted material. I do appreciate having my Bibles and devotionals on my phone, thank you for all the work you’ve done. Still looking forward to being able to switch back and forth between my phone and my iPad, without having to manually align the devotional to my “first unread” day, for both the One Year Bible, and for the other devotional I am using (new one each year).

  9. Paul Hoyle says:

    It’s so nice to have the highlights sync between windows Pocket Bible and my android phone and tablet. The tablet is looking much more like how I like my Bible to be. God has given you folks great skills – thank you for using them for his glory.

  10. Robin John says:

    Thanks so much for the update. Every time I need to switch versions, I need to go to BIBLES and click on on the required version. This does not happen with the IPhone. Any way of fixing this? It will be a great blessing to have this feature in my Samsung Galaxy. GOD Bless. Robin

  11. Eddie Boyes says:

    Great – having the ability to highlight a verse. My prefernce would be to be able to highlight a single word or phrase within a verse if possible at some point in the future. For example, when you hold your finger on a word and get the ‘drag function’, could what you have dragged (word or phrase) have more than the copying options in the menu at the top (eg could it include the pencil to add colour to the word or phrase)? Just a thought.

  12. Phil Crawford says:

    Hi. I have a work-supplied Windows Phone 8 and I love the way the reading plan highlights the text on that. I haven’t checked whether that now happens in 1.0.6 on Android, but it would be nice if you can put that on your to-do list for Android.
    On the subject of reading plans, it would be nice if the reading plans could synch to use the bible version being used in the main bible reading section, or a choice could be made where you have multiple versions installed.

  13. Adedayo Ige says:

    Craig and Michelle,
    thanks very much for the highlight update it is very good.
    I wonder whether highlight for today’s reading on the daily devotion is included as well in the android update or when will it be coming out?

  14. Steve Jones says:

    Quoting from the Android update screen:

    “Automatically Sync My Data”

    “PocketBible will only communicate with the Laridian cloud when you manually initiate a sync of your data”

    The previous screen may have given me guidance, but I wasn’t expecting the contradiction, so I just forged ahead. I assume the check box sets automatic sync and the explanatory text is incorrect, yes?

    • Steve,

      The text below the checkbox explains what the current status is. If you check the box, the text changes to say PocketBible will sync automatically.

    • Steve, it sounds like you are in the Sync Settings screen. The verbiage changes when the box is checked or not. So when the box for Automatic Sync is not checked the message reads: PocketBible will only communicate with the Laridian Cloud when you manually initiate a sync…” If you check the box it says to do an automatic sync and the message changes accordingly.

      Let me know if that doesn’t help, although it sounds like you’ve figured it out,
      Michelle

  15. Emau says:

    Dear Michelle,

    Let me first say thanks for the mighty fine work done so far.
    I want to very much support the request from Eddie pertaining to highlighting / underlining single or multiple words other than a complete verse. I grew so accustom to that on the old windows device. It does allow for detailed emphasis.
    Really anxiously looking forward to that together with the option of searching for words in the dictionaries.
    Thanks again

  16. Chuck Yingst says:

    Love the new features! Laridian is my favorite bible software. Thanks for supporting Android. Is the note taking feature coming soon? Love your product.

  17. Teresa C. says:

    Will the Android version ever get reading plans which provide daily readings such as “Bible in a Year”?

  18. Brad Miter says:

    Did anyone notice that Michelle was posting on July 4th? She also answered a question of mine sent in on an email. Thank you for your dedication. Tell Craig not to schedule a new release until after a holiday.

    And, I’m glad to read that others are having my problem with cut and paste in Android. I thought it might have been because my books are on the External SD Card so I tested after moving them back to the Internal area and same problem exists.

    • Brad, thanks for noticing ;-) I did get out to see some fireworks later in the day. I am blessed to have a very flexible schedule so I work some unconventional hours.

      Michelle

  19. Richard Wilkin says:

    It’s great to have the Android version update, particularly the split screen. However, I’m really looking forward to a day when I can add and sync Notes on the Android app.

  20. Donald Stidwell says:

    I was waiting to see if anyone else would comment on the fact that sync doesn’t seem to be working, but now I’m wondering if I’m the only one for whom this is true. No matter how many times or in how many ways I check the sync buttons I always have 227 unsynced changes on the server and none of my highlights are showing up. Synchronisation works fine on my iOS devices. This is the ONE feature in Pocket Bible on Android that I was most awaiting and I’m sad that it doesn’t seem to be working. Thoughts?

    • Donald, we have had one issue related to synchronizing and that occurs if you have used underlining in other versions of PocketBible. If this is occurring for you, you may get a sync error 10 and it may say there is another version currently syncing. This will be fixed in a coming update. However, the best thing to do is send us an email at support@laridian.com and we’ll work through whatever is happening for you.

      Michelle

  21. Craig says:

    Greetings Craig. Thanks for continually updating and working hard on the Android App. I’m even more excited about the upcoming Pocket Bible for Mac and praying for your startup funds to be met ASAP.

    One feature I think would be so cool in all versions and it may not be too hard to add (but i’m not a programmer) is this: Instead of having to highlight the whole verse w/ a particular color of choice, is it possible were we can highlight individual words in the verses? The reason for this is, for example, when reading Psalms, I like to highlight various words related to particular subject matter (i.e) orange – the character of God, blue – passion verses, pink – praise & worship etc…

    Let me know is this might be something that could be done?

    God’s best to you and your team there.

    Craig

    • Being able to highlight individual words is on our suggestion list, but it’s harder than you think. Let me just throw out a few issues off the top of my head. I’m not inviting discussion or solutions; I’m just giving you an idea of why it’s complicated.

      In order to highlight individual words, we need to be able to identify each word. The obvious solution is to call the first word in the verse “1”, the second “2”, etc. Complication #1: What about footnotes? These are encoded in-line with the text. If you count the words in a footnote, then suppress (hide or collapse) the notes, there’s not always an easy way for the program to know what the word count should be for the first word that follows the footnote.

      To store highlights in a database, you have to decide between at least three solutions: 1) Store the verse and word number where the highlight begins and the verse and word number where the highlight ends along with the highlight color in one record; 2) store the “transitions” — that is, store the verse and word number where the highlight starts in one record, then, in another record, store the verse and word number where the normal background color resumes (for a total of two records per highlight); or 3) store the verse and word number along with the highlight color for each word that is highlighted (for a total of one record per word).

      Complication #2: Size of the database. If you use option 1 and only highlight one word at a time, the start and end word numbers are the same (and thus redundant) but they have to be stored, making each record bigger. If you choose option 2, each record is small, but there are two records per highlight (which is actually more space in the database than putting the same information in one record). Option 3 is optimized for highlighting single words, but if you highlight an entire verse it creates one record per word. So if you highlight the entire Bible in one color, option 1 gives you one large record, option 2 gives you two small records, and option 3 gives you over 700,000 small records. If you highlight every verse a different color, option 1 gives you 31,102 large records, option 2 gives you 31,103 small records, and option 3 still gives you over 700,000 small records. If you highlight every other verse, option 1 gives you 15,551 large records, option 2 gives you 31,102 small records, and option 3 gives you over 350,000 small records. Storing one highlight record per verse gives you a size that is never worse than any of these three options but can be as much as 95% smaller.

      Complication #3: Access speed. You have to ask the database to tell you the color of every word in every verse you display. This means doing at least one and potentially more database queries per word that is displayed. Since there are about 25 words per verse on average, the time it takes to highlight a verse is as much as 96% faster if you highlight by verse instead of by word. If it currently takes about a half second to display a page of text, that means it could take 10-12 seconds to display a page if we have to look up the color of every word.

      Complication #4: Different platforms use different display technology. In the old days (up to and including PocketBible for iOS and Windows Desktop) we used an HTML rendering engine I wrote. My rendering engine is very tightly integrated with our LBK files and our user-data databases (notes, highlights, and bookmarks). I can very easily associate a word number with each word I display. (That’s why early versions of PocketBible (Windows CE and Windows Mobile) could offer word-by-word highlighting. MyBible for Palm OS had a unique display engine that couldn’t access our LBK files at all. The Bibles in MyBible did not go through the same process (BookBuilder) as our books for other platforms. Therefore there was not necessarily a connection between word numbers in the NIV in MyBible and the NIV in PocketBible for Windows CE. Today, our Java version of PocketBible for Android uses a built-in HTML rendering engine and CSS to display the text. It has ready access to our LBK files and user-data databases, but it has to “decorate” the HTML it sends to the built-in rendering engine with <span> tags to mark every word with its word number. This dramatically inflates the size of the HTML we send to the viewer (at least tripples it in size) and increases the parsing and rendering time. PocketBible on Windows Phone and Windows RT has to translate the HTML in our LBK files to XAML or some such thing — I didn’t write it and don’t understand it — and the problems are similar… adding the mark-up required to indicate word numbers would just slow it down.

      Complication #5: Determining the range of selected text. On some platforms, it is virtually impossible to connect selected text in whatever rendering/viewing object we’re using with a particular verse and word. On platforms like Android, it can be easily determined on some devices from some manufacturers running some versions of the OS, but the same method doesn’t work with the same version of the OS on a different device, even a different device from the same manufacturer.

      Complication #6: Determining the color of a particular word. It is difficult, if not impossible, to determine the color of a given word if we store start verse/word and end verse/word (options 1 or 2). There are Bibles in which the verses are numbered 1, 5, 2, 4, 3 in a chapter. A highlight that STARTS at verse 4 and ENDS at verse 3 would appear to be invalid (since verse 4 comes AFTER verse 3 in most Bibles). But in this Bible, not only is it valid, but it implies that verse 4 is also highlighted.

      Complication #7: Synchronization. The solution you choose for your database schema also needs to take into account synchronization across platforms. If you use one of the start/end solutions (options 1 or 2, above) it is VERY complicated to figure out how to synchronize highlights. Imagine if you highlight verses 3-5 in pink on one device, then highlight verses 1-7 in blue on another device, then delete the highlight on 3-5 on the first device. If you then sync both of those devices with the server, what color should verse 4 be? I can argue that it should not be highlighted (because the pink highlight was deleted after the blue highlight) or I can argue that it should be blue (since the pink highlight was removed). This is different than, say, notes. If you write a note on verse 4 on the first device, then write a note on verse 4 on the second device, then delete the note on verse 4 from the first device, then sync, the note will be deleted because the last thing you did on verse 4 was delete its note. The reason it’s different than highlights is that you can end up with “holes” in your highlighting which, while correct, are weird and it’s obvious they’re weird.

      Very few Bible software companies these days, especially those that try to maintain your data across platforms and across Bibles, offer word-level highlighting. These are only a few of the reasons why. Hope this helps.

  22. Bruce Gilliland says:

    Craig just confirmed what I’ve said for years in my programming work – the easier we make it for customers, the harder it is for us. Also, Craig and his staff are having to program for multiple environments with different coding methods, while trying to keep as much as possible the same.

    PB for Windows Mobile/Pocket PC had a number of features we are yet to see in iOS or Android because programming in the Microsoft “Windows” environment was mature, with a lot of tools. Also, they had several years to work in that environment. Now, they are having to work with new development tools in multiple environments.

    By the way, I complained to another application vendor about why they could not store their large data files on my external SD card. I pointed out that Laridian had solved that problem.

    Given that they are trying to maintain and enhance PB for iOS, improve and enhance PB for Android, coordinate development for Windows Phone and Windows 8, trying to get started on PB for the Mac (am I missing anything?), and add new books, I think the staff is doing an amazing job.

    Of course, that does not mean we should not ask for new features. Ultimately, ease of use and useful features is what sells one product over another.

  23. Rick Dubbs says:

    Version 1.0.7 showed up yesterday, but there is no notice here about what changes were implemented. I noticed a change to the calendar picker in the OYCB. Is there anything else?

    • Jon Grose says:

      Rick,

      I updated the “What’s New” tab in Google Play to specify which of the recent updates were 1.0.7. It was essentially bug fixes and small enhancements:

      1. Some users (< 1% reported the problem) experienced a crash on start up since upgrading to 1.0.6. This is now fixed in 1.0.7
      2. Many users had highlight data in their account on the server in older formats: underline, strike-through, and under-strike. We don’t let users create that data anymore since they can make color highlights. So the first release never supported them. Users who tried to sync to the cloud to retrieve their old data were unable to compete the sync whenever it encountered one of these old types of highlights. 1.0.7 now supports the displaying of the syncing and displaying of these 3 highlight types, but does not let the user create them.
      3. The Settings screen was difficult for some users with 2.x OS devices. We created a more consistent style to improve usability and readability.

        These bugs affected a very small portion of users, so unless you had a problem in one of these 3 areas, you aren’t missing anything new.

  24. Dave Z says:

    I’ve noticed something surprising and wondering what others are experiencing. I’m running PocketBible 1.0.7
    on a Galaxy S3 version 4.1.2.

    The app runs a lot slower than I would expect. For example, it takes about 3 seconds just to load a basic screen full of text when I first open the app. When it does, it loads it in stages, first a few lines at the top, then after a short pause, the rest of the page.

    When I select the “Go To” arrow, it takes 4 or 5 seconds for the page of buttons to load, and a couple more seconds to load the text once a passage is selected.

    Could this be due to my device or is it characteristic of the app?

    • Dave, I think you will get some performance variation between devices but seeing as I have a Galaxy S3, I can only say you have an awesome device :-)

      I don’t know if you were using version 1.0.5 but, with version 1.0.6, we added automatic syncing of data. I would suggest checking your Sync Settings and make sure you have that set up like you want. Since depending on how you have it set, it may be periodically connecting to the Cloud and that could make the program pause momentarily depending on your connection.

      If you need some help or advice tweaking that, please contact as at support@laridian.com.

      Michelle

  25. Bruce Gilliland says:

    I saw the slowness Dave described in earlier beta versions, but not in any of the recent production versions.

    I discovered a while back, at least with the PC windows version, is that if you have a large search results cache, loading times significantly increase. PB does not have a way to clear the search cache. To do so, select Search and type in “cat,” a word not in the Bible. That will clear the search results cache.

    If you have a file explorer app, check the amount of memory available. You may also have options in Settings that will show you the amount of RAM in use. If you have little storage space and RAM is maxed out, apps will tend to run slow as the system swaps data in and out of memory.

    Try rebooting the phone and then start up PB first. If it runs better, that would indicate a memory/space issue.

    I’m not sure this is an issue in Android, but I have seen it in PB Windows and the old PB WinMob. The more books installed, the longer it takes for the program to open.

  26. Craig Horlacher says:

    Dave, I’ve noticed the pause just before all the text loads on the screen. This is because it’s checking for new data to sync. The pause may go away since they may be changing the way syncing works, at least in Android. It would eliminate the need for that check.

  27. Felix says:

    Thanks for the update. I am patiently waiting to transfer my bookmarks over. I have been waiting for the android version that can do this for over 4 years or so. I have bookmarked my bible from cover to cover but cant view them on my android devices. Let me know if there is anyway i can help speed things up. Thank you for all your hard work. I know you have several plaforms/operating systems to build and maintain

  28. Steve Aubrey says:

    Bruce, for your choice of “absent” word to clear the search cache, be careful of your translation. “Cat” appears in The Message five times. A short nonsense word (cta, xo, or q) should work in all versions.

    I thought that if any version would have “cat” in it, The Message would be the one. And I wasn’t disappointed.

  29. Dan Leasia says:

    I used to be able to listen to voice reading of the palm version. I miss that feature. Is this now available?

    • Jon Grose says:

      Dan,

      It is not currently available. It is on the “To Do” list, but not sure when we will get to it. Google has a lot of text to speech stuff built in, so we already have a leg up whenever we start working on the feature.

      Thanks for your patience. Right now Bookmarks and data management is in the works, then notes, devotionals, and searching after that. I am not sure what is the next feature to come after that list, but your feedback helps prioritize the queue.

      Jon

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