We took step one of getting our iPad version of PocketBible released by handing it off to our beta testers this afternoon. We have one known issue we’re still working on, plus whatever our testers find in the next few days.
Our intention (as always) is to have a very brief beta. You never know what you’re going to run into, but the code has been working well for us in-house and we’re hoping the beta testers have the same experience.
As I’ve mentioned before, Apple limits the number of devices we can install to outside the App Store. We have 46 beta testers, many of whom have multiple devices. 14 of them have iPads. That doesn’t include our own employees and company-owned devices. Between all of those we’re right on the edge of not being able to add new devices to our list. With iPhone 4 coming in June we didn’t think it was a good idea to add any beta testers at this point. So you didn’t miss the announcement — there wasn’t one.
While we’ve been promoting this as an iPad version, the fact is that it’s a “universal binary” that runs on both the iPhone and iPad. Many of the new or improved features are also going to be available on the iPhone (and of course, iPod touch). Here’s the feature list in no particular order:
BOTH iPHONE and iPAD
- User data synchronization with iPocketBible.com server
- User data backup/restore to iPocketBible.com server
- Screen brightness setting (Dim the screen for reading at night independent of the backlight setting)
- Multiple panes (Two for iPhone, five for iPad. View multiple books simultaneously, or multiple passages in the same book)
- Decreased page-loading time (thus launch time)
- Splash screen now covers window drawing, then fades (OK, not exactly a feature, but it’s cool)
- Gradiated title bars
- Calculator-style go-to for Bibles (Select the book, then use numeric pad to enter chapter and verse)
- Notes list now shows excerpt of note instead of excerpt of verse
- Improved error messages when nothing is found as the result of a search. Try to tell you how to fix it.
- Updated help
- Control panel (Keeps search results and lists of notes, highlights and bookmarks available all the time.)
- Library search (All searches search your entire library, not just the active book)
- Notes search (Search your notes using Boolean operators, just like you search the Bible)
- Book notes (Add notes to non-Bibles)
- Edit note while using program (Makes it easier to copy/paste verses into your notes)
- View search results, lists of highlights/bookmarks while using program
- Lock panes so they don’t sync to content movement (Handy while writing notes or following cross-references out of a search)
- Additional margin and leading in single-book view (Makes for a pleasant reading experience)
- Bk/Ch/Vs go-to has bigger buttons for iPad; laid out 10 buttons wide
- Removed “lock rotation” setting. iPad has a hardware switch for this.
- New title bar style
I’ll post more screen shots and videos this week. Your patience will pay off in the end.