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PocketBible for iPad Approved for the App Store

Posted on: May 17th, 2010 by Craig Rairdin 65 Comments

We just got an email from Apple saying PocketBible for iPhone/iPad is approved for the App Store. It could take 24 hours for it to become visible to you. The rest of this posting is a repeat of the announcement we made when we uploaded this new version.

Features are described here.

Video preview here:

This version adds new features to the iPhone/iPod touch and has native support for the iPad. Current users of PocketBible will see this new version as an update in the App Store app just like any other update.

If you have notes, bookmarks, etc. in MyBible for Palm OS, PocketBible for Windows Mobile, PocketBible for Windows, or you’ll be able to move these notes to your iPhone or iPad with this new version. If you have Palm OS or Windows Mobile you first need to synchronize this data with PocketBible for Windows (desktop). Then synchronize from there to Details are here. PocketBible for iPhone/iPad syncs with so you need to get your data there to start with, then when you sync with PocketBible for iPhone/iPad it will get your notes, bookmarks, etc. from your other device(s).

Search results are displayed in the Toolbox at the bottom of the screen. Your entire library is searched, usually in a fraction of a second. Library results are on the left; results for the selected book are in the list on the right.

Split the screen into as many as five panes (three shown here) to reference commentaries and other reference books.

Here I’ve changed the font and expanded the Toolbox to give me more room to type my notes. The notes viewer supports HTML so I can create this outline using nested ordered lists. Bible text can be pasted in HTML. Here I’ve made verse numbers bold and made the text small. Any unambiguous references (such as “Col 1:3-8″ at the top) are automatically linked.

When the iPad is rotated, the Toolbox moves to the side (either right or left).

The new calculator-style verse selection method is shown here. Select the book from a drop-down list, then key in the chapter and verse on the keypad.

The Bk/Ch/Vs (“3-tap”) verse selector sports larger buttons on the iPad and is ten buttons wide to make it easier to find chapter and verse numbers.

PocketBible is great for daily devotional reading. Here Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening is shown on the left and the Bible on the right. The Reading Progress window show what you’ve already read (in green) and what you need to read (in red). I’ve hidden the Toolbox to maximize space for reading the text.

65 Responses

  1. John Fidel says:

    Good news. Congratulations. I look forward to applying the app to my studies as well as purchasing a few more resources.

  2. Andy O. says:


  3. Randall says:

    Congradulations to us all. Now we no longer need to go to the app store every hour. Now we can go every 10 minutes or so! :-)

  4. Randall says:

    Well the app store says the update is available. However, it updated the iPone version on my iPad. I guess I’ll have to wait until the iPad app actually shows up

  5. Geoff Chapman says:

    It’s up and available! Thanks for your hard work on this.

  6. David says:

    Just downloaded the update. Thank you so much.

  7. Ron Priest says:

    Installing now!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  8. Edward Cook says:

    GREAT NEWS!! I’ve been checking for updates every little while. Hopefully soon it will show up. Thanks again guys!

  9. erik says:

    Downloading it now – very excited to see it on my ipad! Thanks for your hard work.

  10. Andy says:

    I see it. It’s downloaded. Great work, Craig

  11. Edward Cook says:

    Ha! I had just checked for updates on my iPad before my post above (couple minutes ago) and it was not there. I just checked again and it is now downloading! Big smiles.

  12. Ron Priest says:

    Scared to go any further :( I installed new version on both devices (phone then pad) back-up my data from phone to the server, then synced with the iPad, but my notes didn’t not appear on my iPad. So now, what should I do another sync? Should I sync with my iPhone again? Or iPad agan first? Afraid if I sync with my phone I’ll loose all of my data and it will look like my iPad with blank data?

  13. Randall says:

    It’s here it’s here!!! I got it. Thank you so!!!!

  14. Tom says:

    Got it! It’s beautiful. Way faster and I like the double window. Thanks very much.

  15. Ron,

    No matter what happens you have that backup. So don’t worry.

    When you did the backup, we stored a copy of your device database on the server, but we didn’t put anything in the SERVER database. So then when you sync’ed with the server from your iPhone, there was nothing on the server to sync with.

    Go to your iPhone (assuming that’s where the notes are you want to get to your iPad) and do a SYNC instead of a backup. Then do a SYNC on the iPad. That’s it.

    Alternately, you could do a RESTORE on the iPad. But that may cause confusion if/when you later do a sync because “restore” sets the modification date to the current date/time. You won’t lose anything but it might ask you questions about which data you want to retain. Best bet is to use SYNC.

  16. erik says:

    I love it – the sync’d multiple windows are exactly what I wanted! Just one thing has me puzzled – I read the help and played for awhile and I still totally can’t figure out how to use the three different verse selection methods. All I can get is the old style, 3 step one – no joy on the spinners or calculator style. Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong…


  17. Paul Iossi says:

    Thanks Craig! Excellent as always! Bless you! I was so excited to see this pop up in my iPad update list in the App Store! You just made my month! :-)

  18. Ron Priest says:

    Yes, everything is fine Craig.

    That’s what I did first, was create a backup, so when I synced my iPad there was nothing to put on it. I synced my iphone then synced my iPad. The first time syncing my pad, it crashed and when I opened it up, it appeared I had all of my highlights, but not notes. So I went to sync the pad again, and it crashed. But this time instead of just starting it up in the normal mode, I selected to keep content but… What was that choice? I forgot. But when I synced the iPad the 3rd time it went all the way through without crashing and it looks like all is well as I see my notes!! Im soooooooo excited! It looks awesome!!! So now Im going to go to and start adding more notes!

    Here is my new note for James 1:12

    Also see James 1;2-4,12 see sermon 100113 How To Measure Your Maturity. Pastor Bill Langley, Is Your Faith Working? Wed Jan 13, 2010

    And happy is the man that now has PocketBible for his iPad! Love it!

  19. Ron Priest says:

    I think Im getting in touch with the my more feminine side.

    When I opened my daily devotional in one column, and the NIV translation in another column, and turned off synchronize, I was pleasantly suppressed to see that when I tap on a scripture reference in the devotional window, it stayed right there, but the scripture opened in the other column! How cool! I believe my exact words were, “Lovely” then I thought, wow, “lovely ?” I mean cool, awesome, fantastic…. anything but lovely. Craig, you are changing me! I’m tool old for changes!

    I don’t guess I will get any sleep tonight. Don’t know if I’ll be able to eat either? Wonder if I could count that as fasting? Maybe I should pray about it?

  20. Stan says:

    Just installed the new version on my iPhone. Love it!

  21. Tony says:

    Great news…. looks great.
    But I tried to sync my iPhone and iPad with server and I get a
    “PocketBible Alert, error opening connection to serve” message. I have restarted both and tried again but same message. What am I doing wrong. (I live in the UK)

  22. Robin Brenchley says:

    Hi there, great news and it looks and works brilliantly!

    One problem, when I try to ‘sync my data’ I get and error connecting to server message. This didn’t happen the first time and my notes are safely on my Windows version of pocketbible for the first time.

    Have we all broken the server in our excitement and rush to use the system?

    FYI I get the same error on both pc and iPhone.

    God bless and thanks,


  23. Erik: You can change the verse selection method in Settings. I think it’s under Program Settings.

    Tony and Robin: I’m getting the same error when I try to connect to the server. At first glance everything appears to be fine on the server. I’ll have to dig in a little deeper.

  24. OK the server problem should be fixed. There were some abandoned sessions that were still connected. The server is supposed to disconnect them after two minutes but it didn’t. As a result, the maximum number of connections was being made and nobody else could get in.

  25. Brian says:

    Woo-hoo! It is awesome. This is the best app for my iPad! Really!
    All of my bookmarks, highlights and notes synced right over. My 6 year old notebook has finally been laid to rest.

  26. Robert says:

    Just tried to update on my iPhone. Seemed to go ok until I got a message to say that the version of ESV Study Bible I have can cause problems. I went to update it but the app froze during this process. Now if I try to access Pocket Bible I see the welcome screen briefly then it crashes out. Any suggestions for how to fix this?

  27. Robert: You need to contact tech support at

  28. Paul rabinowitz says:

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for looking into the sync crashing issue. I am now able to sync AND backup my data from my iPhone. What’s the difference between the two? :-)

    There is joy in Mudville! :-)

  29. scott says:

    This looks awesome on an iPad! Great job to everyone who worked on it. I enjoy reading on my iPad in landscape mode, especially when working out. Is there a way for the toolbox to be hidden in landscape mode like it can be in portrait mode?

    Thanks again for another great product.

  30. Darrell Childress says:

    Just wanted to add my jubilation-filled thanks for the update. I’m ecstatic and can now stop checking for app updates every hour on the hour. I saw a little “2” beside the updates button last night and wondered, “Could this be it?” It was – so glad to have my bookmarks and notes now on my iPad version of PocketBible. Thanks so much, Craig, looking forward to more exploration of the new program.
    We rejoice, we rejoice, in the name of the Lord.

  31. Tim Koets says:

    Awesome job with the iPad application, Craig! I was able to synchronize my notes with PocketBible for Windows and PocketBible on my iPad using the iPocketBible server. I do have a custom commentary on my Windows system and did not see an obvious way to get that from my PC onto my iPad. Do you guys have a mechanism in place for that? If so, what is it? If not, do you plan to in the future? I love the ability to synchronize my notes, and I would REALLY love to be able to get custom books/commentaries on my iPad as well!

  32. John Coarsey says:

    Loaded on my Ipad last night. All I can say is that it is stunning and incredible.

  33. Ed Law says:

    Love the new iPad app. It has immediately become my favorite Bible app on the iPad.

    I have found the ISBE to be helpful. Any chance it will be made available?

  34. Paul: for the difference between sync and backup, read the appropriate sections in the extensive Help document.

    Scott: The reason the toolbox exists at all is to take up the extra space you get in landscape mode when you rotate the text without changing the width. The reason we don’t change the width is to minimize the redrawing time during rotation. If the width changes, we have to throw away and re-render all the text. So it’s unlikely we’ll allow you to hide it in landscape orientation.

    Tim: if you have BookBuilder Pro you can get your custom books on your iPhone/iPad. See for details.

  35. Jeff Beck says:

    Thanks for the hard work guys. I’m really looking forward to nosing around it. It looks excellent.

  36. Randall says:

    This version has really spoiled me. I hate to ask, but I will. Do you sell a commentary that uses the same buttons as the bibles do for navigation?

  37. Bob says:

    Thanks, guys. Great update, especially the ability to backup personalised notes!!

  38. Randall:

    Commentaries are not always organized in a way that allows us to navigate them using the same go-to-verse dialog we use for Bibles. However, if you have both a Bible and a commentary open, and if you turn on synchronization in the Settings menu, then when you use the go-to feature to go to a verse in the Bible, the commentary will follow along and you’ll end up in the same place.

  39. Michelle Ling says:

    Thanks guys for updating PocketBible with Sync functions for multi platform. It’s the thing I’ve been waiting for since I started using the iPhone 6 months ago.

    It’ a really joy to be a Laridian customer.God bless!

  40. Andi says:

    I have owned Laridian bibles from Palm OS. A few days ago, I downloaded the earlier version to my IPAD from apps store (registered in Singapore).

    This morning, I saw the update notice for this latest version. Very excited to see that it finally supports IPAD in full-screen. When I went to the apps store to download the update, it said that it was not supported in the country.

    This is quite strange since the apps is listed in the Singapore Apps Store, and I’ve downloaded it just a few days ago – under the same id. Is the update only for US market?

  41. Tim Koets says:

    Thanks, Craig, for the link to the Publishing page. Now I understand the process. I was thinking of using a user-created commentary to record my notes so I could see them in a split screen and scroll through them. But perhaps just putting in traditional notes would be a better way to go. Still, would it be a pain for you guys if I updated my commentary once every couple of weeks? As I add notes I would want to be continually updating it. I assume you would just overwrite it on your server?

  42. Andi: Contact Apple for problems with the App Store. We tell them to put it in all countries. After that it’s up to them.

    Tim: As you saw on the “publishing” page, we’ll build and post your updates no more frequently than once a month. We have customers who send us an update once a month like clockwork. There’s another that is quarterly. So no problem sending us updates as long as you stick with the once-a-month rule. And also note you need the Pro version of BookBuilder, not the Standard version.

  43. Tim Koets says:

    Craig, I missed the once a month rule. Yes, that would work. Okay, thanks for the help. And thanks for a great product!!

  44. Andi says:

    Craig, Apple has made PocketBible available to all countries but unfortunately the updates are not because officially iPAD is only launched in the U.S. Then, why does it get listed in apps store worldwide in the first place?

    My workaround is to delete the apps and download again from my US apps. store account. Works fine after that. Hope it helps others in similar situation.

  45. Ken Bauernfreund says:

    The new iPad application is very good. I think the following enhancements would make it better:

    1. Allow the Toolbox to be hidden regardless of orientation. Seeing it off to the side in landscape view is distracting and a waste of real estate if the Toolbox is displayed when not needed.
    2. Allow the screen to be split horizontally when 2 panes are shown. Pocket Bible for Pocket PC got me hooked on working this way. A horizontal split would greatly improve readability in landscape mode.
    3. Allow the toolbar to remain in one position and not follow the home button. I’d like to keep it at the bottom regardless of orientation. And, I believe keeping it in place would be more consistent with other iPad applications.

    Great work overall. Thanks for supporting the Apple mobile platforms.

  46. Ken: Thanks for the suggestions. The toolbar and toolbox move together. They don’t stay on the bottom in landscape mode, nor can the toolbox be hidden in this mode, because the reason the toolbox even exists is to use the space that is left over on the side when you rotate the device into landscape mode without changing the width of the text. This is per Apple’s human interface guidelines for the iPad, which recommend that you don’t just re-lay out your text when the device rotates, but rather use the additional space on the sides to add controls that enhance the usability of the app.

    So the default behavior is to hide the toolbox in portrait and only show it in landscape. The necessary option is to even show it in portrait mode. If we strictly followed the guidelines it wouldn’t be visible in that mode. See the Notes app for an example of The iPad Way.

    Rather than give you a setting that allows you to tell us which side to put the toolbox/toolbar on in landscape and whether to put it on the top or bottom in portrait, we use the orientation of the device as a way to decide where to put them. It’s actually quite clever (I can say that because it wasn’t my idea).

    In general we stay away from short, wide text (horizontal windows) as an aid to readability. However, we may consider giving you other ways to configure panes in a future update.

  47. Mike says:

    Switched from PalmOS to iPod Touch. Everything I had purchased and downloaded on my old Palm LifeDrive was ready and waiting to be loaded on my iPod. No repurchase necessary. Software is still easy to use and easy to navigate. By far the best mobile Bible software around.

  48. Tony says:

    I have been using the new update for the pass week now and I would just like to say a big THANK YOU to you both. You have done a great job.

  49. Matt Collins says:

    The interface is too cluttered – look at some of the book applications for the ipad. You need to have a pop-up menu and have the screen clear.

  50. Matt: You’re probably just looking at the screen shots, which are intentionally designed to show off features.

    By default, in landscape mode there’s a toolbar across the bottom and a title bar across the top. Unlike “some of the book applications for the iPad” it’s more important to know where you are in our app. The fact that you’re reading page 275 in your John Grisham novel means nothing. But you almost always want to know what verse you’re reading, so the title bar defaults to being on.

    Both of these items can optionally be removed so that the program uses the entire screen just like those other book applications.

    While there are strong similarities between a program like iBooks and PocketBible, the former really only needs a way to turn pages to be useful. PocketBible would be worthless if that’s all the UI it had. So it needs more controls either always on the screen or available at the touch of a button.

    Again, by changing 2-3 settings in the Settings menu you can get pretty much the same appearance as iBooks — all text and no controls — for the times when you want to use our program that way.

  51. Micah says:

    Hi Craig, I’ve been using pocket bible extensively since it was released for the iPad. Great tool! Thanks a lot.

    In my time using it i’ve come across a couple of ideas that would improve it’s usefulness for me. I’m a youth minister and use this program for personal study, class preparation and would like to be able to use it while teaching classes:

    1. For my personal study purposes it would be nice to be able to highlight a word or words rather than having to highlight entire verses. (Also multiple verse highlight would be handy.)
    2. Ability to rename highlighters for different purposes would be nice, but is minor concern.
    3. The reason it’s awkward to teach from this app: I need the ability to keep a note open and look at surrounding bible verses at the same time. Possibly open the note in a separate window???
    4. Also, I don’t think the problem is on your end but: I’m not able to copy verses from your program into Docs2 HD…anyone else having this problem?

    Thanks for your responsiveness, I look forward to hearing your feedback.

  52. Micah: 1 & 2 are on the suggestion list for a future release.

    3: To keep the note visible while browsing through the Bible, open the note then select the “lock” button in the upper right corner of the toolbox. Now you can move around in the Bible without losing your note.

    4. We use the standard iPad pasteboard for our copy/paste operations. I just verified I can paste into the iPad Notes app from PocketBible. if Doc2 HD doesn’t paste our text, then the problem is with them.

  53. Micah says:

    Thanks a lot Craig! I had seen the lock button, just hadn’t discovered it’s use. Again, great app.

    To users out there: has anyone downloaded the new documents to go app for iPad? Does the copy and paste function work in that app? Also is the integration with dropbox sufficient?


  54. Micah says:

    Oops, I misspoke,the name of the word processing app that I’ve been using is office2 HD. The workaround for my problem is to paste into notes and then from there copy and paste into office2 HD.

    I may switch to documents to go if I find I can copy from pocket bible and paste to documents to go…but hate to purchase a second wordproccesing app.

    Thanks again

  55. MattG says:

    Hi Micah,
    I have not experienced an issue copying from Pocket Bible to D2G. Ps love the fact that I can sync docs via iTunes in D2G(wifi not needed)

    @Laridan, my new today iPad, is the fourth different type of device I have had Pocket bible on.
    You guys are legends. Well done good and faithful servants.


  56. Ron Priest says:

    Awe, so that’s what the lock button is for. Nifty!

  57. Nick Perez says:

    Any plans for either Kindle or Nook support?

  58. The Kindle SDK info we’ve seen rules out using it to create competing book reader software, which is essentially what we’d be doing. So it’s unlikely they’d approve our app. We’ve contacted them and they said they weren’t ready to talk about it.

    There isn’t really any information out there with respect to a Nook SDK.

    Without any information to go on, we can’t make any kind of a statement with respect to our plans, other than the obvious statement that we currently don’t have any plans to port to either Kindle or Nook, since neither seems to have any plan to let us do it. :-)

  59. Edward says:

    Super-cool app. I downloaded it to my iPad, as well as several translations. The side-by-side feature is especially cool. However, one suggestion I have is a reverse-polarization (white text on black) setting. I use this mode frequently on my Kindle app and my YouVersion Bible. I already submitted my suggestion to customer service, though. :-) Thanks for listening.

  60. Edward,

    This feature is built into your iPad. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and choose White-On-Black. While you’re there, choose “Triple-Click Home” and set it to toggle White-on-Black. Now, when you want to go to white text on a black background in ANY app, just triple-click the Home button.

  61. Edward says:

    Sweet! I learn something new everyday with this. Thanks for the tip.

  62. Mik says:

    I thoroughly enjoy your iPad version and it is now my main study tool. I would however like to be able to copy definitions from the dictionaries and pieces from commentaries to use in sermon notes. That does not seem possible at this time. It seems like it would be easy to use the tap and hold so the select, select all, and paste options menu pops up as in most other aps. This would let me copy and paste into pages for my sermon notes. Thanks in advance for your comments. – By the way – I tried to send this comment on my ipad but it rejected the antispam word every time I tried it, so I am now sending from my macbook.

  63. Anthony says:

    Agree with others. I do not like having the toolbox visible in landscape ( my preferred) orientation. Gotta resolve this one

  64. Terry Roberts says:

    Aloha from paradise
    Last week I purchased an Ipad, to assist me with technical documentation in my work. The first thing I did was to check the appstore for an Ipad version of Pocket Bible. And all I can say is WOW!!!

    I have been a Laridian user for a few years now. I started with a Palm OS, migrated to Windows Mobile and will soon be moving to Android. (hint hint, beg beg, plead plead).

    I just want to say THANK YOU. All versions have been great! (I am still learning my way around the Ipad). I have already discovered a few things I like better than either of the two other versions I have used.

    You have a superb program and I appreciate all of your hard work and dedication.
    Again thank you!

    (off-topic slightly). The new web site and information available is also great.

    Mahalo and God Bless

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