PocketBible 3 for iOS Now Available on the App Store

Posted on: October 31st, 2013 by Craig Rairdin 38 Comments

PocketBible 3 is now available on the App Store! Version 3 is fully iOS 7 compatible but runs on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices back to version 5.

PocketBible 3 is still free, and for existing PocketBible 2 users it should show up as an available update. If you already own the Advanced Feature Set, it will unlock the Advanced Features of version 3.

What’s New

As you can see here, PocketBible 3 introduces our new iconography for iOS, which is based on the “Holy Spirit descending like a dove” from the old stained-glass icon from version 2. So don’t be surprised when you can’t find the old PocketBible icon after you upgrade. Just look for the dove.

Here are a few things you will notice as new in version 3:


  • The Journal lets you create notes that aren’t associated with any Bible verse. In all other respects they act like notes in PocketBible, including being sync’ed to the Laridian cloud — though they will not yet be visible in versions of PocketBible running on other platforms.
  • Name your highlight colors to make it easier to remember what your colors mean.
  • All the previous Advanced Feature Set features from version 2 are present in version 3, and your version 2 Advanced Feature Set will enable the version 3 features without an additional purchase.


  • Autosync allows you to automatically sync changes to your notes, highlights, bookmarks, and other user-created data with the Laridian Cloud without pausing to manually sync as you had to do with version 2. You have the option to require WiFi for autosync in order to avoid data charges. Manual sync is still available, and it runs much faster than the older sync protocol.
  • Added underline, dotted underline, and dashed underline highlight styles.
  • Added option to display one verse per paragraph. (Start each verse on a new line.)
  • Now supports book (non-Bible) notes on iPhone. Previously, these were only available on iPad.
  • Added a Night Reading color scheme which puts white text on a black background for reading in the dark.
  • iOS 7 users will have multiple user interface color schemes in addition to “Night Reading”.
  • Optional Book Position Indicator at the bottom of each book pane shows you how far into the book you are.
  • Added Pane Options button to the iPad toolbar. Lets you turn on/off tabbed panes and select the number of panes you’re viewing.
  • Better management of notes, highlights, and bookmarks by being able to delete them from lists using the standard iOS “swipe” gesture. When deleting a category, all the bookmarks in that category are now deleted rather than being moved to “uncategorized” as they were before.
  • Improved the iPad launch speed for users with lots of notes, highlights, or bookmarks.
  • A number of small user interface tweaks, including:
    • Rearranged the Main, Context, and Settings menus to move frequently accessed items to the top and collect similar operations together under task-related headings.
    • Got rid of Undo and Redo in the iPhone note editor; added Bold, Italics, and Unordered List buttons to the iPhone note editor toolbar.
    • Made the Toolbox Expand, Next Page, and Previous Page buttons smaller to increase the space available for the contents of the Toolbox panels. On the Note View/Edit panels, rearranged the controls at the top to provide more room to view the note.
    • Added Email Passage and Text Passage to the list of possible “Passage Actions” in the Context menu.

Here’s what to Expect

Here are some screen shots to let you see what the new version looks like. Visually, it’s similar to the previous one. Most of these images use the default color scheme. Click on an image to see a full-size version.


iPad with Toolbox, Toolbar with new Book Panes button, and default color scheme

iPad in landscape with Toolbox, multiple book panes, and Context menu

iPad with my favorite “Chocolate” color scheme, also showing Book Progress Indicator bars across the bottom of each book pane.


Other than the iOS 7 color scheme, the iPhone version looks pretty similar to version 2.

An early beta view of the “Night Reading” color scheme on the iPhone. Toolbar buttons are in red to aid in retention of night vision.

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38 Responses

  1. Andy O says:

    Beautiful UI update. Love that night reading mode! I might just leave that on all the time πŸ™‚ Great work Craig. Can’t wait to try it out.

  2. Ed S says:


    Thank you for all the hard work on this product!

  3. Kathy Sevar says:

    Love Laridian! Looking forward to the update! I was wondering if there are any plans to allow highlighting single words or phrases instead of having to highlight whole verses?

    • Kathy, thanks for your comment and request. We do have word/phrase based highlighting on the wish list but there are some technicalities which make it more problematic than it sounds. If you’d like to know the details, our company president, Craig Rairdin, addressed this in detail in a comment on this article: https://blog.laridian.com/?p=1903.


  4. Vicky P says:

    I’m looking forward to the day I can highlight/underline, not a whole verse, but only a word or phrase. That would make the app just perfect!

  5. Mark Knight says:

    All sounds very good, and I’ve certainly been hoping for an update. Laridian is for me, the best bible software out there. However, I have felt a little frustrated with some of version 2 features. Clearly these concerns have been addressed in this update. Keep up the good work guys. And many thanks to you all.

  6. Paul says:

    Loving the update, thank you.

    A couple of quick feature requests:

    1. An “Install All” button for downloading books (had to change my email, and select each book to re-install. Easy, but tedious…)

    2. An “always on” option.

    Thanks Again

    • Paul, thanks for letting us know you love the update. We appreciate the suggestions for enhancements but I’m not sure what you mean by the “always on” option? Can you elaborate on that?


  7. Paul says:

    Sorry about that Michelle, I should have been clearer.

    I mean an option that keeps the iOS device from going to sleep when PocketBible is running. Not unlike the way it stays awake while downloading books, but as an option for the whole program that is user switchable.

    It would be handy when preaching or teaching from PB.


    • Paul, you can tell your device not to sleep by changing that option in the iOS Settings app. It’s not a recommended behavior for iOS apps and since you can change it in Settings, it’s not something we try to duplicate in PocketBible.

      We considered an “Install All” button (I think our Windows Store/Phone apps have it) but I opted not to implement it for a couple of reasons. First, it encourages what amounts to a denial-of-service attack on our servers as everyone downloads dozens or hundreds of books, often unnecessarily. And second, it is the rare user indeed who truly needs every single one of his books on every single one of his devices all the time. In particular, we have about 40 free Bibles and reference titles of which very few people make use. Yes, many people make use of many of them, and some people make use of some of them, but some people make use of none of them and very, very few people make use of all of them. So giving them a button to download all of them just adds traffic to the servers without any direct benefit to the majority (or, I would argue, even a large minority) of users.

  8. Paul K says:

    Echoing everything said above. The new look is great and looking forward to trying out the new functions. Good work thanks.

    There seems to be a minor bug when using a colour scheme other than normal with tabbed panes.
    Looking at the main tabs, the active pane tab is darker than the other tabs, while in notes, the active tab is the lighter colour.
    I notice that right and left borders of the toolbox are different colours as well in any colour other than normal so perhaps you have your reasons.

    • Paul, the color issue you’re seeing is a side-effect of the new iOS 7 penchant for making it impossible to tell what is a button and what is not.

      Non-selected buttons have a transparent background. The background of the pane tabs is not the same color as the background of the toolbox view/edit tabs. In fact, with most of the color schemes, they’re the opposite. I can’t choose the background color for the non-selected buttons (again, iOS 7 tries to make it as difficult as possible to tell what is a “control” and what is “content” because it jives with some weird new age aesthetic that only Apple engineers under the age of 20 understand).

      But I’m not bitter… πŸ™‚

      The use of colors in the color schemes are the result of several iterations with the beta testers. The button color issue was the least of the problems, so we went with it. I’m already used to it so I don’t think about it. I press the button for what I want to do, regardless of what color it is. πŸ™‚


  9. Paul says:

    Craig, I see what you are saying about the download all, but with the great verse study feature it nice to have them all on the device. Any thought to limiting it to the premium features version and maybe forcing a manual ID and password entry to help discourage abuse? Just a thought…

    As to the stay awake idea, I’ve just been spoiled by the Android version. Where if I’m not using PB, I don’t have to worry about shutting it off, but when I do use PB I don’t have to worry about it shutting off on me. Saves having to adjust the setting all the time. Just a convenience I know, but a very nice one πŸ™‚

    • Paul, I have my iPhone and iPad set up to never sleep. I shut them off manually. I’ve never had a problem with leaving them on inadvertently. When I’m done I shut them off. πŸ™‚

  10. Paul K says:

    Re. Tab colors

    It looked too obvious to be something you would have missed. I assumed there was something else behind it. Just thought I would mention it. I like the colour options. Really like the tab/pane options in the menu bar, when I saw it, I went “yessss!”

    Thanks for the hard work.

  11. Bruce Gilliland says:

    Sticking my nose in where I have no business (since I don’t have an iPhone or iPad).

    On the issue of downloading all available books, aside from Craig’s issue about server hits, I don’t have room on my phone, and would have little left on my Android tablet. I keep a subset of Bibles, commentaries and dictionaries on my tablet and even fewer on my phone. But I have more than enough to see multiple translations, different commentaries, and word lookups. Plus with only 2 panes on the phone and a max of 5 on the tablet – and only one book visible in each pane – I am limited in what I can see and read at one time.

    For serious study, I have all my books, well over a hundred, on my PC where I have both sufficient memory and screen space.

    Trying to download all my books at one time is the last thing I need.

  12. Darrell C says:

    Love the new update, even seems to be more responsive and faster, including the syncing process. The color schemes is a nice aesthetic add-on.
    I would like to throw in a couple of requests. When using the Bk/Ch/Vs option for Verse Selection, the previous version had 10 selections per line and the new version has 9. It’s so much quicker to find Psalms 78:58 when each line has 10 choices instead of 9.
    Don’t know if this next one is even possible…would love to see a way to mark my current “personal” reading position. If I’m currently reading Acts Ch 2 and then on Sunday, the pastor preaches from Matthew, etc,. On Monday, I open up PB and it’s still at Matthew (wherever the pastor last led us to) and I sometimes forget where I left off in my personal reading. I guess this would be like a “rolling bookmark”, but I don’t know if that’s even possible…

    • Darrell,

      We used to display the Bk/Ch/Vs picker in a window whose size we could adjust to fit 10 buttons. iOS 7 ignores our size and forces the window to be too narrow, all the while telling us it is wide. As a result you can only see 4-5 buttons but we think you’re seeing 10. We were unable to find a work-around for this iOS 7 bug. As a result, we decided to display the Bk/Ch/Vs picker in a different kind of window (I think it’s called a “modal sheet”). We use this type of window for many other functions in PocketBible for iPad. It is a fixed size, and that size happens to fit 9 buttons.

      I’ve jotted a note to myself to see if it would be practical to make those buttons narrower. I have to consider what happens to them on the iPhone as well, so it might not be an easy adjustment.

      I’m not sure how that rolling bookmark feature would work but I’ll think about it. In the meantime, create a bookmark category called “reading position” or something like that. You can delete your old position when you add your new bookmark to it each time.

  13. Rob Niewoehner says:

    This update has been awful for me. I’m running on an iPad2 with up-to-date iOS. The app now takes 2-3 minutes to launch. It has crashed on startup twice in past two days. Notes freeze the screen for 60-90 sec. I’m not having the experience others above are raving about.

    • Rob,
      You are in the top 1% of PocketBible users in terms of the number notes (and highlights) that you have.

      As I’ve mentioned to others the new version of PocketBible actually launches faster than the previous version does for those who have a large number of notes, highlights and bookmarks.

      However when you have thousands of these items it can take quite a while for the program to first launch. Once it gets running it is faster than the old version was.

      We are implementing some changes right now that should speed this up even further and take care of the problems that you cite.

      Sorry for the inconvenience.

  14. Paul says:

    Now that I’ve been starting to add Journal notes, I’ve been really loving the Auto Sync. Hoping that Journal Notes make it to the Windows PC version. πŸ™‚ Still the quickest/easiest PC Bible out there (and, if I’m not mistaken, the last commercial one that is truly internet optional)

  15. Rick Higgins says:

    I am having exactly the same problem as Rob Niewoehner mentioned (see Nov 4). I have attempted reloading and reconfiguring but to no avail. The software is essentially unusable at this point — not good, since this has been my “go to” Bible application for years now. Can we get a bug fix ASAP, please? Thanks in advance!

    • Rick, have you tried our suggestions to turn on the locks on all the Toolbox panes and not leave more books open in each pane than what you really need? And not to install more books than you need. As we’ve mentioned previously, we are working on an update and doing that as quickly as we can πŸ™‚


  16. Rick Higgins says:

    Thanks for the reply, Michelle. Can you tell me where I might find the suggestion to which you refer — i.e., regarding the locks?

    • Rick, my apologies, I see now the comments I was referring to were posted on another article. Here is the gist of it. We are finding that people with thousands of notes, highlights and bookmarks are being affected by the way the Toolbox works on the iPad and we are currently working on changes to improve the speed. We do have to submit an update to the app store and that has to be approved so this won’t happen immediately.

      In the meantime, we suggest that you turn on the locks on all the Toolbox panes. That will speed things up. Don’t leave more books open in each pane than what you really need. And don’t install more books than you plan to use.


  17. Jin Bae says:

    I, too, am having problems with the new app. I have Ipad mini and the app is getting worse, not better. I too have many notes and highlights, but it’s more than that. It takes too long to change Bibles, and today, when I tried to change the Bible, it also changed the passage I was reading…sigh. Please fix.

    • Jin,

      Sorry if I’m repeating myself. I think I’ve emailed you before. You have thousands of notes, bookmarks, and/or highlights. While version 3 is faster than version 2 once you get it launched, it isn’t working well for the 1% of customers with the quantity of user data you have. I’m making fixes right now that will resolve this. We’ll have more to say about this in a couple days.

  18. Eddie Hines says:

    I wish you would enable page scrolling to this…when I swipe with my finger to go to the next page, I sometimes accidentally skip a page or two. πŸ™

  19. Cheryl Croney says:

    I too am not having the wonderful experience others are having. I have not been able to backup or sync since the update and it takes around three minutes to launch a book. I am running ios 7 on an iPad mini and iPhone 5. The application crashes unexpectedly. I uninstalled/ reinstalled the product repeatedly with the same result. This is the first time I’ve regretted installing a pocket bible product. I’ve been a customer since 2004.

    • Cheryl,

      You’re another top 1%’er. Maybe higher than that. You have highlighted one out of every 6 verses, and you have hundreds of notes and bookmarks. Contact tech support and we’ll add you to a list of people we’re tracking to let you know when we get your issues fixed. I’m working on some pretty massive changes that will address your issues. I appreciate your patience.

  20. Rob Niewoehner says:

    Craig, thanks for attacking the new release issue. I wouldn’t have thought I was a top 1% with notes! but I have been using it for ~10 years.

    I’m still crashing every other day or so.
    I’ve closed books and panes, plus locking toolbox.
    I’ve also not had a clean sync since the update. I get a ‘server not responding’ error.

    • Rob,

      If you repeat your manual sync over and over, it will eventually get all the way through. The current release has a bug in which it only allows 10 seconds for synchronization. Note you have to do a manual sync, then wait about 20 minutes for the locks on the database to expire, then do it again. If you just do them every once in a while when you’re in the program, you’ll eventually get through them.

      In the meantime I’m working on this issue. The program just isn’t optimized for the massive amounts of data that some people put into it. I’m working on that optimization right now. Make sure tech support has heard from you so you’re on our list and we’ll keep you updated on our progress.

  21. Rick says:

    Greetings. Just wondering if you’re any closer to a bug fix for us “one percenters.” I am still unable to use my app without it crashing almost immediately.

    • It probably isn’t crashing, right? There’s just a lengthy delay when you launch the program.

      I uploaded the update to the App Store yesterday but haven’t announced it because I could still pull it if the beta testers find problems. If it stays up there, it should be live by the end of next week.


  22. Rick says:

    Well, truthfully, I’m not a techie — so “crashing” may be the wrong word. What I can tell you is that it completely locks up nearly every time I attempt to use the Bible itself (some of the other books appear to work okay). After closing out the app, and bringing it back up again, I’m sent to a screen that states: “Pocket Bible quite unexpectedly and may have trouble opening the content you were previously using. [LC:1, RC:2].” I’m then given the option of choosing one of four different ways to proceed, for example, resetting with factory defaults, etc. Simply put, I might (might) be able to access the Bible after waiting 2-3 minutes, but it won’t allow me to do much of anything while I’m in there without locking up.

    I do hope this latest update will take care of the issue.

    • Rick,

      It’s neither crashing nor locking up… it’s just taking a long time to launch and it’s not telling you what’s going on during that time. The new version will give you a wait indicator during this time. The new version will also save an optimized version of your data so that these delays will only happen the first time you ask for a particular type of list. So once you view a list of your highlights — which might take a minute if you have thousands of highlights — then the next time you ask to see that list it will be instantaneous.

      So far the beta testers are saying the new version is significantly better. Again, you will have to wait for it the first time, but after that it will be instant. And it does other things to improve its responsiveness so that it should only take time to do its searching when you specifically ask it to instead of doing it every time you launch the program or open a Bible.


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