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Now on the App Store: PocketBible 1.4.2

Posted on: July 12th, 2010 by Craig Rairdin 31 Comments

We’ve updated PocketBible to fix an annoying little problem on iPhone 4 in which what we call the “launch options” screen is displayed when you re-start PocketBible after the OS has dumped it from memory while it was idle. While we were in there, we added a couple little features:

iPhone and iPad Features

  • Added an option to enable/disable the use of colored buttons in the Bk/Ch/Vs verse selection forms to indicate sections of the Bible. Some people really hated what one of you called the “funky button colors” so we gave you the option to use a very un-funky gray for all the buttons.
  • Added an option to set margins and line leading for single- and multiple-pane screen configurations. Some people wanted to see more text on the screen in the single-pane mode. This lets you do that. While we were at it we gave you the option of setting margins and leading in the multiple-pane view, too.
  • Fixed a bug in which the temporary highlighting of the linked-to verse could disappear after synchronization with our server, removing or updating books, or coming out of the suspended state (iOS 4).

iPhone-only Features

  • Added “Split Screen” to Context menu. It’s a little more convenient there than going to Menu, Settings, Open Panes, and choosing “2”.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the launch options form to sometimes be displayed when coming out of the “suspended” state.

The next update won’t have any new features in it per se, but gives us the ability to sell our “collections” on the App Store and sets us up for in-app purchasing of books.

31 Responses

  1. Patrick McDuffee says:

    Any plans to allow users to delete multiple bookmarks from one screen instead of having to go to each bookmarked location first? Would be extremely useful in preparing lesson plans.

    Thanks for the consideration.

  2. It’s on the suggestion list.

  3. erik says:

    Hi Craig,

    Totally love the app, but I do want to pass on a suggestion, and one possible bug:

    Suggestion wise, I’d love to see the ability to divide the panes into 6 spaces rather than the current 5. I like seeing a Bible version with a commentary alongside and with six panes I could use 3 versions with 3 matching commentaries and have all linked side-to-side.

    Bug wise, I think there is an issue with the NEWS Bible and commentary – they won’t sync to each other.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Ty says:

    Love the Split Screen option from the context menu! Also looking forward to the in-app purchasing!

  5. Erik: I wondered when someone would ask for 6 instead of 5, or 7 instead of 6, or 28 instead of 7.

    The reason there are 5 is that we have plans to add a feature that will automatically open all your books in a predefined layout where each pane will hold a different type of book. So all your Bibles in the upper left pane, then commentaries in another pane, dictionaries in another, devotionals in a fourth, and “other” books (with the exception of Help and Welcome) in the fifth. Just haven’t gotten around to that yet.

    I don’t know what the NEWS Bible and commentary refers to. I have a slight suspicion you might be talking about the NET Bible. The NET Notes are not synchronized verse-by-verse. This is a flaw in the original files we received from the publisher. There’s not a consistent, fool-proof way to get the verse-level synchronization we need to support that feature in the NET Notes. It’s inconvenient but we can only work with what they gave us.

  6. Ty: Don’t forget you can purchase books at our Web site and download them from within the app. No need to wait for in-app purchasing. :-)

  7. Mickey Little says:

    Any plans to add color to the app? Some programs allow for say a cream colored background with possible navy blue text. Just an idea…

  8. Tony says:

    Thank again for a must have app.

    Thanks for the option to change the margin setting, but on my iPad the right margin (single panel) setting doesn’t appear to work. It keep on set it to 200 despite me tring to input 45 or am I missing something.

    Many Thanks

    PS Appears that it only took a day for the approval this time… WOW apple is getting a lot quicker…

  9. Tony: I can’t reproduce your problem. I’m able to set my right margin to any value from 0 to 200. Can you write to tech support and describe exactly what you’re doing so we can try to reproduce the problem? We need step-by-step instructions and a description of what you’re seeing each step of the way.

    The approval process took 7 days and has been reliably 7 days for the last month or two. We just didn’t pre-announce this version on the blog so it may have appeared as if the approval was shortly after the blog article, when in fact we submitted this version last week.

    Similarly, we’ve already submitted the next version but it doesn’t have any new features and actually won’t show up as an update for existing customers. It’s included in three new bundles we uploaded to the App Store.

  10. Tony says:

    My set up is – iPad up to date OS and current Pocketbible.

    In landscape mode: sequence list
    Menu
    Settings
    Margins (single pane – factory defaults)
    Pick ‘left margin’ (blue highlight flashing and keyboard pops up) type in 45 – done. This set it to 200 :-(
    Please note that the ‘Right Margin’ is not visable in Menu at this point.
    Try again by picking ‘Left Margin’ and type in 45 again and it works this time, but still the ‘Right Margin’ setting still isn’t appearing in Menu.

    Wish I could send you a screen shot of it.

    Just tried someting different. Access the setting by the setting icon, not the menu icon and it worked. There appears to be a bug but I have got it to work.

    Hope that helps

  11. OK now I can see it failing. It does it in landscape mode. Portrait is fine. Either Menu > Settings or just Settings works fine for me in portrait mode, though after rotating it can get messed up.

    Unfortunately this appears to be Apple code that’s doing this, not ours.

    If you have any further problems please send them to tech support instead of posting here. It’s easier to track your issue there.

  12. Edward Roop says:

    Any chance of the iPad version getting the auto-scroll capability like the Pocket PC version has? This is a wonderful feature to be able to advance text hands-free.

    I have used all versions of the product and find it indispensable. Thanks very much.

  13. Adam says:

    Gotta says thanks for the margin adjustment – it makes a big difference. And great to be rid of the funky color picker. Ideally though the OT / NT could have a slight space between them?

    Also the leader % doesn’t seem to work on iPhone or iPad (it reverts to 100% every time).

    Also I still get the reset warning.

    I find the iPhone app is getting close to where I expected it other than the up/down scroll now. If the text scrolled up & down I reckon it would be close to 5 stars – GREAT WORK!

    iPad version a whole other story though. With 5 panes open swiping left / right is totally counter-intuitive. I can sort of understand for a full page book but in a 5 pane window the text needs to go up & down.

    Also I find it nearly unusable due to speed issues. I am often waiting for 2 – 5 seconds while it freezes & thinks about something.
    I think it is continually searching the whole library. Sure I’d like to access search results from a variety of books quickly – but not if it locks the whole program up.

    I am also astounded by the wastage of space of the search pane. It takes 1/4 of the screen and only shows TWO verses at a time (with excerpt)? 3/4 of the screen shows only five? I expected this to be the best feature on the ipad version.

    I love the fact I can use all my books on PB – but find the iPad version too slow & clunky to use. I expected to hardly use iPhone PB once iPad arrived – but the opposite is true.

    Do I just have to delete most of my books for this to work properly (I do have a lot), is there a fix coming or is this the performance I can expect with iPad PB? Am I the only one? All the reviews I have read rave about it.

  14. Margaret says:

    Will we ever see Memorize! on either iPhone or Windows PC???

  15. Kaleb Rutherford says:

    Is there any way you can allow us to add a note for multiple verses at the same time? For example, there may be three verses I am leaving a note on. Couldn’t the same note be added to all three verses at the very least?

    This is a feature I feel would make this app perfect.

  16. Tony Lonsdale says:

    Still no Auto Scroll option?

    I just loved that feature on the old Windows Mobile version of PocketBible. It is so hard to believe that you were able to do this on Windows Mobile and not on the fantastic Apple iPhone/iPod/iPad??? Tick for Billy on that one.

    If ever you do relent (should that be repent?) and add Auto Scroll, may I be so bold as to suggest a tilt-sensitive scroll speed be included. Tilt down a bit for a faster scroll, tilt up a bit for slower, and tilt up further to hold the scroll for the time being. Check out the BeamItDown ebook reader – it does that beautifully.

  17. Dave Bower says:

    Love the added features, it just keeps getting gooder and gooder!

    Unfortunately it did not fix my problem with the “launch options” screen being displayed every time I start it. And judging by the comments I may be the only one!

    Dave

  18. Edward: Auto-scroll is on the suggestion list.

    Adam and Dave: We found an additional problem that causes the Launch Options page to be displayed that wasn’t evident in our 1.4.2 testing. Thanks to all who pointed it out. We’ll get that fixed in the next update. This time for sure.

    Adam: Leading has a minimum of 100%. Don’t set it to less than that. I don’t remember what the upper limit is, maybe 500%. But generally you’re going to be setting it to values from 100% to 200%.

    Adam, when commenting about speed you should also add how many notes, bookmarks, and highlights you have. I use PocketBible on my iPad all the time and am completely happy with the speed. But we’ve made changes recently as you know to address speed issues for large datasets, and will continue to do so as we find them. You’re not the only one with lots of books and lots of user data, but you’re one of a small number.

  19. Jane says:

    Is it possible to bookmark multiple verses, but NOT in chronological order? Often lists of verses to memorize are not in chronological order. Thank you!

  20. Laura Kay says:

    This was a good product but to not create programming for the Android, the fastest growing system, is a mistake. I’m sorry i will not be able to use your product any longer.

  21. Jane: It is not presently possible to list bookmarks, highlights, notes, or search results in anything but biblical order. Consider bookmarking the first verse, then put a link to the next verse in the note for that verse. When you get to the second verse, put a link to the third verse in the note for the second verse.

    Laura: Who says we’re not “creating programming” for Android? Certainly not us. See this article for details on our Android development plans.

    And just to put your comment in perspective: The latest numbers I’ve seen indicate Apple has sold about 3 million iPhone 4 devices since its release less than a month ago. There are about 6 million Android devices of ALL flavors in use today. It’s easy to be “fastest growing” when you’re #4 (Behind Blackberry, Apple, and Microsoft). :-)

  22. Kaleb Rutherford says:

    Any comment on being able to leave the same note on multiple verses as mentioned above?

    I can also email you to talk about this more if you would prefer.

  23. Kaleb: That’s not a very common suggestion, to be honest. It’s unlikely we’ll add that feature. Similarly, we probably won’t make it so you can bookmark a passage as opposed to a verse. As I’m typing this I can think of use cases for each of those features so I don’t want to close and lock the door on the idea but rather just let you know it’s definitely not on the top of the list.

    Feel free to email me anytime about anything. :-)

  24. Mickey: Sorry I didn’t respond to your comment about adding colors. I don’t always reply to suggestions and we don’t comment on what we may or may not do in the future, so while I read it, I didn’t respond.

    What you’ll find is that we take a very utilitarian approach to our programs. We don’t get bogged down in features that are purely eye candy. So, for example, when you choose to open a Bible in PocketBible, you choose from a standard iPhone “table view” (i.e. a list). It doesn’t look like a bookshelf with little books on it, in your choice of shelf types (“pine”, “oak”, “cherry”, “metal”, “plastic”, “invisible force field”, etc.).

    This is not to say that we never do anything fancy — just that it’s not high on our priority list. You’ll note that both our PocketBible for Windows and PocketBible for Windows Mobile allow you to choose background colors for the text windows. So it’s safe to say that we might do something like that in the future in PocketBible for iPhone/iPad.

    One of the problems with colored backgrounds is that our books are full of images that expect the background to be white. When you put those images on a colored background they look funny. We can’t make the backgrounds of those images transparent because not all our platforms support it. And the effort to rebuild all of our books to put new images in them would be significant and wouldn’t result in any revenue to support it.

    So… suggestion noted (it’s already on the suggestion list). Sorry I didn’t comment on it earlier.

  25. Mickey Little says:

    Thanks Craig!

  26. Jack Wilcox says:

    Craig, any chance we might be able to highlight just one word in the verse instead of the whole or nothing? The would help a lot when adding a note on a specific word.

  27. Jack, it’s on the suggestion list. Thanks.

  28. Adam says:

    Gday Craig – sorry for the delay.
    The slow iPad speed is mainly due to the amount of books I think as I really don’t have that many bookmarks / notes (a few hundred at most I think). I don’t have any highlights.

    Is there any plan to change the search pane format / size?

    I only get the iPhone reset warning very occasionally now – I think only when I have restarted my phone – thanks!

  29. Adam there’s no plan to change the search pane beyond the three format options you have now, nor the expanded/contracted sizes.

  30. Steve says:

    Hi guys, Loving the app but I would like to suggest a few ideas (sorry of someone has already suggested them).
    1) It would great if you search just the current book as well as the predefined selections. It would be even cooler if you could create your own ‘ranges’ of books.

    2) I notice that the there 8 buttons at the bottom in landscape mode and only 6 in portrait mode. I like the Bookmark mark button but don’t always want to turn the display sideways (picky, I know!). Which leads me to suggest is it possible to allow user-defined choice of buttons on the screen as per the iPod Music app where the ‘edit’ option allows you to configure the buttons to your preference?

    3)When you in a book and press the ‘goto’ button you are taken right back to the whole Bible choice. Sometimes I only want to go to another chapter but the previous chapter, next chapter taps take too long, especially if you’re at Is 6 and want to go to Is 66! Would it be possible to, say, highlight the current book so that the Go button takes you straight to the chapter screen without having to reselect the book again?

    I hope this is not too much to digest but I think that this app is worthy of such enhancements because it does so much already.

    Cheers,
    Steve.

  31. You can search any range of books, chapters and verses you’d like. Just enter the range manually instead of choosing a predefined range. See the extensive built-in help for details.

    Thanks for the other suggestions.

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