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iPocketBible for iPhone and iPod Touch Now Available!

Posted on: September 15th, 2007 by Craig Rairdin 27 Comments

Please note the date on this post. Read our more recent posts on the iPhone for more up-to-date information.

Pre-Launch Access for our Blog Readers

As promised, iPocketBible is now available to our blog readers. We wanted to give you first shot at it before we send out emails and press releases next week.

Complete details are at www.iPocketBible.com. From there you can read more about the subscription plans and link to the iPocketBible application itself.

Getting Started

Before going any further, let me remind you: Use two fingers to scroll the text in iPocketBible.

If you already have a collection of Laridian Bibles and books for PocketBible, MyBible, or one of our other readers, you’ll find all these Bibles and books available to you when you subscribe to iPocketBible.

If you don’t yet own any of our Bibles or reference books, you can purchase them when you subscribe to iPocketBible. You’ll also find several free Bibles and reference books on the order form that will help you get started.

iPocketBible is a subscription service. Monthly subscriptions are $1.99/month and are automatically charged to a credit card you provide when you purchase the product. Your first payment will be charged a month after you order, so you have until then to try the program out. If you don’t like it, simply contact us and cancel any time before you’re billed. Billed amounts are not refundable.

The annual subscription is $19.99 and has the benefit of being payable by check or money order if you don’t want to use a credit card. Because the service can be tried for up to a month using the monthly subscription, the annual subscription is not refundable.

About iPocketBible

iPocketBible is a Web application so it’s very easy for us to update it and add new features. As a result, we decided to make it available to you just as soon as a reasonable amount of functionality was present. This first version of iPocketBible has the following features:

  • Access to your complete collection of Laridian Bibles and reference books
  • Easy Bible navigation either by choosing book, then chapter, then verse, or by entering a reference like “John 3:16″
  • Easy reference book navigation by hierarchical table of contents
  • Easy daily devotional navigation by interactive calendar
  • Search for words, phrases, or combinations of words
  • Search for words matching all prefixes or all suffixes of a particular word
  • Chose a passage from a list of search results to see it in context, then use “previous” and “next” functions to see other results in context.
  • Set bookmarks on your favorite passages
  • Words of Christ in red
  • Extensive online help

Coming soon:

  • Highlight verses using several highlight colors – done 9/19/07
  • Enter your personal notes on any verse – done 10/06/07
  • Quick word look-up for dictionaries (rather than navigating the table of contents) – done 9/17/07
  • Context-sensitive verse look-up for commentaries (again, rather than navigating the table of contents) – done 9/20/07
  • Track your progress through daily devotionals and Bible reading plans – done 12/10/07
  • Synchronize all your personal data with PocketBible for Windows. Notes, highlights and bookmarks entered on the desktop will show up on your iPhone, and vice versa. – done 2/20/08
  • Strongs numbers in Bibles that contain them (they are currently there but not displayed) — done 9/21/07

One thing you’ll notice is that Greek and Hebrew characters don’t display correctly on the iPhone. This is due to the fact that the iPhone does not contain a standard Unicode font. If you view these reference books that contain Greek and Hebrew in your desktop browser you’ll see that the characters are there. They just can’t be displayed with the current iPhone operating system. We’ve left them in place so that if/when Apple releases an update containing a Unicode font, they will start working correctly.

You can expect to see some of the new features very, very soon and others will be a few weeks away. The program is very usable as-is. We’ve really enjoyed using it these last few weeks and we appreciate your patience as we get the new features rolled into the program.

27 Responses

  1. john chandler says:

    Thanks Craig,
    But thumbs up for giving us access to all of the books that we have bought in the past! That immediately made it worth $19.99 to me.

    I am having trouble though, as I am unable to scroll down past whatever is viewable in the main center part of the screen.

  2. John Brock says:

    Thank you Craig. We will all look forward to using this new tool. Thanks also for getting this out before Sunday.

  3. John Brock says:

    Hmm…All I saw at ipocketbible were the old preview videos.

  4. John C: Did you tap the help button? If you did, you would have discovered the most important hint about using iPocketBible: Use two fingers to scroll. I think I’ve explained it in some other blog comments, and it’s explained in the help.

    John B: I suspect you have the old page cached. If you refresh it, you’ll see the new page.

  5. Bill Bowen says:

    Craig,

    Thanks for another great product. Can’t wait for the new features. I’m looking forward to using it in Church this morning.

  6. Lawson says:

    Usability tip:
    When I first started using it last night, I had all kinds of trouble scrolling with two fingers. It turns out that I had my fingers too close together and my iPhone apparently thought it was just one big fat finger. When I separated my fingers by at least an inch, the scrolling works just as expected.

  7. Marc Thompson says:

    yeah!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you. I’m very Happy! I love having all these books in one place! Now my iPhone truly is an all in one device. I know this was not easy to do. But thank you. I’m so grateful. This will be highly recommended to all my friends. Ecspecially since this is only the beginning. Your huge library is great, and the upcoming features are going to make ipocketbible truly stand out from other Bible web apps that are out there.

  8. Glad you like it. I spent some time last night browsing the Web for other iPhone Bible apps. Believe it or not I haven’t had time to do that so I honestly didn’t know what else was out there other than one or two that got mentioned by customers from time to time.

    I have to say I’m disappointed. There are none that are specifically designed for iPhone that have any search features. They just let you read the Bible and the navigation is very awkward. The ones that have search features are just iPhone wrappers around general Web-based Bible sites — so they’re badly formatted for the small screen. The ones that have lots of advanced features are not really designed for the iPhone so they awkward to use.

    I’m also disappointed by the lack of real programming talent being devoted to this platform. There’s a toolkit called iUI which we are aware of which seems to be the basis of every iPhone application out there. But because they’re just users of the toolkit and not really programmers, they’re using it in the most rudimentary ways. (All the apps you see that start with a list of Old Testament, New Testament, then a list of books, then a list of chapters, where the lists wipe off to the left as you select from them are all based on the same iUI code.)

    So thanks for the kind remarks and I hope you will continue to enjoy the program as we roll in the rest of the feature list.

  9. Michael Lallemont says:

    Craig,
    Thank you so much for making this product possible! You did a great job!

    I did buy a couple of books and subscribed to all of the free ones, but I don’t see The Laridian Reading Plans under my devotional menu. I am looking forward to catching up on my One Year Bible Plan.

    Thank you again,
    Michael

  10. I just remembered I don’t have all the reading plans enabled for iPocketBible access. I’ll go do that and it should be done by the time you read this.

  11. Robert Mullen says:

    Kudos for getting the product out. I didn’t see it was available ’til this morning but immediately purchased my one year subscription. I have used it and found it very friendly especially given the constraints of HTML and Javascript for client side UI. These are notoriously finicky for doing anything advanced and add in memory and processor constraints and …

    Can I make one request? Is there any way to implement Memorize It in any form on the iPhone? I have now completely abandoned my 8525 but relied heavily on MI. An iPhone version would be a God send.

    Rich blessings on you and your ministry.

    Robert

  12. Michael Lallemont says:

    Sorry to bother you Craig and I know this is not a support forum, but I figured you would want to know that “Whole Bible in 1 Year” under the Laridian Reading Plan is not showing up.

    Thanks!

  13. Michael: Go to Open Book and refresh your book list. If you continue to have problems, contact tech support.

  14. John Brock says:

    Since you will be adding features all the time with this product, how will we know when they are added? I see there is a refresh options– should we be selecting that from time to time to see if anything new has been added?

  15. We’ve been talking about that here. We just uploaded an update last night that includes a link on the About page to a revision history. The revision history tells you what’s new and has a button which will force a re-load of the Web page that hosts the application. You can do the same thing by flicking the page down so you can see the browser address bar, then selecting the reload button to the right of the address.

    The other thing we’re going to do is create a mailman mailing list that we’ll use to announce updates. That will be at http://lists.laridian.com soon.

    Finally we’re going to make the revision history available from the iPocketBible home page at our site under Help Desk.

    Yesterday I implemented the Lookup button and certain types of links within books that weren’t working. You’d notice them the most in the Strong’s dictionaries, where one word links to another. I’m still working on highlights and made good progress on them last night.

  16. Scott Blanford says:

    Craig,

    Great work on the first revison of the product. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more and more soon. I would like to start a 3 month reading plan of the new testament. How can I start that as of today? It seems to only start at Jan1.

  17. Yeah that’s on my list. Right now all the reading plans start on January 1. The short ones repeat but the calendar isn’t being displayed correctly.

    I’m working my way through the personalized information, which is bookmarks, highlights, notes, and reading progress. When I get to reading progress I’ll solve the problem of setting a start date for your reading plans. In the meantime you have to go back to January.

    Here’s a suggestion: To get to the first reading in a book, open the book and select the Go To button. Select the leftmost arrow that looks like |< to get to January, then select the first. When you complete that reading, use the green “Forward” button to go to the next page. From now on, don’t access the devotional book using the Go To button. Just go to Open Book and select the book. When you do that it will open the last page you were on. So you can keep track of your progress by just leaving it on either the last page you read or the next page you want to read. As long as you don’t try to navigate with the calendar it will stay where you left it.

  18. Timothy Satryan says:

    Craig, thanks so much for creating this fantastic addition to the Laridian line-up, and unquestionably the best Bible app available for the iPhone. As soon as I realized it was released, I immediately did an annual subscription. I am enjoying getting to know the features.

  19. Dorsey McIntosh from Budapest says:

    Craig,

    As a long-time My Bible and then Pocket Bible user, I was excited to see iPocketBible come “online” and I signed up for it last night. I’ve enjoyed playing with it — you’ve done a great job with a web based app. However, I’m still hoping that Apple will open up the iPhone to 3rd party apps. Why? Because wifi isn’t always available! I’m a missionary serving in Budapest, Hungary, and so I don’t have AT&T service and can’t use Edge. And, wifi is often not available except at our office and at home. So, this means no iPocketBible is often available. Will you do a 3rd party version if Apple opens it up?

    Also, I can’t seem to open the iPocketBible on line from my MacBook Safari. All I get is a blank page with an iPocketBible header — no username or password entry spots.

    Since I use a MacBook and am trying to get off of Windows (running pretty fine under Parallels) I’m doubtful on the Windows version. I never could get my Win Mobile PDA to sink well under Windows on Parallels — so I gave up and bought an iPhone! But, I sure would like to recover all my notes from my PocketBible!

    Thanks for all your work.

    Blessings!
    Dorsey McIntosh

  20. I don’t know why iPocketBible is working on your Mac. We run it using Safari on a PC all the time (actually I use Firefox and run it from my PC and it works fine).

    If you’ve been running it on your iPhone then you log in from your Mac, you won’t get a login screen — you should get the last page of text you were on when you were on your iPhone.

    Eventually here we’re going to have sync provider for both iPocketBible and PocketBible for Pocket PC. This will allow you to get your notes from your Pocket PC sync’ed up to your iPhone. Unfortunately for you you’ll need to have a PC (or a good PC emulator) to do that because PocketBible for Windows is the central control mechanism for our synchronization system.

    We’re not going to commit to doing a native iPhone app. In fact the only reason it makes sense to do one now is that our solution for iPhone should eventually run on other Web-enabled phones. We just need to do a little work to make it more portable between screen sizes and browser capabilities. So we’re hoping the investment made for the iPhone will actually pay off on other platforms.

    If on the other hand we had a native iPhone app, then it would only run on the iPhone.

    So we’ll see what happens. Right now there are still great things ahead for iPocketBible.

  21. In the last comment above I said when you log in from your Mac after running from the iPhone you’ll skip the login screen. That’s not true. You do have to log in. However, the program can’t tell that you’re logged in from two different machines so changes you make on the iPhone will affect what happens on your Mac. For example if you are looking at an article on Faith in the New Bible Dictionary on your iPhone, and you go to John 3 KJV on your Mac, when you hit “next page” on your iPhone, you’ll go to John 4 KJV even though you thought you were going to the next article in the New Bible Dictionary.

  22. Jim Coates says:

    One more thing I’ll add to Craig’s comment…

    If you are attempting to use iPocketBible.com on your Mac or your PC (via Safari), it does require Safari 3 or greater.

    Keep in mind that the page formatting will have the height of the iPhone. I intend to change this as we get more features completed.

  23. Michael Haggard says:

    I loved my Laridian Bible on the Pocket PC… but when I switched to Mac two years ago, I kind of lost touch with it. I still used the Pcoket PC but had no way to reliably update things on it so did not keep up with Laridian’s updates. Now I have an iPod Touch, searched and found Laridian has made this product available… and sadly it is useless to me. As a missionary in the farmlands of Taiwan, I rarely have WiFi outside of my own home. I have found that using 3rd party Bibles (old texts as they are) through “exploited” software to make them run on the iPod are much more useful. PLEASE, please, please develop something that resides IN the iPod. I love the Laridian Bible and miss it DEARLY.

  24. Odd that you would happen to write just now, Michael. I was just reading an article — maybe it was in Wired magazine — about the growing number of missionaries who are buying cutting-edge, expensive, connected, MP3/video players to use in the field and are upset — not at themselves for falling for the lure of hardware that is relatively useless in their corner of the world, nor at the poor Internet infrastructure of the Taiwanese farmland, nor at the lack of a software developers kit to permit third-party apps to be developed for the device, but rather at Bible software vendors for not creating products that run natively on the devices, despite the absence of an SDK for the creation of such programs.

    This could be the next hot market for us. We’ll keep an eye on it. :-)

  25. Dr David says:

    Blessings to Laridian as you complete Pocket Bible to run natively on the iPhone. Hundreds of Thousands of us anticipate the day we will “have it all” in our pocket. What a Blessing! Since web access is not available everywhere, the installed version will be worth the wait.

    In the Windows version, when I hoover an *, the [“footnote”] text needs moved just a tad so it is not covered up by the hand pointer.

    Thanks a TON for the Complete Jewish Bible!! I really anticipate this going to the Palm as well as to iPhone [yes I still us Palm version too!]

    Dr David
    Wild Olive
    Grafted into
    The Vine

  26. Roy TIbbit says:

    Hi,
    I do not have the iphone but the touch ipod. Does it mean that the bibles are not resident on the ipod and that I need to be connected to read them. The problem with that is being in Africa I do not have Internet most of the time. Do you have Bibles that can be resident on a touch ipod. I have all the bibles I bought from you for my PDA but if I have to go on-line to read them they will be useless for people in most of the third world.
    Roy Tibbit

  27. With iPocketBible.com you need to be connected to read the Bible. Remember when this program was announced last year that was the only way to do it on the iPod Touch — you had to be connected. So there really wasn’t an issue.

    Now that it’s possible to have native apps on the iPhone (the SDK was released 6-8 weeks ago) we’re working on putting the Bibles directly on the device. Read our later blog posts for more information.

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