Last night we posted an update to the iPocketBible.com site, adding categorized bookmarks and support for desktop synchronization to the program.
You can create bookmarks the same way you did before: Tap the verse number to bring up the verse context menu, then select “Set Bookmark”. By default, the bookmark is stored with no category information. To create a bookmark in a category, simply select the category prior to pressing “Set Bookmark”.
To use categories you first have to create them. When you’re on the context menu there’s a button in the Bookmarks section for “Add/Edit Bookmark Categories”. Selecting this takes you to a screen where you can add, rename, or delete bookmark categories. Note that when you delete a category, the bookmarks in that category are still there — they just don’t have any category associated with them.
To view your bookmarks, select the Bookmarks button from the toolbar, just like before. You’ll find there’s now a list of categories at the top of the screen. The default is “All Categories”. You can choose a category you want to view, and only the bookmarks for that category will be displayed.
Remember when viewing your bookmark list that bookmarks are displayed in “pages”. The number of bookmarks displayed at one time is controlled by a setting on the Options screen. To get to the next page of bookmarks just select the Next Page button on the toolbar (or double-tap the margin if in one-finger scrolling mode).
If you use PocketBible for Windows on your desktop PC you can synchronize your personal data (notes, bookmarks, highlights, and devotional reading progress) between your iPhone and your PC. When you synchronize the two databases, the result is a combination of the two. We don’t just overwrite your iPhone data with data from your PC, but rather the information is intelligently combined.
For example, if you bookmark a verse on your PC, then sync with your iPhone, the bookmark will appear on the iPhone. If you decide you don’t need that bookmark any longer, you can delete it on your iPhone. The next time you synchronize, the bookmark will be deleted from your desktop PC as well.
Since the iPocketBible program is Web-based and all your personal information is stored on our server, there’s no need to run iTunes or cradle your iPhone before doing synchronization.
If you don’t own PocketBible for Windows you’ll need to buy that first. The sync providers for both the Windows program and the iPhone are free. Just go to www.laridian.com, select the Windows desktop link, then under the products menu at the top of the page you’ll find “Synchronization Providers”. Select that to see a list of providers along with download and installation instructions.
Time is of the Essence
Because the synchronization process relies on accurate date and time stamps to know which note, bookmark, etc. is more current than the other, it’s important that the time on your PC be the same as the time on our server. We synchronize our server with one of the various Internet time servers that is tied to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s official Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). You can do the same by configuring Windows to access a time server once a week to keep your computer clock up to date. Just double click on the time in your task bar to bring up the Date and Time Properties dialog, then select the Internet Time tab (Windows XP). Follow the instructions to set the time.
If that sounds too hard, just go to http://nist.time.gov and get the current time. Bring up the Date and Time Properties as described above, and manually set the time so they are within a few seconds of each other (the closer, the better).
Other Sync Providers
It looks like we’ll be able to use the same provider for Windows Mobile Smartphone as we use for Pocket PC. There will be an update required to the Windows Mobile Smartphone version of PocketBible to support synchronization. It’s likely this will be rolled into the next major update of PocketBible for WMS, which should be coming along soon.
Work continues on the MyBible sync provider. As mentioned before this has required a lot of programming. But in the course of doing all this we’re adding some features to MyBible that should be pretty nice. We’ll let you know as we get closer to shipping the product.