Subscribe to Updates

Click here to subscribe to new posts by email. We use Google FeedBurner to send these notifications.

A Couple Security-Related Issues

Posted on: April 11th, 2014 by Craig Rairdin 6 Comments

HeartbleedJust a couple brief comments  on two unrelated security issues. You’ve probably heard about the Heartbleed vulnerability that affected many websites this week. For some reason, the media didn’t mention that the affected servers are running Linux. (There are issues with certain programs running on other servers, but the primary impact was for those sites running Linux-based servers.) They’re quick to jump on Microsoft when it comes to security flaws in Windows, but I guess Linux doesn’t get the same treatment. Weird.

Anyway, we run Windows servers here and don’t appear to be affected by Heartbleed. This blog is on a Linux box, but there’s nothing valuable here except for my rambling a on various topics, and those are only mildly worth stealing.

Coincidentally, we were working on another security-related issue when we heard about Heartbleed. A few of you have given us grief in the past for sending password reminders in email. While your Laridian password doesn’t expose any personal information of import, except perhaps your mailing address — which is widely available elsewhere — it was still disconcerting to see your password show up in clear text.

So we’ve made some changes now so that we don’t send out passwords but instead send a link to a page where you can reset your password.  This should provide a little more security, especially if you’re in the habit of using the same password everywhere. :-)

New for PocketBible: Book of Common Prayer (1979)

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 4 Comments

We’ve had numerous request over the years to publish the Book of Common Prayer. We now have available for use with PocketBible, the 1979 edition of this historical book, used primarily by the Episcopal church in the United States.

The Book of Common Prayer is a resource for communal worship and personal devotion. It includes rites and guides to administration of sacraments as well as a daily office, lectionary and more. Rather than the full Bible text that may be provided in a printed copy of this book, the PocketBible edition of this book links to Bible passages so you can view the text in your preferred Bible translation.

The Book of Common Prayer is available for use with PocketBible for iOS, Android OS, Windows Phone, Windows Store, Windows PC and Windows Mobile. It is also available for use with MyBible for Palm OS. The title lists for $4.99 and can be ordered at the Laridian website.

PocketBible 3.1 Now Available on the App Store

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 19 Comments

PocketBible 3.1 is now available on the App Store. This update adds some new features and fixes to PocketBible Version 3.0.26.

PocketBible 3 is still free, and for existing PocketBible version 3 or version 2 users it should show up as an available update in the App Store. If you are still using PocketBible 1.4.7, we offer step-by-step instructions to move to PocketBible 3.

New Features:

  • Users with the Advanced Feature Set can change the behavior of the touch zones. The most common customization is to use swipe up and down for page changes instead of swiping left and right. Other customizations are possible.
  • Added buttons for paragraphs, bold, italic, underline, ordered lists, unordered lists, and list items to the Note editor on the iPad.
  • Journal titles are now included in searches (Journal feature is part of Advanced Feature Set).

Minor Enhancements:

  • Changed the defaults for “Sync Bible/Commentaries” and “Highlight Linked Passage” to ON.
  • Reduced the height of the expanded Toolbox in “upside down portrait” orientation so there’s more room for the keyboard to pop up without obscuring Bible text.
  • Allow the horizontal rule tag to appear in notes without requiring the user to take responsibility for inserting paragraph tags.
  • Preserve the user’s customer ID and password when resetting program settings to their defaults. This should reduce the occurrence of users inadvertently invalidating their user data and books.
  • Removed the “launch recovery dialog” that is displayed on launch after a program crash. The program will always retry without giving the user the option of deleting all their settings, which can result in invalidation of user-created data and the need to delete and re-install books.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed a crash when user has more than about 70-75 books open simultaneously.
  • Fixed a crash in the Note editor on the iPhone when inserting font size or font color tags.
  • Fixed the list of verses at the top of the Note editor so that it gets correctly updated, especially when the Lock button is turned on.
  • Fixed erroneous cursor position after inserting certain HTML tags in the Note editor. Confirmed in iOS 7; could still be incorrect in earlier versions.
  • Fixed a misbehavior of the pop-up “menu” view on the iPad under iOS 7.1 in which it was not getting properly dismissed when subsequent toolbar buttons were pressed.

New! Read through the Harmonized Gospels in 40 Days

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 7 Comments

An ideal way to prepare for Easter, this new Laridian Reading Plan will take you through the Harmonized Gospels in 40 days. Based on A.T. Robertson’s A Harmony of The Gospels, you’ll read through the Bible passages that recount the years Jesus spent on earth as told by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John–in the order in which the events happened. The assigned daily readings will make it easy to compare gospel accounts of the same event.

This free reading plan is already available for download on your device if you are using PocketBible for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Android OS, Windows Phone or Windows Store. There is nothing you need to order. Simply open PocketBible on your device and choose the menu to download this book: Harmonized Gospels 40 Day Reading Plan.

If you are using PocketBible for Windows PC or Windows Mobile, you can add this book to your account for free and download and install it to your device through your download account on the Laridian web site.

As with any Bible reading plan created for use with PocketBible, you’ll see the assigned daily readings for each day and you can tap on the passage to read it in your preferred Bible translation. PocketBible will track your progress through the plan if you’d like.* You can also have PocketBible automatically highlight the linked passage for you so you know what to read (if this is not working, check under settings for an option to “Highlight linked passage” and make sure this is checkmarked or set to “on”*).

*These features still to come in PocketBible for Android OS

PocketBible for Mac OS X Update – Searching Features

Posted on: February 24th, 2014 by Craig Rairdin No Comments

Here’s a video update on our progress on PocketBible for Mac OS X.

There’s more information on our Kickstarter Page.

New for PocketBible: IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament (2nd Edition)

Posted on: February 21st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

IVP Bible Background Commentary NT 2nd Ed coverThe IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament has been revised and expanded and the 2nd edition of this best-selling title is now available for use with PocketBible.

New to the second edition of the commentary are maps and charts of important historical resources. In addition, the first edition text was expanded by 15% and updated throughout with further explanations of significant background issues. Author, Craig Keener, is one of the leading scholars of Jewish, Greek and Roman culture and religion during the New Testament era. Originally published in 1994, this second edition shows the fruit of an additional twenty years of intensive research by Keener into New Testament culture and history.

When originally published, this type of cultural information on the Bible was not accessible to the average Bible student. Keener wanted to provide cultural background on the New Testament arranged in a manner that allowed the reader to answer all the pertinent questions on a given passage. The first edition of his background commentary sold over half a million copies.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament provides, in verse-by-verse format, the crucial cultural background you need for responsible–and richer–Bible study. It includes a glossary of cultural terms and important historical figures, maps and charts, up-to-date bibliographies, and introductory essays about cultural background information for each book of the New Testament.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament requires PocketBible for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, PocketBible for Android, PocketBible for Windows Phone, PocketBible for Windows Store, PocketBible for Windows PC or MyBible for Palm OS. It is available for $27.99 from the Laridian website. It is also available in a bundle with the companion volume, IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament for $39.99.

PocketBible for Mac OS X Update

Posted on: January 9th, 2014 by Craig Rairdin 4 Comments

PocketBible for Mac OS X 1-9-14It’s been a while since I updated you on our progress on PocketBible for Mac OS X, so I thought I’d do that here.

For those of you who don’t follow us as closely as we’d like to think you all do, last summer we launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of a Mac OS X version of PocketBible. The campaign was successful, so in August we started working on it.

We ran into some problems right away, as iOS 7 took a large percentage of our attention in September and November. And in October. And quite a bit in December. But I think that is behind us.

As you can see, there is some rudimentary functionality in place. I spent a lot of time up-front working on details of the user interface. I’m trying to build a sturdy framework on which to hang functionality. So it may seem like the program doesn’t do much yet, and it doesn’t. But there is a lot going on under the hood.

For example, all the shared C++ code that reads our Laridian Book (LBK) files has been imported into the program and is working great. You’re seeing real Bible text being displayed. And the program is able to access our server to get a list of the books you own (well, currently, it always gets the list of books I own, but once I add some user interface so you can enter your own customer ID and password, it will get your list). It allows you to maintain multiple layouts so that you can configure one for devotional reading, one for sermon prep, one for Greek word studies, etc. without having to open and close books all the time.

PocketBible Mac OS X Cloud Lib 1-9-2014While implementing PocketBible for Windows Phone and Windows Store, we added a capability to download cover art for every book. I’m taking advantage of that in the Mac version to display cover art for every book when you go to download it, and again when you select a book to open. Cover art is downloaded in a “background thread” which just means it doesn’t make you wait while it gets all those image files. It is cached locally so you don’t have to download it every time.

The screen shot on the right shows the “Cloud Library” function where you see a list of all the books you own. Unlike the iOS version of PocketBible, the list is organized by type of book (Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, etc.) to make it easier to navigate. Books you’ve already downloaded are dimmed, or you can check the box to hide them entirely.

The “Open Book” dialog looks very similar, except it only shows you books that you’ve already downloaded from our server and installed on your Mac.

The program will support the “type-n-go” feature of the Windows Desktop version. This allows you to simply type “John 3:16″ to go to that verse, or even type “find jesus” to find everywhere in the Bible “Jesus” is mentioned. I’ve implemented an early form of this feature, which is really handy for testing. That is, I can test my go-to-verse functionality before inventing a fancy book/chapter/verse chooser.

Even though a large percentage of the code is shared with PocketBible for iOS (developing for iOS and for Mac uses the same Xcode programming environment, Cocoa class library, and Objective-C/C++ programming languages), a lot of the design of the text display system will actually be ported from the Java code in our Android version. This means we’ll be able to have continuous scrolling of the text, which we chose not to support in the iOS version.

Remember that we carefully construct our screen shots to hide all the bugs. Don’t assume since you’re looking at Bible text that the program is done. We think we’re still on schedule but there’s a lot left to do. I just thought I’d bring you up to date.

If you’re a Kickstarter contributor but you have not been notified yet about your reward(s), please contact support@laridian.com and tell us about it. We think we’ve fulfilled all the rewards we can (obviously the program itself hasn’t shipped) so if you haven’t heard from us it means we must be missing you on our list.

Did you get a new phone or tablet for Christmas?

Posted on: December 26th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 7 Comments

Were you the fortunate recipient of a new phone or tablet this Christmas? Congratulations! Here is what you need to know to get PocketBible on it!

First an important reminder – you never have to re-purchase any Laridian Bibles or books when you move to a new device. You may have to re-install a new version of PocketBible (free) and download your books again but we’ll try to make that as painless as possible with the tips in this article.

Find your device type in the list below and follow the instructions from there:

  • iPhone/iPad/iPod touch (iOS) – go to the App Store from your device and search for PocketBible Bible Study. Download the free app and register it using your existing Laridian ID (or email address on file) and password. Tap on the Menu icon and choose Add/Remove Books. Go through the list of your books (should include all your previous purchases and free books) and tap on any you want to download at this time (you can always return to this list and download more later). Hit UPDATE at the top of the page to start the downloads.
  • Android OS – go to the Google Play store on your device (or Amazon App store if you prefer) and search for PocketBible Bible Study. Download the free PocketBible app. Register using your existing Laridian account information. Tap on the Dove icon and choose to Download Books. You should see your previously purchased titles along with all free books. Tap on each book you want to download (you have to do this one at a time). Check out our Android OS videos at our Youtube channel for some tips on using PocketBible for Android.
  • Kindle Fire – we are still working with Amazon to get our Android version of PocketBible to show up in the Kindle Store. In the meantime, follow the instructions at this link to download PocketBible from our site and install as a 3rd party app. HDX owners you can watch a video of how to install.
  • Windows Phone – go to the Windows Marketplace on your phone. Search for PocketBible Bible Study and download and install the free app. Register using your existing Laridian account information. Choose the Cloud Library from the menu. Tap on any title to download. Open downloaded books from the Device Library.
  • Windows Surface – go to the Windows Store on your tablet. Search for PocketBible Bible Study and download and install the free PocketBible app. Register using your existing Laridian account information. Choose the Cloud Library from the menu. Tap on any title to download. Open downloaded books from the Device Library menu.

If you have personal data (i.e. notes, bookmarks, highlights) to transfer, you can synchronize with our server to receive the data to your new device (assumes you have synced to our server/cloud from your old device first to get personal data there). At this time, the Android OS version of PocketBible does not support notes and daily reading progress tracking but those are coming soon (in that order)!

PocketBible 3.0.26 Now Available on the App Store

Posted on: December 20th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 7 Comments

PocketBible 3.0.26 is now available on the App Store. This version adds some minor updates and fixes to earlier releases of PocketBible Version 3.

PocketBible 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. If you are still using PocketBible 1.4.7, we offer step-by-step instructions to move to PocketBible 3.

PocketBible 3 introduced 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.

What’s New

These features are new to the 3.0.26 update:

  • View and select from a list of most recent searches
  • Close books from the titlebar menu

In case you missed our initial announcement, the following features were added with the release of PocketBible 3:

ADVANCED FEATURE SET

  • 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.

STANDARD FEATURES

  • 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:
    • Turn off user-created highlights or only highlight verse number rather than entire verse.
    • 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.

Starting your Bible Reading Plan or Devotional Over for a New Year

Posted on: December 17th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

2014 is around the corner and with it the opportunity for a fresh start on Bible reading efforts! Whether you are on track to make it all the way through from January 1 to December 31 or you got side-tracked at some point during the year, PocketBible makes it easy to begin anew.

Here are instructions for resetting your Bible reading or devotional tracking for the various versions of PocketBible:

  • PocketBible for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch – open PocketBible and go to the Bible reading plan you want to reset. Select the Today button | Devotional Settings and choose to reset your reading progress and change the start date to today’s date.
  • PocketBible for Android OS – this version of PocketBible does not have daily progress tracking yet so there is nothing to reset. This feature is next on our to-do list after note-taking. In the meantime, the app does include a simple date function that is based on a calendar year (January 1 through December 31). So at the beginning of 2014, any 365 day plans or devotionals you are using will automatically “start over” on day 1.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – select Menu | Daily Readings and tap and hold on the devotional book. From the menu select Remove daily reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store (8/8.1) – select Daily readings from the application bar and select the devotional book. From the application bar select Remove Daily Reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows PC – choose Devotional Reading | Book Options from the menu and select the Start Over tab. Press the Start Over button. Choose the Start Date tab to set a new start date.
  • PocketBible for Windows Mobile – Are you one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.
  • DailyReader for Palm OS – Are one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.

If you are looking for a different Bible reading plan this year, you’ll find help choosing one in our article on 8 Ways to Read through the Bible with PocketBible.

©2014 Laridian