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Apple Releases SDK - Time for iPhone application


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#1 JohnO

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 05:34 PM

The Steve-man stood today and spoke of the ease of developing applications for the iPhone. I called Customer service today, they said to post here to demonstrate the level of interest.

So who's interested. It costs 99.00 for the SDK development application. I would be glad to pay it for Oaktree. I REALLY want the basic functionality of Accordance Bible Software. Can you say iAccordance?

Anyone else care to indicate to the "powers that be" we want this?

John

Edited by JohnO, 06 March 2008 - 05:34 PM.


#2 jwritebol

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:17 PM

I commented on the iPhone discussion the other day that I didn't think Accordance should do this because it would pull from their time/energies to making the full version of Accordance better for us current users. But since then I have been thinking a bit and now wonder if I wouldn't actually prefer them doing it.

If they could make their iPhone app similar to what they do with the Bible widget that they produce and make Accordance for the iPhone more of a reader vs. a search application that would be certainly a good thing in my mind. What would be even better is if, like iTunes, I could choose which modules I put on the iPhone to read. It might open up some development in the devotional/expository reading side of things vs. the intense language searching.

Maybe the best way to say it is this: I want the Amazon Kindle for an iPhone with books/modules I have already purchased (which means Accordance).

Those are my thoughts. I like where this could head though!
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#3 Ed Cross

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 08:19 PM

I'd be all for a simple interface that would allow searching a Bible text of choice and possibly reading selected other texts. Again being able to select which texts that you would want would be nice. This would be definitely worth paying for.

Pastor Ed Cross

#4 Robert Floyd

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 09:12 PM

In thinking over the kind of access I'd like to have on my iPhone, the following scenario occured to me: what would be most useful to me would be access to the modules I've already purchased. If I could use them in a browse/lookup mode (no special functionality beyond the standard Accordance search tools), that would be 90% of what I need.

With that in mind, would it be feasible for Accordance to offer a subscription service where I could access my modules? They would host all the modules and provide access on the basis of what I've already purchased. That would allow them to maintain their revenue stream and offer customers another way to access the content they've already bought. I'd be willing to pay a subscription fee to cover the costs of hosting and any additional licensing fees they may have to pay for this sort of access. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of $5-10/month would be reasonable.

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#5 JohnO

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:06 PM

Great to see these initial replies. Have you seen Laridian's iPocketBible.com? It has the subscription model. That is interesting.

In my little world, the Accordance Bible software for iPhone would look like:

- It would allow for Bible searches, simple word study and concordance references.
- It would also copy and paste verses for those thoughts that begin to congeal into a message/lesson into the notes application. Or even, it would paste into Pages for iPhone - a guy can dream.
- It would take the Kindle approach. A reader that would allow a text's content to be displayed in a easy way. These books should come from any we own on our Macs.
- It could also allow for wifi/EDGE connectivity for hosted books on the subscription basis.

jmo

#6 David Nehring

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 12:21 AM

I have posted previously my interest in a version of Accordance for the iPhone. Now that I actually own an iPhone, I am even more interested. One of the main reasons I still carry around my Palm PDA in addition to the iPhone is I have the NRSV and Greek NT on the Palm, plus a Bible dictionary and an atlas. I would love to see all these on the iPhone so I could retire my Palm.
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#7 Larry Veinott

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 10:35 AM

Having Accordance on the iPhone would be huge. It's at the top of my wish list for the iPhone. Sure, you can use eBibles from the web, but they're slow and very limited.

#8 Helen Brown

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 10:56 AM

This chorus of demands is not unexpected but rather pointless.

We are looking into getting a reader for Accordance modules, but that is all.

If we put Accordance on the iPhone it would no longer be Accordance! Without a full Mac system we cannot create Accordance -- once they put a true Mac OS on the iPhone we may be able to adapt it.

Also, you see that each of you has a different minimum requirement for your iPhone program, so no-one will be satisfied with a stripped down version, each user will demand his favorite feature.

The offer to pay the $99 for the SDK is very kind (we actually get these free as we are Apple Developers). Now if you are willing to offer the $99,000 or so that the adaptation of the program would cost in programming time and resources, we might be listening. Our resources are not limitless, and as has been pointed out, if we focus on the iPhone we have to neglect other development.
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#9 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 12:24 PM

I think a reader is the right place to start, even if the reader only can display English texts due to font limitations. My thought is to start really, really simple, see how the customer base responds to what is offered, and then determine where to go, if anywhere, from that point. Shifting some development resources to an iPhone/iPod Touch product might be something the customer base really wants. If the iPhone becomes ubiquitous, it obviously would be a huge market as well. Also, if we assume that eventually all iPods (except the Shuffle) will eventually become Touch iPods, the market size is mammoth. Being first-to-market with this would be great, and it is a possible way to get Windows users to see the benefits of Accordance, using the reader on their iPhones/iPods.

Personally, I would love to have an English version (or Greek/Hebrew, too) of my choice always available on my iPod Touch. So many times I am waiting for something, and having the Bible right there would be a great way to use that otherwise wasted time.

I think we need to start casting our votes for what this reader should be called. We all know the market is going to demand it, and sooner or later we'll get it. So, what does everyone think it should be called?

Accordance Mobile?
Accordance Reader?
Accordance Lite?
iAccordance?
Accordance On-Demand?
Other suggestions?

Personally, I vote for Accordance Mobile.

Edited by Robb Brunansky, 07 March 2008 - 12:29 PM.

Soli Deo Gloria,
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#10 Ed Cross

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 03:19 PM

I think a reader is the right place to start, even if the reader only can display English texts due to font limitations. My thought is to start really, really simple, see how the customer base responds to what is offered, and then determine where to go, if anywhere, from that point.


I agree with Robb this is the right place to start. Personally, I don't care what it's called, but that it works. Surely someone is going to produce a basic Bible reading/searching program, I'd prefer to spend my money with Accordance than with someone else.

Pastor Ed Cross

#11 Joe Weaks

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 08:18 PM

if we assume that eventually all iPods (except the Shuffle) will eventually become Touch iPods, the market size is mammoth

These are huge, and I would argue erroneous, assumptions. While Accordance folks are charitable, they aren't running a charity. Actual business schemes would need to be defendable. I would applaud the development of a reader, but that's only needed for me if it included GNT/HMT... otherwise, I'd be content with online options or also saving my english texts as text files and using a text reader.
Just my humble opinion.
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#12 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 09:05 PM

These are huge, and I would argue erroneous, assumptions. While Accordance folks are charitable, they aren't running a charity. Actual business schemes would need to be defendable.


I don't know what evidence you would accept as defensible, but a rather decidedly Windows-biased technology writer, Paul Thurrott, wrote, "Suddenly, the iPhone is a much bigger deal than the Mac, and possibly even a bigger deal than the iPod." Macrumors has the following note: "A notable comment by id Software's John Carmack suggests that the "iTunes distribution channel is really a more important aspect than a lot of people understand,"" and "this marks the beginning of an enormous opportunity for Apple with the belief that "what Microsoft and Windows was to the desktop, Apple and Touch will be to mobile."" You and others might disagree and find my suggestion non-defendable, but there are more than a few pros in the industry that regard my assumptions as most probable and my business idea plenty defensible.

Edited by Robb Brunansky, 07 March 2008 - 09:05 PM.

Soli Deo Gloria,
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#13 Joe Weaks

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 09:17 PM

I was familiar with one of those quotes, but what we lack here is a sustainable connection between "there are alot of iPhones out there with app capabilities" and "lots of folks will want to spend money on bible software from OakTree".
And, I don't own an iPhone, btw. Too limiting still for me (no voice dial is absurd). And, my iPod is a shuffle... I just want to listen, not play with the device. So, take my thoughts in context.
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#14 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 09:47 PM

I understand what you're saying, and I think it echoes Helen's point about the diversity of desires for an iPhone Accordance app. I agree with you that we don't know what the market response would be. That is why I think starting with a real basic, simple reader would be the way to go. That would depend upon how much of an investment that would require from OakTree, but with their expertise, my thought is that a simple reader would not be too difficult or expensive to write. I could be way off with that assumption, though.
Soli Deo Gloria,
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#15 David Nehring

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 07:52 AM

I have to confess my ignorance. All this talk of a "reader" has me confused. What exactly is a reader and, more to the point, what would a reader on my iPhone enable me to do? What could I read, in other words?
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#16 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 08:36 AM

Just thought I'd add my two cents. I don't own an iPhone, and I won't in the forseeable future, both because AT&T doesn't provide service where I am and because I can't justify the $60/month subscription fee given my lifestyle.

But I am eyeing the iPod Touch. It probably be at least two years before I get one, but it's my first choice for a "pda" when I return to full-time work. I would very much like to have a Bible app available for it. Fairly simple search capabilities would probably be fine, although knowing me I would probably miss access to the BHS and GNT-T. Access to tagged text and tag searching would probably be adequate for me on an iPod Touch, though.

I would need an on-device app, as much of the time I wouldn't often have access to a wi-fi network when I'm out and about.

My preference would be for such an app to come from Oak Tree, but I realize that it may not make sense for them to invest in that.


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#17 Jon Falkenstein

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 08:48 AM

A module reader would be perfect for my needs. I would love to be able to carry around my different bibles in my pocket. The one additional thing that I would love would be the ability to have the parsing of Greek and Hebrew texts. This is one of my most used features in accordance, and it would be great to have that ability with me.

#18 jwritebol

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 02:03 PM

I have to confess my ignorance. All this talk of a "reader" has me confused. What exactly is a reader and, more to the point, what would a reader on my iPhone enable me to do? What could I read, in other words?


David a "reader" is merely an application that allows you to simply read the modules, not search/edit/whatever to the text. Olive Tree's software for the Palm is for the most part a reader.

Helen - I think most iPhone/Accordance users would be happy with a simple reader. I personally would find it helpful to put a GNT on my phone, one of the more expositional commentary series and an english version or two on it. That would be sufficient. If you don't feel like Accordance has the focus and resources to do that with your existing library I completely understand that. But I also think sooner or later a company will come along that will go after it. As an Accordance customer I feel a level of loyalty to Accordance (I think you have the best software on any platform for Bible research) and would like to extend that loyalty to the iPhone.
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#19 Ed Cross

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 04:10 PM

I personally would like just a couple of English Bibles (KJV and NIV) with a search function, and a reader for other non-bible texts with a Bookmark capability.

Having thought about this a couple of days, I can see where it would be difficult for the folks at OakTree to utilize their time to produce such an app and most certainly prefer they direct their efforts towards finishing up the universal version of Accordance with tweaks.

Also, what about licensing issues, would the fact that you own say the NIV for desktop Accordance allow you to use it in a Accordance Mobile as well as on a laptop? or would there be an additional cost for mobile modules?

Obviously, the look and feel on the iPhone is going to be completely different to the existing Accordance interface, so there will probably not be any advantage having an Accordance Reader versus someone else's if there is an additional licensing fee for the mobile modules.

Just some thoughts!

Pastor Ed Cross

#20 Troy Andreasen

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:34 AM

Would the "reader" have any search features? I would assume we would be able to go to a specific passage. If I could have an electronic concordance for my iPhone, that would be an amazing mobile tool. Might basic search features (with "and," "or," & "not") be included in the reader?




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