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Preparing for making the iPad the Ultimate Study Companion


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#1 Bodie Quirk

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:06 PM

If there were ever a community I love being apart of, it is the Apple Community. If there ever was a community I really love being apart of, it is those that not only passionately love Macs and love Accordance. So it is to you I bring my question in hopes of fruitful discussion about developing a cohesive system for Apple's iPad to become the Ultimate Bible Study Companion, because here, I believe, are people with many of the same goals as me, and who want what I want with the iPad.

Basically, I want an iPad. Really bad. Yes they are cool, but I want it for one reason and one reason alone: reading. More specifically, my real wish is to have digital versions of all my books, commentaries, seminary handouts and course documents, lecture notes, papers I have written, journal articles, Bible Studies, magazines and of course, my full Accordance library, archived, indexed, organized and stored on the Apple iPad.

I believe others would like this as well. If you are like me, you already have Apple devices that play music and videos and get your email. Fine that the iPad does that too. What really interested me in the device was the ability to have one device for all my documents organized and with me all the time. Now that is a ministry tool, especially if Accordance is in the mix.

Is anyone else thinking about doing this? If you are like me, much of your life is digital already: music, podcasts, lectures, video, software. The only thing not accessible to me now are the stacks and stacks of invaluable reading material that I acquired in seminary. I never touch it because it is sitting on shelves, not organized and not searchable (unless I actually get up out of my chair, not likely). I want my paper archive to be digitally organized and harmonized like everything else is.


Below are my thoughts so far for this process, and where I ask anyone to jump in and offer thoughts and suggestions...


1) I have lots of papers to scan. No problem, I found a great scanner that has a paper feed, and does two-sided scanning to pdf, and is portable (the Fujitsu s300M, "M" being for Mac, of course).

2) PDF is the dominant digital reading format, but iBooks is in EPUB. There is a great, free converter tool called Calibre (www.calibre-ebook.com) that can convert pdf to EPUB, making it iBooks friendly. However, there may be formatting differences that make the newly converted EPUB File not work like the pdf did. Should I just leave the pdf's alone and access them through another app or convert them to EPUB?

3) Thankfully Kindle books will be iPad friendly with the Kindle App, which is cool because Amazon has the biggest selection of ebooks around.


Is there any other thoughts on this you guys might want to throw in the ring about this project? I would love any ideas, feedback or discussion on this.

Thanks!

Bodie

(If you are the Admin, sorry if this post is in the wrong category. I just put it near the other iPad thread. Move it if you need to, thanks!)

Edited by Bodie Quirk, 02 February 2010 - 05:10 PM.


#2 Morgan

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:06 AM

Bodie, I feel like you took these thoughts straight out of my head! I feel exactly the same way. As a soon-to-be seminary student and youth pastor, I would love to be able to take my Accordance books (and other "e" or "i" Books) on the go in a format conducive for reading. I currently have my Kindle Books and my commentaries I use on Logos Bible Software available to read on my iPhone, but sometimes it just feels a little small for reading more than a paragraph or two.

I would love a format in which you could have your Accordance resources open and be able to "send" screenshots or other work done on the iPad back to a file in OS X for use when you get home. Any way to keep from doing double-work would be essential for me. I really enjoy reading commentaries on Logos Bible Software as it's more or less a photo copy of the book pages. However, I think I speak for most people in this forum that having the power of Accordance that we've grown to love "at your fingertips" on a moments notice; in the car, waiting in line at the metro, in a waiting room, et al; would change the way we all utilize our time. As pastors, students, or even working guys (I'm all 3), we fight for every 15 minutes like our lives depend on it. Being able to do exegesis on the go, I believe, would literally change our world. I've compiled just a few thoughts of how I think the app could work. Note: I have zero programming experience, so this is just my wish-list as a user.

1 - I think the app would need to have the option of downloading Accordance resources onto the device, instead of merely having everything "in the cloud." Being able to utilize the iPad's speedy new processor instead of relying on WiFi or God-forbid, AT&T's 3G to open and switch between resources could become more of a frustration than a help. Let's say I'm leaving the office to travel home on the metro, and I know I need my EBC commentary and a Lexicon, I could merely download those to the device for offline use on the ride home. The next time you plug in you could switch around what's stored on the device. This would allow those of us who might not be able to afford the 64GB model to only use what we need when we need it - a concept Accordance understands better than anyone.

2 - Integration into the new Pages and Keynote apps will be essential. Accordance has already mastered this in OS X, I can't imagine it would take much work to sync this with the iPad.

3 - Ability to email work done in Accordance to an address of your choice would be great for sharing edifying material with a friend, as well as free advertisement of Accordance to friends, family, co-workers, or other peers who may not own the product yet.

Again, these are just a few thoughts (similar to yours) that I would love to see. I'm a regular user, not a programmer, I trust that the folks at Accordance will not disappoint with the iPad/iPhone app they've acknowledged is coming. This program is an immense blessing to all of us, and I can't wait to see how God will use it in a new platform.

Morgan

#3 Chris Echols

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 07:34 AM

Ditto to the above posts... I didn't bother standing in line for the original iPhone, and I wanted to for the 3GS, but my contract with AT&T forbade me, but come iPad day, I will have my camp chair ready.

I've been rounding up PDF's and organizing them in my DropBox so that I can always have access to my stuff in the cloud, just because I know I may keep a lot of graphic intensive video and ppt presentations on my iPad (16GB) version. So I plan to use DropBox to pull down books, PDF's, and the like. I also read a rumor that iBooks may allow self publishing through Apple, much like software publishing through the AppStore.

If Acc does an iPad app, I may be tempted to just go ahead and buy the scholar unlock all DVD. The only reason that I haven't done it up to now is that I'm always on the go and I don't always have my laptop with me (especially with the iPhone in my pocket). But with the iPad, I can envision myself sitting in an Airport somewhere on a layover actually using that time to get into some inductive study on the go.

#4 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 07:42 AM

Chalk me up for an "Accordance on the iPad" fan. I'd love to see this a de facto standard for seminary and religious studies students. I've been an e-book reader for a long time (Check out this week's podcast, "Accordance: the e-Reader"). Just imagine: all your textbooks, Bibles, resources, notes and papers in a single table (er, ah, "pad"). I predict a sharp decline in the sales of backpacks on university campuses! ;-) [Hated lugging all those books around...]

For myself, I'm drooling. I'm thinking the iPad, with its Bluetooth keyboard support, would make a great teleprompter for podcasts. Hmmm..., wonder if I could talk the company into purchasing one for me...
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#5 Nathan

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 04:54 PM

1) I have lots of papers to scan. No problem, I found a great scanner that has a paper feed, and does two-sided scanning to pdf, and is portable (the Fujitsu s300M, "M" being for Mac, of course).

2) PDF is the dominant digital reading format, but iBooks is in EPUB. There is a great, free converter tool called Calibre (www.calibre-ebook.com) that can convert pdf to EPUB, making it iBooks friendly. However, there may be formatting differences that make the newly converted EPUB File not work like the pdf did. Should I just leave the pdf's alone and access them through another app or convert them to EPUB?

3) Thankfully Kindle books will be iPad friendly with the Kindle App, which is cool because Amazon has the biggest selection of ebooks around.


Well I use Stanza on my Iphone/Macbook to convert (just about any format except kindle) and manage my library on my Iphone, should work on the Ipad as well.
http://www.lexcycle.com/

#6 danzac

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:16 PM

I totally echo what everyone is saying. The iPad will be my new way to read almost everything except the books that only come the old way :-)

#7 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:06 AM

Accordance being available on the iPad with my current library without needing to pay extra licensing fees for content is a make-or-break proposition for me with the iPad. If I can access my Accordance library on it, it's nearly a slam dunk that I'll buy one. If no Accordance access is coming to the iPad, it's use is severely diminished since over 99% of my ebooks are in Accordance modules. After seeing the latest podcast, I'm hoping that's just whetting our appetites for an iPad version of Accordance.
Soli Deo Gloria,
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#8 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 07:43 AM

After seeing the latest podcast, I'm hoping that's just whetting our appetites for an iPad version of Accordance.


[Chuckle] It certainly whetted mine!

I've used e-Reader for years for fiction, first on a Palm, now on an iPhone. I can take my library (almost 300 books) anywhere, read while waiting in line, while my wife is sleeping (with the light out!), even when I'm traveling. It's great! Yet it has no where near the kind of features Accordance offers. That's why I confine my e-Reader purchases to fiction and use it for casual reading.

I am very pumped about the possibility of Accordance on the iPad, but I have to admit I'm spoiled. I want all (or at least most) of the features I love about Accordance available. The iPhone screen didn't [doesn't!] offer enough real estate—and I suspect the tiny iPhone processor just isn't up to the task. The fact that Apple was able to port iWork to the iPad makes me hopeful, but the persistent rumors about a future OSX "MacTablet" have me dreaming about the day when...

Edited by Timothy Jenney, 10 February 2010 - 07:44 AM.

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#9 Chris Echols

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:12 AM

The fact that Apple was able to port iWork to the iPad makes me hopeful, but the persistent rumors about a future OSX "MacTablet" have me dreaming about the day when...


That is why I'm hopeful for Accordance. I'm soooo tired of waiting on apple to give us the Mac OS X Tablet. But I think the A4 chip can certainly handle search queries as I'm sure that it handle 3D Map animations. I hope that this will pep up the Accordance engineers/GUI designers to make a killer Accordance 9 product that will have more people buying macs just for Accordance alone. I just went ahead and bought Context of Scripture by faith as I'm looking forward to flipping through that "book" on my iPad while waiting in the barber shop for a haircut.

#10 Frank

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:18 PM

I think it has already been mentioned but one solution is for Apple to do a OS X iPad instead of the iPhone SDK. Then we could run Accordance natively along with our favorite Word Processor. I don't think we will see that however.

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#11 Alec Rogers

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 02:08 PM

Yes, yes YES!!! Bring on Accordance for iPad! I would buy it YESTERDAY!

#12 Bodie Quirk

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 04:17 PM

Well I use Stanza on my Iphone/Macbook to convert (just about any format except kindle) and manage my library on my Iphone, should work on the Ipad as well.
http://www.lexcycle.com/



Nathan, good call, I just picked that up. Beware of the most recent version, 2.1. Apple put the clamp down on USB sharing from Mac to iPhone, most likely because of the upcoming iBooks app. Where is the best place to get books?

#13 R. Mansfield

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:46 PM

Just had a thought...

Can you imagine how amazing it would be to use the Accordance Atlas on the iPad with a multitouch interface instead of a mouse!?
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#14 Scott Knapp

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:55 PM

Just had a thought...

Can you imagine how amazing it would be to use the Accordance Atlas on the iPad with a multitouch interface instead of a mouse!?


This brings up an interesting point for all who want Accordance on the iPad (and iPhone, etc.) to consider. There is no mouse. The user interaction is primarily touch and gesture based. Not mouse based. So before porting Accordance to the iPad, this change in how the user interacts with the program needs to be carefully considered. Touch and gesture interaction is a much richer experience than mouse clicks and drags. The mapping of what a user does with the mouse and keyboard in Accordance on the desktop to a (multi-)touch or gesture on the iPad (iPhone, etc.) is not always readily apparent.

Even if Apple were to produce a version of the iPad running a touch enabled version of Mac OS X instead of iPhone OS (which I'm doubtful will happen anytime soon), this "mapping" of the Accordance "workflow" from a keyboard and mouse centric point of view to a touch and gesture based point of view may take some time to get right.

Just my opinion, of course.

Scott.

#15 revtim

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 05:07 PM

It would absolutely take time to get right. I, however, know that the programmers and everyone else at Accordance would be up to the challenge and probably deliver the best app for the iPad period.
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#16 Tom

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 10:22 AM

As in the other similar thread, I must say that I am not sure I would want Accordance to put all the time and effort into an iPad app if Apple will eventually make an iPad that runs on OSX. There have been recent discussions on the web stating how difficult this may be. Two of these comments come for ex-Apple employees. So maybe the likelihood of this prospect is diminished.

I must say though, and I wonder if anyone else feels this same way, I am disheartened by the fact that iPad will (probably) not support flash (like the iPod touch and iPhone).

I know many think flash is a system hog and is the devil's twin brother when it comes to ad displays. But it is used so ubiquitous that its compatibility is required. Especially for a device that is meant to make internet surfing a pleasure (which is not a primary intention of the iPod Touch and iPhone). Yes, so many annoying ads are flash based, but the fact remains so many elements of so many websites that are not ads are also flash based. Even Accordance own home page has flash based elements! Ads will always be around, get rid of flash and ad's will be whatever coding takes its place. But for me (or especially my wife who would most likely use it) and all casual web "surfers," flash is used to log into sites, play on-line games (many on Facebook) and see and do necessary activities. Add to this that the iPad may not support Java, and you now have a crippled device that can very much limit the web experience.

Am I the only one who feels this way? I was hoping of getting an iPad for my wife who checks email, gets on Facebook, keeps up her "Cafe World" and goes to cooking and ladies bible speaker's sites (some of which use Flash and/or Java), and other sites that these sites link. I was hoping she wouldn't have to be borrowing my computer several times a day, and getting pressured by me to give it back because she is "lost in facebook." But the limitations of iPad may make the price tag of $500 too much.

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#17 Morgan

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 11:36 AM

Just throwing my 2 cents on the table...

I keep hearing a consistent theme on this thread and others on, "what if Apple releases a Mac OS X Tablet?" I'm assuming we're all Mac users here, so let me ask... what is Apple known for? Creating the highest quality OS to run the highest quality software on the highest quality hardware so that the best and most careful developers in the world (inside or outside Cupertino) can bring the best user experience in the industry to the consumer. Even before the iPad was announced, I was thinking to myself, "If I could choose between an iTablet with a full version of OS X or an adapted and expanded iPhone OS, which would I pick?" To me, the answer is simple: if you want to use your fingers, go with the OS that was designed for using your fingers. If you like a mouse, then buy a laptop. Putting a desktop OS on a laptop was easy, we just use a trackpad and it's all the same. Putting a desktop OS on a tablet to use with your fingers is NOT the UI that Apple wants. Microsoft has been doing it for over a decade, and (comparatively) Tablet PCs are not the craze that Redmond hoped they would be. Apple figured out pretty quickly that in order to release a Tablet that would actually offer something to the public worth having, they had to "Think Different." Warming up Microsoft's leftovers and just saying, "well, our OS beats your OS so maybe our tablet will sell a few..." is not Apple's game. Copying the other guy's model and hoping to make a buck off of fanboys is not how Cupertino operates. According to most reports I've read, Steve Jobs rejected the tablet time and time again because it was never something that he thought could actually improve and enhance the consumer experience. If the iPad had been released with a full OS X like your MacBook uses, would it have sold a million units? You betcha. Is that what matters most to Apple? No way. Anyone reading this who uses an iPhone will agree with me (for the most part) that using the iPhone for things like e-Mail, Twitter, sports scores, taking notes, etc etc is a far more enjoyable experience than using a full desktop application to do simple tasks such as these. But as we become more and more dependent on the iPhone OS, our only complaint has been - as Dr. J said - "real estate." The iPad will not only solve this problem, it brings a whole new idea to the game. As one analyst said, "the iPad is not the future of the computer, it could replace the computer."

So when you dream about having your MacBook Pro in slate form, don't just think about what you could do with it, you have to think about how you will do it, and nearly every time you take it to that level the reality remains, OS X is a desktop OS, created for using a mouse. This concept was invented at Xerox PARC 3 decades ago. The iPad is a completely different ballgame. It's made for your fingers. Every developer out there is having to rethink their game plan to adapt to the potential that iPad brings to the table. Accordance has been delivering the best Bible Software on the planet as long as they have been around. Instead of buying a modified "MacBook tablet" I want to see how Accordance adapts to the multi-touch world we now live in. Apple figured it out WAY past any of us. I'm betting that Accordance is going to deliver in turn.

#18 R. Mansfield

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 10:15 PM

I must say though, and I wonder if anyone else feels this same way, I am disheartened by the fact that iPad will (probably) not support flash (like the iPod touch and iPhone).


I think Steve Jobs has a real beef against Flash, and I think he has good reason to. Flash on the Mac is a much lesser quality than Flash on Windows. The reality is that Flash on Windows is faster and more stable. Flash on the Mac is not only poorly implemented, it actually slows down your system after a while.

For the longest time I noticed my system would get sluggish. I didn't know what was causing it, but I knew I could restart Safari and it would get better. Well, Flash was the problem. You're right, Flash is pretty ubiquitous, but because it's so prevalent, and because it is subpar on the Mac, and because it's often poorly implemented on websites to begin with, Jobs has simply had enough and he's bypassing it.

A few weeks ago, I installed ClicktoFlash on my MacBook Pro. I'd read some good things about it, and figured I'd give it a week to see if I could notice any difference. Well, I didn't have to wait a week. My system was so much more responsive after one day, I've decided to keep it in place. Basically, it's a plugin for Safari that keeps any Flash from loading automatically on a webpage. If you want to see it--perhaps in a YouTube video--you can simply click on the window and the Flash will load. My system is working so much better now that I won't go back to having Flash automatically load anymore.

So this is what I see now at a site like the Accordance website, and I can click the Flash window to reveal a drop down menu that you see here:

Attached File  Screen shot 2010-02-28 at 10.12.44 PM.png   392.43KB   27 downloads

So, I actually agree with Jobs about Flash and I think he's influential enough that you're going to see the demise of Flash--especially with the advent of HTML 5 where it isn't necessary anymore anyway.

Edited by R. Mansfield, 28 February 2010 - 10:17 PM.

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#19 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 10:23 PM

Wow, Rick, what a huge difference ClicktoFlash makes. I just installed it and visited a few favorite sites, like ESPN, and the sites load so much more quickly. It's also nice to get a preview of what sites will look like on the iPad. Flash can't die soon enough.
Soli Deo Gloria,
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#20 R. Mansfield

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 10:31 PM

I keep hearing a consistent theme on this thread and others on, "what if Apple releases a Mac OS X Tablet?"


I agree with your post, Morgan. And as I've already mentioned, Axiotron makes an OS X tablet for those that want one. I'm sure their business is okay, but it can't be going gangbusters or Apple would have already made an OS X tablet of their own.

The iPad is going to create a new experience, even beyond what we've already seen on the iPhone/iPod Touch. It's an emerging new platform, and I really do think that for some, it will be all the computer they'll need.

Edited by R. Mansfield, 28 February 2010 - 10:33 PM.

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