Dec 17, 2010 David Lang

What to Expect for the App: Powerful Searching

How do you take a full-featured, mature Mac program that has been in active development for nearly two decades and bring it to handheld devices like the iPhone and iPad? That's the question we've been wrestling with as we developed Accordance for iOS.

First, we realized there was no way we could do everything at once, so we had to decide which Accordance features were must-haves for the initial release. Second, we were determined to port and use as much of our existing Accordance code as possible. Third, we knew whatever features made it into the iOS app would have to be reimagined to accommodate a touch interface and a smaller screen. Nevertheless, we wanted the interface to feel like Accordance. In other words, we wanted it to be as consistent as possible with the interface philosophy behind Accordance for Mac.

Our original plan for the first release of our iOS app was relatively modest: it had to let you read your existing Accordance modules and support some basic searching and note-taking. During the course of development, however, we found that we were able to utilize far more of our existing code than we had originally hoped. Incorporating that code took time, but it meant that we were able to bring over Accordance features we never dreamed would make it into the initial release.

You'll see this most clearly in the search capabilities of Accordance for iOS. You can search using all of the wildcard symbols and any search commands which don't involve linking two separate windows. In other words, the LINK, CONTENTS, HITS, INFER, MERGE, and STYLE commands are not in the initial release of Accordance for iOS, but all of the other commands, including the powerful FUZZY and COUNT commands, are there. You can search key numbered Bibles by key number, and grammatically tagged texts by lexical form, inflected form, root, and grammatical tag. The following screenshot shows a search for all geminate verbs in Hebrew. The results are instantaneous on my iPhone.


Here is a search for all the hapax legomena (words appearing only once) in the Greek New Testament. This search actually takes about twenty seconds to complete on my iPhone, but then again, it's an iPhone!


Imagine sitting in a seminary class where the professor begins talking about hapax legomena. With a few taps you surreptitiously perform this search with your iPhone. By the time he's finished defining the term, you raise your hand and announce that there are 1942 such words in the Greek New Testament. From that moment on, you'll be a legend on your campus! ;-)

The ability to create complex searches via a simple interface is a hallmark of Accordance for the Mac, and you can expect the same thing from Accordance for iOS. In future posts, I'll tell you more of what you can expect from the Accordance app.

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Archived Comments

Rick Bennett

December 17, 2010 1:59 PM

By the way, it took only 11 seconds to do the hapax legomena search on my iPad. :-)


December 17, 2010 2:07 PM

3 hours 37 minutes and still not finished for me.  Oh, wait ... I still don't have the app


December 17, 2010 3:16 PM
Is there any type of split screen with English Bible, or maybe some type of instant details for Greek or Hebrew words? I wish I could read Greek and Hebrew without any help, but I'm not there yet.

David Lang

December 17, 2010 3:29 PM

I deliberately held off on showing split screens and instant details just yet, but yes, those features are there. You gotta let me string you all along a little bit! ;-)


December 17, 2010 3:31 PM


I allow you to string me along... with as many details as possible.


December 17, 2010 3:32 PM

I sure hope this app comes out on the App Store soon! I guess maybe I'm not as patient as I should be.

Jay Davis

December 17, 2010 8:23 PM

Will we be able to highlight commentaries? Will the split screen be side by side or top & bottom?

Chris Smith

December 20, 2010 2:00 PM

I'm so excited!! I hope that it is really fast for Scripture reference entry, as looking up verses while listening to sermons will be a popular use of this app. I know you said you're introducing a new concept for quick reference entry, and I'm excited to see it :-)

Joshua Stewart

December 20, 2010 3:48 PM

Will I be able to project Accordance from my iPad to a projector? 

Rick Bennett

December 20, 2010 3:55 PM

@Joshua: there are no specific features that accommodate this; it would have to be based on the capability of the iPad itself.