Aug 16, 2010 David Lang

Accordance on the iPhone: Testing the Prototype

Accordance on iPhone There are a lot of things I love about my job, but one of the things I love the most is that I get to play with cool new developments before most other people do. One of those cool things I'm getting to play with these days is our prototype iPhone app.

Before you get too excited, we've still got a good deal of work to do before the iOS app is ready for release. Right now we're doing some internal testing and evaluation of the features that have been implemented so far, and I can't even guarantee that the way the app works now is exactly what you'll get in the release version. So I hope you'll forgive me if I don't reveal many details in this post. At this point, I'm just going to relate my experience of using the app in a real world situation.

Yesterday I took my iPhone to church with me and used it for a very basic application: looking up and reading the passages the pastor preached from. The sermon was a great test case, because the pastor had us jumping from Psalm 8 to Revelation 22 to Acts and Exodus and elsewhere. To further add to the challenge of navigating all those passages, my 18-month-old son was asleep in my arms. I had his head in the crook of my left arm and his legs in the crook of my right. That meant I had my right hand free to hold the iPhone and my right thumb to use for navigation.

I'm pleased to report that even with one thumb I had no trouble getting to each passage quickly and easily. Once the pastor gave the reference for the next passage, I would click the navigation arrow at the bottom of the screen, select the book and chapter I wanted, and click the Go To button. The passage would come up immediately and I would be ready to read along by the time the pastor began reading. I really like the navigation interface we're using, but it's different from most other programs I've seen, so I was curious to see if it was fast enough to keep up with a sermon that required a lot of "page turning." It was indeed.

Even the current prototype has some pretty powerful features, and I wish I could boast that I used those features to check the pastor's exegetical accuracy and fidelity to the underlying Greek and Hebrew. I'm afraid all I did was read along. Yet for all its power, I suspect that's one of the main things you'll be using the iPhone app to do, and if we don't get quick and easy navigation right, it won't matter if you can find all the hapax legomena in the Greek New Testament. I'm therefore happy to report that I think we're getting it right.

I'm sorry I can't tell you more at this point, but I'm incredibly excited about where we're going with this app, and I think you'll find it well worth the wait.

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Archived Comments

Alan Houtzer

August 16, 2010 8:38 AM

That's great news!  I'm glad to see that there will soon (?) be a way to read the Bible at any time it is needed.  Now for my wish:  an iPad compatible app that really makes Bible reading and at least light study practical.  I use my iPad to read the week's scriptures while doing my morning work-out, in preparation for the following Sunday's service and sermon.  I do this through the Kindle app on my iPad.  It works, but the Bible is just another book in that app.  When I bookmark the week's four lectionary scriptures and the bible study class scripture, the bookmarks cannot be identified by their book, chapter and verse.  This leaves the reader poking at the list of vaguely named bookmarks until the right one is found.  I hope you provide for that kind of use.  In any case, the Word is becoming more available, thanks to your work.  Thank you!

Craig L. Adams

August 16, 2010 8:57 AM

The Olive Tree BibleReader already exists & many of us are already using that.

Karl Dahlfred

August 16, 2010 9:09 AM

Will the Accordance iPhone app be compatible with first generation iPod Touch as well?  I've had problems with other nice apps that only work on 2nd, 3rd gen iPod or latest iPhone OS. 

Jeff Brewer

August 16, 2010 1:47 PM

Thanks for the update! Can't wait to start using the app!  

Walter Price

August 16, 2010 5:24 PM

If you need a non-academic pastor as a beta tester, I'm available.

Helen Brown

August 17, 2010 12:32 AM

Karl: Your iPod Touch will run Accordance if you have at least version 3.0 of the iOS (system software). This may be a paid upgrade of your original system.


August 17, 2010 12:20 PM

Interesting blog.  You might not be aware that the iphone/ipad market is already full of apps that can switch between scriptures for reading purposes and they have been around for a long time (ie. ESV Bible, Youversions Bible, Olive Tree, to name a few).  What we are all waiting for is to be able to study the Bible using the resources we have already purchased from Accordance.  To be able to take notes, highlight, search original language, commentaries, etc.  Please give us a blog about that, as I think that is what your constomers have been looking for.  Also, it would be very discouraging if the original release was not ipad compatible as that is really a great format for study because of screen size. 

John B

August 17, 2010 7:43 PM

I'm with David on the main function will be to read the scriptures on the go, particularly in ancient languages. I currently use pocketsword for ancient languages and Olivetree for ease of use. I'd use Olivetree the whole time, except that I don't want to fork out $57 for untagged GNT and BHS. Keep up the good work Accordance! 


August 17, 2010 8:56 PM

I'm in full agreement with Jason on this one...I want to use my already purchased modules to STUDY the Holy Bible in Heb/Gr along with an encyclopedia, atlas, and reference works when I'm on the go.

I would suggest, even GLADY, that you charge $10-$20 for the app but allow us to use our ALREADY PURCHASED MODULES instead of charging us for them individually (like Craig Adam's mention of Olive Tree - who can [continually] pay to purchase modules for two separate devices: Accordance GNT & MT for Mac & Olive Tree's for iPhone/iPad???? I would rather pay even $20 for the reader and $0 for the own modules...

Gratefully yours,


David Lang

August 17, 2010 10:46 PM

Jason, I am certainly aware that there are many other iOS Bible apps which enable you to look up passages quickly. In fact, I mentioned them when I contrasted our method of navigation with those of "most other programs I've seen."

While this blog post merely relates my experience of using our app in the most basic of ways, I did drop a hint of at least one unique search capability (I'm surprised no one seems to have picked up on it) and implied that there are already many more. I can assure you that you will have most of what you are looking for in the initial release of the app, but as I said, we've got to make sure we get the basics right as well. A top-heavy app with powerful features but clumsy navigation is most certainly not what Accordance users are looking for.

With respect to being able to use your already purchased Accordance modules without having to pay for them again, that's a given. In fact, it's the main reason we're developing Accordance for the iPhone and iPad. So be encouraged, the news is all good! :-)


August 18, 2010 9:03 PM


Thank you for your assurance regarding the modules!

As much as I ENJOY BibleReader (it really is a powerful app to use!), I simply cannot continue to afford to spend $ for two separate devices-platforms! I would rather give my $ to OakTree - because I've already invested extensively into Accordance - to acquire more needed modules, instead of purchasing, AGAIN, GNT/MT/LXX/BDB/BDAG/HALOT,etc. for my iPhone.

Henceforth, I'll remain quite loyal ($) toward OakTree (sorry OliveTree but to costly in the long-term).


James N

August 19, 2010 10:11 AM

I'm really looking forward to the Accordance app. for iPad.

In the meantime, I've been duplicating several of the reference works that I already own for Accordance by purchasing from Olive Tree.  I really like the Bible Reader setup and am happy with many of the modules (especially the ESV Study Bible and the new Strong's edition of the ESV and the HSCB Strong's.) The easy way to access references and notes with a touch instead of a separate box is great and makes the iPad a more enjoyable device for reading a study bible compared to my Mac Pro.  I hope that the Accordance app will allow this same kind of use.

However,  some items like the NLT Study Bible and Unger's Bible Dictionary in Olive Tree suffer from big problems when accessing verse references.  Many go to the wrong references.  I've become spoiled by the meticulous near perfection of the work done by Accordance- It seems that you really do get what you pay for when paying the higher prices for the Accordance software.

I'll be really happy to eventually standardize on the Accordance versions on my iPad.  

Monty Lee

August 22, 2010 7:56 PM

I have several Bibles on my iPod Touch and the best for me is Olive Tree Bible Reader software, version 4 ( I rely on the ESV Bundle. Hands down it is the quickest going to a particular verse, seeing the notes, and highlighting key passages. I hope the Accordance iPhone is at least this easy to use.

Rino Dattilo

August 23, 2010 11:42 AM


It looks awesome. And since I am not a programmer I have a question; how difficult is porting this application over to android? I live in an AT&T dead zone and in SoCal, the dropped calls are legendary. I love my Sprint EVO and actually have grown to love the Android OS. Now would I have an iPhone if the offered it? That could be a toss up. So, is it possible? If it is, do you think that you will do it? Would you think about it???


Thanks my friend,


jerad penick

September 01, 2010 11:42 AM

Logos has a good iphone/ipod app.  Base the structure on that. It is free to use (even if you don't have the purchased computer software) and it references to libraries are over the internet. I would like to see two things:  one being an app over several platforms, Android, Apple, Blackberry; and or two, maybe an option to purchase and download different versions of the bible to your sd card on your mobile devise, Cadrebible for android is a good example. 

Alan Kurschner

September 03, 2010 9:17 PM

How much space will the Accordance app take up on the iPhone?

Thanks, and keep up the good work on the best Bible software out there.


Alan Kurschner

September 03, 2010 10:33 PM

Maybe this was already addressed or asked in another post, but will there be an app for the Droid?

Helen Brown

September 04, 2010 9:13 AM

Alan: We have no plans to port to any other mobile platforms. The space on the iPhone will entirely depend on what you choose to load onto your Accordance. Some modules are very large but most texts are quite small. You can look in the Finder to see what you have right now on the Mac.

Joe Finkelstein

September 06, 2010 5:00 AM


Really looking forward to incorporating Accordance on to my iPhone and iPod Touch. Keep up the excellent work and keep up posted!

Michael Britton

September 14, 2010 11:14 PM

I bought a mac for the first time to run accordance. I love the program and I use it more and more to study and do exegesis. Now I will have to buy an ipod touch just to run these other apps. By the way, I bought a ipod for the first time for my hebrew vocab. This Bible study thing is moving me into a lot of new technology.

Mike Sheley

November 05, 2010 10:33 AM

I am eagerly looking forward to syncing my notes, highlights, etc. from iPod Touch to MacBook Pro.  Currently, I use OliveTree's Bible Reader on my iPod Touch, sync to the cloud using Evernote, then copy and paste into Accordance.  It works, but the seamless integration is going to be huge for me, especially as a pastor.

Any updates on where this process is?


February 09, 2011 3:46 PM

I have a smart phone that uses android apps and I am a little puzzled as to why Accordance would not create an app for this platform. This is the largest platform for apps in the world. Why limit it only to the I-phone? Why do we all have to be pigeon holed into buying an I-phone if we want to utilize our accordance products on the go? What if I don't like the I-phone and have purchased a phone that is much better and not as expensive for its monthly services (ATT has had a monopoly on this for a while and they charge like it). Come on Accordance, help us out on this one.... Thanks, and don't worry, I still love Accordance!

Jerry P

April 09, 2011 5:25 PM

I'm quite late to this conversation. I'm a user of Accordance since version 2, back in 1994, if I remember correctly.  I'm now also wondering about getting accordance onto Android.  We also live in an area where you can't get iPhone service, and I'm being really impressed with the Android phones & tablets.  Any hopes of changing your minds? 

Helen Brown

April 09, 2011 7:43 PM

We don't have any way to convert our code to the Android system, as we could for the iOS. Each is a different system from the Mac. Even on iOS we had to deal with the different system and create an entirely new interface, but we use the same modules and much of the same search and display code as Accordance. If a port to Android becomes feasible, we will consider it. In the meantime you could get anotehr device such as iPad or iPod Touch and run Accordance on it, separate from the issue of phone service.