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The sad state of Mobile Bible software


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#1 pastormichaelwilson

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Posted Yesterday, 09:24 PM

This is an open letter to Accordance Bible Software and Logos/Faithlife Bible software.

 
In the late 1998 I had a palm device.  Probably the V or Vx.  Someone told me about a new Bible reader program for the Palm so I found it and installed it.  It was a basic reader with 2 panes where I could load 2 books.  I was able to get an early version of the NET Bible and study notes and install it on my device.  The Bible reader eventually became Olive Tree Bible software and as more books were added to the library, the reader remained a 2 pane window.
 
Fast forward to today.  I have an iPad Pro 10.5”. There are now three top companies in the Bible software business.  I can load Olive Tree’s latest offering, Accordance’s mobile app and any one of the numerous mobile apps from Logos/Faithlife.  If I launch them, they look exactly like things did on my palm device back in 1998.  I get a window with 2 panes and I can load any two books I want and sometimes they sync when I scroll.  A cursory look would show that nothing has really changed in almost 20 years.  As the power of mobile devices, both tablets and phones are growing and growing, the functionality of these mobile apps seems stalled.  All three Bible software companies offer desktop application and Accordance and Logos allow me to have dozens of books open in any window configuration I want.  Yet, I cannot replicate this layout on any mobile device.
 
Apple has released the Pro line of iPads as laptop replacements.  Their success in this regard is still debated.  However, it would be expected, I think to go to a coffee shop and pull out my iPad or larger phone and load a layout from my desktop.  Granted, there would be memory and speed issues, but I could do it.  I can go to a coffee shop with my 2016 MacBook 12” and load any of the layouts saved on the desktop but mobile devices are not allowed.
 
Logos has placed the various guides and documents created on the desktop on the mobile app.  I can create an exegetical guide on any passage right on my phone and if I save it, it will show up on my desktop.  However, I still only get a 2 pane window.  One is taken up with the exegetical guide and the other can have a Bible or commentary.  
 
Accordance has created a wonderful “Info Pane” on their desktop app, but there is no sign of it on mobile.  Having the information on this pane on the mobile would be a great addition to Bible study on the phone or iPad.  
 
Bible Software has come a long way growing as the power of desktop computers grow.  Yet it looks like mobile Bible computing has been left in the dust.  Modern iPads and iPhones certainly have the memory and the power and the speed to handle multiple books in a tabbed interface, yet it does not exist.  As the world becomes more mobile, Accordance and Logos/Faithlife need to step up and bring desktop functionality to the mobile world.
 


#2 jhancock61

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Posted Yesterday, 10:18 PM

I have been using various Bible Software since the early days of existence. In my opinion, Accordance provides a robust experience for me with the Mobile App and the Desktop version. I cannot comment on other present day software because I exclusively use Accordance at this time.

 

I do agree that Accordance needs to add more features for the iPad version. Sadly, the iPad version seems to have the exact same features as the iPhone. 

 

For my use as a lay person, Accordance is a great resource.



#3 ukfraser

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Posted Today, 04:51 AM

Pastor michael
Part of me agrees with you, i have major frustration with a couple of the design descisions taken by the accordance team for their ios app and really think they should have been sorted by now and those frustrations are well documented in the new features.

However, i have been using accordance ios for ever since i got an ipad 2 back in june 2011 and have used it daily ever since. I have probably downloaded all the bible softwares for mobile devices since and most have only stayed on my device for about half an hour. Other i kept just didnt get used and have gradually been deleted. I have niv cultural backgrounds which is virtually unusable because the search doesnt work on the study part and good news which i keep because of the illustrations. I changed from an android phone to an iphone so i could use accordance.

Accordance has interlinear.
Accordance has the pop up so you can see the underlying word and then wander off to see its use or explore it in lexicons
You can quickly change translation and commentaries in the two panes
You can play audio
You have image rich resources
The search is virtually instantaneous in any resource and can be so refined to title, content etc
It is great for original language studies
It is rock solid
The developers are active on the forum.

Yes i want more from accordance, but i wouldnt want to be without it and when my ipad 2 pretended to die, i rushed out and bought a pro because accordance and forScore are the two apps i am using daily. To such an extent i only boot my mbp up once a week.

accordance ios leaves my previous windows bible software a distant view in the rear view mirror.

And accordance ios is free and comes with great resources such as a tagged esv.

Yes, many other apps are in a sad state but accordance shines.
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Fraser Sims
Accordance 2x iOS 9x on iPad pro and iPhone 4s, occasionally accordance 12x on Mountain Lion on a reliable '08 mbp.
Other life enhancing software I use includes: forScore with AirTurn page turner for leading the service including the music from my iPad, HymnQuest for developing my selection of appropriate music, Sibelius for preparing music scores, Lightroom for my photo library.

#4 Solly

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Posted Today, 04:58 AM

It would be really nice if one could choose the operating system to place onto an iPad pro—iOS or macOS. By placing iOS on all 'mobile' devices, Apple has produced a less than what is really possible experience on the iPad Pro. One may view an attempt to get around this device limiting approach by current hardware promoted by Microsoft and Windows 10. I have not had personal experience with those slate products, but I know folks who are delighted by their function. Back in 1983, when I purchased my first personally owned computing system, the wisdom presented to a purchaser was to define the task, select the best software to accomplish that task, select the operating system that works with the chosen software, and then choose the hardware as the final stage.  This approach guided me in purchasing a personal system (KayPro II with the Perfect Series software) that released me from bondage to the employer owned equipment and their decisions on what was best for the employee. 

 

Yes, I think the iPad Pro is a wonderful device if and only if it will allow one to accomplish the task one is attempting. The advice from the early personal computing era still applies. It is why I have operating systems by Digital Research, Microsoft, and Apple on currently used hardware. I also use flavors of BSD, Linux, Android, and WebOS on other hardware. I have specific tools for specific tasks. No, the great variety of systems do not confuse me, because they all operate in a very similar way. One may use a command line, another a graphical interface, and command syntax varies, but file manipulation is file manipulation whether done by PIP or Finder. Waiting for a system to change to my preferences has never been a satisfactory experience for me. I will still apply the old 1980's advice on technology purchase decision making.

 

May your chosen tool accomplish your goals,

Joseph


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Joseph F Sollenberger Jr


#5 Michel Gilbert

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Posted Today, 10:43 AM

Hi Solly,

 

I couldn't have said it better myself. When I got my first IBM compatible 8086 in 1989, I got the exact same advice. And now, I have/use several Windows versions, Linux, OSX, iOS, Android, and Blackberry. It's relatively easy/simple to learn each file system, and how to install, open, and delete programs/apps on each. And after that, they are all basically the same, with the same major programs installed on each.

 

I do think Michael brings up something Acc should consider. I too wish that Acc would expand their capabilities for iOS on iPad. A good place to start would be adding more Tabs. I know I really enjoy more tabs in PDF Expert and GoodReader. And I think Acc Mobile should at least function as an eReader on par with PDF apps. But of course, it is their decision. And, I won't wait for them to implement this in the meantime.

 

Rick has said a few times that Apple may be planning to replace OSX with iOS. If he is correct, and there are some signs he may be, then the majority of Mac users will eventually be iOS users, including most Accordance users. So I think it would be to Acc's advantage to begin expanding iPad capabilities, starting with more tabs.

 

Regards,

 

Michel

 

Edit: I also think Chromebooks are becoming more attractive to Bible students, so it would be advantageous to offer more tabs to attract those Android users. If the coming Acc Android app is on par with the iOS one, and has appeared by the time I have to replace my iPad, I'll probably switch to a dual boot touchscreen Chromebook with Linux, and have Acc Mobile on Android, and presumably the same Acc desktop functionality I presently have on my Ubuntu ASUS laptop.


Edited by Michel Gilbert, Today, 11:09 AM.

For Christ's love compels us (2 Cor 5:14)

 

 

Accordance 12.1.1 & 2.5:

 

Mac mini, Sierra, 10.12.5

iPad mini 2, 10.3.3
ASUS VivoBook, Ubuntu 17, experimental, and rd


#6 Solly

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Posted Today, 11:19 AM

...

 

Rick has said a few times that Apple may be planning to replace OSX with iOS. If he is correct, and there are some signs he may be, then the majority of Mac users will eventually be iOS users, including most Accordance users. So I think it would be to Acc's advantage to begin expanding iPad capabilities, starting with more tabs.

 

...

Michel, my desire is that iOS become more like macOS. However, as Han Solo was fond of stating, "I have a bad feeling about this!" For this reason I am happy to have the Accordance system on multiple platforms. Of course VirtualBox permits even more possible solutions. Just planning for the future as I don my tin foil hat.  ;)


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Joseph F Sollenberger Jr





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    Timothy Jenney