Bible Software on the iPad

As you all probably know by now, Apple announced a new gadget yesterday morning. The much hyped “tablet” goes by the name of iPad, and, as is usually the case with Apple products, it has left very few people indifferent. Quite a feat when you consider that it will not be released until late March or early April.

I followed Steve Jobs’ presentation and then managed to watch the whole event earlier this morning. I have also read a number of comments for and against this new media device, written by people who actually got to see and try one. But my real concern right now doesn’t have to do with what the iPad can or cannot do, or what it has and what it lacks. Rather, I’m interested to know what impact it will have on Bible software, if any.

I use the word “know” because that is one of the key aspects, in my opinion. As a recent iPod Touch user I do not have to imagine what studying the Bible on the iPad will feel like; I have a fairly precise idea. Many of us, iPhone and iTouch users, have been blessed with some excellent Bible software (reviews will be forthcoming, God willing) for this platform (iPhone OS). We know how amazing it is to use such devices, how good these Bible apps are, and how awesome they would become … if they just had some more room.

It seems to me that the new iPad is much more than a “glorified” iPhone, and while I regret the fact that it will not be able to do multitasking (just yet!), I’m sure that it will be able to offer an ever better user experience in the field of Biblical studies.

Those who already have Bible apps for the iPhone have a clear advantage, but they better realize that “porting” their products to the iPad is not good enough. Not for Mac users, anyway. More is needed and, what’s best, more is possible.

I think Apple has shown the way with their iWork suite for the iPad. As I see it, and of course I could be wrong, the company who manages to release a Bible software program a la Apple will be the first one to cross the fine line that separates good from outstanding. So, please developers use the new SDK and surprise us with something truly amazing!

So, what do you think? Do you see iPad’s potential having any impact on Bible study software?


Review of Historic Views of the Holy Land – the 1900s

One of the highlights of 2009 was my trip to Israel. It was such a great experience that I sure hope I can go back soon. Meanwhile, I keep looking at the many pictures I took. I can’t tell you how excited I am when I review those places and reread my personal travel journal.

I have always enjoyed photos, and since I had recently come back from Israel I thought it would be a good idea to review The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. This 2-DVD set, containing more than 4,000 carefully chosen pictures of biblical lands from the 1900s, is available from Life in the Holy Land and was produced by Todd Bolen, who runs It really is a superb arsenal of teaching aids that should come in handy to anyone studying or teaching the Bible.

I have come to appreciate Todd’s contributions in this area, and can say that his work is of a consistently high standard. Do check out Todd’s excellent posts on this blog, many of which have recently dealt with different aspects of The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection.