Bible Software on the iPad

Published: January 28th, 2010

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?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at 5:18 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Comments on “Bible Software on the iPad”

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  1. 1. Kevin Purcell
    January 29th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    The iPad will potentially be a big help to digital Bible study. Currently, I use Logos 4 on my PC and Bibleworks on my PC and WordSearch. It would be nice to have my PC open to one of those programs and be able to have quick access to other study tools on an iPad. Have just the iPhone versions ported is enough for me as it is all about the books in the iPhone version. Now if they can do something really amazing, then I’m all for it. But just a version of OliveTree, Logos 4, Mantis Bible, or PocketBible that takes advantage of the larger screen is a good first step. The next step would be a better way of doing in app content creation. The reason is that since it does not have the ability to easily switch back and forth from the Bible app to a word processor, I would need to be able to craft a sermon or Bible study right in the app. It doesn’t have to be a powerful Word like app. But at least have text formatting, styles, etc. that can help in simple document creation right in the app. Right now, none of them do this in the mobile versions. All of them have inadequate or in the case of Logos nonexistent note taking utility. Olive Tree is closest with Evernote syncing. But that is not good enough for a device that will allow me to do good enough Bible study that I could conceivably, with a keyboard, write a full sermon on the device.

  2. 2. Timothy Ha
    January 31st, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Surely space is crucial for Bible study, and iPad would be better than iPod/iPhone in this field, except that it is big and not easy to carry around (It would not be safe to use it in the subway). But to bring it to a Bible study classroom would be great.

    And you are right that software developers should not just port to iPad but adapt the interface to it. I read in OliveTree blog that they are already thinking about this :-)

  3. 3. Isaac
    July 23rd, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    There is nothing that makes iPad attractive to me like being able to study and preach with it. I will want a software like WordSearch adapted it. WordSearch, because of the amazing word processor in it. It makes preaching cool with the passages in your note hyperlinked.

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