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Bible Programs Review

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The programs are:

The twelve categories are:

  1. Speed: How fast is starting the program and switching to a different passage or translation?
  2. Navigation: How easy is it to get from one passage to another?
  3. Find/Search: How easy and fast is finding a word or phrase?
  4. Bookmarks: Can I mark a favorite verse so I can quick come back to it?
  5. User Marks: Can I highlight words/passage and add my own notes?
  6. Translations: What translations are available?
  7. Study Tools: What other study tools beside the Bible are available?
  8. Languages: Is the program available in other languages?
  9. Memory Card: Does the program support storing Bibles on a memory card?
  10. Extras: Are there any extra features or functions?
  11. Support: How does the publisher respond to problems? How do I get the latest version?
  12. Cost: Is it reasonably priced?

Bible With You

by GMP Soft, version 2.53
  1. Speed: 9
    Bible With You is quick. There is a slight lag when loading a Bible or moving from passage to passage.

  2. Navigation: 6
    Tapping on the reference at the top of the screen will bring up one of four selection windows. Tapping on the translation will bring up the 'Select Bible' window. Tapping on book name will bring up the 'Select Book' window. Tapping on the chapter will bring up the 'Select Chapter' window. And of course, tapping on the verse will bring up the 'Select Verse' window. When I tap on a book or number I'm moved to the next window (Bible -> Book -> Chapter -> Verse) till tapping on the verse opens up the text or I can tap 'OK' to move to the passage indicated. I can go back to select a different chapter or book by tapping on the chapter or book in the current reference. In each window, the current position is highlighted in red. Moving in the Bible is a little limited. The scroll bar and the Up/Down buttons are for moving up and down in the current chapter. The only way to move to the next chapter is to tap on the reference at the top of the screen to bring up the 'Select Chapter' window. Tapping on the screen will bring the verse that is tapped on to the top of the screen, GMP Soft calls that 'Activate a verse'. The only reason I could find as to why I would want to activate a verse is to copy it. There are two ways to copy a verse, first, activate it and then select 'Copy Active Verse' from the Edit menu or tapping on the icon in the command bar; or second, select 'Copy Verses' from the Edit menu which copies the whole chapter. The first option is good for coping a single verse, but a little tedious to use to copy more than a few verses. The second option is a good idea, but it doesnŐt include the verse numbers and may be truncated if the chapter is longer than the Palm device can copy. So it still leaves me with having to copy multiple verse individually, especially if the verses are toward the end of a chapter.
    After moving to a different passage using a link, the two arrows icons on the command bar will move me forward and back through those links.

  3. Find/Search: 6

    Bible With You doesn't actually support searching, it relies on Concordance With You for that, which must be purchased separately for each translation. There are two versions of Concordance With You, a Silver edition and a Gold edition. If Concordance With You is purchased alone, I can still search the Bible, but Concordance With You will only display the reference, not the text. There are two main differences between the editions. First, the Gold edition has color highlighted text for easier viewing. The picture on the left is the Gold edition, the picture on the right is the Silver edition.

    Second, the Gold edition is roughly half the size of the Silver edition. The Gold edition is about 654KB while the Silver edition is 1352KB. So to do any searching, I have to add a 142K program plus a 654KB or 1352KB file on top of a 137KB Bible program and a 1285KB to 1575KB Bible. That's up to 3.5MB per Bible with the Silver edition of Concordance With You. The single advantage of this system is searches are fast. The 'On Tap' search feature will start the search with the first letter I write and continue to narrow the search as I write additional letters.
    To limit the range of a search, Concordance With You uses a hierarchical check box list. Tapping on the item displays the items it contains, i.e. tapping on 'Whole Bible' reveals 'Old Testament' and 'New Testament'. Concordance With You remembers which items are checked and unchecked from search to search. It's a nice feature if I want to search non-continuous books, such as John, 1 John, and Revelation. Checking or unchecking items will check or uncheck contained items so changing the range of the search is easy.
    To get back from Concordance With You to Bible With You, I have to either tap on a found verse or go through the standard application launcher.

  4. Bookmarks: 6
    Bookmarks can be accessed through the View menu or the icon on the command bar. The bookmarks can be renamed to anything I want. The bookmarks are listed in the order of creation and there doen't seem to be a way to organize them. Adding a bookmark can be quickly done by tapping on the menu bar icon, the folder with the plus.

  5. User Marks: 1
    User marks, highlighting and user notes, are not available.

  6. Translations: 6
    There are currently 10 translations available, the NAS, the Message, Good News Translation, CEV, God's Word, WEB, KJV, ASV, YLT, and Darby.

  7. Study Tools: 7
    The NAS is available with Strong's numbers. The Greek and Hebrew definitions are said to be coming and will appear in popup notes.
    Most translations contain section headings.
    Bible References for the NAS, available separately for $5, add reference links to the text. The popup box displays the crossreference passage and tapping on that passage will move the screen to that passage. However, if there is more than one reference listed, it will only jump to the first reference listed. The references can be turned on/of in the preferences.
    Bible Explorer, also available separately for $12, categorizes topics, depending on the currently selected database, and shows the relevant Scripture in Bible With You. It is a very nice study tool. Once I've viewed the verses in Bible With You, to get back to Bible Explorer I can draw a line from the application launcher icon (the house) to the graffiti area.

  8. Languages: 5
    Bible With You offers a German (Luther Bible) and Spanish (RVA and LBLA) translation, although the program itself is available only in English.

  9. Memory Card: 8
    Bible With You supports expansion slots, so translations can be stored on a memory card. After I installed a Bible to my Secure Digital Card, I had to tap on 'Scan' in the 'Select Bible' window for Bible With You to find it.

  10. Extras: 7
    Bible With You can display two Bibles simultaneously. Selecting 'Complementary Book' from the 'Options' menu will open the 'Select Bible' window to choose the second Bible. The two windows scroll independent of each other, but both move if the chapter is changed by the Page Up/Page Down buttons or one of the selection windows is used.
    The NAS has some additional features; the words of Jesus are in red, there are section titles, and there are popup translation notes.

  11. Support: 9
    There is a support page with answers to a few questions. The support staff is said to reply within three business days, although they responded to me within a few hours.
    Updates to the program can be downloaded and installed without having to uninstall the current version and any registration information will carry over to the new version. All future updates are free to registered users.

  12. Cost: 5
    The cost for Bible With You with KJV, ASV, GW, WEB, YLT, and Darby are $7.50 each. The NAS is $22, with Strong's numbers it's $26, the Message is $16, the CEV and Good News Translation are $12. Concordance With You Silver is $12 and the Concordance With You Gold is $18 which needs to be purchased for each translation. So the total cost for Bible With You KJV and Concordance With You KJV is $19.50 for the Silver edition or $25.50 for the Gold edition. While Bible With You certainly can be purchased without Concordance With You, it will have no search capability, a feature most users want.
    With the KJV, ASV, GW, WEB, YLT, and Darby, a free 'Limited License' can be requested which allows only one Bible to be viewed with no search features. Although it is free, it is too limited to be of much use.

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by AcroDesign Technologies, version 2.0
  1. Speed: 8
    Palm Study's speed is good. There is a slight delay moving from passage to passage, signified by the appearance of 'Loading...' for a brief moment.

  2. Navigation: 4
    While I am including Palm Study in this comparison review, Palm Study is not a general Bible program. The emphasis of Palm Study, as the name implies, is studying the Bible so it's features are geared for this purpose. Moving from passage to passage is limited to moving by chapters. There is no option to move to John 15:13, I have to go to John 15 and then scroll down to verse 15. Palm Study displays the books of the New Testament or Old Testament. Oddly, the New Testament is listed on the left and is displayed first. I expected the Old Testament to listed on the left. Once a book is selected, all the chapters in that book are displayed for me to tap on.
    While reading the Bible, tapping on the book icon at the top brings up the book and chapter selection or I can tap on the '-> C' at the top of the screen to pull up the list of chapters to move any chapter in the current book. There is an option to add the chapter to the 'reading record' which I describe in the Extras category.
    The scroll bar has a one pixel line slider instead of the normal slider which makes tapping and dragging it impossible. Given that I can't move directly to a verse, the normal slider should be there.

  3. Find/Search: 5
    First, I can search for up to four words or an exact phrase. Second, I can only limit the search by selecting Old or New Testament or both. Third, searches are moderately slow. The more words I search for, the slower the searches become. Fourth, the results are an exact match to the word (love only finds love, not loves or loved) and there are no wild characters. After tapping on 'Search', Palm Study shows the first nine occurrences of the search words. Tapping on one of the verses shows the entire verse. Once I am looking at the whole verse, I can tap 'Done' to go back to the search results or tap 'Show Chapter' to go to the chapter of the selected verse. In the search results screen, tapping 'Done' returns to the main screen, and tapping on 'More', Palm Study shows the next nine occurrences. That method of searching is very similar to the general search feature. Up to nine occurrences are displayed and the search is done unless I tap more. By doing this, Palm Study displays search results faster which is nice if what I am looking for is in the first nine occurrences. If what I am looking for is the 38th occurrence, then this method requires that I keep tapping 'More' to find what I'm looking for. The downside to this method is if I tap 'More' but then decide I want to go back to the previous nine occurrences, I have to perform the whole search over again.

  4. Bookmarks: 6
    Bookmarks, like navigating, is limited to whole chapters. Bookmarks are added and displayed by selecting the appropriate command from the menu bar. The bookmarks are listed by the order they were entered. While I don't necessarily mind that, there is no way to rearrange the bookmarks. So trying to find a bookmark in a long list could take some time.

  5. User Marks: 5
    Palm Study has the great feature of attaching notes to a particular chapter (again limited to chapters, not verses). Although I can name the note anything I want, it will only link to the beginning of the chapter. I can also view my notes by tapping on 'My Notes' on the main screen. I can view a particular note, and even jump to the linked passage. Although the notes can use categories, there is no 'All' category. So if I use several categories, it may take me a little bit of time to search through each category if I don't remember which category the note is in.

  6. Translations: 2
    Palm Study is available with the New American Standard or the King James Version. The biggest disappointment I had while using Palm Study is it only supports one translation.

  7. Study Tools: 1
    There are no study tools available for Palm Study.

  8. Languages: 1
    Palm Study is only in English.

  9. Memory Card: 9
    Palm Study worked seamless with memory cards. It was a little slower, but the lag was acceptable.

  10. Extras: 9
    One feature of Palm Study is 'Memory Verse'. Memory Verse will scramble the words in a verse and have you tap on the words in the correct order to unscramble them. Tapping on 'New' will cycle through a preset of list of verses or tapping on 'Pick' allows me to choose any verse I want. I can tap on 'Verify' at any time to see if I have the correct word order for the words selected. If I'm right, nothing happens. If I'm wrong, the Palm beeps and the words after the first wrong word is removed. I can of course tap on 'Show me!' to help me out when I get stuck.

    Palm Study can keep track of how much of the Bible I have read. When I go to a chapter, I can select if that chapter will be added to the 'Reading Record'. I f I want to read through the Bible, but not necessarily keep to a schedule like the One Year Bible, this is a very nice feature.

    Palm Study also features a 'Subject Index'. The Subject Index has 22 categories with over 50 listings in some of the categories. Tapping on a listing will display the verse. Tapping on 'Show Chapter' will display the whole chapter the verse is in. The index is certainly not exhaustive, but it is a very nice quick reference tool.

  11. Support: 8
    AcroDesign has a basic installation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). While there isn't much documentation for Palm Study, the developer is very responsive.

  12. Cost: 8
    Palm Study with the NAS is $21. Palm Study with the KJV is $15. Considering all the extras in Palm Study, I think the price is very reasonable.
    Updating to the latest version is quite simple. After I purchase Palm Study, I can download the latest version from My PalmGear at PalmGear.com and install it.

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