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NIV for PalmReader Review

by Tim Drenk
Posted 3/1/02

The New International Version is a very popular modern translation today. For Palm OS handhelds, it has been only available for Laridian's MyBible. Recently, Palm Digital Media released the NIV for Palm Reader. Palm Reader is one of the better e-book readers available plus it's free. The first thing that caught my eye about the NIV for Palm Reader was the price, $11.99. $12 is considerably less than the NIV for MyBible which is $40 ($10 for MyBible and $30 for the NIV). Since I use Palm Reader and create e-books for it, I thought the NIV for Palm Reader was worth taking a closer look at.

As the description at Palm Digital Media for the NIV e-book says, this is a large e-book, 2.4 MB. The NIV for MyBible is about 1.4 MB. And of course with the size, Palm Reader takes a little longer opening it up. Although the delay is not too bad unless the e-book is installed on a SD Card, then the wait gets longer.

Once opened up, the advantages of using MyBible quickly become noticeable (our review of MyBible is here). Tapping on the box with the C in the lower left corner brings up the contents or chapters of the e-book. Here all the books of the Bible are listed. To navigate to a passage, scroll up or down to find the book and tap on it. That brings up the a list of all the chapters in the book. Tapping on the chapter number will jump to that chapter. From there, the only way to move to specific verse is to scroll, one screen at a time. To move to a different passage, you need to start the whole process over, unless you would rather scroll to it. Needless to say, getting to a particular verse can take some time. Palm Reader does have a bookmark feature, so once you have bookmarked a passage, tapping on the page icon (second from the left) brings up the list of bookmarks, getting back to that passage is easy. To see how easy it is to move around in MyBible, click here to read our review of it.

Palm Reader does have a Find/Search tool, however, it is rather limited. Palm Reader will search for next occurrence of the exact word or phrase entered (although not case sensitive) from the begin of the e-book or from the current page. Searching through an e-book that is over 10800 pages long takes quite a while. Palm Reader even warns the user that the find operation will take some time. (This warning can be turned off in the preferences).

Palm Reader can create notes or annotations that are attached to a specific page and the notes can be exported to the Memo Pad. There are two ways to view a note. After creating a note, there is a small note icon next to the box with the N, the third icon from the left, on the page where the note is attached. Tapping on that icon will bring up the note. Tapping on the Note icon brings up the list with all the created notes. Once there, you can view, edit, and delete any note. One option when viewing a note, is the "Go To" button, which bring you to the page where the note is attached. This is one feature that is missing from MyBible. Another feature Palm Reader has is Auto Scroll. The text will automatically move up at the speed you set. Some people find this feature very useful for reading e-books while others would rather page manually.


Conclusion

Comparing the NIV for Palm Reader and MyBible is similar to comparing the Bible as a Word document and Logos, WordSearch or other Bible software. Palm Reader is designed as a reader for books and novels, not as a reference or study tool. The best use for the NIV for Palm Reader is for reading straight through a book of the Bible or the whole Bible. For looking up passage during a sermon in the NIV, MyBible is a much better choice. If you are on a tight budget and have to have the NIV, this will do, but MyBible is worth the extra cost.



Price: $12

Pros:
-Inexpensive
-Page Notes
-Auto Scroll
Cons:
-Large file size
-Slow navigation
-Limited searches
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