Accordance 1.6 for iPad (Updated)

A new update to Accordance for iOS came out this week.  Some of the updates are cosmetic, the reading experience is improved with a new theme, using “subtle earth tones, new icons and buttons.”  A nine minute video was posted to YouTube highlighting the new features. The video indicates that more people use the iOS version than the desktop version.

Accordance iOSAccordance for iOS now allows you to sync notes, highlights, and User Tools using Dropbox.  This allows you to use sync these items between platforms (desktop version and iOS version, both iPad and iPhone, etc.)  By using Dropbox you can sync your notes without owning the desktop version.  I really like the split screen mode, it works much better than the Logos iOS app.  There is a button with auto-splits the screen.  Another handy button is the “back” arrow, something that was missing in the earlier version. I still prefer to change pages with a right-left swipe, like a book and available in most readers (Kindle, Logos, Vyrso, Google Books, etc.)

The Free version has an ESVi Bible (for iOS), tagged with Strong’s numbers.  Highlight an English word and the  Hebrew or Greek word will appear in a floating window.  You can “amplify” the word, which opens any Bible dictionary tools you have.  The free version opens Easton’s Bible Dictionary.  Selecting a word also allows you to highlight a text with a variety of colors or do a basic search for the word throughout the Bible.  The free version also includes demos of  Hebrew and Greek Bibles.  Highlighting a Greek word opens a floating window with parsing information and lexical form, with a gloss from Mounce’s Greek Dictionary.  The Hebrew works similarly, although it did not identify all the parts of a word (prefixed prepositions, definite articles, etc.)  Only the root is identified and parsed, along with a gloss from the Kohlenberger-Mounce lexicon. One frustration, the floating window goes away after a a short time.  Several times it automatically closed before I was finished.

If you are looking for a free Bible App for your iPad, be sure to check out Accordance.

Logos 2.0 for iPad (Updated)

Yesterday, I posted a quick review of the new version of the Logos Bible Software App.  I was able to spend quite a bit more time with the new App and I have a few more detailed comments on the notes feature of the app.  I spent a couple of hours in my Starbucks reading John commentaries and taking notes on John 9 for my Sunday Evening Bible Study.  This is the ideal application of Logos for me (no, not last minute sermon prep!  Reading and note taking!) Here are a few observations.

First, the note box could use spell check.  I would have thought the normal iPad spell check and replace system would work, but it does not.  On the one had, this is a good thing since I avoid confusing replacements.  But I also make errors when typing notes fast, so a red-line feature would be great.

Second, I would like to access a given note from any page, just not the page it was created on.  I created a new note (John Notes) and anchored it to the first part of the commentary I was reading.  Later I can add new text to an existing note, but I have to create a new anchor on the page I am now reading.  If the metaphor used in the App is a notebook, it would be nice to be able to open that on any page and write without embedding a new anchor in the text.  I realize that the metaphor in Logos is a marginal note written in a book, but I would like another way to access these notes.  For example, on the desktop version of Logos, I can load a whole note file in a window, edit individual note, etc.

Third, when you copy and paste text into a note, it retains the book’s formatting.  This is good, since Greek and Hebrew pastes correctly, perhaps an option to paste using the current font and font size could be added.

Fourth, maybe I just did not notice this before, but footnotes are not displayed at the bottom of a page as footnotes!  This is a huge improvement to the previous system which required me to touch the note number.  They are very tiny and perhaps my fingers are too fat, but I always had a hard time hitting the right spot to read a note.  But these footnotes are not “real text” — I cannot cut and paste them, nor can I add a note to a footnote.  That is certainly something which I hope can be addressed in the future.

I also learned that you need to finish your note (hit done) for it to be saved.  I was writing a note, then realized I was not online, so I switched to Safari so the wireless could connect.  I looked at a few pages, updated twitter etc., then switched back to Logos.  The program had to reload and my unsaved note was lost.  I do have a fairly lightweight 16GB iPad which is mostly full right now.  Perhaps with more memory available Logos would not be dumped when switching to a different program.

I returned to my office later that afternoon and opened the John Notes file on the desktop version of Logos. Everything was there as expected, so I exported them to Word, fixed my spelling and grammatical creativity and then blended these notes into my regular file for sermon notes.

There is nothing here that is a epic failure.  In fact, I greatly enjoyed taking notes with the Logos App 2.0.  The App is intuitive and easy to use.  The App is free at the App Store, or check the Logos website for more information.

Logos 2.0 for iPad – Now with Notes!

Fig. 1 - Note Window

After a very long wait, Logos Bible Software has updated the popular Bible app to include highlighting and notes.  When the app was first released, the lack of highlighting and note feature was a major problem.  But Logos has not only addressed the missing feature, they have exceeded my expectations.

To create a note, select a word or phrase, and then “note” from the menu.  This will open the note dialogue (fig. 1).  You can select the color of the highlight and the icon used for the note.  The Style menu opens another dialogue box which offers a wide variety of highlighting options.  The same styles available on the desktop version are present, including the emphasis and inductive styles (fig. 2).   You can create a note file for related topics, then add notes to that topic as you read.

In my opinion, the best feature here is the fact that notes are synced with your desktop version of Logos.  Actually, the notes are kept “in the cloud” in your Logos account.  I made a note on Matthew 22:34, and it appeared on my laptop running Logos a few moments later.  I updated the note on my laptop, and the note was updated on my iPad version of Logos a few moments later. This is a very cool feature which will make the Logos app an extremely valuable study tool.  I very much appreciate a single application for taking notes, and the fact that my notes are available on my desktop make this feature indispensable. Prior to this upgrade, I was using Evernote to try and take notes while reading Logos books, but switching apps was cumbersome and usually resulted in crashing either Evernote or Logos.

I think that Logos is the best iPad Bible app, and the addition of highlighting and notes is an important improvement.  Logos is still a free app, so visit the App Store and upgrade to the new version.  Vyrso has also been upgraded to include highlighting and notes as well.