People at Olive Tree
Elizabeth B: What is exciting about this version of Bible+?
Adam H: With Windows 8, Microsoft is looking for a very fast and fluid experience. Our goal with this version of Bible+ is to leverage that design and have the whole experience of the app be fast, smooth, and engaging.
EB: What are your thoughts on the Windows 8 experience?
AH: I love it. Microsoft has done an incredible job of providing a cohesive experience through Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox. On top of that, they’ve added features that make things work well and are fun to use.
AH: Sure! The Share Charm, which debuts with Windows 8, enables apps to connect not only to the Windows operating system but also to each other. For example, when I’m reading a Bible passage in Bible+, I can bring up the Share Charm and am presented with a list of other apps that interact with that verse, such as Facebook and Twitter. This Share Charm feature is entirely dependent on the apps that the individual user has installed on Windows 8, giving users a lot of flexibility in customizing their experience.
EB: What would you say are the top highlights of the app, Adam?
AH: A major highlight to me is the fast experience of the app. Reading, searching, the verse chooser…they’re all incredible. Searching is still unbelievably cool to me. It’s accessible from anywhere through the Search Charm, and provides an amazing scope of search results, from a broad view of your whole library to a detailed look at individual books. Within a Bible, results are grouped by each book, and can easily be filtered by section, like the Gospels or Prophets. On top of that, searching is fast.
AH: The experience around our Windows 8 app is about beauty and simplicity with a focus on the reading experience and speed. We’re excited for the future features and development that we will add to the Bible+ Windows 8 app.
EB: What was the most enjoyable part for you of creating this new app for Windows 8?
AH: I think the most enjoyable part was seeing how Microsoft made it easy for developers to do what they wanted in order to provide the experience our users want. I’m really looking forward to seeing how all apps can leverage Windows 8 features to create an awesome user experience.
AH: I’m sure I have a tendency toward a starry-eyed view of this app, and not just because of my part in creating it. I genuinely feel that it’s a joy to use. My prayer is that it can help someone connect with God’s Word in a way they never have before.
Download the Windows 8 Release Preview here to check out the Windows 8 Bible app for yourself!
Happy Father’s Day to all you men who have been blessed with children! Fatherhood is an amazing gift: “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Ps. 127:3).
I have two little redheaded boys, Gabriel (4) and Asher (6 mo.), that I have the wonderful blessing and responsibility of raising. They continually bring me joy and happiness!
For those who are fathers, Father’s Day is a day where you are celebrated. And while I wish you blessings, I also want to encourage and exhort you, spurring you on to love and good deeds as a father. Fatherhood is a weighty calling. You aren’t just raising a pet or a plant. You are raising a child who bears the image of God and has a soul that will never die. No pressure!
As fathers we are called to do for our families what Christ did for the church (Eph. 5-6). We are called to love sacrificially so that they may flourish. We are to be a sanctifying presence in their lives, which means helping them combat sin and grow in righteousness. We are to be consistently washing them with the Word of God (which means we need to know it well), and bringing them up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”.
The only way we can do this is through Christ. Fathers should point to Christ, who is the only way to the one, true Father. When we are faithful fathers, by God’s grace, our children will be “like arrows in the hand of a warrior,” and we “shall not be put to shame” (Ps. 127:4-5).
Happy Father’s Day! May God richly bless you with his grace as you lead your family by faith!
Content Formatting Manager
Last week Olive Tree attended its first ever Spanish speaking conference, Expolit. Olive Tree representatives Daniel Scott and John Cruz spent the whirlwind 5 days conversing with Spanish speakers from all over the Americas. With the new Spanish localization in BibleReader, many long time Olive Tree users are excited to share BibleReader with their non-English speaking family and friends. Daniel reported, “We met one gentleman from Paraguay who has been using Olive Tree for over 10 years. He first was on Palm, then a BlackBerry, and now uses it on his iPhone. He loves it!”
This was a conference of many “firsts.” It was the first time Editorial Unilit published a hard copy study Bible (Biblia del Discipulo) at the same time as releasing an electronic version through Olive Tree. Daniel had a chance to talk to a group of pastors about using BibleReader and Biblia del Discipulo for Bible study.
Olive Tree and Unilit also gave away two Kindle Fires in a drawing held at the Olive Tree Booth. Along with the Kindle Fire, these two will be given a small Spanish library with the Biblia de Discipulo, the Comentario de Matthew Henry, and the Nueva Diccionario de la Biblia from Editorial Unilit.
Drew Haninger is the founder and President of Olive Tree Bible Software. We asked him to share his thoughts about the future of Olive Tree Bible Software. Here is what he had to say:
When I first had the idea to combine Bible study with technology in the 80s, I had no intention of creating Olive Tree Bible Software. I began with the singular goal of using the current advancements in technology to enhance the way I studied and interacted with the Bible. With the release of the then new, popular handheld device, the Palm Pilot, I was challenged to create a mobile Bible program.
Over the years, the devices have changed, the technology has vastly improved, and Olive Tree has become a leader in Bible software, but my vision remains the same. At the heart of Olive Tree is the desire that everyone would know God and His Word, and we still strive to create the best Bible study tools possible through cutting-edge technology.
We live in a time where the newest technology has a shelf life of maybe a year, if it’s lucky, and the limits of what a phone or a tablet can do are boundless. It is exciting to see advancements like the retina display on the iPad and iPhone and smart phones that literally talk back to you, but I also see a unique challenge. How do we keep up with the pace of technology without taking away from the beauty and simplicity of God’s Word?
With a growing library of the finest biblical resources available and a staff eager to build new and innovative tools for interacting with those resources, I am excited about the direction Olive Tree is headed. I think we are in a position to reinvent Bible study and bring it to people and places that it has never been. My vision, and the vision of everyone here at Olive Tree, is to help Bible scholars, churchgoers, students, children and even people who have never opened a Bible to discover a love for studying God’s Word.
I am really happy to now have BibleReader on the PC Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android.
Olive Tree has been locked in a fierce ping-pong doubles tournament with our next-door neighbors for the past week. This competition takes skill, cunning, energy, and, most of all, accuracy. Add in some homemade brownies for fuel and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a little lunchtime fun.
The competitor? Partners International, a mission organization full of humble, Christ-like individuals who also enjoy a little spirited competition during their lunch hour.
Following the Opening Ceremony on January 26, complete with the Olympics theme song, participants and onlookers alike snacked on olives to represent Olive Tree and cheese and crackers to represent “Partners.” After an early Olive Tree victory, Partners and Olive Tree employees played round robin ping pong, foosball, and cheered on those eager to hone their skills before playing their own tournament games.
This week, Olive Tree employees Aaron and Ian faced two worthy Partners’ opponents, Mark and Bob, in a heated intermediate-level contest. Here are the contenders, ready to play. From left to right, Bob and Mark for Partners, and team Olive Tree players Ian and Aaron. Aaron works in our Customer Support department, and Ian is our Quality Assurance engineer (or, as Ian puts it, the Uber Tester).
Team Olive Tree in action!
Eager spectators watching the game!
In the end, Partners took home the win for this intermediate bracket round. In light of the Superbowl this Sunday, the question remains: Who will take home the Grand Prize in this highly anticipated, highly competitive Ping Pong Doubles Tournament?
This week Olive Tree held the first-ever Employee Chili Cook Off. With six different varieties of chili, ranging from so-hot-it-will-melt-your-eyeballs to pleasantly mild, no employee went hungry. While a clear winner wasn’t crowned, one thing is certain, Olive Tree employees can cook!
After fellowshipping around our chili bowls, Olive Tree CEO Drew Haninger shared our company goals and achievements from 2011 and discussed the future of Olive Tree for 2012. 2011 marked great milestones for Olive Tree, including the release of BibleReader for Nook, Kindle, Mac and a beta for Windows. We also reached 1,000 titles (now over 1300) available on our Olive Tree store for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad and Android. Our book formatters kept track of our progress, completing the “unicornometer” of titles at the end of August.
Our company lunches often include a time for our employees to learn more about the features and resources we offer. At this recent meeting one of our knowledgeable book formatters presented information about two original language resources: HALOT and Louw-Nida Greek Lexicon. HALOT, or the Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, is a new resource soon to be available in the Olive Tree store. Over 80 years in the making, HALOT is widely considered to be the standard scholarly lexicon for Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. Learn more about HALOT and its extensive features by visiting the Olive Tree store.
A resource that has often led to confusion for our Olive Tree customers, Louw-Nida Greek Lexicon is a uniquely different Greek lexicon. Based on “semantic domains”, Louw-Nida groups similar words under contextual categories. Best used for advanced and intermediate Greek translators, find out more about this resource at the Olive Tree store.
As proud as we are of the achievements, resources, and software that we’ve produced in 2011, we look forward to 2012 as a year for even greater improvement. Olive Tree’s mission, however, remains the same: “Inspire people to connect with God and the Bible.” We strive to encourage everyone not only to study the Bible, but to “Live the Bible” in 2012 (Matthew 4:4).