Category: Techy

A Blast from the Past: 10 Years in the App Store

Posted by on 07/30/2018 in:

10 Years in the App Store

This week, we are celebrating a BIG anniversary: ten years in the App Store! Around the office, we’ve been eating lots of food, swapping stories, and being nostalgic. Olive Tree has come a long way since its beginnings. But did you know that we have been putting the Bible on phones long before the App Store?

A VISUAL HISTORY OF OLIVE TREE

Some of these images are almost embarrassing to share since technology has come such a long way over the past decade. But we hope you’ll enjoy this throwback as much as we do.

It started with a website.

Like most things tech-related, we started with a website, providing people with access to the Bible on the Internet.

Then came Palm Pilots.

Not too long after, we began putting our Bible Reader program on Palm Pilots. Although it wasn’t the most beautiful program, it was definitely innovative during its time.

The expansion of cell phones.

As cell phones grew in popularity, we continued to find ways to make our Bible Reader program accessible.

Then, the App Store began.

Ten years ago, the App Store began, and we were quick to get our app up and running for iOS devices.

As time passed and apps gained more functionality and fancier designs, we stayed up-to-date. It has been a marathon, but we are so thankful to share God’s Word with others around the world.

OLIVE TREE TODAY

Our app has been installed over 6,500,000 times in the past ten years. We are so thankful first to God, for giving us the ability to participate in His restorative plan of teaching others about Himself, and second, to you. Without our faithful users who make studying the Bible a priority, we wouldn’t have made it as far as we have today. Thanks for sticking with us. We can’t wait to see where we will be in another ten years.

To celebrate, we’ve put together a sale just for you. Head on over to our website to see some fantastic resources discounted to a really low price.

How long have you been using Olive Tree? Share below in the comments!

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Freedom from Wifi

Posted by on 07/05/2018 in: ,

Freedom From Wifi

DID YOU KNOW…

that you don’t need wifi or data to use our app? No, really. You can use every single part of our app while your phone is on airplane mode.

STUDY THE BIBLE ANYWHERE

The reason we designed our app to work without Wifi or data is so that YOU can study God’s Word anytime, anywhere. We all know what summer is like: long road trips, camping, flying… all without an Internet connection.

An Internet connection shouldn’t determine how deeply you can study the Bible.

So, test it out. Put your device in airplane mode right now and start studying. You don’t need to be distracted by texts, phone calls, or the Internet anyway.

SHARE #READSTUDYANYWHERE

Check out #readstudyanywhere on Twitter and Instagram to see where Olive Tree users are using the app this summer. Then join the conversation yourself!

NEED SOME INSPIRATION?

Want to start studying but need something to revamp your quiet time? Tap here to see this week’s sale.

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What’s an Enhanced Resource?

Posted by on 02/19/2018 in: ,

At least once a year, we like to highlight our enhanced resources: resources that we’ve enriched so that it’s more useful inside our app. Instead of our resources simply being eBooks that you only scroll and read, we’ve made the content discoverable by search and the Resource Guide, hyperlinked verses, activated cross references, and more.

Digital resources have their perks!

Truth is, most of our resources are enhanced in some way now. This is great for you… but only if you know how they are enhanced! So, first let’s look at where to find which enhancements a product has. Then, we will go through all the different enhancements we are currently implementing and how they work.

IS THIS PRODUCT ENHANCED?

Here is a screenshot of our website:

Inside the green circle, you can see a list of features (enhancements) that are inside this resource. If you tap the arrow, you will be able to see the full list.

Not sure what the feature means? No problem. Tap on the name of the feature and a description will appear.

These descriptions are also available in the store while you are inside the app.

13 DIFFERENT ENHANCEMENTS

1) STRONG’S NUMBERS

Gain the insight of studying the Bible in its original language without knowing Greek or Hebrew. Simply tap a linked word and read the original definition in a pop-up window. You can also build your understanding by searching for other uses of the word in the Bible and looking up related articles.

2) PARSINGS

Tap on a word and access it’s parsing instantaneously. A pop-up window will display a dictionary definition, a link to more information, a gloss, and parsings. For more advanced study, you can search on the word’s morphology as well.

3) COMMENTARY / STUDY NOTES

Gain reliable knowledge on any passage of the Bible, exactly when you need it. The Resource Guide will let you know when information in this title is relevant to anything you’re reading in the main window. It will also conveniently track along with you as you read through the Bible.

The number inside the purple circle lets you know how many related articles a resource has on the passage you are reading.

4) MAPS

Wondering where that ancient Israelite city is located that you just read about? Check out the maps the Resource Guide found for you, pulling in maps from all the resources you own. Then, zoom-in or make it full-screen—or both.

5) CROSS REFERENCES

Quickly see all the verses relevant to the current verse you’re reading. Tap on the cross reference, a pop-up window will appear, and then you can quickly navigate to the corresponding verse—without ever leaving the passage you’re reading.

6) DICTIONARY / ARTICLES

This is so much more than a traditional dictionary. While you’re reading the Bible and other titles, the Resource Guide will pull up related articles dictionaries you own. You can even select words you want clarity on, tap “Look Up”, and access any relatable information in a convenient pop-up window.

In this example, we saw that the Resource Guide suggested we see if there were any articles in our library on “Apostles.” This is what it found!

7) READING PLANS

Not sure what to read during your devotional time each day? Stay committed to growing spiritually with daily readings, personalized reminders, and a calendar to track your progress.

When you see this feature on a product, it is most likely a devotional book. Instead of leaving this file as an eBook, we’ve adapted it to work like our other reading plans.

8) CHARTS

Learn more with information displayed in visually-appealing ways. Not sure what charts you have? The Resource Guide will automatically pull up charts from any relevant sources while you’re studying.

This screenshot was taken directly after tapping on a chart that the Resource Guide pulled up.

9) OUTLINES

Get a feel for how books of the Bible are laid out and how your commentaries will be structured. You can also access these from the Resource Guide when it’s applicable to the passage you’re reading, providing additional context.

10) INTRODUCTIONS

Quickly find information about a book of the Bible, its author, date, audience, purpose, and other topics worth keeping in mind. If you have an introduction to the book of the Bible you’re currently reading, the Resource Guide will make it easily accessible for you.

11) SERMONS

Read sermons prepared by famous pastors. If you’re reading a passage of Scripture that one of the sermons addresses, it will appear in the Resource Guide for quick access.

12) TAGGED IMAGES

Reading about a person, place, or thing but don’t know what it looks like? If this book has an image of what you’re looking for, the Resource Guide will let you know. Just glance under “Image,” and tap to see the photo enlarged.

13) LINKED VERSES

Did your resource mention a passage of Scripture, but you can’t remember what the verse says? No fear! Tap the linked verse and a pop-up window will appear, giving you quick and easy access to the verse in context.

SEE OUR TOP ENHANCED RESOURCES

If you are wondering which enhanced resources could be helpful for you, we’ve pulled together a list of our top-sellers! Visit our website to see the list and check out which enhancements each resource has.

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Important! Dropping Support for Old Devices

Posted by on 09/25/2017 in: ,

As time advances, so does technology. We’d love to be able to support everyone’s device, giving access to God’s Word on every phone, tablet, and computer out there. But the truth is, managing that type of wide-spread usage would hinder us from enhancing our app in deeper ways.

So, in order to keep growing, we are dropping support for the following devices:

  • Kindle Fire, 2011 (1st Gen)
  • Kindle Fire, 2012 (2nd Gen)
  • Kindle Fire HD, 2012 (2nd Gen)
  • Kindle Fire HD 8.9, 2012 (2.5th Gen)
  • Android devices using Ice Cream Sandwich or older (Android OS 4.0.4 or earlier)

If you are using one of the previously listed devices, we apologize. Starting on October 15, 2017, we will be phasing out these devices, and thus, the following functionalities:

  • Sync
  • Downloading titles
  • Logging-in to your Olive Tree Account
  • Viewing the In-App Store

Once again, we want to thank all of our users for your support and dedication to our app! If you have any questions about this information, please email us at support@olivetree.com. We hope to continue to provide you with the best resources at the best price, inspiring you in your pursuit of knowing God more.

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NEW: Use Emojis in Your Notes 🎉

Posted by on 09/22/2017 in: ,

The day has finally arrived—YOU CAN INSERT EMOJIS INTO YOUR NOTES!
Some of you may have tried this before and it worked. But as soon as you went to look at the note on another device… emojis were gone! It wasn’t until now that we have been able to provided emoji that will sync across devices.

So, go on! Get carried away! Insert emojis wherever you please! Here’s how I used this new feature last week. Tap to enlarge the images!

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Newly Enhanced Sermons

Posted by on 09/08/2017 in: ,

Last week, we highlighted a new feature: enhanced devotionals! This lets you use select devotionals as reading plans in the app (for iOS currently).

But, we toss around that word “enhanced” a lot, and thought we should clarify. Have you heard us talk about our enhanced sermons? We have those! But it means something different than it does with devotionals.

Inside sermons, there are scripture references (at least… we hope there would be scripture references!). When we receive an eBook version of a sermon from a publisher, it contains normal text. When we want to enhance a sermon, our lovely formatting team finds the scripture references and adds hyperlinks! This will allow you to tap on the reference and open a pop-up window, reading the verse without leaving your eBook.

This feature also works the other way around! While you’re reading the Bible, open the Resource Guide and look under “Sermons”. If any of your enhanced sermons reference the passage of scripture, it will appear here!

What does this look like? Here’s some screenshots from my iPad!

ONE: GO TO SERMONS

TWO: CHOOSE A SERMON

THREE: TAP A VERSE

FOUR: READ SCRIPTURE + OPEN RESOURCE GUIDE

GET YOUR OWN!

Recently, we enhanced more popular sermons! Here are some titles that we are really excited about:

  1. Men and Women of the Old Testament
  2. Able to the Uttermost
  3. London, 1933-35
  4. The Young Bonhoeffer: 1918-1927
  5. Berlin, 1932-33
  6. Theological Education at Finkenwalde: 1935-1937
  7. J.B. Chapman Writings

Want to see them all? Head on over to our website to view all of the sermons in our store. We’ve even got some discounts happening!

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Introducing Touch Bar Support!

Posted by on 05/01/2017 in: , , ,

This past fall, Apple announced an overhaul of their MacBook Pro line of laptop computers. The overhaul included the usual faster-thinner-lighter mantra that we have all grown accustomed to with new hardware upgrades. They even dumped the glowing Apple logo on the back of the clam-shell lid and replaced it with a shiny version similar to what Apple puts on their iPads and iPhones.

The highlight from the list of improvements was the introduction of what Apple is calling the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar is a long and thin digital screen that runs along the top of the keyboard and replaces the traditional row of F keys (function keys) that typically use this space on a keyboard. The genius of this screen is that it is touch sensitive and operates like the F keys.

Even more exciting are the infinite tasks this glowing strip of glass is ready to take on. For example, when playing a video, the Touch Bar can jump to any position in the video without needing to toggle the controls on the screen, move the mouse to the tracking bar, seek the new location and toggle the controls back off. With the Touch Bar, just drag the control to any position to instantly change the position in your video.

One of the strengths of the new Touch Bar is that Apple leaves it up to the app developer to decide what shows on this mini touch screen. Unleashing the power of the Touch Bar requires app updates to make use of the functionality with this new feature. We are excited to announce that the latest version of the Mac Olive Tree Bible App now has support for the Touch Bar. We thoughtfully considered what functionality on the Touch Bar would increase productivity and added it.

Touch Bar support for the Mac Olive Tree Bible App!

Bible Study Touch Bar controls

The main Touch Bar controls for the Olive Tree Bible App

The figure above shows the buttons we added to the top level Touch Bar. From left to right on the Touch bar, we added this functionality: history back, history forward, Go To, Search, increase font size, decrease font size and margin control.

There are other areas of the app that use the Touch Bar as well. For example, you can use this bar to add a note or highlight to selected text. When editing a note, you will find some useful actions on the Touch Bar such as changing the note’s category or adding a tag.

If you have one of the new MacBook Pros, be sure to try the new features, and let us know what you think. We are always open to suggestions and feedback.

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Over 500 Million Items Synced!

Posted by on 01/11/2016 in:

500_million_synced

We recently crossed an exciting milestone…

One of the benefits of Bible+ is that you can install it on different devices and those devices have the ability to sync with each other. With the sync feature you can take a note or make a highlight and it will then be available on any device that has Bible+ installed. Not only do all of your notes, highlights, saved passages, and tags sync across devices – but so do reading plans. Start a reading plan on your phone and continue reading on your tablet or computer.

So about that milestone.

Our sync server recently crossed the 500 Million mark! That number represents thousands of people from all over the world who are actively reading and studying God’s word. For all of us at Olive Tree Bible Software this is a great reminder about why we love what we do.

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the free sync service in Bible+ signup for a free account HERE to get started.

To celebrate this milestone we’ve discounted the top Bible study titles from 2015. Go HERE To see them!

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iOS Bible+ 6 FAQs

Posted by on 10/26/2015 in:

bible-study

Bible+ 6 for iOS has garnered lots of praise since its release last week. But, it hasn’t been without its pain points, which is expected with any big software update. Settings got moved around, functionality was removed and added, and so on. Today we want to address some of the top issues that have been reported by you, our users.

No More History Button?

Yes, the history button is gone. This was an intentional design decision on our part in favor of having a cleaner & more user friendly header. Many of you used the history button as a quick access feature, which is now a multi-step process through the menu. Even though the button is gone, there is still some good news. You can setup a gesture to easily access your history. To set the gesture, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Menu icon
  2. Select “App Settings”
  3. Select “Gestures/Shortcuts”
  4. Choose the actions you would like to use (if not already used, “2 finger tap” works well for this)

Where’d the Bookshelf Go?

This is another item that went away with our new design update. Why? The bookshelf was based on skeuomorphic design, which was popular a few years ago. When iOS 7 released, Apple replaced skeuomorphic design in favor of simplified design elements. We also removed the bookshelf as a means of simplifying the app’s functionality. If you’re looking for an easy way to use your favorite & most-used books, we recommend using the Favorites section of the library view. You can put your most-used resources here, and use “Manage Favorites” to organize them however you would like. These favorites also sync across devices, so you only need to set them once.

How Do I Change the Split Window Font Size?

In our what’s new blog we highlighted how to quickly change the font size. As a lot of you noticed, this only applies to the main window. Here’s how to change the font size elsewhere in the app:

  1. Tap the Menu icon
  2. Select “App Settings”
  3. Select “Fonts”
  4. Choose the font size for the different sections of the app

What Happened to Evernote Sync?

Evernote Sync never quite worked the way we envisioned it. It worked well for some users, but for others it was nothing but a headache to get working. With Bible+ 6 we made the decision to stop using the old Evernote sync system. In its place, Bible+ 6 now implements the native iOS share functionality. You can use this to export/share a note to Evernote, your social media accounts, email, or any other connected app. Even though the export of notes no longer happens automatically, we find this functionality gives you more control and doesn’t limit you to just using Evernote.

Here are the steps to share a note to Evernote (or any other app):

  1. Create a note by tapping on a verse number or selecting text
  2. After you’ve added content to the note, tap the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the “Edit Note” box
  3. Tap “Share” from the bottom of the list and choose Evernote (or the app you want to share to)

Please note that you must have the Evernote app downloaded on your device for this option to work. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to sync your notes from Evernote back to Bible+.

Where Did My Menu & Icons Go?

Bible+ has a toggle in the app to enable distraction-free reading, which hides the icons and menu. This feature has been in the app for quite a while but it is more noticeable with this update. Fret not, this is not a bug. To re-enable the menu at any time all you have to do is single tap the screen (preferably somewhere without text). If you want to enter distraction-free reading mode again just single tap.

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