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Olive Tree recently released an update to The Bible Study App on Windows 8. I sat down with Adam, our lead Windows 8 developer, to talk about the update.
Monty: How is the Windows 8 app different from the Windows 7 desktop version?
Adam: The Windows Store app targets a fast and fluid experience across a wide range of devices, where the Desktop app has an eye for much more advanced Bible Study that can require more processing.
Thus far the Windows Store app has worked well as a basic Bible reader, but that is only the beginning. We recently updated the app to add popups for footnotes and Bible references, and will be continuing to build it into an incredible experience for even more advanced users.
Monty: Why use the Windows 8 app?
Adam: My favorite reason is the speed, even on my tablet. I’m not an advanced user, so having a Bible app that I can easily snap to the side of the screen during church while I take notes in OneNote makes for a great experience for me.
Monty: What are the top features of the Windows 8 app?
Adam: Right now, I get really excited when using the Search screens, both for the view of results in all my books, but also to easily navigate the results within a specific book. We have also leveraged common Windows 8 features like Semantic Zoom and the app bar to filter and navigate through the results quickly.would say the top features are the search and reading experience.
With reading, I’ve already mentioned the performance. The responsiveness when scrolling is, I believe, unparalleled by any of our other apps. It makes it a real joy to use, especially because the text just plain looks great!
Monty: What’s new in the Windows 8 app?
Adam: We recently updated the app to include popups on footnotes and verse references. This is particularly important to me because it’s the first step beyond a “simple” Bible reader. This past Sunday in church I was able to jump ahead of the pastor as he called out a cross reference because I saw the footnote and could open the location in the popup.
Monty: Anything else you would like to add?
Adam: We are working hard to enable the rest of our available titles in the Windows Store app. I’m excited to see the continued interest in what we’re doing on Windows, and for the opportunity to keep working at making it better!
Thanks Adam! Go here to find our newest Windows 8 release for the Bible Study App, or search “Bible+” in the Windows Store.
The Bible Study App for Windows has a new update (5.3.1) available for download now! If you’re not sure how to update The Bible Study App follow the two step process in this graphic. You’ll then be prompted to restart the App. Also, check out some video tutorials on the Windows platform HERE.
What’s new in the 5.3.1 release?
Cross Reference copying
When viewing cross references you can right click on the heading to copy all of the cross references in the group or you can right click on an individual reference to copy it.
Cross references can be accessed by clicking on item, such as “What does the Bible say about: Paul“.
Annotations can be moved into a category with drag and drop
Annotations can now be dragged into categories. This is possible from any of the annotation list within My Stuff. Simply drag an annotation in the list over a category.
Un-linking the split window
It is now possible to unlink the split window from the main window.
On the fourth day of my new reading plan, I decided to make 2013 the year to add personal touches, such as adding highlights and notes to verses that stand out to me as I read. The verse that got me started was Luke 4:1: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit…was led by the Spirit…being tempted by the devil.” Here, the Creator (Jesus) was filled and led by the Holy Spirit just as the scriptures say I am to be. However, unlike me at times, Jesus resisted temptation and the devil. I need to remember this verse as both an encouragement and a contrast to my life.
Highlighting the verse is as simple as touching the verse number and selecting highlight from the pop-up list. On my Android tablet, I selected Luke 4:1-2 by touching the right arrow, then the button “Select 2 Verses.” I like underlining rather than highlighting, so I touched the yellow color and saw my choices for highlighting. By touching and holding the yellow highlighter, I got the option to edit the highlighter. I have the option to change the name “Yellow” to something meaningful. I can also change from highlight to pen or thin underline. (You’ll need to increase the intensity to see the thin underline.) Tapping the color allows me to even change the color.
I decided to think through my strategy of naming the colors. I searched the Internet for Bible highlighting and found that people use different colors for different topics. Using some of the ideas I found, I created a list of significant highlighter titles. Highlighting by verse numbers allows me to switch between two Bible versions and still see the highlights.
I went back to Luke 4:1-2 and highlighted it with the color that stands for God’s Character and Nature. Before saving the highlight, I decided to add a tag by selecting “Edit Tags.” When I touched the pencil in the top corner of the pop-up and I was given the option to name a new tag. I named it “Spirit Filled.” If I touched “Spirit Filled” in the list of tag names, a check mark was added to the right. I added “Spirit Led,” “Temptation,” and “Temptation, Resist,” then selected them all and touched the back arrow. Now I see all that each of the tags I chose is related to this highlight. In just a couple of weeks my list of tag names has grown to 45, including Anger, Forgiveness, Humility, Leadership, Promise, and Wisdom.
A quick review of the early stories of Genesis allowed me to catch up on highlighting. I’ve included the temptations common to us all, such as Adam and Eve’s lack of trust in God’s word. Cain rejected the loving correction of God by letting hurt feelings lead to anger. Noah took a seemingly well-deserved break after being in the ark and got drunk. Ham disrespected his father’s privacy and then gossiped about his (Noah’s?) failures. I have tagged these stories with “Temptation, Falling to.” On the other hand, Shem and Japheth’s response is tagged with “Temptation, Resist,” as they refuse to enter into judgment or gossip in order to show their father respect. With just a few highlights and tags, I have the beginning of a lesson or sermon on temptation and Jesus’ example of resisting temptation.
As the year progresses, adding more highlights and tags will allow me to review scriptures related to any of my topics by selecting the topic in My Stuff – Tags. If a scripture is particularly meaningful, I add a note to the highlighted verse by touching the verse number and selecting Note. I can then add thoughts and related scripture references. I can also add a personal prayer and steps I can take to put the insight into action. I can add tags to these notes, such as “A Personal Prayer” and “A Next Step.” Since tags are listed in alphabetical order in My Stuff, I can easily find my prayers and action steps at the top of the list.
What are some of your favorite highlights and tags? Share a story of how using these tools has helped you in your studies and benefitted your life.
If you’re a pastor or ministry leader who does a lot of lesson planning or message preparation, I highly recommend getting a second monitor. This allows you to have The Bible Study App open on one screen and your word document open on another without the hassle of having to constantly switch between windows.
Whether you have dual monitors or not though one great feature found only in The Bible Study App for the Mac or Windows desktop is the Resource Guide ‘Popout.’ First, I’ll select a title from the Resource Guide.
In the screen below I’ve selected Easton’s Dictionary of the Bible. But what if I want to look at a map and then come back to the dictionary? Instead of going back and selecting another title from my resource guide I’ll use the ‘Popout’ feature instead.
Now Easton’s is open in its own window and I can go back to my library and select my maps without losing access to my dictionary. This is the digital equivalent of having a bunch of books open on my desk. You can ‘Popout’ as many resources from your library as you’d like, expand, hide, or layer the windows and still be able to use their full functionality. Along with Olive Tree’s Bible Study App let me again recommend using a secondary monitor. The ease of being able to assemble a lesson or message while not having to switch between windows will greatly affect your preparation time!