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!
For those of you using The Bible Study App for Windows, our newest update (5.3) just went live. As with many app updates that come out, sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s new. Here are a few of the new features in this latest release for Windows:
We’ve added daily reading to the 5.3 release. Daily reading plans can be accessed from ‘My Stuff’ in the split window.
Custom highlighters can now be created
Custom highlighter can now be created in the 5.3 version. This feature can be accessed by clicking on Highlights from My Stuff.
Search list when doing a search within a book
When performing a search within a book, there is now a button the user can click to display a list of all of the search results.
Using technology to study the Bible is not a new idea to me. As a part time techy and full time pastor I’ve been using various Bible resources on my laptop for years now. Just recently though I’ve begun to use Olive Tree’s Bible+ on my laptop and iPad and while I’m still learning all it has to offer I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve really loved about it.
It’s free and not internet dependent. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal but there are tons of free Bible reading programs and apps out there that almost all depend on an internet connection to work properly. I don’t know about you but sometimes my favorite place to read and study doesn’t have a wifi connection. Because Olive Tree’s Bible Study App actually lives on my device it works everywhere.
Notes and highlights! I have a distinct memory of looking at my Dad’s Bible as a kid and thinking it looked like a coloring book. There were these crazy colorful highlights and long underlines throughout his Bible. For me one of the major tensions in the transition to all things digital, especially as it relates to the Bible, is the familiarity of the worn book in my hands with my own notes and observations from past years. The BibleReader allows for this and more. I can easily color code verses and record far longer notes and observations than I ever could before. Over time The Bible Study App will contain years of valuable notes and study thoughts.
It’s multi-platform and it syncs with my other devices. I’ve been a PC guy since my family got our first computer over 20 years ago but earlier this year I was given an ipad and I love it. Because of the sync feature I’m able to take notes or highlight things on my iPad and later, if I’m preparing for a sermon or other study on my laptop, I can use the sync option and the notes I took on my iPad will be on my laptop also. So no matter what device I use my highlights, notes, and even the last place I left off reading goes with me and that saves me a lot of time and also gives me the security of knowing they won’t be lost.
Double pane is the way to go. Whether it’s for sermon prep, a small group bible study, or just my own reading I love the double pane. It allows me to compare Bible versions, easily make notes, or pull up helpful commentaries. The ability to do this easily and again without an internet connection even is a huge reason I think Olive Tree’s Bible Study App is the way to go. The Bible Study App can be as simple or as deep as you want it to be and I’m finding it to be the best resource for studying God’s word yet.
We love to create and provide Bible content and technology for everyone, but sometimes technology must move on to support newer devices. With the next release of our app, version 5.2, we will no longer be able to support older Apple devices including the 1st generation iPhone, the iPhone 3G, and the 1st and 2nd generation iPod touch. We would have liked to continue supporting older devices, but with the release of the iPhone 5, Apple has updated their developer tool kit. With these new tools, we cannot support the older Apple devices and operating systems while still building new features and releasing new updates. This also means we will not be able to support any device running iOS 3 or 4. Any device not on the above list running iOS 3 or 4 should upgrade to iOS 5 or later to continue to receive app updates. At this time we will support iOS 5 & 6 and any later updates to Apple’s iOS.
What This Means for You
If you have one of the older devices I mentioned or you’re still running iOS 3 or 4, you will not be able to update to the newest versions of our app. You should also be very careful when syncing your older device to iTunes that you do not update your Olive Tree app inside iTunes. Updating the app and syncing it to your older device through iTunes will delete the app off of your older device. If you have multiple devices, you will no longer be able to sync with your older device. You should still be able to run the app on your device and keep your current library, but any new features will not be available.
The Good News
You can still use the Olive Tree app as long as you don’t update or sync your app through iTunes. But the really good news is that Olive Tree is working on some really exciting updates to the Bible Study app. With the 5.2 release, we have revamped our in-app store and done a lot of work in the background to pave the way for features like reading plan sync and automatic downloads. We’ve done our best to continue supporting older devices with older tools, but now we can focus on the up and coming features that are going to make our app the best possible app for Bible study.
I am something of a technophobe.
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I work at a Bible software company.
In the bubble of college two years ago, I was vaguely aware that technology existed, that some of my classmates were getting smartphones and that people actually used computers for something other than writing papers. But my mind was tied up with others things, i.e. what I was going to do after college with a Theology major and English minor.
A year and a half after graduating and 11 months after starting at Olive Tree, I purchased my first device: a brand-new Kindle Fire HD. The package arrived after work on a Monday afternoon. I saw the package on my dining room table and immediately regarded it with suspicion. What was I actually supposed to do with this thing? I sat on the couch and it sat next to me. I stared at it and it stared back.
I took the Fire to work the next day and called over my developer coworker, Ian. He couldn’t believe I hadn’t opened it yet and helped me set it up with a few quick swipes and taps. On my own, I downloaded Olive Tree’s app, found the icon in my carousel, and confidently tapped on it. I saw the green splash screen, and immediately got this message:
BibleReader has stopped working.