One of the great things about our new Bible+ 6.0 for Android release is how The Bible Study App will be better able to layout text in ways that we could not before. Here are some examples from the NIV Study Bible Notes. (Screenshots taken from an Nexus 7 2nd Edition. Click images for a larger view.)
With Bible+ 6.0 for Android all charts are now actual text, and as with other verse references in the App, verse references now become hyperlinks that you can tap and see the verse without having to leave your place in the Bible text and the NIV Study Bible notes.
Secondly, the NIV Study Bible Notes used to require the entire width to display the images, and that the text cannot flow around the images. In the new Bible+ 6.0 for Android App, note how text flows around the images as intended.
These are just two examples of how the Bible+ 6.0 for Android update dramatically improves the layout of the NIV Study Bible notes.
Check out the NIV Study Bible notes and other titles that demonstrate the beautiful new layout with the latest update.
If you haven’t already done so, you can update to the latest Bible+ 6.0 for Android version by clicking the link Google Play Store graphic below:
The most important thing we do at Olive Tree is give people access to Scripture.
We want to make it easy for you to read, study, understand, and share Scripture. We believe that a great way to do that is through technology. It gives you the ability to always carry things like multiple translations, study notes, maps, commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and more (phew)! You’d need a truck to carry around all the books that you can keep in your pocket with Olive Tree.
Computers and apps can be hard to use, though. More features and tools inherently make apps (and other things) more complicated. A butter knife is easy enough to figure out, but a 50+ function multi-tool has a steeper learning curve. What do I do if I just want to open a box?
As we add features and tools to The Bible Study App, we want to make sure that the app is helping you to read and study the Bible, not hindering you. We want to make sure that the features are there when you need them, but also ensure that they don’t get in the way when you don’t need them. This is why design is a very important part of what we do at Olive Tree.
We’re always working to improve the design of our apps to provide an easy-to-use and engaging experience. You can expect to see updates in the future with more design changes to make it easier for you to study the Bible on all our platforms. Let’s take a look at some of the work we’ve done in Bible+ version 6.0 for Android.
A More Engaging Interface
The first thing you’ll notice is that the interface is a bit more colorful. This was done to bring the app up-to-date with Google’s material design initiative, to make the app feel more like a true Olive Tree app, and to provide a more positive and less gray experience.
Something else you’ll notice is that if you double tap the screen, the toolbar will appear or disappear. We found that users had a hard time with the toolbar appearing and disappearing when they didn’t mean it to, which is why we made this change. Once you toggle the toolbar off, you’ll find that the whole screen is dedicated to showing text; the app gets completely out of your way so that you can read God’s Word without distractions.
One other change we made was to eliminate the use of the hardware-menu button found only on older Android devices. We’ve now moved the menu button into the interface to follow Android standards and to make the app easier to use for users whose phones don’t have a menu button. This change should also make it quicker and easier to make changes to settings when needed.
A Better Reading Experience
Something we’ve started working hard on at Olive Tree is the reading experience. We’ve dedicated some special attention to something called typography, basically the layout of text on the screen. We want you to be able to read Scripture and other books easily, without experiencing eye-strain, fatigue, or “bumps” in the layout that slow you down when reading.
To that end, we’ve replaced the default font with one that will be more readable on devices of all shapes, sizes, and display-types. We’ve also changed how text is laid out on the screen so that there is a more consistent rhythm, which makes for a seamless reading experience.
The fonts we’re using now also allow us to better support bold and italics (especially in Greek), which is important since bold and italics are often used to denote specific things in our resources. For example, the King James Bible uses italics to denote words that weren’t explicitly in the original languages but were added by the translators for clarity.
We’ve also been able to better bring over the formatting elements like tables, headers, and charts from Study Bibles and other resources. This makes the resources look a lot more like their print counterparts and thus provides a richer, more engaging reading experience.
Often, when an app updates to make big changes like these, the app gets slower. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Bible+. The changes we’ve made have actually increased performance, especially on newer devices. You should find that you can scroll much faster than you ever could, and you’ll notice that the app feels all around snappier.
This is especially useful when doing your devotions in the morning, because it gives you more time reading and less time waiting to get to a passage. It’s also useful when trying to keep up in church while listening to a sermon, or in a small group studying a passage.
Still the Same Olive Tree
We’ve made a lot of changes to make the app better, but if you’ve used the app in the past, you should still feel right at home. We’re trying our best to bring improvements to the app while keeping the familiar functionality and overall experience that you expect from Olive Tree.
A lot of our employees have been using and enjoying these updates for a while, so we’re really excited to release it for everyone to enjoy. You can get the update by going to the updates section of the Google Play Store, or by tapping here on your device.
It’s been a long time since we updated the Bible Study App for Android. Our last update came nearly 14 months ago, on March 5, 2014 to be precise. Have we forgotten about Android? Did we give up on it? No, not at all. Our silence has been for good reason. In that time we’ve literally rewritten the app from the ground up to bring you a better Bible study experience.
As you can see in the image above, the app has a new look. But we didn’t just give the Bible Study App a fresh coat of paint. This update brings with it many improvements that we’re sure you’ll love. The app is faster, offers new features, and enables new titles.
Do you remember the Gingerbread update (Android 2.3) that Google released in February 2010? For its time, the update looked all right, but it’s five years later and Android design has moved on considerably. In 2010, grays and gradients were in, but Android has moved on to a flatter design scheme (material design). Our app? Not so much. The Bible Study App got caught in a design time capsule. That all changes with our Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android.
We didn’t just change everything under the hood; the app itself got a much-needed visual refresh. Say goodbye to the gradient toolbars and say hello to the new vibrant green toolbar & flattened icons. Welcome crisper and more readable fonts. Get ready for better looking and more informative Strong’s pop-ups and faster text scrolling. Nearly everything about the Bible Study App has been updated, but still operates just the same. We went to great lengths to make sure you don’t have to learn how to use our app all over again with this update. It’ll just look and feel better.
One of the biggest advantages of the Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android is all the new titles you will be able to add to your library. Our old app had significant limitations in its ability to display text, which kept us from creating resources with complex layouts. We now have the ability to display interlinear Bibles, text-wrapped images, and properly-formatted tables. The update also gives us the ability to make our resources more closely resemble what you would find in print.
With this update, you can now enjoy all the same resources that our iOS users have been enjoying for the past year, including interlinear Bibles, Gospel harmonies, the BHS with Critical Apparatus, the Reformation Study Bible, and Tyndale Commentaries to name a few.
You will also be able to purchase hundreds of new eBooks that were not available on our old platform. So not only do our books look nicer, but you can build a more robust Bible study library, too.
Highlighting has always been a pain point for our Android users. Unlike our iOS app, the only thing you could highlight was a Bible verse. Did you want to highlight something in your study Bible or commentary? What about a single word in your Bible? Sorry, you were out of luck. With the Bible+ 6.0 Update for Android, that will no longer be a problem. We have enabled word-based highlighting across all resources in the Bible Study App. For example, you can highlight every noun that mentions Jesus in one color and those that refer to God the Father in another (see below). The possibilities are endless!
Along with word-based highlighting, this update brings with it a few other notable items. Highlights are now more visually appealing; instead of a block of colored text, it’s now textured to look like a real highlighter. We’ve also made it easier to organize your highlights by giving you the ability to tag and categorize them as they are created.
By Olive Tree Employee: Genny Gager
Bible commentaries and study notes are great tools for understanding what the Bible has to say to us today. Often overlooked, however, is the value that using scripture to understand scripture can bring. God’s inspired word is a complex tapestry of themes all woven together, and the development of those themes can provide us with insight into the relevant message of the Bible for today’s readers.
Finding our way around these themes can be a daunting task, especially given the variety of subjects covered in the Bible. A word search can be helpful, but it can give an incomplete picture due to the complexity of language and the context in which words are used. The great news is that Olive Tree offers the Thompson Chain Reference System, which links various themes together as they are touched upon and developed throughout Scripture. The very heart of this product is the thematic chains that number in the thousands, and people at all stages of learning about the Bible have used it in the 100 years since its initial release. The Thompson Chain resource is also a great study Bible, offering cross references, book outlines, book introductions, maps, and harmonies to aid us in our study.
We’ve put quite a bit of attention into converting the rich topical content so it can be used in the Bible Study app. Our goal was to make navigating the famous topical chains easy and intuitive and to allow quick access to the additional materials as well.
We’re going to walk through a quick example of how the Bible Study App can make navigating the Thompson Chain Reference System enjoyable and easy. The example uses and refers to the iPad version of our software. We’ve designed this resource to work seamlessly with the built-in resource guide, so if you don’t already know how to open it, read this article to open it in the split window, and have your Bible of choice open in the main window of your app. Although we’ll be relying on the iPad version in our example, other versions of our app will have similar functionality.
If you want to follow along with the example, bring 1 Samuel chapter 17 up in your Bible. With everything set up, the screen will look similar to this (your screen may look a little different depending on what resources you have and how you have your resource guide set up):
To activate the chains, tap the name of the Thompson Chain under the commentaries section of your resource guide. Your split-window view will change to a listing of verses directly related to your location: (more…)
The NIV Application Commentaries (NIVAC) merge the original, ancient context with right now, showing us both how ancient readers would have read the Bible and how we can connect to this living word of God from a modern context. Most importantly, however, it helps us begin the life-changing process of true application, showing how God’s word can continue to have a powerful voice in our lives today.
The NIV Application Commentaries use a highly accessible, three-tiered method of bringing readers to a fuller understanding of each Biblical book.
Original Meaning will explore a book’s meaning in light of its historical and cultural context.
(click images for bigger view)
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Bridging Contexts, as its name implies, will help the reader link the text’s original meaning to its Contemporary Significance
Android iOS Windows Desktop
Contemporary Significance—the final tier that helps you apply the Bible to everyday life.
Android iOS Windows Desktop
The Bible Study App makes the NIV Application Commentaries even more powerful and accessible. Verse references become hyperlinks, the split window allows you to read the Bible side-by-side with the commentary, and you can easily take notes and highlights within the text. Enhanced for use in the Resource Guide, read YOUR CHOICE of Bible translations while the commentaries keep track of where you are in the scriptures
If you don’t have the NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) Series, we’re offering all NIVAC individual volumes at only $7.99! Save on the Sets too! Hurry, this offer ends May 9, 2015!