Previously I wrote a review of Olive Tree BibleReader for Windows Mobile where I discussed many of the benefits of having your Bible on a mobile device. Since then, I have retired my Windows Mobile PDA and moved to an iPod touch. When I got my iPod touch, I was very pleased to find that all the Bibles and books I purchased for Olive Tree BibleReader on my Windows Mobile device could be transferred over to my iPod touch with minimal effort. It was just a matter of entering my Olive Tree account information into the iPod BibleReader app and downloading all the books I had already purchased.
The iTunes App Store offers several variations of Olive Tree BibleReader for iPhone, including a free app, and several paid versions, depending on which Bible version it comes with. Whichever Bible version you choose, the BibleReader app is identical, and you can add books and new Bibles to any of them.
Bibles and books can be purchased directly from within the app on your iPhone or iPod touch, or they can be purchased through the Olive Tree web site and downloaded to your device later. There are hundreds of free books and study tools in Olive Tree's catalog. I recommend signing up for the newsletter or following Olive Tree on Facebook or Twitter because they often announce discounts and promotions through these outlets.
Compare BibleReader for iPhone/iPod Touch and BibleReader for Windows Mobile
BibleReader on the iPhone or iPod touch is a bit different from the Windows Mobile version. It's missing some features that the Windows Mobile version had, but in many ways it is better and it's getting better all the time with free updates. I've tried a handful of other free Bible apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, and BibleReader remains my favorite. Here are some of the features I love about BibleReader:
- Full-screen reading mode where you can literally scroll through the entire Bible from Genesis through Revelation.
Settings to customize just about every aspect of the program for your own reading comfort. You can change the typeface, font size, colors, scrolling method, and more.
- Split window for comparing Bible versions side-by-side or cross-referencing study resources.
- Simple verse chooser provides three-tap access to any verse without typing.
- Popup window gives you quick access to references, study notes, definitions, and so on.
- Cross-references open in a popup window, and from there you can read directly in the popup, or open the reference in the main window or split window.
- Bookmarks for saving Bible references. You can also organize your bookmarks with folders.
- Add notes to Bible verses. Notes can be synchronized through Evernote (a free service) so you can access your Bible notes from anywhere you have Web access.
- Search for words and phrases with advanced search options, including Greek and Hebrew search.
- Copy a verse and paste it to another application.
- Auto-switch between landscape and portrait reading modes as you rotate the device, or lock the rotation to your preference.
- Highlighting allows you to mark verses with color to make them stand out and for future reference. Highlighting can be customized for different colors and styles. (New in 4.11)
- Several daily reading plans for reading through the Bible in a year. BibleReader lets you easily keep track of your reading progress and guides you through each passage in your plan for the day. (New in 4.11)
In addition to these features, Olive Tree's catalog includes an extensive range of resources such as Bible versions, devotionals, dictionaries, ebooks, commentaries, and study tools—many of which are free. Several daily reading plans are available to guide you through reading the Bible in a year. These resources are all stored directly on your device so no Internet connection is required for reading.
Olive Tree has an active and enthusiastic team of developers. The company interacts with customers via Twitter and Facebook, often providing tutorials and sneak peeks of new features and enhancements.
BibleReader isn't quite perfect, but it gets closer with every new version. There are some features I miss from my Windows Mobile version which have not yet made it into the iPhone BibleReader (version 4.11) as of this review:
- Auto-scroll - uninterrupted reading without touching the screen to manually scroll.
- Ability to copy more than one verse at a time.
I'm confident that Olive Tree's developers are working on many of these features already.
Since Olive Tree has made a public commitment to developing Bible software for the most popular mobile platforms, I continue to feel confident investing in their products, knowing I can transfer my purchases to another device if my mobile platform changes again in the future.
I have never been more excited about studying God's Word, and Olive Tree BibleReader gives me a powerful tool to do just that—what's best is I can take it with me everywhere I go!