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Pocket e-Sword Review

Free Bible Software for Pocket PC and Windows Mobile Devices

By

e-Sword Bible Reader

e-Sword Bible Reader

Image: © Sue Chastain
e-Sword Scripture Memory Tool

e-Sword Scripture Memory Tool

Image: © Sue Chastain
e-Sword Bible Search Tool

e-Sword Bible Search Tool

Image: © Sue Chastain

Editor's Note: (Last Updated 07/30/2014) Development of Pocket e-Sword ended in 2009.

Pocket e-Sword is a free Bible reader application for Windows Mobile and Pocket PC devices. In addition to the e-Sword application, there are several free Bible translations and Bible study tools which you can load onto your device for use with the e-Sword program. Newer Bible versions and more advanced study tools can also be purchased from the e-Sword site--there are more than 100 texts for e-Sword available in multiple languages.

Pros

  • The program is free.
  • You may choose from several free Bible translations and study tools.
  • Reasonably priced newer Bible versions and advanced study tools are available for purchase.
  • Features a "create your own" custom Bible reading plan builder.
  • Contains a Scripture memorization tool with self-testing features.
  • Allows you to keep track of prayer requests.
  • Offers daily devotionals and Bible study tools such as bookmarks, highlighting, personal verse notes, and more.
Cons
  • Slow program launch.
  • Navigation lacking in efficiency.
  • Requires full installation on PDA, thus using more memory.
  • No auto-scroll feature.
  • No utility to assign functions to your device's other buttons.

Pocket e-Sword Review

I was already familiar with the Windows version of e-Sword when I got my Pocket PC, so when I began looking for a Bible program for my PDA, Pocket e-Sword was the first one I tried. Although Pocket e-Sword was a bit slow to launch on my PDA, it did everything I needed and I was happy with it for several months. Unfortunately, it stopped working at one point and I switched over to Olive Tree's BibleReader software, which I now prefer. Some time later, I was able to get Pocket e-Sword working again. It offers some unique features, so I do still use it from time to time.

Pocket e-Sword has many of the same features as Olive Tree BibleReader with a slightly different interface. Compared to Olive Tree, e-Sword loads more slowly, navigating to passages isn't as streamlined, and e-Sword must be installed in the main memory of your PDA, and uses more memory. (Bibles and other resources can be installed on a storage card.) On the plus side, the for-pay Bibles and study resources I priced, seem to be generally less expensive for e-Sword and there are some Bible translations that are free for e-Sword, while Olive Tree charges a fee for them.

One of the unique features of e-Sword is that it has a Bible reading plan builder tool to create your own custom Bible reading plan. You tell it which books you wish to read, what days of the week you will be reading, and how long you want the reading plan to last (up to one year). The software calculates this plan for you and you can save it as a custom reading plan.

Pocket e-Sword also has a Scripture memory tool to help you memorize passages from the Bible. You create a list of verses you wish to memorize and the memory tool will keep track of them for you to review. It also has several tests to aid you in your Scripture memorization--there is a fill-in-the-blank test, a word position test, and a first letter test.

With e-Sword's Prayer Request feature you can keep track of the things you want to pray about. Each prayer request can be assigned a title, category, start date, and frequency. And when your prayers are answered, you can mark them answered!

Pocket e-Sword also offers daily devotionals, a search tool, bookmarks, highlighting, personal verse notes, customizable fonts and text size, and hyperlinked cross-references. Unfortunately, there is no auto-scroll function for reading in e-Sword and while you can navigate with your PDA's directional buttons, there is no utility to assign functions to your device's other buttons. Although e-Sword offers two different ways to compare passages from multiple translations, I prefer the way this is handled in Olive Tree BibleReader.

One nice thing about e-Sword is that there is an excellent Windows desktop version as well, so if you are familiar with e-Sword on your PC, the PDA version should be just as comfortable to you. And even though Pocket e-Sword is not my preferred Bible reading software on the PDA, it is very capable and easy-to-use. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose!

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