After looking at what’s available in the Windows 8 Store, Laridian’s Pocket Bible for Windows 8 Store might win the crown for best Bible app available in the store.
We don’t see a lot of quality among the Bible apps available on the Windows 8 Store. Of the bigger names YouVersion, Olive Tree and Logos all offer a presence in the store, but none of them will wow the serious Bible student.
Laridian offers Pocket Bible for Windows 8 Store as a free download from the store, which users who already own some Laridian content can use to work with up to 20 resources. To download more library resources the user will need the $6.99 update, which adds advanced tools and supports the app’s development. See it as a cheap vote in favor of further Windows 8 Store app development, since the older Pocket Bible for Windows (not for Windows 8 Store) will likely work just fine on Windows 8.
People who need the Store version will want further development. We believe that’s only a few users who likely won’t make it financially viable for Laridian. Here’s hoping enough people pay the cash to make this a decent profit center for Laridian to keep developing and improving the app.
Once I paid for the advanced tools, I started downloading my entire library. I chose Select All from the lower left corner and it started to download my books. I run the app in a copy of Windows 8.1 installed in Parallels. When I clicked outside of the Parallels Window to use Chrome in Mac to surf the web while the app downloaded my books, it stopped downloading. This is a rare problem that only hurts those who run Windows 8 in Parallels will face and only while installing the app, so I can’t complain. too loudly However, I would like to see this fixed.
After setting the program to download all of my library, I stepped away to let it do its thing. The next morning the program had crashed. I opened it again and it continued downloading books. Let’s hope this isn’t the norm.
Once the books downloaded and installed, I opened the app to begin using it. The user interface looks simple and clean, like we’ve come to expect from Laridian products. Some might say their apps looks too simple, like the company didn’t spend time with design. I’m not sure if that’s true, but the results mean we get an interface that’s not over powered by pretty glitz, but basic functionality.
Above notice the Book Chapter Verse chooser, which the user can use by right-clicking and choosing the Goto menu item at the bottom. Please understand when I say “right-click” I’m using a laptop to use Pocket Bible. For tablet users choose this with a two finger tap.
Find the Search button on the top menu when right-clicking. Enter a search string and choose a range from the drop down box. All the basic boolean searches we’ve come to love from Pocket Bible work.
Notice the three pane view above. After right-clicking, choose the Panes button from the lower toolbar. There are five predefined pane layouts. To create a new layout, click on the Layouts button and choose New. Give it a name and then select the Panes button to pick the desire number of open books. Populate those panes with the books you want and the layout will get saved.
We give Laridian a lot of credit for creating the best Windows 8 Store native Bible app that runs with most of their features intact. Both Logos and OliveTree offer apps in the store, but their apps run without most of the options and features of their Windows applications. The YouVersion Windows 8 Store app runs most of its functions, but it’s only a Bible reading and sharing app. They don’t offer any real Bible study tools. The Laridian app at least provides some basic Bible study features with complex searching, multiple panes and user markup. That’s why we call the Laridian Pocket Bible for Windows 8 Store the current winner of the Best Windows 8 Store Bible Study app!