My review of the latest update to Logos 5 came out in Christian Computing Magazine this week. You can read it in PDF format and consider signing up for a free subscription to get my monthly columns.
Next months should cover how to set up a live stream of your worship service using free services and a camera you may already own.
Just a quick quote from the Logos 5 review:
Logos surprised users by dropping version five November 1st. So what’s new in Logos 5. First, a solid edition that hasn’t crashed in the weeks I’ve used it. Also, much better performance gets exhibited in things like the notes editor. There’s no lag. What else is new?
We get a cleaner and more useful user interface. The Logos home page that showed up in version 4 now shows more on a single page. They moved the prayer lists, reading plans and library discovery tool from the top to the left. They also still offer a Home, Library and Search button.
As I lead my congregation through 30 Days of Prayer, I felt the need to be more concerted and organized in my own prayer life. Thankfully, writing an article about Mac Apps I found a program called Day One in the Mac App Store. This little app helps you keep an organized calendar based journal. You could use it for almost anything, but I’ve chosen to make it my prayer journal.
The app places a Menu Bar icon in the OS X Menu across the top of the screen. Depending on how you set it up, the app will remind you to make a journal entry every so often. I had it set up to do so every four hours, but I’ve now moved it to every eight. I think I might settle in on every six hours, which would make me write an entry about three to four times a day.
You can tell the app to wait a little while or skip an entry if you are too busy to do it or have already made an entry recently. I like this feature, but also worry that I might keep skipping and not follow through. So be careful that you don’t do that.
The journal entry window drops down from the menu and you type directly into it. You can also choose to open the full app from the drop down box.
If you want to look over past entries find them based on the calendar date. You can organize on a calendar or in a list.
I really like the app, and think it will help me keep regular focused times of prayer as I type my prayer instead of saying it. I struggle to stay focused if I am thinking or speaking my prayer. But if I write it, I keep on task and don’t wander in my thoughts. Combined with the Bible Study apps I use for reading plans, this will help me stay disciplined.
Other features of the app include:
Starring of favorite entries or those you need to remember
They hope to add the following in the near future:
As I told you yesterday, OliveTree released its new Android version of the their Bible Reader app. Version 4.5 is a beta at this point and it very much feels like a beta. I don’t fault them for that and knowing the company I am quite sure that by the time they release a stable version to the Android Marget it will be rock solid. Right now it is a little slow to respond and has crashed on me a couple of times. I think the crashes were network issues, but realize that if you want a stable Bible app, wait.
The best new additions are the ability to view things in split screen. This allows you to view two books at a time. This is great for having both your Bible and a commentary open at once or for comparing two translations.
You will also see that there is a highlight feature. You tap the verse number anda menu pops up (see below). You tap Highlight and it shows a screen that lets you give the highlight a title and there is a default color selected. Tap on the color and you can change it to one of the other colors.
The other cool new features is the ability to add notes which can be backed up and synced with OliveTree. The sync feature doesn’t seem to be working in this version. You can also add bookmarks to verses.
The library features work fine. As I said yesterday, downloading stalls when the screen turns off. I hope this will be changed since downloading your entire library can take awhile and having to babysit your phone or remembering to turn off the screen blanking feature before downloading is a pain.
Compared to the very sparton version 4, this is a nice upgrade. It still seems to be behind a little when compared to the iOS version. If you have an Android, this version will be a satisfying upgrade. If you are moving over from iPhone to Android you may be a little disappointed.
A while back I sent out a Tweet saying that WORDSearch 9 for Mac was a mess. This was just after I got my MacBook Air and downloaded the software. It was in fact a mess and an embarrassment for the company. Fortunately, they felt the same way and quickly remedied that. I was impressed that they reached out to me and offered access to a far better version. I have downloaded it and been using it for a number of weeks now and thought I’d show it off to you in a demo video. So here is that video.
I just want to say that I’m thankful for the responsiveness of WORDSearch in this matter and look forward to a better program in the future as they fix some of the problems, few as they may be, that exist. Maybe one day we will get a fully Mac OSX version instead of just a Windows version running in virtualization. Until then WORDSearch 9 is a decent start. I look forward to the improvements they make – that is if I can ever et the updates to run.
Bible.Is is a new iPhone Bible app that reads the Bible to you. It is not like many of the Bible apps that have introduced audio. Instead of computer generated Bible reading, it uses dramatized Bible readings. They get the audio from Faith Comes By Hearing, a ministry that supplies the Bible in 400 languages and free for download. Thanks to Bible.is you get it on your iPhone or iPad. It is also available on other platforms, like Android and hopefully Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Symbian OS in the near future. Until then you can subscribe to the SMS version which sends a text message with links to the MP3 of that day’s reading. They say it will take you 40 days to listen to the entire New Testament.
I really like the iPhone app and think it is well worth the price, which is Free. But it would be worth it if it costs even more. Below is a video of the app reading from 1 Kings.
As you can hear it is high quality dramatized Bible reading. But that is not all Bible.is can do. You can of course read from a few different translations, including the ESV, one of my favorites. It doesn’t have as many modern translations as some apps, but it is free.
The app also lets you highlight text, take notes, and bookmark your favorite verses. Notice from the screen shots below that you can listen to the Bible by simply opening to a verse and hitting the play button. You choose to read from several English translations including ASV, BBE, CEV, ESV, KJV and NRSV. The audio is available only for some translations and sometimes only for the NT.
Dramatized Available: ESV OT & NT, KJV OT & NT, NRSV NT only
Non Dramatized Available: KJV NT only, NRSV NT only
These will have to be downloaded via the More option in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen (see bottom left row of screen shots).
If you want to get through the NT in just 40 days there is an audio listening program available for that (see above right).
You can search the Bible and add bookmarks, highlights, and notes. To add these just tap and hold the verse and the screen above center will appear. Tap the first icon on the top toolbar to add a bookmark. The center icon brings up the highlighting color options. And the third icon is for sharing the verse on Facebook. I wish it had Twitter, but maybe in a future release.
Once the verse is highlighted it will look like the upper left screen shot. The bookmarks list is in the center above and the right is for changing the text size or the language.
Below you will see the More screen options. Share is for sending verses via email. The settings screen is the one on the upper right. Download is for adding translations and audio Bibles. Support and About are what you would expect. The screen shot below on the right is for changing the toolbar icons. You can change the default to include other things as you wish.
I think Bible.is is a great Bible listening app. My only complaints are that it doesn’t have my favorite translations, the HCSB and it doesn’t share via Twitter. Other than that it is a wonderful app well worth your time to download and use to listen to God’s word. I plan to listen to the program on the go via my car stereo (cassette adapter).