Accordance Bible Software updated their excellent OS X Bible Study software program to Accordance 10 bringing some really great new features, including a single window interface, an updated and more modern looking toolbar, better library access, flexible searching features and much more. The basic package of Accordance 10 will cost $49 for the Starter pack that includes the basic tools for simple Bible study. More advanced packages come at a higher cost ranging up to $2000 for the “Ultimate Collection” which has just about everything but the kitchen sink. I think you can get that for an extra fee.
Single Integrated Window
Lets look at some the basic new features in Accordance 10 starting with the single unified window interface. I love that I don’t have to move a bunch of separate windows around anymore. I came up on Windows machines that always offer one window for most programs. Working with three or four separate windows got old on the previous versions. This one features makes it worth the upgrade fee for me.Full disclosure I was given a review copy for free, but I’d have paid if they hadn’t.
For users of the previous versions, the integrated library list along the left will surprise you. Also the the toolbar looks more modern with a customizable set of buttons to add or remove. Make Accordance work your way.
At the bottom of the left hand library pane notice the filter buttons. This lets the user show various sets of books based on their usage.
Flex Search adds are more powerful search features. Instead of trying to explain it, I’ll let Accordance speak for itself (from their site):
Flex Search is a new feature of Accordance 10 that finds variations of the words and phrases you search for. Specifically, Flex Search will find all inflected forms of verbs and all singular and plural forms of nouns. This mode also allows words to occur out of order or to have other words in between them. For example, a flex search for the phrase “build houses” will yield results for “build houses,” “building a house,” and “the house that King Solomon built.”
That’s great. Other software had this kind of “fuzzy search” capability, but Accordance 10 does a good job of it.
Accordance also offers the following new or improved search modes:
- Exact Search: very precise searching based on your specific criteria
- Search All: finds content in every module or groups you specify
- Amplify: select a word in the text and click Amplify to open things like Dictionaries (also works via triple click)
- Search Analytics: the visual search results using bar graphs and charts saw some great improvements
Full-screen Reading Mode
The new Reading Mode turns the program into a distraction free, full screen mode that lets you focus on the text of the book or translation.
As I said above, the various packages offers something useful for multiple budgets and uses. To determine which package best fits your needs, see their comparison chart.
Is Accordance 10 perfect? No. I like the new Reading Mode, but wish it offered a OS X full screen mode using the regular interface as well. Most modern OS X apps work with the new form of display Apple added to Lion and Mountain Lion. There’s good news. Accordance knows users want this and so maybe we’ll see it in a future version.
Like previous versions, there’s a steep learning curve with Accordance. It takes some getting used to and things are not as intuitive as other Bible programs. Because of this, users should check out the Accordance Podcast entitled Lighting the Lamp. I’m hoping they will go back and update some of the older videos with the new interface because I’m still learning how to work with this powerful tool.
Finally, I’d like to see better synchronization between multiple computers and the iOS app. Right now I sync my user tools like notes and workspaces using SugarSync, but I wish Accordance offered an automatic built-in syncing feature like Logos. Also, I’d love for the content to sync with their iOS app. Right now I have to do this manually. I’d like it to happen seamlessly over the Internet.
Windows Version in 2013
That said, version 10 is a great improvement and Accordance is still one of the most powerful and efficient Mac Bible Study programs you can buy. What’s more a new Windows version will be coming in 2013. Here’s how they describe it:
For over 10 years, Accordance has been available to PC users on the free Basilisk II emulator. While the emulator version of Accordance includes almost every feature available in Accordance for Mac, we have long desired to offer PC users a better solution. And so, we are pleased to announce that we are in the process of developing a native version of Accordance 10 for Windows. In fact, we have been working on this project for well over a year, and we are excited to announce that Accordance 10 for Windows will be available in 2013.
In the meantime, PC users can still buy Accordance 9 for use with the free Basilisk II emulator. Those who purchase Accordance between May 1, 2012 and the official release date will receive a free upgrade to the native Windows version. Those who purchased Accordance before May 1, 2012 can upgrade to the Windows version for just $49.99 once it is released.
The great thing about the new version for Mac users? It will be free. So those of us who run both Windows and Mac can use the new Windows version without paying again! And it won’t run on an emulator! That’s exciting for anyone who wanted the power of Accordance on Windows.