Sunday, November 06, 2005


Bible app question - input needed

I’m seriously considering writing the new interface to the bible app using the ESV text. I’ve had over 4,000 downloads of the NKJV which was free to folks. That shows me that the interest level is there. What I need to gauge is the interest level in paying a small amount for a better interface and search functionality.

Writing this application will take considerable time and effort . It is difficult to dedicate that time to something that folks might expect or want for free (think e-sword). 

I’ve already got a feature list and interface in mind. Would you be willing to spend $20 for a true inkable stand alone bible application that is based on the ESV? One that you can store study notes, create links to other parts of the bible,  and also write on the bible text? Do a look up by verse? Quickly navigate to the verse you need? Flag notes? See a search summary by flag notes? My goal here is not to reinvent the wheel, but to provide something simple that one could use in church or during a study.

I’m working through the ROI issues and now I need to hear from you – the potential customer.

I posted here a few minutes ago, but apparently the "input needed" reply disappeared into cyberspace, so I'll re-post most of it.

You could have on your hands a "killer application," that is, of course, if it's done right -- a big if. The Fujitsu slate I'm using (as well as the P1510, though it's not a real Tablet PC -- yet) weighs about as much as a hefty Study Bible, and I don't think the days are that far off when multitudes of believers will carry Tablet PC-like devices with them to Church on Sunday mornings. Even B. Gates predicted that within five years all notebooks will have inking capabilities, and by then the devices will undoubtedly be lighter with much longer battery life. The problem is that we'll need better Bible software (than we have now) to run on these potentially ubiquitous devices, and since the "Tablet PC Bible" is the only show in town, well, you get the picture.

Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (ESV)
I am not interested in a Bible app, however, the idea of being able to load different texts into your application is of interest to me. Have the app generic and then allow people to purchase texts to load and use your app to search and annotate.
I agree with Fred. Why limit yourself to only Bible content?

If you need help with the UI let me know. I can direct you to some inexpensive controls that are well worth the functionality they add.
I would be interested Rob - if it was stand-alone - not dependent on GoBinder. GoBinder is a deal breaker for me - since I use OneNote for everything, I can't justify the price tag of GoBinder plus this just for one translation.
I may pay $20 for what you describe. However, I agree with Walter that GoBinder would be a deal breaker.

Also, it would have to have a compelling advantage to what I do today: Pull up a chapter on, print it to OneNote via Send to OneNote 2003, then write notes in OneNote. The advantage may be in having the complete Bible already available for searching and use. However, I think I would use this more for active study rather than off-line searching.
Rob, sounds like a great idea and one that I might use and enjoy. My feedback would be similar: 1) it would have to be a standalone product. I'm not a big fan of GoBinder either. I would want to use the version of my choice (in my case NIV or NASB) 2) It would have to be fairly compelling. I use BibleWorks for most of my study and I'm easily able to cut and paste into Word or OneNote.

Maybe it could incorporate some other features like Scripture memory flash-cards, or outlining as some other features.
I would pay the $20. I would be looking for note taking both in the margins of the Bible as well as a separate, journal-like, section where I could take complete sermon notes and link to and/or copy/paste scripture. I also like the idea of scripture memory flash cards.
so I take it from everyone that GoBinder is totally out the question .

I will tell you that licensing the NIV will be very difficult financially. I would likely only look at the NIV if the ESV took off.

You guys have give me some good info - especially with not limiting it to bible text.
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