Stephen and I put a lot of time into iPhone’s BibleReader 4.09 which was partially released last week in the App Store. I say partially because of the way in which we post our application to the app store. Due to the limited search capabilities of the app store and because users looking for a specific resource such as the NIV or ESV Study Bible may miss the finer details of these resources in the BibleReader app we release bundled applications. These bundled applications are the same application but bundled with some specific resource such as the NIV. This makes it easier for the person who is looking for the NIV to learn that Olive Tree’s BibleReader has access to the NIV Bible. Thus we have several bundled applications including but not limited to the ESV, ESV Study Bible (a personal favorite), Amplified, NLT Study Bible (another great bundle) and so on. Each of these bundles is powered by the same underlying software just sold separately for the reasons I mentioned above.
This typically is not an issue but with our latest release things got a bit more complicated. This latest release includes a new way of purchasing resources from Olive Tree using an iPhone feature known as in-app purchasing. Due to the complexity of implementing the new system and the app approval process we decided to hold off on submitting the update for all our bundled apps and just submit the Amplified and a new BibleReader app known as BR Free (See BibleReader price change for more on that). The Amplified was our test case for the new purchasing system. Things went as well as we had hoped so we submitted the rest of our bundled apps shortly after receiving news that Apple had approved the Amplified Bible bundle.
This brings me to the reason I am writing this blog… I know many of you are anxious to get your hands on the latest release and I am excited to get it into your hands, and guess what its possible. If you are currently running one of our bundled resources all you need to do is get an Olive Tree account (if you don’t have one already) and from within the BibleReader 4.08 go to the Settings page and tap the “Olive Tree Account” item where you will find a place to enter your Olive Tree login info and a “Synchronize books” button which will sync your purchases from iTunes with the Olive Tree server. Once this step has been completed we will have an accounting of your purchases that you made with us, allowing us to allow you to re-download those titles into any of our iPhone BibleReaders including the new BR Free. Simply install BR Free onto your iPhone, go to the Library page, find the “My Account” tab. Note: You may be prompted to enter your iTunes password at this point; you can enter it but you will still need to perform the next step. Now tap the “Syncronize books with your Olive Tree account” where you will be prompted for your account information enter it and wait for the synchronization to happen, if it worked your purchased items will appear in a section labeled “Books in your Olive Tree account”. All your past purchases will show up in the reader and you can download them and start enjoying 4.09.
I must warn you however this BR Free does not allow for doing in app purchases as it is Apple’s policy that only paid apps can have in app purchasing. So you must either wait for the generic BibleReader app that is now $0.99 to be approved, or make purchases directly from OliveTree.com.
If this sounds like a lot of work, it really isn’t but if you need some incentive to try it allow me to whet your taste buds. BibleReader 4.09 includes:
- Full screen support
- Auto-rotation locking
- New color options
- Nicer looking note popups
- A focus visual that subtly gives you a queue as to which window currently has focus.
Overall the app performs better, looks better and has quite a few new features. As I said at the start of this post, Stephen and I put a lot of time into this release and that is no understatement. We also had a great beta testing team help us iron out several of the kinks and bugs along the way. Many of our testers put in several hours per beta release to ensure that your experience was top notch, we all really owe them a debt of gratitude.
If you still want to hold out and wait for your specific version of BibleReader to be approved, you can 😉 but be warned it may be another week before it is.
Yours In Christ,