Posts Tagged iPad

What’s Going On At Olive Tree?

Since the beginning of the year Olive Tree has been planning some major changes to the iPhone (and now iPad) BibleReader. It began last January with a few large brainstorming sessions and lots of whiteboard space. Then in February we got a bit sidetracked by the arrival of the iPad. The addition of the iPad to our app has been a huge success and from our work on that app we have learned a few things that have caused us to rethink a few of our ideas for the future of BibleReader.

Just as we thought we were getting our feet under us again, we went to WWDC 2010 – and everything changed again. 😉 As soon as we got back from WWDC we resumed our brainstorming sessions trying to incorporate many of the ideas we had been exposed to at WWDC into our BibleReader update. The past two months have been very focused. We have spent a considerable amount of time planning, having meetings, ad-hoc discussions, and friendly debates, all of which have helped us hone in on our new vision for BibleReader. We have also hired a few more people to help us carry out this new vision and now we feel we are ready to dig in and focus more on the work and less on planning.

Its all very exciting to me. Bible readers on mobile devices have been around since the inception of Olive Tree as a company. Since that time mobile devices have evolved and as such so have the readers on those devices. I believe we are still at the defining moments of this technology and Olive Tree plans to lead the way on what that technology will look like, I think you will be quite impressed.

Stay tuned for my next blog post discussing the trials associated with making large changes to an application that people use daily and love.

Tags: , , ,

Developing BibleReader for the iPad

Well it’s finally here! The Apple iPad. There has been no single technology that I have been more excited about than the iPad. Ever since the tablet rumors started last summer I have been anxious to get one and yesterday I finally did.I have been developing for the iPad since they announced the availability of the SDK in January. It’s been a long road for us at Olive Tree as we worked to prepare our software for the launch of the iPad. Not having the actual hardware in hand has been a bit frustrating for us.

For one thing we didn’t know what the performance of some of the features we were adding would actually be. Developing for the iPhone has taught us that the simulator runs things typically faster than the device and there are things that the simulator will let you get away with that the actual hardware would never let you get away with. So we have gotten into the habit of testing on the device and testing often to be sure we are not getting to far down the road with some performance bottleneck. This was one luxury we did not have with the iPad.

Second and just as important is usability and user experience. We knew from day one that this was not just a big iPhone, anyone who says it is doesn’t get the iPad, it’s a whole new device that the world has never seen. It is true that developers had access to the simulator from the first day the SDK was released but the iPad can not be fully experienced in a simulated environment. Let me put it this way the iPad is not simply software it’s the whole package, hardware, software and Apple magic. As such new and innovative approaches have to be developed along the way to capture that experience and you can really only do that with a real device in hand. So when we were faced with a design question that we just couldn’t answer with an iPhone we typically took the safe route and developed something we knew was familiar to most users rather than developing something so totally new and foreign to users which in the end could potentially be unusable on the iPad. I think time will tell but I believe our initial release will be a strong contender in not only the bible software arena but also in the eBook reader realm as well.

So finally getting the device in hand yesterday was exciting because for the first time in two months of solid development at Olive Tree we were finally able to see our software in action on this amazing new device. I was expecting the worst but amazingly everything worked and worked well right out of the box! From a usability perspective I think we did well, and do feel we have more room for improvement but our initial launch on the iPad is a strong one.

Make no mistake we are not done with BibleReader on the iPad we are only just getting started. iPhone users can also take heart in the fact that we have not stopped iPhone development either. We have so many plans for our upcoming releases that we will busy improving our product for years to come.

I wrote this on my iPad 😉

Tags: ,