PDA Bible from Handmark

by PocketGoddess on December 10, 2002

The PDA Bible is a great idea– it provides the American Standard Bible, the King James, the New King James, and the Reina Valera (Spanish) editions of the Holy Bible, complete in each case with the Old and New Testaments. There’s no installation required, other than simply putting the card in the SD expansion slot of your Palm OS device. After just a second on my Tungsten, the BibleReader application appeared in the built in launcher. Simply tap on the program icon with your stylus and you’re ready to go. When the program loads, you’ll see a toolbar at the top that puts all the functions of the PDA Bible at the tip of your stylus. Tap on the “tree” at the top left corner to access the usual menus; tap just to the right of that to select which version of the Bible you’d like to see. Tapping on the abbreviated chapter and verse annotation in the middle of the menu bar, and you’ll go right to the verse chooser. This provides just about the quickest way I’ve ever seen to get to the exact spot in the Bible you want to see. First tap on the book, then on the next screen you can select the chapter, and then the verse. It is very fast and intuitive, presenting only the actual number of chapters or verses in the book of the Bible that you selected in the first screen.

Tapping on the magnifying glass icon takes you to a very advanced search screen. Type in the word you want to look for at the top, and set the options below. You can set everything from Boolean search parameters to which books of the Bible that you want to search. You can even export the list to the memo pad, which is very handy for preparing Bible studies, sermons, or the like– because you can then copy and paste that list into any word processor after you HotSync your device and get that memo onto your computer. The search is very fast too– looking for every instance of the word “grace” in the entire Bible took ten seconds on my Tungsten. Limiting the search to just the New Testament took only half as long. And once that search list pops up, you can tap on any one of the scriptures listed and go directly to that point in the Bible. The very last button on the toolbar is what allows you to add bookmarks. This is a great feature for marking your favorite scriptures for easy reference. I can also see this being helpful during a sermon or Bible study– while everyone else is flipping pages, just two taps will take you right where you need to be, and very quickly.
 

The options include just what you would expect, such as the ability to choose from one of four fonts. You can also set the text and background colors, and the main screen options allow you to choose exactly how navigation will work: whether tapping scrolls one verse, two verses, or the entire screen, for example. Another option is whether you want paragraph or verse formatting, depending on how you want to see the text. All in all, I am very happy with the PDA Bible’s options and features except for one thing: the lack of a major current translation such as the New International Version (NIV), the New Revised Standard Bible (NRSV), or the New American Standard Bible (NASB). I would actually prefer to pay more for the card in order to get at least one of those translations in place of either the ASV or NKJV that are already there. Other than that small problem, I really did enjoy the product, especially since memory is usually at a premium for me, and I can’t get more than one version of the Bible on my device, unless I use this card.

PDA Bible would make a nice gift for anyone on your list, but especially handheld-using pastors, seminarians, Bible study leaders, and Sunday School teachers. It’s quite liberating to have four versions of the Bible on my handheld and not have to carry around a heavy paper Bible anymore. PDA Bible is available for $29.99 from the Handmark web site.

PocketGoddess rating for the PDA Bible MMC from Handmark: 4 out of 5

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