QuickVerse PDA 2005

by PocketGoddess on November 19, 2004

2005 brings a lot of changes for QuickVerse, and all for the better. The first thing I noticed (aside from the new 320×480 full screen support!) was the new tabbed interface. It’s a simple change, but it really ties all of the modules together and makes things easier to find and use. From left to right, the tabs are Book, TOC (Table of Contents), View, Find, Marker, and DRP (Daily Reading Plan). I’ll go through each of the tabs in turn so you can understand just how powerful QuickVerse PDA 2005 really is.


The “Book” tab is where you can see all the books in your QuickVerse library. I like the way they’re organized into groups, such as Bibles, commentaries, devotionals, dictionaries, novels, overviews, topical Bibles, and QuickVerse help. Within each group, the books are arranged in alphabetical order. That makes it easy to find things if you’ve purchased a wide variety of titles. Tap on the black arrow to the left of each category to expand it. A popup menu is available for individual books, tap and hold on a particular title to get more detailed information, delete it, or move it to/from and expansion memory card. A small card icon to the right of the book title lets you know which ones are are a memory card; considering the size of each book it would be a good idea to put all of them on a memory card in order to free up space on your organizer. When you’ve chosen the book to read, just tap the title to open it in the “View” tab.

 


The “TOC” tab is handy for quickly navigating to a particular spot in the text. It shows the major divisions and books in the book you’ve opened, but for more fine-tuned navigation you’ll want to use the option in the top right corner of the view tab. If you’ve opened a Bible, then tapping on it starts the chapter/verse selector. Tap on the book of the Bible you want to read (you have the option or full or abbreviated names), and the window shows you how many chapters are in the book. Tap one and you are then taken to the VerseFinder verse selector; after you chose there the book is opened to the exact place you wanted. If you’re reading a novel, commentary, or devotional, you’ll be taken to the listing of the book’s contents. With the “My Utmost for His Highest” devotional that content is broken down into months and days, since it’s a daily devotional. For Matthew Henry’s Commentary, you’ll see a listing of books and chapters. For dictionaries and topical Bibles you are first presented with an alphabet screen, and after you tap on the black arrow by the letter you want, you’ll see a list of all of the words or topics that start with that letter.



“View” is where you’ll likely be spending most of your time. The book/chapter/verse selector has already been discussed, but it should also be noted that you can also use the small arrows in the middle of the top of the screen in order to scroll from one chapter or book to the next. Tap on a verse number to get a popup menu full of choices, from copying the verse to paste into another application to setting a bookmark, highlighting the verse, accessing a commentary, or selecting a different translation of the Bible to view. Tap on a single word and you’ll see a popup menu that allows you to find additional instances of that word or look it up in a dictionary or topical Bible if you have one installed. Two extra features are the ability to toggle a splitscreen view through the options menu as well as the ability to set preferences such as font size (eight choices) and whether you want Christ’s words to appear in red.



An additional feature is “Parallel Gospels”– it provides a rather complete harmony of the Gospels in a very easy to use format. Select it from the Options menu and you are presented with a list of events in Jesus’ life, from the geneaology to the temptation to various healings, parables, and predictions of his death. Small colored icons on the left show how many Gospels each particular story is found in, while tapping on an entry will take you to the first Gospel in which it is found. Tabs at the top of the window allow you to see the parallel verses in the other Gospels. It’s a very powerful feature that is quite helpful for Bible study; until this point the only way to study the Gospels side by side was with a great deal of page-turning in a printed Bible or by purchasing a book such as Gospel Parallels by Throckmorton to see everything in one easy to compare format. There’s also a “Parallel Verses” feature, but I was unable to get it to work on my Tapwave Zodiac (the developer is currently working on a fix).


The “Find” tab is rather self-explanatory; simply enter the text you’re looking for and choose the boundaries for the search– whole Bible, Old or New Testament, current book, etc. You can also select the number of “hits” a search returns in the program preferences. Searches are lightning fast, and each result is shown in two line form so that you can see where the word was found as well as a portion of the verse in which it was found. Tap on a result to be taken directly to that point in the Bible; when you’re finished tap on the small white arrow at the top right corner of the screen to be taken back to the search results. You can go back and forth between several references very quickly and easily this way. One of my minor quibbles with other applications is that once you tap on a search result, you generally have to run the search again in order to get back to the results. With QuickVerse PDA 2005, that isn’t a problem. And since it’s an electronic version of the Bible, there are no pages to flip or worse, multiple books to try and refer to at once.

 



Markers refers to bookmarks, one of the very nice features that electronic Bibles provide. Instead of having to stick all manner of papers and bookmarks into your Bible (which can ruin the binding!), you can insert an electronic “dog ear” to mark your favorite verses, the place you left off reading, etc. The “Marker” tab is where you can see all of your bookmarks and highlights in one place. You have the choice of displaying markers in book or category order. Bookmarking a verse also allows you to add your personal notes and attach it to a category if you wish. Make enough notes in reference to sermons or your personal devotions, and you’ll eventually have your own personal “commentary” on the Bible. QuickVerse PDA 2005 comes with a wide variety of predefined categories, or you can edit them to create your own. As with the search results, tapping on one of the entries takes you to the Bible to view the verse.



The “DRP” or Daily Reading Plan tab deserves some extra attention, because there’s a lot going on here. When you first open up this tab, you’ll see a large calendar with three boxes at the top right corner of the screen labeled Calendar, Read, and Config. Just below, and above the calendar, you see a small black arrow listing the name of the current reading plan and the date chooser. The icons on the calendar show whether or not you’ve read the reading for the day. But first you have to get started in the Config portion, where three boxes allow you to choose a pre-defined plan, see what content is included in a particular plan, and adjust the timing. Tap on “Bible in One Year” and you’ll be taken to the content area, where you can rename the plan if you like, choose the Bible translation you want to use, the books included, and whether you want to define more than one “segment” for the plan. That’s useful if you want to follow a plan that has Old and New Testament readings on the same day, for example. Next you choose the timing for the plan, ranging from one week to 18 months, the starting date, and whether you want to read every day of the week or only on weekdays. Once you’ve customized the plan to your liking, go to the Read box at the top and your selected material is presented to you. After you’re finished reading simply tap the box at the end to “Mark Complete” and you’ll see the icon on the calendar change to a closed book, letting you see at a glance exactly where you stand in your daily reading. This is, in my opinion, the best impementation of daily reading plans in any Palm OS Bible application.



There’s also a special “Left Behind” edition for fans (and critics!) of the best-selling Christian fiction series by Tim LaHaye. The complete edition includes ebook versions of all twelve novels as well as supplemental resources such as the Left Behind Series Dictionary, a special overview, reading plans for the novels, and a help section. The dictionary is particularly helpful in trying to keep up with all of the characters and their relationships over the course of the series. And since QuickVerse has a split screen view you can easily compare passages in the novels to particular scriptural passages at the same time. Whether you’re a devoted fan of the series or completely disagree with the theology/views of revelation put forth in Left Behind, this special edition of QuickVerse PDA will enable you to study it further. Just as with the oftentimes controversial Harry Potter books, even if you disagree with something it’s usually best to study it yourself, talk to others, and then form your own opinion instead of dismissing it entirely. If you’re interested in deeper discussion of the Left Behind series and methods of interpreting the book of Revelation, I highly recommend “The Rapture Exposed” by Barbara Rossing).

The best way to sum up QuickVerse PDA 2005 is to describe it as a complete update of the original program. Everything is bigger, better, and more polished, and it’s truly a joy to use. You can purchase a variety of different packages and addon books to customize QuickVerse to your needs from the large selection at the QuickVerse online store; prices range from $29.95 for the basic version to $9.95 for devotional books or $14.95 each for a variety of Bible translations to $59.95 for the complete Left Behind Series edition. The complete Life Application Bible is coming soon, which will provide a specialized dictionary and thousands of study notes and life application points. If you purchased and registered the previous version of QuickVerse, you should have gotten a discounted upgrade offer via email. And remember that though this review covers the Palm OS version, a Pocket PC version is also available. However you go about it, you can build the library that fits your needs quickly and easily, something I really appreciate. Software bundles are a good deal, but not if they don’t come with the resources that you really need. Whatever your taste, you’re likely to find just the right combination with QuickVerse PDA 2005. Find out more or purchase online at the QuickVerse web site.

PocketGoddess Rating for QuickVerse PDA 2005: 5 out of 5

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