Mobile SwordSearcher?

Discussion in 'Future' started by kjvman, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. kjvman

    kjvman Member

    Please make and Android version.
  2. Brandon Staggs

    Brandon Staggs Administrator Staff Member

    An Android app is a distinct possibility in the near future.

    However, when people ask me to make SwordSearcher work on an Android device or an iPad or iPhone, I always wonder what aspects of SwordSearcher they want to see on it. Clearly it would be a completely different application. SwordSearcher is a desktop application through and through -- it excels with mouse input and "screen real estate." Touch input devices have no analog to things like hovering a mouse pointer over a link without something like a digitizer like the Surface Pro has (and that does work!). I've asked people about this before and sometimes all they really want is to be able to read the Bible and a few of the books from the SwordSearcher library. Others wish there was a way for me to just shrink the whole display on to their phone somehow.

    So, perhaps this would be a good thread to talk about it. What unique aspects of SwordSearcher would you like to see translated to your mobile device? Are you looking at Android tablets or phones? What is lacking from the huge assortment of free Bible apps on the market now that you would like to see SwordSearcher bring to the table? (It would not be free.)

    I'll re-name this thread to be a bit more specific. :)
  3. marty

    marty Beta Tester

    You know how you have that favorite Bible that you reach for every time, like an old friend? That's SwordSearcher. There could be a Bible sitting right next to me, but if I had a question or wanted to look up a verse, I'd go to the computer and SwordSearcher. What makes SS different from other Bible apps is its usability, forthrightness and user-friendliness. The layout of SwordSearcher makes it stand out. SwordSearcher 'feels' like a unit, a Book, while the Bibles that I have on my devices now are just text.

    For my old eyes, a tablet is easier to read than a phone, but when SS is available, it will be on my phone, too! So I'll think of how I would use it on my phone, knowing that it would translate to the tablet. It would be wonderful to have all of SwordSearcher on a tablet or phone, but in practical terms it wouldn't be all that useable, and would stop people from using it because of the complexities.

    1. KJVSL available as well as KJV, as I use that a lot, but probably not more than one more Bible version (I use the other versions, but I'm thinking about space - unless we could use the Cloud to store the files, then space wouldn't be an issue. If using the Cloud to store files, creating module sets would be essential).
    2. No more than two panels, one for the Bible and the other for the rest. I could live with one panel and switch back and forth, but I like to refer to the Bible when I'm using a book or commentary. On my tablet, a third panel could go across the bottom, but on the phone it would be useless as it would be too small.
    3. I still need to create my own book modules and commentaries, or have some way of making notes on verses and collecting thoughts. An easy way to copy and paste verses into a module would be a plus - as opposed to having to type everything.
    4. Highlighting and underlining.
    5. I almost missed mentioning margin links - they're so much a part of the Bible panel that I forget they're a 'feature'. If we use module sets, the margin could have a section of Library links in the current module set and a section of Module Set links listing the module sets that contain relevant material. (Does that make sense?)
    6. Audio would be lovely if you could work it out.
    7. Search capabilities, absolutely.
    8. Tabs, of course, single row (module sets would be so useful here).
    9. Font size adjustment.
    10. I use the popup preview (actually mostly for verse context), so if I could just tap a reference once and get the context popup, and double tap to change the Bible panel to the verse, I'd be happy.

    I know I'll think of more stuff, but this is the basic list. One last point to all my SwordSearcher brothers and sisters - I encourage you to send a monetary contribution to Brandon while he works on this.
    john.a and Ruthlyn like this.
  4. Brandon Staggs

    Brandon Staggs Administrator Staff Member

    Just to be clear, I have no estimate or even guarantee of any mobile version of SwordSearcher at this point. The reality is that it is something that I have been kicking around for years now and I have written code to that end, but it has all been more research than development.
  5. marty

    marty Beta Tester

    Wouldn't hurt for us to contribute anyway - without any strings! :)
    Ruthlyn likes this.
  6. Gord

    Gord Beta Tester

    Having access to many other bible apps on android and blackberry, I personally find that the limited time I can spend on the device, is really limited to a devotional or prayer. Sometimes at men's group study, they come in handy to have a quick reference to another version.

    You Version is my app of choice, WordSearch and Logos have nothing that comes even close to You Version. SwordSearcher would be best tied in with a say Spurgeon's Morning and Evening and perhaps a choice of prayer or book but, quite frankly Brandon, anything in the portable field will not measure up to what you have developed for our desktop use, and in my opinion the free You Version is all one really needs on a portable device, Handheld devices are just not conducive to long term study in my opinion. I would just link all that ask to You Version, and keep your coding talent focused on the wonderful work you have developed to date.

    My .02$
  7. wsbones

    wsbones Beta Tester

    I hope it will work on a Kindle Fire (custom android OS).
    marty likes this.
  8. monteu

    monteu Member

    Our Sunday School lesson today is on perseverance. Persevere in this one! One of the main things I would like is for my user notes to sync across my mobile devices. Right now I use Olive Tree and copy all of my notes out of SS into Olive Tree so that they sync over to my Android. I do actually use my Android for study sometimes and not just for Bible reading. I would be willing to pay for something like this.
  9. Ray Luff

    Ray Luff Member

    I would like to suggest that somehow you find a way to see what e-sword produced for the Pocket PC many years ago. They no longer support it and to my knowledge are not putting out an Android version of it. But if you were able to give the features it gave for Android it would be a dead ringer. Additionally I should mention I am a retired Software Developer, having started my career by writing a Word Processor in 1979 prior to the invention of the IBM PC. It was for the Commodore 64 at the time. I have an interest in these type of projects. The software for the Pocket PC is still available by your competitor at his site however getting your hands on a Pocket PC these days is difficult. If you do decide to get one get the last edition of the HP one for cheap on EBAY.
  10. dchunter

    dchunter Member

    I am an IOS user, so Android isn't that important to me.

    One thing I really really need is a mobile Bible app that keeps my notes in sync with the desktop application. I use your software on my desktop, but I use Olive Tree Bible Study on my mobile devices. My notes are scattered between SwordSearcher, Olive Tree, the margin of my Bible, notebooks, church bulletins, etc. I need to consolidate and organize all that somewhere.
  11. wsbones

    wsbones Beta Tester

    It would be nice if app makers allowed their notes to be in a common or exportable format. I use PocketBible by Laridian and also Olivetree, both on ios and android (Kindle version). E-sword has an app for IOS now (fyi). These two sync to their desktop applications but none are as good as Swordsearcher.
  12. Brandon Staggs

    Brandon Staggs Administrator Staff Member

    There have been attempts at creating portable formats for Bible material. None of them have really caught on in the industry, although they have been used to some extent. There are just different needs for different applications. I know that every time I have looked at them, they have been completely inadequate for SwordSearcher's needs to keep SwordSearcher as agile and fast and flexible as I want it to be. Reducing things down to XML sheets or SQL databases or RTF documents just doesn't work for SwordSearcher.

    Anyway, there are certainly people who want to use mobile apps that sync up across platforms. I wonder how much people would be willing to pay for it. Providing that kind of experience is more of a service than it is a product. Maintaining servers for cloud storage of personal notes that is automatically synced or accessible to multiple software points is a very different model than what SwordSearcher is right now. It would require a yearly fee -- would people be interesting in paying for Bible software/apps like they do for Netflix? Something like an annual subscription fee of $99, but no purchase price for the software itself, that kind of thing?
  13. Eric

    Eric Beta Tester

    Probably with the number of users of SwordSearcher and the number that might agree to pay an annual fee, the overall fee would need to be about $99/person. However, I doubt very many would pay that much. I think $25/year would be easy for me and (I hope) many others to justify, and $35/year would be something worth considering. I could see a price of up to say $49.99/year and then some discounts based on how many desktop licenses the subscriber had bought and when, etc. Just thoughts.

    However, at this point my only mobile device is iOS (Apple). But … if SwordSearcher had a mobile app that would sync, I'd be sorely "tempted" to go with it. If a mobile SS app were made for iOS, there is probably no question that I would jump for it. (Whether I'd yield to the Android app's "temptation" is an unknown, since I'm happy with the syncing options I have with iOS right now.)

    Another thought: Is it possible to somehow use Dropbox and make the syncing happen in a web browser so rather than a mobile app one sees a "virtual" SwordSearcher in a browser on his mobile device and can sync his data from his desktop with the server-based version? Again, just thoughts.
  14. Brandon Staggs

    Brandon Staggs Administrator Staff Member

    I don't think I quite understand what you are suggesting. However, anything that requires end-users to juggle multiple services and configure things manually for synchronization is not going to be received well by all but the most tech-savvy users. Regardless, the desktop SwordSearcher module storage method is really good for SwordSearcher as it is now and gives it many advantages that other applications can't provide, but it would not scale down well to a mobile device. Some sort of back-end system that manages the differences would be required regardless.
  15. Eric

    Eric Beta Tester

    My idea was this: a SwordSearcher look-alike (but totally new program) that is based on a server and is accessed via any web browser. Each user registered with the server-based program has his data from his desktop SS sync with his account on that server. Downside: this "pseudo mobile app" would only work when one has internet access, though I suppose something could be done to store basic resources like Bible texts on the actual mobile device.
  16. Ray Luff

    Ray Luff Member

    Similar idea to the LOGOS 5 idea with their mobile browser.
  17. kjvman

    kjvman Member

    I want the full version if possible. I want to use my own notes and commentary.
  18. Brandon Staggs

    Brandon Staggs Administrator Staff Member

    If you want the full version of SwordSearcher on a mobile device your only option (now or ever) is a Windows 8 Tablet PC (running the full Windows 8, not Windows RT). You need one with a digitizer pen (looks like a stylus but is much more really) for the best experience. Even if/when mobile SwordSearcher becomes available it won't be a full SwordSearcher desktop application on mobile. It would be something designed for mobile platform limitations.

    You can already use SwordSearcher on one of the many Windows 8 tablets available on the market. The Surface Pro, Dell Venu 8 Pro, ASUS Vivotab, and others are all good options for running full Windows desktop applications on a tablet. Any tablet running Windows 8 (not Windows RT) will run SwordSearcher. Using SkyDrive you can even sync your user modules between it and a desktop PC by moving your user module to the SkyDrive location and setting it up in SwordSearcher under File, Preferences, Module File Locations.
  19. Blystlund

    Blystlund Member

    I want to say first of all that I appreciate the time that Mr. Staggs is taking to reply to posts on this page of the forum. After reading his posts and responses to each of you, I find it completely obvious that the SwordSearcher team has no intention of developing any version of the software for those of us that use Apple products.

    It is a shame. There is a large number of "tech-savvy" people that choose to use Apple products exclusively, so I don't believe that being tech-savvy is the issue. The target market of SwordSearcher is obviously folks that choose to use a PC instead of a Mac.
    john.a likes this.
  20. Brandon Staggs

    Brandon Staggs Administrator Staff Member

    Just to be clear, the "SwordSearcher team" is just me. There's nobody to assign the work to--which would be at the very least one full year of full-time development work to produce a Mac version.