iPad Experience: The Bible is alive on the most modern tablet

The Apple iPad is the latest table device and unlike the stone tablets of Moses this one can present you with updated content instantly. Bible study and reading can be an amazing experience on the iPad and a couple of apps are already available.

Special Report: Apple iPad

Happy Easter everyone. This is one of my favorite holidays because of the religious significance of it and what it means to my life personally. I plan to take my new Apple iPad to show to the family tomorrow and am very interested in seeing their reactions to it, especially that of my mother-in-law who has been asking me for a computer for a couple years. My friend Dan Cohen, from Gear Diary, and I were talking a couple of months ago and after that one of my motivations for buying an iPad was to enhance my daily Bible reading and study experience. I have the Bible loaded on my smartphones and the software I use is quite good with the only real issue being the size of the display and now the iPad brings something bigger. I doubt Moses ever dreamed he would see tablets like the iPad, but I believe this new device can offer a compelling Bible reading and study experience so check out a couple applications available now and pack your iPad electronic tablet to church this Easter morning. I started a new image gallery for my iPad Experiences Series with several screenshots of these two Bible applications.

Image Gallery:There are currently a couple Bible applications optimized for the Apple iPad.
Image Gallery: Bible HD in low light mode
Image Gallery: Logos Bible menus

I have a few Bible applications that I regularly use on my smartphones, including Mantis Bible Study, Olive Tree Bible Reader, and Laridian PocketBible. Unfortunately, none of these three are yet available in the App Store as iPad-optimized applications (Olive Tree is in beta and should be available very soon). Thus, I had to find other choices that could serve my reading and study needs and a couple that stood out to me were LifeChurch.tv's Bible HD and Logos Bible Software.

LifeChurch.tv Bible HD

If you are reading this blog, then I imagine you are rather Internet savvy and thus you may have heard of LifeChurch.tv. LifeChurch.tv is an online church that shares messages through satellite broadcasts and other means. They have one of the first iPad-optimized applications in Bible HD.

After launching Bible HD you will find the Bible in 41 available translations and 22 languages. Translations include NIV, ESV, KJV, NLT, HCSB, and many more. Translations are available in both online and offline formats so some are capable of being used when you have no connection on your iPad. Most of the English language translations are available only in online mode, but the selection is pretty good.

You will find Bible HD is heavily focused on bringing you the content without too many extra features and functions. Tapping the center title bar brings up a book selector so you can easily jump to books of the Bible and then to specific chapters and verses. Scrolling your finger up and down the display scrolls up and down within the selected chapter. Tapping on the right or left side takes you forward or back a chapter at a time. Tapping on a verse brings up a pop-up to email the verse or bookmark it.

Within the settings you can choose from five different font sizes, choose the search preview size, toggle low light mode (change from black letters on white background to white letters on black background), and choose to receive updates. The application works in both landscape and portrait and works smoothly.

Text in Bible HD is presented in a very readable manner and I do like the simple low light toggle. You get access to several translations for free with a wireless connection and some are available offline too.

Logos Bible Software

Logos Bible Software is very well known for their PC and Mac Bible software and last year they launched an iPhone client. They are one of the first to get their iPad client through the Apple process and if you are looking for an application focused on Bible study while giving you access to over 3,500 titles (you must have purchased many titles and have them associated with your account) then this is the client to try out. Their library is quite impressive and you should be able to find everything you need in Logos. Some titles are available for offline usage as well.

Looking at the interface of Logos you will find a bottom toolbar with icons for home, library, search, read, passage guide, Bible word study, text comparison, and more. Once you select a translation to read then you will see it fill the entire display. Tapping once on the display brings up top and bottom toolbars. Looking at the top you can see the name of the book and chapter, a verse button to quickly jump to a version and a favorites button. Below this you will find a slider bar that you can grab and quickly move right and left to fly through the Bible. On the bottom you will find an open translation selector for easy toggling between different translations with the other icons at the bottom. To turn pages you slide your finger right or left. If you slide up then a pop-up will appear with choices for passage guide, text comparison, search for citations, add to favorites, and share (via email, Twitter, or Facebook). Double tapping on a verse opens up cross references, if applicable. Tapping and holding searches for that word and gives you the option to jump to the Bible word study.

While there is a ton of content and some great Bible study tools, there are very few settings in Logos. Tapping More>Settings brings you to a page where you can sign into Logos, Facebook, and Twitter. There is also a font size slider (similar to the navigation slider) so you can select from a large number of font sizes.

What am I using?

I started using Bible HD, but after finding Logos I have been using it a bit more due to the format being a bit more to my liking. I appreciate both of these applications and seeing them so soon on the iPad, but I am still looking forward to the three title I mentioned above working on the iPad. I have seen the beta version of Olive Tree Bible Reader and that looks like it will be very compelling. It is wonderful to see all of these Bible reading and study applications launching on the iPad and I honestly think that having a larger display will help me with Bible study on the go.

Do you have another favorite that you found on the iPad? I am always willing to try out new solutions since we all have different likes and dislikes and I don't want to shut out any application without at least trying it.