For the Love of Gadgets

Is it a bad sign that one of the reasons I’m “still in the game” is my love of gadgets and my investment in Bible software? That’s probably not a good thing. Church attendance for moi for the past two months has been pretty much non-existent but part of me was encouraged to go back after a lovely conversation with an old friend from two years ago. Since my last time in church my iPhone had been reset, which meant that I’d lost my links to the Bible website that I was using on my iPhone, so I needed to find another Bible website. I know, very geeky, but I prefer to have my Bible on my portable device versus carrying around a leather-bound one and have used one on my Treos and then my iPod from Laridian for years. Alas, until Apple lets 3rd party developers put programs on their precious iPhone (often called the “jesus phone” by critics) one is left to going online for ones Bible text. And while there are many online Bible pretty much all of them are designed to run on computers with big screens and no portable devices with little screens. So the highlight of my Sunday search was finding not one but TWO iPhone friendly Bible sights. Is that weird that that was the highlight?

First one that popped up on Google was The iPhone Bible. It has a simple blue theme similar to the one my blogs use when viewed on the iPhone, and clean text-oriented interface. All of this makes it pretty fast to navigate. The main “con” with this site is that the English translation is not one of the biggies (NIV, ASV, etc.) and basically the work of one man, the creator of the site, Israel Anderson. Alas, I’m not so comfortable with an amateur translation and can’t seem to break the grip of the NIV in my life.

The second bible site that seemed to fit the bill was Though no specifically built for the iPhone or small devices the site’s simple search-based home screen works well and they have several translations to choose from (including my beloved NIV). This site’s shortcoming that that after getting to the verses one wants to read, there doesn’t seem to be a simple way to click to the next verses in the passage, if one is reading through a book sequentially. So, the site apparently was designed as a Bible search-engine and not really to mimic an online version of the bible. The speed and simplicity of getting to specific verses seems to overcome other design shortcomings. So for now, has a place on my iPhone’s home screen, at least until Laridian or someone produces an iPhone specific on-phone-app after the iPhone SDK is released later this month. Oh yeah, I did take the 15-minute demo of Laridian’s iphone web-app… love the company, can hardly wait for their “real app” when it comes, but navigation was a bit confusing and I just have a hard time paying a subscription for content that I already paid for. So, I’m willing to put up with these other free sites for the next few months while I wait for a real-app to be made, most likely by Laridian.

So the question is how long can I hang in there because of my love of these silly little devices, while still feeling like an oddball without a real church family or significant other… I don’t know. But that’s the ongoing question. JBB

Music: Webnation Episode 6 from the album “Webnation w/ Amber Mac” by CityNews

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