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Godspeed eBible Review


The Hardware | The Software | A Comparison and Final Thoughts

The Software

eBible Software:

  • Bible Toolbox
  • Prayer
  • Devotional
  • QuickView
  • Memorize
  • Bible WOF
  • HiebookReader
  • Schedule
  • Address
  • Music
  • Recorder
  • Calculator
  • TextMemo
  • DrawMemo
  • System

Godspeed Computing has a nice user manual for the eBible. The HTML version can be viewed here or the Windows Help file can be downloaded here.

Application Launcher / Desktop

The Application Launcher or Desktop is where all the programs are listed. Godspeed's applications are listed at the top, then the rest below. There doesn't seem to be a particular order to the list. Perhaps they are listed by which applications Godspeed thinks the user will use the most. In any case, I can't change the order to suit my use. While I'm in another program, I can use the System Menu to launch a different program. To get back to the Launcher, I can select 'Quit' under File on the menu bar in whatever program I'm in.


Personal Information Manager (PIM) Software

As mentioned before, the eBible is an ebook reader. While it does have some PDA programs, they are very basic. The address book program, Address, is acceptable, nothing fancy. It sorts entries by the first letter in the Name field so to order contacts by last name, enter the last name first. The calendar program, Schedule, on the other hand, is very poor. It has two views, a month view and day view. The month view is ok. If an event is scheduled for a day, one icon appears in that day. Tapping on the day will display the event(s) below. If a to do is on a day, a line with arrows appears at the bottom of the day. But ToDos can only be created and viewed in the month view. The day view layout is terrible. It lists every half hour block from 12:00 am to 11:30 pm. Events times can only be changed by the arrows and can only be scheduled on the half hour. DrawMemo is a draw program with 10 'sheets' for free hand drawing on the screen. TextMemo is a basic memo program and Calculator is obviously a calculator.


Bible Toolbox

Bible Toolbox is Godspeed's Bible software. Navigating it is fairly easy. Tapping on the reference at the bottom of the screen brings up the 'Verse Chooser'. There I can tap on the book, chapter, and verse I wish to go to. I found in navigating to different passages, some times the Bible Toolbox would display the second half of the chosen verse at the top of the screen requiring me to scroll up to view the first half. Other times, Bible Toolbox would display the verse in the middle or lower part of the screen instead of at the top. And still other times, the verse would be correctly displayed at the top of the screen. I haven't been able to figure out why it does one or the other, but it makes viewing a verse a little more challenging.


The find feature for the Bible Toolbox can search for any or all words and find exact phrases (the updated version correctly finds exact matches). Although there is an option to search for 'similar' words, I'm not sure how it works. I thought it meant that searching for 'love' would find love, loved, loves, etc. But the search only found the exact match of love. The Help says, "The Similar searches for words that 'sound like' the keyword" but I couldn't find any difference between the 'Exact' and 'Similar' search results on 10 different words. The range of the search can be limited by selecting specific books. Books can be selected one at a time or whole sections can be selected, i.e. Gospels, Epistles, Major Prophets.

Tapping on the bookmark icon at the top of the screen brings up the Bookmark List. There I can go to a bookmarked verse and edit or delete bookmarks. To add a bookmark, tap on a word in the verse to display the pop-up menu and select the Bookmark option. Bookmarks can be displayed by category and allow for notes to be added to them. A bookmarked verse can be underlined or highlighted.

I can change the size of the font to Small, Middle, or Large. The screenshots show the middle font.

The King James Version comes on the eBible, but there are other translations. The New American Standard, the Message, the New Living Translation, Holman Christian Standard, and Contemporary English Version are also available each costing between $13.95 and $29.95. There are three foreign language Bible listed at eBibleCentral.com, the Louis Segond (French), the 1909 Spanish Reina-Valera, and La Bibbia (Italian). Unfortunately there is no way to tell which translation is currently selected without going to the 'Bible' menu.


There are quite a number of commentaries available. Although they all are in public domain, Godspeed charges $2.95 to $4.95 for each one. I assume it's to cover the cost of converting them to Bible Toolbox's format. To access the study tools, tapping on a word will bring up the pop-up menu where 'Commentary' or ' Topics' can be selected.

The Bible Toolbox can display two Bibles at the same time. In the 'Resource Window' where commentaries and dictionaries are display, Bibles can be selected and a second translation can be picked. When scrolling two translations, they generally stay in sync, but the second translation can jump around a little.


Bible Toolbox also features a schedule for reading the Bible. I can create a schedule for any range of books I want to read, set how long I want to read for or how many weeks or sessions, select the days I want to read, and even how many verses per time. It will track how many sessions I've read through out the schedule. I like how flexible it is.


Prayer

The Prayer application provides a list that can be used to track and categorize prayer requests. There are three 'Flags' for each request, Priority, Prayed For, and Answered. For Priority, I can select Highest, High, Normal, Low, and Lowest. Highest and High are denoted with two carets and one caret. Although Normal, Low, and Lowest don't display any icon. A nice feature is ability to add 'Follow up' prayer requests and then view the requests in a hierarchical list which groups follow up requests with the original request. Although that list doesn't display the Flags like the Summary view does.


Devotional

The Devotional application displays a devotional for each day. It's not customizable like the reading schedule in Bible Toolbox, rather each calendar day has one devotional. Currently only Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening are available.


QuickView

QuickView allows me to view a Bible passage without closing the current application. The emOS doesn't actually multitask, it simply displays the window over the current application. I can't access the application I was in until I close the QuickView window. After selecting the reference, QuickView displays the verse I choose and the next 3 verses. I can change the translation I'm looking at or tap on 'More' to view the verse in Bible Toolbox. Although there is a pop up menu that looks like I could select previously viewed passages, it only displays the current passage. To view a different verse, I have to close QuickView and launch it again.


Memorize

I can add a verse to Memorize so I can the review the verse (it displays the verse in QuickView) or test my memory by having to enter the first letter of each word. It is a nice tool to practice memory verses. The downside to Memorize is it allows only one verse to be added at a time. I believe the limitation comes from the fact that Memorize actually uses Bible Toolbox's bookmarks. This is nice in that when I add a bookmark in Bible Toolbox, that same verse will be in Memorize and vice versa. But the limitation of only one verse is problematic since many of the passages I have memorize is two or more verses. To review the whole passage I have to add a bookmark for each verse. Although it's cumbersome, using bookmark categories could help a little.


Bible WOF

Bible WOF is Wheel of Fortune with puzzles from the Bible. The game always has 3 players and there is no way to end the game by displaying the puzzle without actually solving it.

HiebookReader

There are four tools in in hiebookReader, Select, Select Word, Draw, and Erase. I can change tools by the icon at the top of the screen. Select allows me to navigate the book by tapping on the screen as well as displaying the pop up menu containing Find and Bookmark. Select Word is the same as Select but it only selects entire words. Draw allows me to draw on the screen. It uses the DrawMemos program to store the handwritten notes. And of course, Erase allows me to erase those handwritten notes.

There are a few options to navigate books. First I can use the up and down scroll buttons or I can tap on the right or left side of the screen using the 'Select' or 'Select Word' tools. Second, I can jump to a particular page using the slide at the bottom of the screen.

The Find feature will find the next occurrence of the selected word or words in the ebook. It doesn't display a list of search results, only the next occurrence. And searching for more than one word searches for the exact match of the words.

The bookmark feature will bookmark a word or words by highlighting them and selecting "Bookmark' from the pop up menu. I can choose to have the bookmarked word(s) by highlighted or underlined. I can also add some comments to each bookmark. To get to a bookmark, I can use the bookmark icon at the top of the screen to select the bookmark.

The one thing I think is missing from hiebookReader is links. It is very nice to look at the table of contents and tap on a chapter to jump directly to that chapter.

hiebookReader is also available for Windows. It allows me to read any hiebookReader ebook on my computer as well as the eBible. I can also create hiebookReader ebooks by using HiBuilder. Using HiBuilder is straight forward. Select the source file or files and the cover image, choose basic layout options (line spacing, margins, etc.), and click on 'Build eBook'. The ebook is ready to be read on the hiebookReader for Windows or the eBible.

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The Hardware | The Software | A Comparison and Final Thoughts

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