Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scrolling performance

OK, I guess it's time to start talking about the v2.0 update. Among the new functionality (more on that later), I fix a minor scrolling performance problem that happens under the following scenario:
  • Select book
  • Select chapter 1
  • Scroll right to chapter 2
  • Scroll right to chapter 3
  • Notice that scrolling in chapter 3 is not smooth
The same thing happens if you select the last chapter of a book and then scroll left two times. The fun thing is that from then on, as you scroll through the chapters, every third chapter will have unsmooth scrolling. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out why. ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Douay-Rheims source text

Wanted everyone to know that I have updating the Douay-Rheims text on my to-do list.

My source text has a few errors, but it appears that all the online versions have the same. For example, 2 Machabees 1:10 has "In the year Bone hundred and eighty- eight". It seems someone scanned the text in from a book, with a number of scanner errors, and *everyone* is now using it.

I did find a source that appears to be error free. I'll try to get that out to you soon.

Update 12/10: The source I found isn't the easiest to work with. Does anyone know of an online version of the D-R text that doesn't include the above 2 Machabees error?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Douay-Rheims notes?

I've had a request to include the notes from the Douay-Rheims Bible. My source text has summaries at the beginning of each book and chapter. For example, before Genesis it says:
This book is so called from its treating of the GENERATION, that is, of the creation and beginning of the world. The Hebrews call it BERESITH, from the Word with which it begins. It contains not only the history of Creation of the world; but also an account of its progress during the space of 2369 years, that is, until the death of JOSEPH.
Before Genesis 1 it says:
God createth Heaven and Earth, and all things therein, in six days.
If the person who made the original request is reading this, are these the notes you're interested in? Or is there something else?

If anyone else has an opinion about this, please let me know via a comment or email.

Update 12/10: I am looking to add general notes functionality in the v2.1+ timeframe (next update will be 2.0). I'll look into adding the Douay notes then.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Douay-Rheims in store

The Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible (with deuterocanon) is now in the iTunes App Store.

KJV Titus

I guess we're not out of the woods yet! Titus is missing from the KJV.

I think this all started when I changed my scripts to remove unnecessary hyphens from names in the text. (Bathsheba was "Bath-sheba".) Obviously I need to scrub through the text and make sure all the books make it through.

I'll try to upload a fix tonight. We've had good turnaround lately, so hopefully it will be approved and in the store in a couple days.

Thanks Scott!

Friday, November 14, 2008

KJV Ecclesiastes

The book of Ecclesiastes has gone missing in the KJV! I'll look into the problem and post a fix in the next day or so.

Thanks to Timothy and Robert for reporting the problem.

Update: Found the problem and uploaded it to the store. Should be approved within a week.

Update 11/17: The update that fixes this ( is now available for download from the app store.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

RV Hebreos 1-5

The first 5 chapters of Hebreos in RV (Sagradas Escrituras) mistakenly have the content of the 5 chapters of Santiago. I have fixed this and submitted it to the store. Hopefully the update will be available to you within the week!

Thanks to Carlos for pointing this problem out.

Update 11/16: This update is now available in the store.

Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible

I am preparing a Douay-Rheims version of VerseWise and am looking for a beta tester or two. I'd prefer someone who is already somewhat familiar with the translation. If you'd like to help out, please email me.


Monday, November 10, 2008

1.1.2 released

v1.1.2 is now available in the store for KJV and JPS. RV should be in the store soon (still waiting to be approved). New features in this release include:
No surprises there if you've been following the blog the last couple weeks.

Along with working on new v2 functionality, I'll also be posting a small demo video soon.

Update 11/13: RV is now available in the store.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Font setting

The upcoming update will include a font setting.

Speaking of settings, while we wait for me to add a toolbar to handle all that future functionality percolating in my head (including a Settings pop-up inside the VerseWise app?), I'm adding a direct link in Hints to the page explaining how to reach VerseWise's settings.

Now I know you all know the drill by now, but hopefully it'll mean new folks won't find it as confusing.

The next update should be in the store within the week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Search word completion

Just got search word completion working.

And I'm happy to report the word lookup is mighty quick with no special optimization techniques necessary. (Hooray! Less work for me.) Still have a little to do before it's ready for release.

As you probably already know, searches are not case-sensitive. (This is due to how the underlying SQLite database on the iPhone works. But it's kind of handy regardless.) When I construct a word completion list would you prefer "case correctness" or "no repeats"?

In the above screenshot you'll notice the name "Nathan" is all lowercase. This is because I created the entire dictionary with all words all lowercase. This was to screen out repeats (e.g., "THE", "The" and "the"). Repeats are not good because they waste screen space and selecting any of them will return all of the different versions anyway.

But then we lose the capitalizations of proper names, like Nathan and God.

Still, I'm leaning towards "no repeats" -- what do you think? I could also make the words all uppercase if you prefer that more. Let me know!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Search history

A preview of the search history functionality that will be in the next release. Your last 25 searches will be remembered, unless you delete them individually using the edit functionality.

Next up is search word completion, where starting to type displays a list of valid words that you can select. Anything to save unnecessary typing. :)

With that done, I will move on to 1.2 and fun stuff like view history, bookmarks and perhaps highlighting and notes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

JPS verse truncations

There are some verses in Job, Psalms and Proverbs that have been truncated. (This due to the formatting of the source text I used.) See Psalm 1:1 for an example.

I am working on an update and will get it out to you soon.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

1.1.1 released

v1.1.1 is now available in the store. In this release:
Please leave a comment here if you have any comments about this release or bugs to report.

Jewish Publication Society 1917

VerseWise Bible with the Jewish Publication Society 1917 translation is now available in the iTunes store.

Sagradas Escrituras

The Sagradas Escrituras Version Antigua text has been added to VerseWise Bible RV. You can select between it and Reina-Valera 1909 in Settings.

After originally using RV 1909 I discovered a number of people preferred the earlier 1569 translation. I am happy I was able to accommodate them. For those that prefer the later RV 1960, I have written the publisher but haven't heard back from them as of yet.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Low light mode

Every tried reading from VerseWise in the dark? I'm adding a "low light mode", available from Settings.

Yes, it'd be more convenient to have a quick on/off button for the mode within the app. I'll add that when I add a toolbar.

I hope to have this update in the store within a week.

Icon shine in 2.1

Okay, why didn't anyone tell me that the icon changed when upgrading to OS 2.1?

That shine is not supposed to be there. It'll be fixed in the next update (hopefully in a week or so).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Reina-Valera released

VerseWise Bible with the Spanish Reina-Valera translation is now available in the iTunes store.

A number of people requested the RV 1960; what I am using right now is the public domain RV 1909. If there is enough interest, I could license the RV 1960. But as I've learned in trying to license my first commercial English translation, these things take time. So I am happy to get a Spanish translation out sooner rather than later.

Feel free to email me or post a public comment about this translation or what modern Spanish translation (RV 1960 or ?) you'd like me to offer.

Update: A couple people have contacted me saying that the RV 1602 would be preferable to the 1909 text. What do you think? Is there enough interest in that for me to track it down?

Update 9/25: I'll be updating the RV app with
Sagradas Escrituras 1569 text. I'll leave the RV 1909 in place for those that prefer it, allowing you to select either text in Settings.

Friday, September 12, 2008

1.1 released

v1.1 (with search!) is now available in the store.

My first non-KJV translation is also in the Apple approval pipeline. I submitted it at the same time as the 1.1 update, but new apps may take a little longer to get approved. If all goes well with this second translation, I'll work on getting more of the requested translations out. Along with more functional updates, of course!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

1.1 & Search

If you've been following the 1.0.2 comments you know I've been plugging away on search functionality. Rather than waiting to deliver everything I had in mind, I wanted to get a basic search out to you all as soon as I could.

Well, I got a basic search done, but I'm not happy with the user interface so I'm going to refine it a little more before delivering it. Sorry to make you wait longer, but doing so will forestall a lot of "This is ugly!" emails from you with "I know!" replies from me. :)

That's not to say the functionality will not be refined after its initial release. I'm just delaying the initial release a little more.

I think it'll be worth the wait. Thank you for your patience!

Update 8/29: Almost done! Just need to do some final testing over the weekend. Hopefully it'll be in the store late next week. I'll try to post some screenshots tonight.

Update 8/30: Some screenshots. You'll notice that since I had to create a text preview for the search results, I re-used it for the chapter view. I'd been intending to use that empty space to show each chapter's first verse all along, finally got around to it.

Update 9/2: Working on some memory issues that cause VW to crash after heavy search usage. Thank you to my beta testers whose iPhones seem to be more sensitive to the issue than my iPod! I really want to get this out the door to you guys, but I think it'll be worth the several-day delay to make the app as stable as possible.

Update 9/5: Sound the horns of happiness! 1.1 has been uploaded to the store! Past updates have taken 4 days to be approved by Apple, but those were uploaded on Mondays. We'll see if it takes longer due to the weekend.

Monday, August 11, 2008

1.0.2 coming

A boring 1.0.2 release has been uploaded to the iTunes store. It should be approved in the next couple of days.

Don't feel obligated to download it if you aren't having the Hints pop-up problem. The release adds a setting that lets you turn them off.

Update: Made it into the store on Friday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


There have been several questions about exactly where the VerseWise settings are located. They can be found in the "standard" iPhone/iPod settings area. I put "standard" in quotes because despite Apple recommending developers put most of their settings there, many apps have created their own settings areas. I may have to conform to the crowd eventually. :)

But here are where they're currently located. Exit out of VerseWise:
Look for the Settings icon and select it. It's the gray icon with the gears:
Scroll down the first Settings page, there will be a VerseWise selection towards the bottom.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I've gotten a couple emails (and a bad review in the app store) about the new hint pop-ups in 1.0.1. I had assumed since each hint only appeared once, they wouldn't be obtrusive, but I guess some people disagree. What do you think?

There's the possibility that the hint functionality isn't working for everyone as I intended. Anyone seeing the same hint appear more than once? Do they *never* go away?

Update: I haven't nailed down the exact problem some people are having (and why it's happening only to a few) but enough people are commenting about dismissed pop-ups repeatedly returning, I'll send out an update that allows hints to be turned off in Settings. I hope to get it uploaded by Monday, August 11th. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

v1.0.1 coming

We're beta testing a 1.0.1 release this weekend. I foresee uploading it to the store on Monday. It may take a while for it to actually appear in the store, depending on what the backlog at Apple is.

Along with some minor bug fixes, I've added pop-up hints to point out some of the possibly less intuitive aspects of the app (like swiping left & right to change chapters).

And yes, this is the first step towards new functionality in a 1.1 release. I just felt I had some 1.0 housekeeping to do before moving on to the fun, new stuff. Thank you for your patience.

Update: Uploaded Monday night.
Update: Released to store Friday night.

Friday, July 18, 2008

v1.0 bugs

Here's a list of 1.0 bugs that have been discovered and will be fixed in the next release.
  • Sometimes won't return to proper screen when app is exited/restarted. (Main menu and sometimes Book and Chapter lists.)
  • Defined defaults (such as autorotation and font size) do not take effect until user visits Settings.
  • About and Contact pages can be entered (and viewed) in landscape mode.
  • Hebrews and James should come after Philemon, not after 3 John.
To report a bug, please leave a comment.

If you're having trouble with VW crashing upon launch, this is an OS 2.0 problem. Please read this comment for a work-around.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Please leave a comment here with the Bible translation you'd most like to see.

I've had one vote for Reina-Valera (in Spanish), which definitely looks doable as the 1909 version is in the public domain. Which means no licensing necessary.

I've seen some complaints in the iPhone app store about the modern translations costing too much, some saying they'll wait for the "free" version. Unfortunately, the most modern translations will not be free any time soon. Those of us who want our Bibles installed on our devices locally will have to pay a fee to the publisher.

Now, if you're always connected to the internet and are willing to put up with the slower response, there are some web sites (and corresponding iPhone apps) that offer modern translations for free. Good for them! I'm glad such ministries exist. If anyone wants to underwrite, say, the NIV for VerseWise, contact me and I'll let you know where to send your checks. ;)

Not to say I'm not interested in modern translations. I have contacted some publishers. But when released, these versions of VerseWise will cost more than the King James and Reina-Valera versions, not because that's what *I* want but because that's what the licensing fees + app store overhead require.

Anyone know of good public domain Bible translations in other languages? Drop me a line.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

v1.0 released

VerseWise Bible 1.0 has been released to the App Store. Kudos to the Apple employees working over the weekend approving apps!

The main focus of this release was the reading experience. The ability to read in portrait and landscape mode (and turn it off if you prefer), remembering where you last were when reading in a book, and easy navigation (including skipping chapter selection if you prefer and using side-swipes to go to adjacent chapters) all contribute to this.

If you have any ideas on how the reading experience could be made better, please leave a comment or send me an email.

For example, does anyone *not* like the side-swipe navigation? Would simple arrow buttons (as other apps do it ;) be preferable? I know sometimes the device sometimes misinterprets your swipe and goes horizontal when you meant vertical and vice-verse. It can take some practice getting it right every time. Let me know what you think about this. I could make it a configuration option.

By the way, be sure to check out the configuration options in the VerseWise section of Settings. There are several options you can turn on/off here along with changing the reading font size.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Welcome to VerseWise News! I am your host and the author of VerseWise Bible for the iPhone and iPod touch. Come here for information and discussion about upcoming updates and features.

I'd also like to use this as a feedback forum. Feel free to report problems, ask questions or make suggestions. I have a lot of ideas for future versions of VerseWise but would love to hear yours as well.