Bible software for the Android platform


I currently use Android on two different platforms, my HTC Touch Pro cell phone using the XDAndroid 2.1 Test Platform and my Eken M001 tablet using Android 1.6.
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(As an aside, I do NOT recommend the tablet above to anyone who is not a tech hobbist. It requires a firmware upgrade to a non-official version to be truely useful. I think good Android tablets will be coming out late this year, but the ones available right now just aren’t there yet.)

First off, You can always pick up a e-book program like Kindle for Android to read and keep your bibles, devotionals, and such there, but your choices of books may be lacking and they are not linked together in any manner… If you just want a bible reader, this is probably the route you want to go.

When using a cell phone, you will have smaller screen, but will probably always have a data connection. So far, I have found the YouVersion app the best for online bible reading on cell phones. It has many versions available online for free you would have to buy if you kept them local. It only does bibles though. Biblia offers you a subset of your Logos collection, but I found the browser in Android did not always work correctly. (I tried both the built in browser and Opera Mini 5.) The older mobile bible site for Logos worked ok, but YouVersion offered a better selection of Bibles. If Biblia starts working with the Android browser correctly, it will probably be the best choice for a tablet.

YouVersion – Web – http://www.youversion.com/ (Special App available via Android Market)
Biblia – Web – http://biblia.com/ (Also see http://bible.logos.com)

For offline reading, I thought Olivetree would be the hands down winner. It is a mature company in the fourth generation of product. I was wrong. It’s almost like they took a step backward. The GUI is completely gone, leaving only hyperlinks embeded in the text (if the text has any that is) or manually switching via several clicks to another resource. This makes for a nicer reading environment on the phone, but limits the usefullness of having other materials. It’s espically frustrating on the table where there is room for a splitscreen. I was also unhappy none of my Olivetree 3.x books work with the 4.x engine. It seems I will have to pay to have my books upgraded. This is still a developing product, so features could be added anytime, but right now it just feels incomplete…

CadreBible reminds me a lot of Olivetree, they both have simular resources (though Olivetree has more) and features. But it has a special mode that lets you choose several books, and show the same verses in parallel on a scrollable page. I actually found to be nicer that a splitscreen, especially when dealing with commentaries. And it makes it much more usable on a phone screen. CadreBible also links to Evernote. This will be my choice offline software for now…

Olivetree – Local – Android Market
CadreBible – Local – Android Market

Overall, the Android choices are still immature. I would hesitate to commit to any platform yet, but to keep checking the different packages for updates, and be looking for new packages as we see greater Android adoption.

God Bless,

John