Bible Study with Accordance

One of my favorite things that was released yesterday had nothing to do with Mountain Lion, iOS 6, or even WWDC. Monday night, Oak Tree Software released their biggest update yet to Accordance [1], their universal Bible study app for iOS.

In my quest for trying to find the perfect Bible app for my iPhone and iPad, Accordance is what I keep coming back to. That being said, Accordance was (and frankly, still is) far from perfect.

Feature wise, Accordance has everything I want. They have a massive library of different translations and reference materials. Once you buy the content, it is available on your iPhone, iPad, & your Mac [2].

The two areas that I have had issues with Accordance for iOS in the past both had to do with the visual interface and the usability. I considered both the usability and the visual look of the past versions to be pretty bad. So bad, that I have often thought about writing my own Bible app that would fix these UX and UI problems. The main reason that I have never started this project is I know that I would not be able to even come close to the feature set of Accordance without many years of work.

Luckily, Oak Tree made some major improvements with the latest release that addressed a lot of the problems that I had in the past version. Visually, the app is much better than it was before.

They removed the default black toolbar (which I have never really liked in any app) and replaced it with a much better looking custom black textured toolbar. They introduced a full screen reading option that gets rid of all the chrome and just shows the text [3].

The user interaction has also improved quite a bit. They added a quick way to return to reading after performing a search. This was desperately needed before.

I still think there is a long way to go before Accordance is the perfect Bible app that I am looking for (the module management and presentation needs a complete overhaul), but it solidified itself as the best app for people who want a Bible app that does anything more than basic reading. I am slowly losing the desire to write my own Bible app as this one improves.

I hope the trend of constant development and improvement continues.

  1. They actually changed the name from “Accordance” to “Bible Study With Accordance”. Not sure why they did that. To me, Accordance was the perfect name for a Bible study app; so that is what I will continue to call it.  ↩
  2. There are a few modules that are Mac only, but most will work across all their platforms.  ↩
  3. As excited as I was about this feature, it is still not perfect. When in full screen, there is still a black bar where the status bar would be. I hope they change this so that full screen is truly full screen. Still a major improvement though.  ↩