Olivetree Biblereader for Mac version 5.0.2 is available on Apple’s App Store. The system requirements are as follows:
Mac OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
First, let me say that I absolutely love the iPhone version of the Biblereader+ and have been using Biblereader+ starting with PalmOS, migrating over to Windows Mobile 2003, and the eventually moving to the iPhone. The reader has always been solid on mobile platforms, and some would argue that they are the leader in mobile Bible viewers. So needless to say I was very excited to learn that they had finally gone over to making a Bible reader for a Desktop / Laptop operating system. I was also slightly disappointed to learn it was only available for Lion! Fortunately for Apple, I just had to try it out for myself, so I’ve upgraded to Lion last night for the sole purpose of getting Olivetree’s Biblereader for Mac. It is easy to install, just go to the Mac Store and download / install Biblereader. My initial reactions are very positive. Accordance Bible could learn a thing or two about interface design from Olivetree.
The left hand side of the screen is taken up by a quick access list which displays recently viewed Bibles, or all Bibles depending on the configuration you’ve set up. The bibles can be downloaded to your App with the built in downloader. If you’ve been a user of the free mobile Biblereader then the interface of the Mac edition will come naturally to you as the design seems to have been imported from the iPhone version of their App. For instance, on the left is a screenshot of the famous verse chooser that they’ve been using for quite some time on the iPhone (and I assume the droid as well). In three clicks you’re taken to the exact verse you want to read in whatever Bible you happen to have open at the time. This is the easiest bible browser I’ve come accross on the mobile platform and is infanately more useable than flipping through a long list in sequential order. By clicking on a verse number it allows you to enter a comment on that verse which you may then sync with Olivetree’s cloud service to allow syncing between your laptop and mobile phone device.
By highlighting a portion of text, you will see a plus sign pop up. Click on that plus sign to open up the menu shown on the right which allows you to enter a note on that portion of selected text, highlight that text in a color or bookmark that text. The whole look and feel of it seems polished. By clicking the little arrow icon as shown on the left, you will expand the currently selected window into it’s own window. Also, to add bookmarks is a simple as clicking the ribbon in the top left hand corner of the bible or book you are in. See the picture on the right for a screenshot of what the ribbon looks like. Olivetree should be commended on the work they have accomplished with BibleReader Mac. Now the one place they don’t excel is in speed of searching. Now with Accordance (My choice for gold standard in search speed) searching is near instantaneous. So quick it is impossible to time with a stop watch, however with Biblereader there is a definite lag. You can literally count one thousand one… one thousand two before the hits appear. Now as to how they are displayed, it is easy to tell that they are porting this over from iOS devices. The search results pane are very similar to what you’d expect to see on a mobile phone App. The other interesting thing about it is all the books you’ve purchased for the mobile reader can be downloaded for free on the Mac version. Olivetree also has some competitive pricing on their texts. A lot more competitive than Accordance which seems to want to break the bank even when buying public domain texts! All-in-all I’d give this App solid marks in just about every category.