08 June 2011

Going Mobile

My PDA died the week before Christmas.

I've been looking at PDAs to put on my wishlist:

Operating system:
  • Windows Mobile;
  • iPhone/iPod Touch;
  • Android;
  • Blackberry;
  • PalmOS;
  • Symbian;
  • Linux;
  • If Pocket e-Sword was still supported, Windows Mobile would be the logical choice for me.
  • Android & iPhone/iPod are fighting it out for first place in the mobile device market.
  • Windows Mobile is successfully fighting for last place, in its quest to being dropped by everybody.

A11Y:
Code Factory/Mobile Speak:
  • Windows Mobile;
  • Symbian;
  • Blackberry;
Other Screen Readers:
  • Symbian: Nuance Talks;
  • iPhone: VoiceOver is built in.
Speech Recognition:
iPhone: Voice Command is built in.
None of the available PDAs can be remotely described as meeting a11y criteria.



Bible Study Software:
Laridian:
  • Palm OS: MyBible 5.0;
  • Windows Mobile: Pocket Bible 4.0;
  • iPod: PocketBible for the iPod;
  • iPhone/iPod Touch: Pocket Bible &  Prayer Partner;
  • Blackberry:  Noah Bible Study Viewer;
  • Windows: Pocket Bible for Windows;
Bookbuilder:  This enables one to create their own original content for Laridian Bible Study Software.
They also offer tools that enable one to synchronize between devices.
Olive Tree:
  • iPhone/iPod Touch: BibleReader 4;
  • Android: BibleReader 4;
  • Blackberry: BibleReader 4;
  • Symbian: Bible Reader 4;
  • Palm OS:  Bible Reader;
  • Palm Pre:  Bible Reader for Palm Pre;
  • Windows Mobile: Bible Reader;
Specifications for Olive Tree Markup Language were publicly released, to enable users to create their own resources.  However, I can't find anything on their website, or on The Way Back Machine, that describes any tools that enable users to create their own resources.
The Sword Project:
  • Windows: The Sword Project for Windows;
  • Linux: BibleTime;
  • Macintosh: MacSword;
  • iPhone/iPod Touch:  PocketPhone;
  • Java: Alkitab Bible Study 2.4.1;
  • Java Micro: Go Bible Reader;
  • Android: Current workaround is build GoBible from source, using GetAPK; (There is a  better solution in the works.)
  • Windows Mobile: SwordReader;
  • QTopica: The QTopica Sword Reader;
  • Nokia Tablets: Rapier;
  • Opie: Dagger;
  • They have a recommendation for the Palm OS: PalmBible+
Tools to create resources are available. Most of thse programs are distributed under the GNU GPL 2.0 license.
This has the most extensive cross-platform support.

Other:
As best as I can determine, all of the other players (in the mobile device market) confine themselves to a single platform --- usually the iPhone/iPod Touch.

http://rabblerule.blogspot.com/2010/01/iphone-bible-app-comparison.html is comparison of the major Bible Study Programs for the iPhone.  (Note: The creator was on the team that developed Logos Bible Software for iPhone.)
As best as I can determine, Olive Tree and Laridian are the only organizations that _might_ be actively developing their Windows Mobile Bible Study Software. The Sword Project put their offering into "support/bug fixes only" mode a month or so ago. All of the other organizations appear to have dropped both development, and support of their Bible Study Software.

Navigation features:
Ideally, it would have:
  • GPS;
  • Accelerometer;
  • Compass;
  • Altitude;
I think that these are all chips within the device.
I'd also like:
  • Geocaching;
  • WayTracking;
  • Pre inputted way points;
These are a function of the software that is available for the device. Assuming the SDK is available, this can be written after acquisition, if not available prior to doing so.

eBook  reading:
  • PDF: Viewers available for iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows, Linux, Mac, etc;
  • ePub: Readers available for iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows, Linux, and Mac;
  • mobi: Readers available for Palm, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian, Windows, Linux, and Mac Platforms;
Those are all the formats that my current eBook collection use.
Android is the missing platform here.

Audio, Image, and Video display:
I'm going to assume that any media player on a PDA can support mp3, mp4, ogg, wav, midi, avi, png, gif, and JPG.

Phone Carriers:
I like my current cell phone, so anything I'd get, would be without signing a contract.  Even if I didn't like my current cell phone, I could not agree to the obnoxious clauses in the contracts the cell companies are currently pushing.  I'd rather use Skype thru WiFi.

And in synopsis:
  • Symbian sells handsets;
  • Apple sells web visitors;
  • Android sells excitement;
I haven't yet seen a netbook that included the navigation requirements I listed above. That would make the quest for a PDA irrelevant to me.

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This was originally posted to my blog at e-Sword-users.org on 19 January 2010.
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