A relative newcomer to the
Palm OS Bible software world, BWY has quickly become popular.
It sports some interesting features, especially in the companion
Concordance With You search capabilities. I tested BWY with
the King James Version (KJV) with embedded Strong's numbers
($11.50), the corresponding Concordance With You ($18), the
Hebrew/Greek Theological Dictionary ($4.50), and John Gill's
Exposition of the Bible ($19.75). Net price of this package
is $53.75, and available to try as shareware.
The reader itself is pretty simple. I pictured
above the KJV with Strong’s numbers embedded. The numbers
can be collapsed to just brackets to improve readability.
Bible versions can be selected by tapping on the current
version name on the top line. Books, chapters, and verses
can be changed in the same way. Alternately, books can be
changed by writing the name in graffiti, and BWY will provide
progressive matches to select until the ambiguity resolves.
Chapters and verses can be changed by writing numbers with
graffiti as well. Databases can be anywhere on the PDA, and
BWY will search for them--a very nice feature. BWY has a
comparison mode where you can open a split window with a
Bible in each one.
Only Bibles can be placed in this window,
not commentaries. This new version fully support s Palm's
DIA functionality as well as Palm's 5-way navigator.
BWY now support s commentaries. The commentary
icons (B, C, V) appear next to the book, chapter, and verse
to indicate a jump to the comments on that part of the text.
If a particular commentary doesn't have a dedicated comment
on, say, the chapter, that icon will not appear in BWY while
in that chapter of the text. Tapping on a commentary icon
brings the commentary up in full screen. Hot links are support
ed to included Bible verse citations. The back/forward arrows,
similar to a desktop browser, come embedded in the command
stroke window. This all works very smoothly while studying.
John Gill's Exposition came in rich text formatting, and
contained original language excerpts like the original Exposition—very
nicely executed. A commentary may be exited back to the Bible
using an icon at the top of the screen.
GMP added reading enhancements to this
new version. The user can autoscroll through a text at the
speed of his/her choosing. The speed may be varied with the
page up/down buttons during reading, although I couldn't
get this to work on the T3 (it just kicked me out of read
mode). Ribbons have been introduced to temporarily mark a
place where one stopped reading, and you can have an infinite
number of them. Their implementation is specific to the reader
BWY support s cross-references, which come
in separate downloads. The new implementation makes the cross-references
work across Bible versions. That could save you some bucks
if you own multiple versions.
Oddly, Bible With You has no built-in search
capability. The user must purchase a separate program, Concordance
With You, that corresponds to the Bible translation to be
able to search. If you own multiple translations, though,
you do not need a separate CWY license for each. Still, I
don't care for this approach. I feel that you shouldn't have
to pay extra for a basic capability, and I believe that searching
meets that criteria. That said, CWY sports powerful, flexible,
and extremely fast searches (except in one unique case).
All settings are though the menu, which is a bit awkward,
but you can set the translation to search and the search
range. The user selects the search range using checkboxes
on a grouped book list--a unique approach in this roundup.
One cannot limit the range within a book. The user can jump
back and forth between the Bible and concordance via icons
on the top bar once they access the concordance the first
time in a session.
CWY support s complex Boolean searches
like either/or, AND, OR, exclude, and wildcards. Searches
can be as simple or complex as the user can imagine. CWY
even offers a screen to construct expressions. It will also
search on Strong numbers if the translation support s them.
Uniquely, it will search on both the Strong number and a
particular translation of that original language word. For
example, you may want to search for all the times the Hebrew ‘Almah',
Strong # H5959, is translated as “virgin”. Only
CWY gives you the ability to search in this manner. CWY proved
uniquely able to search on the phrase “Lord, Lord” in
this review. Apparently the repeat word tripped up the other
apps. Although CWY found the verse, the filtering to find
the phrase in the New Testament took over 10 seconds. That
was the only search that took that much time, probably due
to the repeat construction. Other phrase searches, even complex
ones, finished virtually instantly. Unlike the other apps
reviewed, CWY requires the use of quotes in constructing
complex phrase searches. In fact, that's the only way I found
to get case-sensitivity in a search as it's not an available
Another strong card in BWY's deck has to
be the Hebrew/Greek Theological Dictionary and its implementation.
Much more expansive than Strong's brief comments, it includes
an excellent discussion of each word and its use, as well
as its various translations in the KJV. Just tap on a Strong's
number, and a pop-up window appears with the definition.
This approach maximizes the screen use for long definitions.
I found this dictionary to be very good, and I like the implementation.
GMPSoft offers a large and expanding number
of translations in English, Spanish, and German, including
Luther's German version. Study materials available include
commentaries and cross-references, and the list expands all
the time. BWY does natively support small fonts, and as I
mentioned earlier, the DIA on the T3. Customer support from
GMPSoftware stands as nothing less than outstanding. They
steadfastly stand behind their products and listen carefully
to their customers.
Very powerful rapid searching in
Outstanding Hebrew/Greek dictionary
Split window for version comparisons
Several good commentaries available w/rich text formatting and original language
Simple to use
No native search capability in Bible reader - pay $18 extra for it (but
KJV with Strong's