iPad for Bible Study: Bible Apps Part 2

iPad for Bible StudyThere have been some significant additions to the list of Bible apps for iPad since the last time we looked at this topic.  Today, we add two new contenders and one major upgrade to an existing app.

As with our original list of Bible apps, all of the following apps are free (with optional add-ons available for purchase).

OliveTree BibleReader 5OliveTree BibleReader 5

Within days of publishing the original list of noteworthy Bible apps, OliveTree released the next major version of their stellar BibleReader app, version 5.  BibleReader has always been  a top tier mobile Bible study app, but, with the release of version 5, BibleReader becomes the unquestioned leader of the pack.  If you only have one Bible study app, this is the one to have.

BibleReader 5 sports a completely redesigned interface with scores of possible configurations to suit your tastes and needs.  It’s new features include:

  • The Resource Guide, which is the most significant enhancement, enables you to quickly find related resources in your library, including cross-references, commentaries, tags, personal notes, and even images, charts, and maps on the active passage.
  • Backup and sync all of your notes, highlights, bookmarks, tags, and ribbons by signing up for a free account at sync.olivetree.com.
  • Now you can add notes and highlights to words and phrases.  (Previously, you could only annotate the entire verse.)
  • Notes have been greatly improved.
  • Advanced search features allow you to use customized ranges, search operators, and more.
  • BibleReader does not require an internet connection to function (except for online features, such as syncing and purchasing modules).

As in previous versions, you still have Greek and Hebrew resources, split-screen reading, daily reading plans, and many other features.  Additional resources (both free and premium modules) can be downloaded from within the app.  Check out OliveTree’s Learning Center for useful video tutorials and demonstrations.

Accordance for iOSAccordance

Accordance rules the Bible study market for Mac OS, and now they’ve entered the iOS arena with a universal app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.  It was well worth the wait.  The free Accordance for iOS app joins OliveTree BibleReader (above) and Logos in the top tier of Bible study apps for iPad with features such as:

  • English Standard Version (ESV) Bible with Strong’s numbers, notes, and cross references
  • World English Bible (WEB) with notes
  • Greek and Hebrew resources
  • Powerful searching capabilities
  • Photos (includes a free Bible Lands PhotoGuide Sampler)
  • Elegant and minimalistic interface, which makes good use of the precious screen real estate on mobile devices
  • Split-screen reading
  • No internet connection is required

If you register for a free account at http://www.accordancebible.com, you can download a free Starter Collection for your Accordance iPad app, which includes several additional Bible translations, commentaries, dictionaries, a map sampler, and more.

Additional resources can be purchased at http://www.accordancebible.com/products/index.php and downloaded within the app.  If you use Accordance for Mac, you can download books that you already own to your iPad without having to purchase them again.  (The ability to synchronize modules and notes between your iOS devices and Mac will be included in version 1.2, slated to be released April 2011.)


Glo is an interactive Bible, touted as “the digital Bible for the digital age.”  It is visually stunning with a glorious interface.  Glo is exactly the kind of app for which the iPad was designed — rich in media with natural, zoomable navigation.

Glo for iPad is a pared-down version of the PC / Mac software.  Glo is available for free on all platforms (Glo Lite), and there is an optional paid upgrade with additional features and resources (Glo Premium).  The purchase of one upgrade grants you access to all Glo Premium features on up to 5 devices, any combination of PC, Mac, iPad, and iPhone (coming soon).  Glo Premium can be purchased in the Glo Store or as an in-app upgrade (special launch price as of April 14, 2011).

UPDATE (8/17/2011): Glo for iOS now includes an Atlas lens.

The free Glo Lite for iPad includes:

  • New International Version (NIV)
  • King James Version (KJV)
  • Media samples (see below for details)
  • Add your own notes, bookmarks, and verse highlights
  • Searching capabilities for Scripture and media

The Glo Premium for iPad upgrade includes the aforementioned features plus:

  • NIV Study Notes
  • English Standard Version (ESV)
  • The Message Bible
  • Access to all media (see below for details)
  • New content and Bible translations as they are added

Media that is currently available includes:

  • More than 2300 high resolution photos
  • More than 650 works of art
  • More than 450 virtual tours
  • More than 140 maps
  • 3.5 hour interactive video documentary:  In His Shoes
  • Web videos
  • Web articles

Although the Bible text and annotation features are available off-line, you will need an internet connection to access the media (photos, videos, maps, etc).

Glo uses a unique set of “lenses” to filter content.  Glo for iPad includes a Bible lens and a Media lens.  (Glo for PC and Mac also have powerful Atlas, Timeline, and Topical lenses.)  To understand how the lenses work, watch these explanatory videos.

Glo is superbly designed, and, for the casual Bible student, it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience.  Unfortunately, Glo does not include dictionaries or other word study features, such as Greek and Hebrew resources.  The commentary is limited to the NIV Study Notes and media articles (both available for Glo Premium users).  Bible students who wish to go deeper will find that they must use other tools to satisfy their hunger, such as the BibleReader and Accordance apps described above.

Other articles in this series:

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3 Responses to “iPad for Bible Study: Bible Apps Part 2”

  1. Ebuka oraedu November 29, 2011

    Very good

  2. Do you think you’ll do a follow-up article in 2012? A lot can happen in a year in the tablet space.

  3. Hi, Michael! I do have a list I’m putting together for a follow up article. :)

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