New Tablet on the Block
Amazon shook the mobile computing world last week with the announcement of their new line of handheld devices, including the brand new Kindle Fire, the company’s first tablet computer and, perhaps, the first real competitor to Apple’s market-dominating iPad.
A slew of tablets have come and gone. The iPad remains relatively unchallenged. So, what makes the Kindle Fire different from any of its failed predecessors? Well, primarily, it’s price point. The Kindle Fire sells for $199, which is a far cry from the starting price of $499 for an iPad. Although it won’t officially release until November 15, 2011, you can pre-order one now.
While the Kindle Fire will compete for a similar audience with the iPad, they aren’t quite on the same level. The iPad may cost more, but it is also more feature-rich and boasts a larger screen (9.5” compared to the Kindle Fire’s 7”). Nevertheless, for many folks who want to venture into the tablet world in this financially-challenged atmosphere, a $300+ savings holds a significant allure, and the Kindle Fire will meet the “needs” of most casual users.
Here’s an Amazon commercial touting the new Kindle Fire:
Bible Study Apps for Kindle Fire
Why are we discussing Amazon’s Kindle Fire? Because it is likely to have a wide distribution. So, we want to take a look at Bible study apps that you will be able to run on your new tablet.
The Kindle Fire runs on Google’s Android platform (although it has been completely customized for Kindle Fire). Thus, you will be able to install apps directly from the Amazon App Store.
It’s a foregone conclusion that the Android app market – and especially the Amazon App Store – will see a significant spike in options if the Kindle Fire is as successful as it is expected to be. In the meantime, here are some worthy Bible study apps for you to try, all of which are free.
OliveTree is the leader in Bible study software for mobile devices (with plans to expand to desktop computers this winter). Their current BibleReader app in the Amazon store is not the latest version. After contacting OliveTree for details, they explained:
When we update our current Android Market version, we’re also planning on submitting our current build to the Amazon App Store.
So, there’s hope that we’ll get the latest, greatest version by the time the Kindle Fire ships next month.
The BibleReader app that is currently available in the Amazon App Store has a nifty “Test Drive Now” feature (may not work in all browsers). To get a better idea of what the upcoming version will be like, check out the features and screenshots of the Android Market version.
The BibleReader app comes with some free resources, like the KJV Bible, but you can download hundreds of additional free and premium resources (Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries).
UPDATE (November 28, 2011): There is a known issue with the BibleReader app on Kindle Fire tablets where you can’t access OliveTree resources that you previously purchased. OliveTree is aware of the issue and will be releasing an update to correct it. In the meantime, you can access your previously purchased resources on your Kindle Fire using the workaround described here.
UPDATE (January 15, 2012): There is now a Quick Start Guide for using BibleReader on Kindle Fire.
One of the coolest Bible apps available is the Bible.is app, which provides access to scores of audio Bibles in various versions and languages. Some versions are even dramatized. You can also read along with the on-screen text and even watch the JESUS film in numerous languages. All of this is provided for free! Learn more about these and other features here.
I’m adding Logos to this list – although it is not currently available in the Amazon App Store – because Logos is a leader in the Bible study software industry. Logos does have, however, an Android app currently available in the Android Market.
I contacted Logos specifically about the forthcoming Kindle Fire, and it sounds as though they plan to release an app to the Amazon App Store in due time. In the meantime, you can learn more about the Logos app here.
UPDATE 11/4/2011: The Logos Bible study app is now available in the Amazon app store.
YouVersion is an enormously popular online, social Bible study site with apps for a variety of mobile platforms, including the Amazon App Store. There is a “Test Drive Now” button if you want to take it for a spin while you’re waiting for your Kindle Fire tablet to arrive. To learn more about the specific features of the YouVersion Android app, click here.
Daily Bible is a simple but useful study app, which includes a unique feature – a series of devotional audio podcasts from popular pastors and speakers, such as Chuck Swindoll, Ravi Zacharlas, and Greg Laurie. There are several screenshots and a “Test Drive Now” option.
The ESV Bible is another simple app that is also worth checking out. It won’t have as many bells and whistles as some of the apps above, but it might be just right for some folks.