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Initial impressions

Nick Matthews

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So I've been using Accordance on the iPad for a few days now, and I have some thoughts on my experience.


Text rendering

I've noticed some truncation in text rendering, in particular with the bottom of the g character. For example, 1Sam. 12:25 renders the g and ys with the tail truncated. (User font settings are the default Georgia 18). This does not appear to be related to the paragraph mark or the superscript however, as there are truncations in 1Sam13:3 (the g character).


It would be nice to be able to configure not only the font and text size, but also line spacing.


Changing the font size changes the verse text, but does not appear to change the verse listing (ie, 1Sam 12:25 renders the same even if I crank the font size up to 36).



Easy install

The easy install process wasn't as easy as I was expecting. I would have expected the app to cache the list of available modules, so it wouldn't need to make a new request from the server after every transaction.


It would be really nice to see some form of details view as to what each package contains. CL1-8 aka "Classic 1 Group" contains a number of individual modules. Is this the package that contains "Manners and Customs"? It is, according to the webpage, but there's no easy way to find this out from the Easy Install page.


When installing modules, my device is otherwise unusable. Downloading apparently isn't happening in the background, as switching to another application causes Accordance to crash. I also can't access other modules in Accordance while something is downloading. When installing large modules (ESV Study Bible is around 60MB, and there are a number of others in the 40-100MB range), I would love to install these in the background, and actually use Accordance while I'm waiting.


Also when installing modules, there is no progress indicator. How much data has been downloaded so far, and how much remains? Have I managed to download any of the new modules yet? What is currently downloading? It appears that if I currently cancel a download, even after an hour, all the modules which I think I might have downloaded are cancelled. Nothing new appears to have been installed, even if several modules < 5MB were selected.


Using Accordance


Most of my usage thus far has been with the ESVi and ESV Study Bible. I like how the ESV SB tracks along with the verse I'm following in ESVi. What isn't so nice is when it starts to bounce around. For example, when scrolling from 1Sam5:1, there are several notes. The first covers the range of 5:1-12. Then there are individual notes for 5:1, 5:2, 5:3, 5:5, 5:6, 5:8, 5:10 and 5:11. What occurs when scrolling is that the SB will scroll from the range through the subsequent verses, but then jumps back to the range note when on verse 5:4, 5:7, 5:9, and 5:12. This is incredibly distracting on the iPad, as I tend to have already read the note. I realize that the desktop app behaves like this as well, although it isn't nearly as distracting, as the screen size is much larger.


Session management would be really nice. When I start Accordance, sometimes it remembers what I was reading, while at other times it starts me back at Gen 1:1. Ideally, Accordance should always remember what I last had open, and where. Ideally, it would also remember where I was in all my resources, even when I switch between modules.


Easy bookmarking would be nice. It would be nice to tag a book or verse with a bookmark, and easily go back later. Ideally, I should be able to place multiple bookmarks, and quickly switch between the locations. This would be really useful when manually comparing OT and NT works. I suspect that those who preach would find this feature extremely useful as well, as they could then bookmark the readings for the day.


User notes are somewhat lacking. If I have ESVi split screen with my mobile notes, it would be really nice to click on one of my notes and have the bible pane go to the appropriate verse.


When adding a new user note, when I also have the user notes open in a split pane, the new note does not appear in the pane when I save the new note.


Is there any possibility of editing user notes in place, if the user notes are open? For those of us with bluetooth keyboards, we don't lose screen real estate with the virtual keyboard.


When I click on the search tab, the keyboard appears. When I click back in the text, the search tab disappears, but the keyboard remains open.


It would be really nice to either rename, or at least add a note as to the names of the texts. I can remember ESVi, HCSB, NRSV, NET, and JPS really well, but it takes a moment to recall that KJVA contains the Apocrypha (which is also what NRSV2 contains). It would also be nice to add a comment that GNT-T is NA27, while GNT-TRS is the Textus Receptus.


It would be nice to include the "compare texts" feature found on the Mac, to help show exactly how different translations differ.


Thanks for a good first version. It's really nice to have access to all my resources on the go.

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