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eSword on the iPad


Rick is well known (or notorious, depending on your point of view...) for having surprises in his e-Sword releases. He doesn’t like to tip his hand, so to speak, about new features that will be coming. A few positive examples of nice surprises include: dockable windows,  e-Sword LIVE & integration.


Well, here comes one more that our heavily tech savvy user base is going to love: eSword will be available for iPad. (That sound you hear in the background is the applause of thousands of iPad users who have been waiting for this to happen.)


Sadly, I’m not an iPad user. (From a practical standpoint, I don’t see how it is even possible to do any real Bible study on a tablet. But I digress.) So, I will not be able to give you a first hand, eyewitness accounting of how it works. But Rick’s hope is that it will be “ easy to use you may never need to tap on the Help button!” I can tell you this: if the iPad app is as easy to use as my Windows version, then the help button will probably not get pushed.


A few notes:


  1. This version will be called “eSword HD”
  2. The release date for this version is October 15, 2012.
  3. The only modules that will work with this version are Rick’s official modules. Rick is going to make some modules available that were originally “third party” mdoules for “eSword for Windows.” However, those will become “eSHD official modules.” The only modules available for eSHD will be what Rick himself creates and makes available via the iPad store. To rephrase: the only modules available for eSHD are Rick’s eSHD official ones.
  4. eSHD is a $4.99 app.
  5. BONUS: All your premium eSword modules are “migratable” to eSwordHD. Rick, thanks. We hate having to pay for resources twice (or three times, four times, etc.).
  6. At this time, eSHD will not be an open applicaion. Those looking for extra modules will not be able to legally/officially find them. The only modules that will be usable with eSHD will be those available for downloading via the eSHD app.


A few helpful websites:


1. Here is the official announcement page from Rick, chock-filled with helpful info.


2. Here is the unofficial chat page from Josh Bond at If you have questions or comments, this will likely become the fastest place to get helpful responses.


3. Here is a great video overview of the new eSHD by Ruben Gomez (hat tip to biblesupport’s “StandingFirm” for the great video link!).


4. Here is a review of eSHD by Biblesupport’s Josh Bond. As with all of Josh’s stuff, this review is very well done.


MY TAKE: I’m sure there are iPad users celebrating this release. In fact, it might be enough to encourage some who don’t have an iPad to go buy one. I can’t imagine dragging my laptop to church to use for a Bible (I do use a Palm PDA); but an iPad? Oh yeah, I’d do that in a heartbeat.


As far as development goes, it looks like there will be no eSHD version available for Android users. Rick himself said that Mysword was meeting that market need quite nicely. It looks like Greek & Hebrew bible resources are on their way in an upcoming eSHD update. However, the lack of third party resources will be a major drag for eSHD.


From a practicality standpoint, I can’t imagine doing any real Bible study on a tablet of any brand. There just isn’t enough screen space for me to utilize. Real Bible study with Bible software requires not only cut and paste, but a real world keyboard. Now I know that there will be some that will disagree with that; but real Bible study requires me to interact with the text. Interaction requires writing. Until screenwriting catches up to keyboarding, Pads are limited for real Bible study.


Now, real Bible reading? That’s a different story! And I imagine having an iPad with you at all times will make reading (Bible & topical reading) much simpler. But that brings up a drawback: no third party topical (.topx/.refx) reading materials.


Well, it’s a very welcome first step, to say the least.


One Last Note: DDT will not be involved in module creation nor support for eSHD.