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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jan 11 2016 10:44 AM

I normally use Android, and have always been quite unhappy with the large number of problems in the Search UI of the Android App. I recently tested out my account on the Verbum App on Apple, and noticed that the typical things I dislike about the Android app seemingly all work correctly in the Apple app.

As sometimes one gets the impression on the forums here that the Android app is supposedly up to par with the Apple one, I wanted to point out that in the search UI that is not the case.

Here are some examples:

Basic Search tab

On the Apple app, I can choose in which collection I want to search. Prebuilt collections are available. The sorting order and number of the collections is similar to the desktop app. Names of the collections appear correctly. 

On the Android app, only a small percentage of my collections are available. The sorting order is random. Names appear abbreviated with no apparent reason (they would easily fit on the screen). Prebuilt collections are not available.

Bible Search Tab

On the Apple app, I can choose between all those collections that have Bibles in them. Very nice.

On the Android app, the same incomplete list of collections that was present on the Basic tab is presented on the Bible Tab. The order is random. Hardly any of the available collections have Bibles in them. 

On the Apple app, the reference range list is complete. Prebuilt reference ranges are available, as well as my own custom reference ranges. I can edit the reference ranges.

On the Android app, I get only a small percentage (certainly less than half) of my available reference ranges. Three of them are displayed incorrectly (with no Bold title, only the subtitle). I cannot edit the reference ranges.

Hope the Android app can get up to par! Thanks!

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Kevin Byford (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2016 12:18 PM

Thanks for the report, I will go through these issues and write up cases as needed.

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Kevin Byford (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2016 11:51 PM

I've written up some cases concerning your report.  

The mobile apps (iOS vs. Android) are not exactly equivalent.  For example, the Android apps support a better low-light mode experience and also have a setting to report typos, but the iOS apps have the ability to turn on/off highlights in a resource on a per-document basis (whereas Android doesn't yet support this).

Going forward in 2016 we hope to achieve closer feature parity across our iOS/Android apps.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 12:49 AM

I agree with Devin. Every so often I am in a spot where I wished I could search for something in the Android app on my tablet. I attempt to do so and am always disappointed by the lack of functionality and how slow it is. As it is, the app is not really useful for anything else than just reading.

I don't mean to be a pest about this, but after all this time, I still question the value of running functions in online mode only. There are enough competitor apps out there that do it very well offline and to be honest, the perf leaves much to be desired. Please take this as hoping-to-be-constructive feedback, not a shootdown: your work is appreciated.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 1:01 AM

Kevin Byford (Faithlife):

I've written up some cases concerning your report.  

The mobile apps (iOS vs. Android) are not exactly equivalent.  For example, the Android apps support a better low-light mode experience and also have a setting to report typos, but the iOS apps have the ability to turn on/off highlights in a resource on a per-document basis (whereas Android doesn't yet support this).

Going forward in 2016 we hope to achieve closer feature parity across our iOS/Android apps.

Thanks, Kevin. 

I've been using the iOS app a bit more, and would like to report a few other areas where the Android app is behind. The first one is particularly important to me.

1. Pop-ups with Bible verses or other references - In the iOS app, a Bible reference like John 1:1-4 will display all four verses when you tap on it. In the Android app, it will either display the first verse, or the first part of the verse. Fixing this is easily my absolute most desired improvement for the Android app. Almost every time I use the app I am bothered by the Android pop-ups not working correctly. 

2. Swipe to highlight - Both the iOS and Android app have this option. However, in the iOS app, it works perfectly, and in the Android app it doesn't. For example:

  • In the Android app, if I go "too far" and select too much text, when I drag my finger backwards, most of the time the highlighting won't select fewer words. I will then have to delete the highlighting and try again.
  • In the iOS app, there is a little pop-up window that appears above your finger so you can see what is below it, like a little magnifying glass. This is very nice, and would be great if it were available in the Android app too. 
  • In the Android app, I find it quite difficult to activate the "swipe to highlight option." It seems like I have to time it just right, and I can't quite seem to get the trick down so that I get it every time. I.e. it is quite common that I will tap and then start dragging and it just won't work. In the iOS app, I have not yet had this problem. It seems to always correctly guess that I want to swipe to highlight.

3. Open to Homepage option - In the iOS app, there is an option to open to either open to the Homepage, or to open to whatever screen you were last using. This would be a nice addition to the Android app, although it's not as important to me as improving 1 and 2. 

Thanks for these apps. They are great additions to my Bible study!

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 2:31 AM

Fr Devin Roza:
a few other areas where the Android app is behind

Since we are making a list, one additional item is the ability to control which lines are displayed on resources with interlinear capabilities (and to shut off the function altogether). Last month I bought a base package that included the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Bundle, and it has been a bittersweet experience. Using the Lexham High Definition New Testament: ESV Edition on my tablet is an absolute joy. However, the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament is virtually unusable even on a 10" Android tablet. So much effort was put into arranging and marking up the Greek text for that resource, but much of that effort gets lost on Android because of all the interlinear lines that cannot be turned off. I know Kevin and others at Faithlife are already aware of this deficiency in the Android app, but to me the problem became magnified when I realized that the very best Greek New Testament available (which is made by Faithlife!) is not usable (in my opinion) on Android. 

Thanks for all the hard work, Kevin. I know you hear us users complain a lot,  but we only do it because like you we are passionate and want the product to be the very best it can be. Looking forward to the implementation of whatever parity features are planned in the coming year! 

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Kevin Byford (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 2:33 AM

Thanks Devin,

I will go through these issues tomorrow and write up cases as needed.  Your detailed posts are very valuable and I really appreciate you spending the time to point out the issues you feel are important for us to fix!  These are the sort of posts I really enjoy.

#1: This might be an easy fix, I will write a case for the dev team.

#2:  In my experience, iOS has always been better than Android regarding UI responsiveness, but this makes sense.  iOS runs natively on the hardware but Android doesn't.  I expect some of the highlighting differences you mention are platform specific issues, but it's hard to say at this point.  Mobile device performance varies greatly and (as you know), Android != iOS. Further, performance can vary by orders of magnitude depending on the mobile device.  A $200 Android device might be (literally) 50 times slower than a $600 Android device.  Hardware limitations and differences are out of our control.  Please see http://www.androidbenchmark.net/ .

Regardless, we try to make our iOS apps behave just like other iOS apps, and our Android apps behave just like other Android apps.  BTW, the "magnifying glass" is built into iOS and is not a standard Android feature.

#3: I'm not sue if this is an option available on Android but I will write up a case.

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mike | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 2:36 AM
  1. The book covers on Android in the Library are very low resolution compared to Apple's iOS
  2. When I click Documents in Android, I can see the whole title of my Notes. But in iOS, I only get partial of the title because the tile only opens halfway. This is kinda annoying, especially when I have plenty Notes with long title.
  3. Can we have all the Guides opens at blank, instead of trying to open whatever we had last. Because it takes time for the guides to open before I can search anything

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Kevin Byford (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 2:39 AM

Matthew:
one additional item is the ability to control which lines are displayed on resources with interlinear capabilities (and to shut off the function altogether).

There is already a case for this issue; thanks for you passion (and patience)!

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Kevin Byford (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 2:40 AM

mike:

The book covers on Android in the Library are very low resolution compared to Apple's iOS

There is a case for this as well.  We're doing the best we can.

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mike | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 2:43 AM

Sorry Kev, I was editing my post when you replied. So I added a couple more. :)

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Kevin Byford (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 3:11 AM

mike:

Sorry Kev, I was editing my post when you replied. So I added a couple more. :)

Mike,

Not to pick on you, but... Here's the number #1 rule about the Logos Forums: 

Please create a new thread for each complaint/issue/bug/request.!

Devin's excellent post has now somehow morphed into a general complaint bucket for everything related to Android.  Why did this happen?  I'm not sure.

Here's how to get the best response here on the forums:

1) One complaint/issue/bug/request = one post.
2) If you have a new complaint/issue/bug/request, please create a new post.
3) If you see someone else mentioning a complaint/issue/bug/request that is different than yours, please do not add your complaint/issue/bug/request to their post: please create a new post.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 3:11 AM

Kevin Byford (Faithlife):

#2:  In my experience, iOS has always been better than Android regarding UI responsiveness, but this makes sense.  iOS runs natively on the hardware but Android doesn't.  I expect some of the highlighting differences you mention are platform specific issues, but it's hard to say at this point.  Mobile device performance varies greatly and (as you know), Android != iOS. Further, performance can vary by orders of magnitude depending on the mobile device.  A $200 Android device might be (literally) 50 times slower than a $600 Android device.  Hardware limitations and differences are out of our control.  Please see http://www.androidbenchmark.net/ .

Thanks. FWIW, the two Android devices I have used the Verbum app on are the Nexus 7 (2012) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini. 

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L.A. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 3:59 AM

Fr Devin Roza:
1. Pop-ups with Bible verses or other references - In the iOS app, a Bible reference like John 1:1-4 will display all four verses when you tap on it. In the Android app, it will either display the first verse, or the first part of the verse. Fixing this is easily my absolute most desired improvement for the Android app. Almost every time I use the app I am bothered by the Android pop-ups not working correctly. 

Yes

Kevin Byford (Faithlife):
#1: This might be an easy fix, I will write a case for the dev team.

Yes Yes, please!! ...and thanks!!

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Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 8:10 AM

Kevin Byford (Faithlife):
Devin's excellent post has now somehow morphed into a general complaint bucket for everything related to Android.  Why did this happen?  I'm not sure.

Mea culpa. For me, the "why" was that I wanted to raise awareness of "my" parity issue and see if it was one of the improvements you mentioned are planned for this year. From my perspective, the thread was evolving into a collection of feature parity issues listed in one spot, which could be beneficial, but I can definitely see how from your perspective you were being buried in complaints. You are very active and responsive in the Android forums, and I think I speak for everyone when I say we are very grateful for that, even if it doesn't always come across that way.

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JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 13 2016 9:27 AM

Matthew:
You [Kevin Byford (Faithlife)] are very active and responsive in the Android forums, and I think I speak for everyone when I say we are very grateful for that

Yes. Thanks Kevin.

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2016 1:47 AM

So, it happened again Sunday in church. I ran a basic search on "bar mitzvah" all library, gave up, after waiting for 5 minutes. Then searched for "my father" in one Bible, ESV (I tried LEB later), same deal. It takes so long that it is useless. 

I run an Intel based tablet, the Dell Venue 8, and I am wondering if it is part of the problem? I would be interested in hearing about others' experience with searches offline in the Android app.

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Kevin Byford (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2016 4:28 PM

Francis, please create a new thread for your issue.

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