As a self-identified non-iPhone user I find myself waiting for great apps to make their way to the Android platform. I wonder if left-handed folks experience something similar when they have to special order everything from golf clubs to scissors. But living in an iPhone dominated world seems tolerable for those of us who really enjoy Android (we can have our ice cream sandwich and eat it too!).
After using the Tanach Bible app on my iPod Touch (hey, I need a device to test these apps!), I couldn’t wait for it to become available on the Android platform. Last week it arrived and it doesn’t disappoint. Now, if you’re sitting in the doctor’s waiting room and would rather study the Rashi commentary on this week’s Torah portion or see how many times “milk” is mentioned in the Torah instead of reading an old issue of People Magazine, you’ll be all set with this app.
Davka Corporation, out of Chicago, has teamed up with Zigzag, Inc. to produce the Tanach Bible app. It features the complete text of the Hebrew Bible with a very readable English translation. The app is ideal for anyone, but Bible students will certainly appreciate this. It has been designed with Hebrew fonts that are crisp and beautifully designed. While many similar apps have display issues with the placement of vowels and cantillation (trope) marks as many screens don’t display these marks correctly under or over the Hebrew letters, this app has figured out how to get these important marks set precisely where they should be.
Some of the dynamic features of the app that most impressed me include the verse-by-verse synchronization between Hebrew, English, and Rashi's Hebrew commentary. All 24 books of the Bible are included in this app, and the Rashi commentary is available for many. Additionally, the search capability is impressive and fun. The heavy, 2,000 page concordance is almost rendered obsolete with this app because it’s so easy to perform intricate searches through the text of the Hebrew Bible. Users will also appreciate the ability to bookmark selections for future reference.
"What distinguishes Tanach Bible from many other apps is the ability to view text in parallel columns — in Hebrew and English, or in Hebrew and Rashi's commentary," explained Alan Rosenbaum of Davka Corporation. "This makes it very useful for on-the-go Torah study. In fact, one can view and study the weekly Torah portion by Parsha and Aliyah."
The app runs on all Android phones and tablets and requires Android operating system of 1.6 or higher. The cost of the app is set at $9.99 and is available worldwide through Google Play.
Good things come to those who wait, so welcome to the most robust Jewish bible App on the market Android users.
Rabbi Jason Miller is a blogger and entrepreneur. He is president of Access Computer Technology in Michigan, a full-scale IT, website design/build, and social media marketing company. Follow him on Twitter at @RabbiJason.