Friday, November 09, 2012

FIrst impressions of Bibleworks 9 Mac preview

I was very excited to see that Bibleworks had released a Mac preview. I am a big Bibleworks fan. I tried not using it when I switched to Mac, but found that I really needed it and that there were things that Logos 4 just wasn't suitable for. Here's the good and the bad of the mac preview.

The good:
The Bibleworks team is thinking about Mac users. I was not planning on investing in Bibleworks anymore because I switched to Mac a year ago. Now however I have hope that they are going to work towards to good solution on a Mac (that doesn't involve using Parallels and losing the shift key function, and having another OS running, and needing further internet protection etc.).

The bad (but bear in mind this is just a preview - not the finished result):

1) Installation:
a) It took a long time to receive my code. I ordered a code online 26th Oct Friday morning GMT, I received a code Wednesday 31st Oct. I appreciate that Hurricane Sandy probably played a part in this, but this could have been set up as an automated service.

b) Having started the mac preview software, I then found I was unable to install the software to parallels. This meant I got out an old PC and installed Bibleworks 9 on that (I hadn't used Bibleworks 9 before). However the install keep freezing on DVD3, after 3 attempts this finally worked. 

c) Installation also took a long time. Each time I have upgraded Bibleworks I have dreaded having to copy and paste codes of already purchased modules. To try out Bibleworks 9, I ended up pasting those codes four times on my PC, and then once on the Mac preview, and then once again in parallels (because the mac preview did not work properly). By comparison, Logos runs an automated system whereby modules are remembered. The way I have been able to install Logos on my Mac or PC or phone or ipad seems very easy compared to Bibleworks.

2) In use:
a) It feels very good to not have to boot up windows in Parallels, but that wears off when you see the interface which does not look as nice as on a PC. The tabs have very straight edges, whereas on a PC they have nice rounded edges. The result is that I feel like I am using an old piece of software. I like the PC interface (although I've heard others say it looks old fashioned) - but the look on the Mac preview looks too clunky).

b) When I have the excellent verse function open, the verse up/down buttons in the browse window get stuck and continuously scrolled down. I am unable to simply click once and get the verse to change once. This unfortunately makes the preview unusable for me. I tried to do some work, but gave up after 45 minutes.

c) Reporting this problem: I have never liked the Bibleworks way of reporting problems. Having to get my serial number out and type it in, and then my address and phone number. I would much prefer to have a button to click on in the menu that enables me to report a problem straight away. Anyway, I reported the verse problem on 2nd November but have still not heard back (9th Nov).

In conclusion:
The preview is unworkable for me. I hope however that once Bibleworks fixes the problem I will be able to use the preview version and test it further. In the end, I installed my new version of Bibleworks 9 in Parallels (it worked once I had installed the Mac preview). The PC version is excellent, and I will post a review on it in the near future.Whilst dissapointed with the Mac preview, I am pleased that the Bibleworks team is trying to help us Mac users. I also think it will be crucial for them as so many Urban UK pastors have switched to Mac in the last few years.