Last month, we had a post from LaRosa Johnson talking about his new Asus Transformer Android tablet computer and how he planned to use it work and Biblical studies. Of the latter, he was doing something pretty neat in that he would use the tablet to remotely log into his laptop to be able to use the desktop Bible software packages that he has there. We’ve found another example of this over at Biblical Studies and Technological Tools where instead of a tablet, we’ve got an Android smartphone, and the software being used is SplashTop Remote Desktop. Here’s a snippet of that experience:
In the past I have used Logmein for remote access to the various family computers I maintain. Even the basic free account lets me take over a computer and run programs on it. It works great and is secure. I will continue to use it for such maintenance tasks. Note that this can work the other way around, and what a program like this allows me to do is run programs that are on my home system from any other computer. As long as I have my home system on and Logmein enabled, I can remotely connect to my home system and use my installed programs like BibleWorks or Logos. I’ve also used it to grab files I’ve forgotten on my home computer when I’m at school. (I now use SugarSync to keep my systems all in sync via the cloud. It’s a wonderful thing.) It’s a little slow to use Logmein this way, but it works. What this also means is that I can use the web browser on my smartphone and see BibleWorks on my phone. I say “see,” because without the use of a mouse on my phone, I really can’t do too much. Logmein does have an Android app ($29), but I just don’t use it that much, especially on my phone, to buy it.
Now, this sounds like something that would be only useful in areas where wireless bandwidth is accessible and there’s some technological savy on the part of the person putting this together. But, I can’t help thinking that at some level, it would make a lot of sense to see something like Bibleworks, Logos, etc. offered in a “server package” where you purchase “seats” and those authenticate mobile devices are able to use it. This would be no different than what we see with CRM, task management, Intranet, and office productivity suites (Salesforce, Basecamp, SharePoint, and Google Apps to name a few).
A difference in the application here though would need to be that Bible software suites doing this would want to explore being usable in different streams. For example, something like having the BibleWorks install and UI sitting on a Seagate GoFlex Satellite, with anyone accessing that hard drive/access point being able to “see/read” BibleWorks on their device, but it is being served from that single point. There’d also be something like Logos’ Biblia that could be explored where a license for an organization could make available to authenticated seats some measure of the Logos library. Or, finally we could see the BibleWorks/Olive Tree/Logos/etc. move to a model of use where instead of purchasing and downloading a product, that people and organizations purchase access to a virtual desktop of sorts which would allow them (a) access to the library and (b) multiple devices which can access it per use account. Now that I’m thinking about it, it would be really neat if I could recreate the mobile web server and then host the bible project I’m working on from it… uhmmm
In whatever case, its pretty neat to see these kinds of access choices taken when it comes to Bible software. We shouldn’t limit mobile just to “what’s designed for the small screen” when its clearly possible for that small screen to access a bit more. What is worth being explored though is how we can better enable mobile to be a key to a content library, whether or not those with the devices have the financial means to access the content or not.