In looking at the Mantis Bible Study app, it is easy to see that it was designed with the more serious Bible scholar in mind. It includes a whole list of features to help those who are focused on a more in-depth study of the Bible. Unfortunately, for those who prefer not to use the KJV of the Bible and are not willing to spend the money for a different version, all of the features will be pointless.
The reason for that is that the KJV is the only version available for free in English. Versions such as ASV and BBE are available for free with some of the other Bible apps, but will cost $4.99 to download for Mantis. For some, like myself, seeing a five-dollar charge for what is free elsewhere will make Mantis’ other benefits seem less attractive. For others, the benefits of Mantis will be worth the cost of additional Bibles, or perhaps some are content with the provided KJV.
Bookmarking verses or taking notes on verses is quick and simple with Mantis. Simply tap the number of the verse which pops up a menu for notes, bookmarks, or verse comparison (between Bible versions). You can type in notes which will then be visible next to the verse.
Navigating is simple and quick. By tapping the button with the title of the book, you can jump to an book, chapter and verse of the bible. You can also quickly navigate chapters and verses through the gray triangles on the upper left and right corners. The search function also makes it easy to find exactly the verse you need.
Unique (to my knowledge) among the Bible apps is Mantis’ ability to highlight words, phrases, sentences, or more. Once highlighting is turned on in “Settings”, you can choose from four different highlight colors.
Also available are commentaries and Bible dictionaries, all for purchase of course. Again, some of these items can be found elsewhere for free, but will cost around $5 for Mantis.
In summary, Mantis is a powerful bit of software with one major flaw; that the designers feel they must recoup their costs by charging for every additional book. This is a problem in two ways: First is the perception of greed which will sour potential customers. Second is that most people resist the feeling of being nickel-and-dimed to death. A few more free Bibles, a couple of commentaries, and a dictionary will create a solid starter package to get people using the app. Once a user is familiar with the app, he/she is more likely to sink some money into an add-on book.