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Brand New Today from YouVersion: 3 Reading Plans for Lent

Reading Plans on an iPadWe’re pleased to bring you three terrific new reading plans, each one specifically for Lent, available immediately at YouVersion.com and in the Bible App­™. This year, Easter Sunday will fall on April 24, which means that Lent, the period leading up to Easter, will begin next Wednesday, March 9. Lent is traditionally a time of fasting, prayer, charitable giving and surrender of vices. By focusing our thoughts daily on our relationship with God, most of us who participate in Lent together consider it a purposeful way to draw closer to Him.

  • Lent for Everyone is a devotional from N.T. Wright, generously being made available to YouVersion users for free by SPCK Publishing. This plan leads you through a portion of the Gospel of Matthew each day, and includes some ideas to help you reflect on that day’s reading. (Look under Devotional.)
  • Devotions for Lent from Holy Bible: Mosaic is another devotional, this one being provided free to YouVersion users from Tyndale House Publishers. Devotions for Lent from Holy Bible: Mosaic presents selected Bible passages each day, with supporting inspirational writings to provide context and insight into what you’re reading. (Look under Devotional.)
  • 40 Days of Lent is a plan that focuses each day’s reading solely on Scripture. You’ll discover the person of Jesus and His significance to us through passages predicting His coming, as well as directly from His own words and His life. (Look under Topical.)

To choose your next reading plan, visit the list of plans at YouVersion.com. To learn all about how to select and use reading plans for your mobile device, select from the following links:

Several more reading plans are on the way, each one uniquely crafted to help you connect daily with God’s Word. Lent is an ideal time of year to experience what the Bible and its message can mean to you personally, and to strengthen the bonds of your relationship with Christ. We’d love for you to share your journey and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Bible App for iPhone and iPad: Korean, French, Russian and More!

Bible App­­™ 2.7.2 for iPhone4/iPadThe newest release of the Bible App™ for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, version 2.7.2, is available now in the iTunes App Store, or as a direct browser download. This update includes performance enhancements and bug fixes, perhaps most significantly the one that corrects the error that was causing the Bible App to crash on iPads.

In our last release, you might remember that we improved our language interface options for German, Spanish and Chinese. Today we’re pleased to be adding Korean, French, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch and Slovak to that ever-growing list. What this means is that users who set their iOS device to one of these languages will experience the Bible App’s controls natively in that language. This is only possible through the dedication and commitment of YouVersion’s terrific volunteers. Speaking of which…if there’s a language you would like us to add—and you can help us with the translation of our interface—we’d love to hear from you. Let us know how you’d be willing to help and sign up as a volunteer.

If you enjoy using the Bible App on your Apple device, we’d love it if you’d share it with friends, whether in person or online at sites like Facebook, Twitter, or other places where you connect. And as we continue trying to help more and more people around the world daily engage with the Bible, we’d especially appreciate you spreading the word to your friends who speak languages other than English.

Time’s Almost Up for Free NIV Offline from YouVersion

Download IconWe just wanted to remind you: Our special promotion celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with Biblica and Zondervan is almost over. If you haven’t already downloaded the New International Version (NIV) to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android, or BlackBerry device, don’t miss your chance!

This limited offer ends next Tuesday, March 1,
at 12:00 PM noon U.S. ET (GMT-5)

That’s when you’ll also be able to pick up the NIV in print at retailers everywhere. We’d like to thank Biblica and Zondervan once again for making the NIV available offline. You can follow the NIV on Twitter or Facebook, or learn more about it at NIV’s website.

Just to be clear, even when this promotion is over, you’ll still be able to access the NIV you downloaded, just as long as you don’t remove it from your device. If any of your friends has one of these devices, please let them know about this special offer too—but hurry!

Here are instructions for how you can download offline versions:

German and Portuguese Now on YouVersion.com

Thanks to our awesome YouVersion community of volunteers, German and Portuguese are now available as interface options at www.youversion.com. Select the language you’d like from the lower left corner of the reader, or go directly to de.youversion.com for German or pt.youversion.com for Portuguese.

What this means is that you can interact with our Bible tools completely in German, directly from our website, or in the Bible App™ on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, Android, or BlackBerry. In the same way, you can use Portuguese on our website and also in the Bible App on Android and BlackBerry. Of course we already offer the Luther Bible 1912 (DELUT) in German and the Almeida Atualizada (AA) in Portuguese, with more versions in more languages coming.

If you have friends or loved ones who might enjoy engaging with God’s Word in German or Portuguese, please share this exciting news with them. If you’d like to help us get our interface into your language, let us know what you can do at our volunteer sign up. The YouVersion volunteer community truly is changing the world.

Audio Bibles Now in Beta from YouVersion in the Bible App for Android

Android Audio Now in BETA!The Bible App™ for Android can now read select translations to you. As soon as you’ve visited the App Market and updated the Bible App on your device to version 3.0, you’ll be able to listen to the English Standard Version (ESV), the New International Version (NIV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), and La Biblia de Las Americas (LBLA). Hear the Word of God spoken to you as you’re driving or exercising—or even just listen as you read along.

When the version you’re using has an audio option available, the Bible App displays the speaker icon next to the menu icon in the Reader. Simply tap it to start listening. Our audio Bibles use streaming sound files, so you’ll need to be connected to your service provider or to the Internet when you listen.

Because we’re still developing the audio tools and working to add more versions, we consider these features to be in Beta. So even if you don’t see audio for your favorite translation yet, keep checking back; more audio versions will be coming in the days and weeks ahead. (By the way, we’re working to bring this same functionality to our other platforms too; more announcements are coming.)

Also in this release: For the first time—and once again thanks to the hard work of incredible YouVersion volunteers—we now have the Bible App interface translated into Slovak and Polish on Android. If you’d like to see it in your language too, and you can help us translate it, please complete our volunteer form.

Please share the news with your friends!

Featured in “The App List” from The Sunday Times: The Bible App by YouVersion!

YouVersion is honored that the Bible App™ has been recognized by The Sunday Times in their definitive guide to the world’s best 500 apps (subscription required). The Sunday Times online is one of the most popular national newspaper sites in the UK. Regular Sunday Times app reviewers and experts in relevant fields selected their favorite apps, based on their practicality, their usefulness, or even just how fun and addictive they are. And the Bible App made the list!

From the very beginning, our primary goal with the Bible App has always been to make it as easy as possible for people to engage with the Bible as part of their everyday lives. Whether you’re using a reading plan to make the most of your time in Scripture, connecting with your friends online about your experiences reading the Bible, or using notes to journal and share how God’s Word is speaking into your life, the Bible App is always as close as your mobile device.

It means a lot to us at YouVersion to be included on The Sunday Times’  list. We love the Bible, and we’re always excited when more people will have the opportunity to discover God’s story for their lives.

The Bible App: 1 Billion Minutes Reached

1 Billion MinutesA couple of weeks ago, we updated you on our progress toward our goal for the YouVersion community to read the Bible for 1 billion minutes in 1 month. We also promised we’d let you know as soon as we reached that billion, so we could celebrate together. Yesterday, February 15, we just passed 1 billion minutes of engaging with Scripture using the Bible App™. While it took 46 days instead of the 31 we had hoped for, it’s still nothing short of extraordinary. Going all the way back to the Bible App’s launch in July 2008, this period represents the most people reading the most minutes in the shortest amount of time that we’ve ever seen. It’s reason to rejoice.

We celebrate big numbers when they happen because they’re exciting, and because they can help us establish some perspective. But of course what’s important to us is not numbers—it’s you. Every download, every account created, every status update and tweet, every reading plan subscribed to, each represents a person, a human being, connecting with the Scriptures. We love the Bible, and our single-minded goal is now, as it has always been, to help as many people as possible engage with God’s Word as a natural part of their everyday lives. Thank you for reading in the Bible App. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing.

The best thing about a billion more minutes…is that it’s only the beginning.

Available Now from YouVersion: Offline Versions on the Bible App for BlackBerry

Today we’re pleased to announce the single feature requested most by our BlackBerry users: Access to Bible translations for use offline. You can immediately download this newest version of the Bible App™, v. 3.0, through your browser or by visiting BlackBerry App World.

Other features. Our previous BlackBerry release included German, French, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese; this time, we’re adding to that Russian and Portuguese. And speaking of languages, the default Bible version the Bible App displays reflects the language you set for your device. Finally, you should notice when you open it that the Bible App loads much faster now.

Important! To download an offline translation, your device must:

  1. Be running BlackBerry 5.0 OS or newer.
  2. Have an SD media card with at least 50 MB of free space.

What’s offline use? In the past, BlackBerry users have not had access to Bible translations unless connected to the Internet or your service provider. Now, for the first time on BlackBerry, once you’ve downloaded a Bible version to your BlackBerry’s SD card, you’ll be able to read it anytime, anywhere—whether you’re online or not.

How you can get your free offline versions:

Make sure you’re connected to the Internet or to your service provider. Then, from the Bible reader:

  1. Select the top bar, where the current translation is presently displayed.
  2. All versions display in alphabetical order by language. Any translation with a download icon (a box with an arrow pointing down) means it’s available as an offline version. Select that version’s download icon.
  3. Follow the instructions and select the large Download button.

Limited Time: NIV Available Offline…Free on YouVersion!

2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. To commemorate this milestone achievement, which made the Bible available in the common language of the people, throughout 2011, YouVersion will roll out events and opportunities that will help you more easily access, engage and share the Bible. The first of these events is that Bible App™ users will be able to download the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. Made possible through a special partnership with Biblica and Zondervan, this offer will only be available for a limited time.

Beginning THIS SATURDAY, February 12, at 8:00 PM U.S. Eastern Time (GMT-5), and lasting for 400 hours, you’ll be able to download the NIV to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android device. When you download the NIV, that means you’ll be able to read it even when you can’t connect to your service provider or to the Internet. This special promotion will end on March 1, at 12:00 PM noon U.S. Eastern Time (GMT-5).

Downloading offline versions:

When the NIV becomes available on Saturday, here’s how you’ll be able to get yours:

iPhone/iPad/iPod touch:

Make sure you’re connected to the Internet or to your service provider. Then, from the Bible reader:

  1. Tap the top bar, where the current translation is presently displayed.
  2. All versions display in alphabetical order by language. Any translation with a download icon (a green box with a white arrow pointing downward) means it’s available as an offline version. Tap that version’s download icon.
  3. Follow the instructions and tap the large Download button.

1. Tap current translation 2. Tap download icon3. Tap Download button

Android:

Make sure you’re connected to the Internet or to your service provider. Then, from the Bible reader:

  1. Tap the box at the top right that displays the version short code.
  2. All available Bible versions display. Any translation with a download icon (an arrow pointing down) means it’s available as an offline version. Tap that version’s download icon.
  3. After a few moments, a different icon displays next to the short code, indicating your download is complete.

1. Tap current translation2. Tap download icon3 Download is complete

For Valentine’s Day: 5 Days to a Better Marriage

Reading PlansPrepare for Valentine’s Day this year by reading our brand-new Devotional, “Love and Marriage,” together with your spouse. Today is February 7, so if you start tomorrow or the next day, the two of you can finish up this 5-day plan just in time for the big day. Each day, “Love and Marriage” leads you through a passage about how God views this important commitment, then follows up with additional ideas to help you discuss your relationship in a Scriptural context. (If you’re using the Bible App™ to read, you’ll find “Love and Marriage” under “Topical.”)

If you haven’t been much of a Bible reader in the past, then you really should try Reading Plans. They’re a terrific tool to help you engage with God’s Word and even to develop a daily habit. When you choose a Reading Plan, YouVersion gives you an easy schedule with a little to read each day. With more than 60 plans you can choose from—and lots more on the way—you’re sure to find topics that interest you.

Each Reading Plan description tells you what it covers and how long it will take. We have plans that take you all the way through the Bible in a year, or just select parts, even specific topics and daily devotionals. Whether you want to learn, get perspective, or focus your time with God in a certain area, Reading Plans are a simple way to help you read through God’s Word.

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