We rolled out an update to YouVersion.com yesterday that includes a couple changes to make your user experience even better.
Tweaks to Connections
We changed how the Connections work to improve the speed and reliability. Each time you share a Bible verse, a reading plan, or anything else on the site, you’ll find it gets where it’s going quickly. The changes also ensure that your update will be sent to its destination regardless of the state of the destination. That means that you’ll be able to send an update to Twitter when Twitter is offline (in case the Fail Whale decides to make an appearance) and it will be posted as soon as Twitter comes online again.
New Settings Admin
We re-created the Settings area to make room for some cool stuff coming down the pipeline. The immediate changes you’ll notice are the navigation structure and organization of your account information, making it easier to manage your personal info, your password, connections, notifications, etc.
We hope you like these little tweaks and continue to enjoy reading the Bible online or on your mobile device through YouVersion.
Since we launched them in mid-December, the YouVersion Reading Plans have been a huge hit! We’ve seen almost 350,000 people subscribe to one of the 22 reading plans that are available, and users are continuing to sign up at an increasing rate. Many of you have let us know that the plans help you read the Bible more consistently–way to go!
Recently, we revisited the reading plans to make sure they’re as useful and helpful as possible. After more than 100 days of regularly reading the Bible, many users were asking for a couple of features:
1. You wanted a way to quickly go back to past days you’ve missed or even skip ahead to future readings.
2. You wanted to get a feel for your progress in a more tangible way.
In response to those requests, we decided to create one feature that solves both problems. It’s called the Reading Plan Calendar and it makes it even easier to get a bird’s eye view of the reading plans you’re following.
From the Calendar you’ll be able to see the full scope of your plan in calendar format, see which days are complete or incomplete in the past, and see how many days are left in the future. Clicking any day will take you to the reading selections for that day.
We hope you enjoy this addition to the YouVersion Reading Plans because we plan to roll this feature out to all of our current and upcoming mobile Bible apps very soon. To see the Reading Plan Calendar in action, just sign in and go to the overview for any reading plan that you’re following. You’ll see a message at the top of the page if there are any incomplete days in the past. Otherwise, click the button in the right sidebar that says “Plan Calendar.”
Have fun managing your Bible reading with this new tool!
Behind the scenes, our team has invested months of work and hundreds of hours of testing to make YouVersion even better for you! This major update includes two major changes and one significant addition.
Major Performance Enhancements
We painstakingly went through every line of code to make YouVersion.com faster and more reliable than it’s ever been. Over the next several weeks, YouVersion.com will continue to get faster for all of our users. We’ll be rolling out similar performance enhancements to all of YouVersion’s mobile Bible apps soon.
What it means for you:
A faster experience on the YouVersion.com website, and upcoming improvements to all of our mobile apps. Reading and navigating through the Bible in the palm of your hand will be snappier than ever!
Significantly Improved Search
Searching the Bible for topics, specific Bible references, and keywords or phrases just got a lot easier, more intelligent, and faster with:
- the ability to use search formulas to hone your searches (e.g. “he first loved us” or Jesus AND Peter)
- smart search suggestions to help you find exactly what you’re looking for (e.g. Did you mean “only begotten son”?)
- a Bible translation picker to quickly perform the same search in different Bible translations
- plenty of back-end architecture that will make your search results appear super fast
Of course, improved search also works when searching YouVersion contributions, users, and tags.
What it means for you:
Easier, faster and more natural searches. We’ve played with the new search setup internally and we really think you’ll like the changes!
Introduction of 3rd Party Connections
We’re incredibly excited to be rolling out this new feature—so excited, in fact, that Terry and Jon couldn’t wait to give you a sneak preview last week!
We’re starting with Facebook and Twitter, but we have plans for more integration with 3rd party services in the future.
What it means for you:
Connect your YouVersion account to your Facebook or Twitter account once and share the Bible, your reading plans, or other thoughts with your friends, quickly and seamlessly. And, because these “Connections” are tied to your YouVersion account, we’ll be able to roll out updates to the YouVersion mobile apps that take full advantage of each integration.
Our team has been working hard on these changes and we think you’ll love the end result. And, since it’s easy to share the things you love with your friends, take the chance to tell someone about YouVersion today! Tweet it, post it to Facebook, blog about it, or show someone how to read the Bible for free on their mobile phone by helping them download a YouVersion mobile app at http://youversion.com/download.
Thanks to the generous folks at Tyndale House Publishers, you’ll have 30 more days to download the New Living Translation for offline use in YouVersion. It’s available for iPhone and iPod Touch users, and now, iPad users too—perfect timing! This means you can enjoy the NLT anytime, anywhere, regardless of your connection or coverage.
Enjoy it while it lasts. May 5 is the last day you’ll be able to download the offline version of NLT.
[For iPad users, make sure you have version 1.0.1 to access to the NLT offline.]
Apple’s revolutionary new device is almost here and we’re ready with a brand new YouVersion Bible app designed specifically for the iPad’s big, beautiful screen. We’ve had the chance to play with it in the simulator (since no one has an actual iPad) and we think you’re going to love the Bible reading experience.
With the tight deadline and the fact that we’ve never actually tested the app on a real device, we decided to focus on the Bible reading experience with the first release, but more features and further refinement are already under development and we plan to release new versions quickly over the next few weeks. Some of the features slated for versions 1.1 and 1.2 are syncing with your YouVersion Reading Plans, more social sharing, and YouVersion Live.
Many of you have been enjoying the New Living Translation as an offline version of the Bible on your phone. As we mentioned in January, the offline download has been available for a limited time, and that time is almost up!
If you haven’t already downloaded the NLT to your iPhone or iPod Touch as an offline Bible version, you’ll have until April 5 to do so. (Read the original post for instructions on how to download an offline Bible version.)
We appreciate the generosity of Tyndale House Publishers in allowing us to make the NLT available offline for this time period and we look forward to future partnerships with the Foundation to continue to make the Bible readily accessible for people all over the world.
The YouVersion team has been working hard on some great things that will be announced soon. In the mean time, we wanted to continue rolling out little goodies for you to enjoy and the YouVersion WordPress Plugin is one of them. We’re awaiting approval in the WordPress Plugin Directory, but until then you can download the plugin directly here.
Our newest WP plugin is simple and echoes the core function of the first YouVersion plugin. With the new plugin you’ll be able to quickly and easily link to Bible verses from your WordPress blog posts or pages using a simple tag structure. Here’s a quick example:
What you type in the WordPress text editor: “The Bible says in [youversion]Acts 1:8[/youversion] that we will be His witnesses.”
What your website visitors see on the published post/page: “The Bible says in Acts 1:8 that we will be His witnesses.”
The new plugin also gives you the ability to set a default Bible version that you’d like to link to as well as the ability to link to spans of verses within the same chapter, like Acts 1:8-11.
We hope you enjoy the new YouVersion WordPress plugin and we can’t wait to tell you all about all the amazing things we’ve been working on for the past few weeks.
The most recent update to the YouVersion iPhone app is now available in iTunes! We’re excited to tell you about what’s included with this release:
Enhanced Bible Reading Features (by popular demand!)
~ Landscape mode in main Bible reader: To read the Bible in landscape mode, tilt your iPhone or iPod Touch to the left 90’. You’ll be able to read the Bible in full, wide screen style while still having the ability to interact with Bible verses and move to the next or previous chapter.
~ Full Bible interaction in reading plan reader: Now you can interact with Bible verses from within the reading plan reader. While you’re completing your daily Bible reading, you’ll be able to share a verse with a friend through email or Twitter, view contributions from other YouVersion users, or bookmark a verse for later reference.
~ Losing offline data: Some users were experiencing a loss of offline Bible versions and/or bookmarks intermittently. This should no longer happen.
~ Poor handling of connection loss: In previous versions, losing your data connection would cause an infinite loading spinner or an app crash. Connection loss is handled more gracefully now.
~ Incomplete reading plan selections: After changing the start/end dates for a reading plan, some users reported not seeing that change fully take place within the YouVersion iPhone app. That bug is squashed and all changes made on www.youversion.com to a reading plan should be seen within the app.
~ iPod Touch problems: iPod Touch users were experiencing odd activity when outside the range of wifi including the inability to open the app or the loss of offline Bible versions. Those issues have been addressed.
~ Dock icons reset in “Airplane Mode”: Some users reported losing the custom order of icons in the dock within the YouVersion iPhone app when opening the app in “Airplane Mode”. We fixed this too.
The YouVersion app for iPhone and iPod touch has experienced amazing growth in the past 6-8 months. With more than 2 million YouVersion users on Apple’s mobile platform alone, the iPhone and iPod touch have become remarkable tools for people around the world to engage with God’s Word wherever they are.
Over the next four weeks we’ll be giving away a few highly coveted YouVersion T-shirts, a bunch of nifty YouVersion stickers, and the big grand prize…an Unlocked (YouVersion.com engraved) Nexus One phone! Since YouVersion puts the Bible on every web enabled smartphone in the world, we decided to give away the latest mobile gadget available. That makes sense, right? Well, we also have a killer Android Bible App that runs perfectly and looks beautiful on the Nexus One!
We know you want to put your name in the hat to win a Nexus One phone, so here are the details for the giveaway:
- We’ll do four weekly drawings leading up to the Nexus One giveaway. At each drawing we’ll give away a free YouVersion T-shirt and a handful of YouVersion stickers. (Drawing dates: February 24, March 3, March 10, March 17)
- The final drawing for the Nexus One will take place on March 17 and will coincide with the end of the South by Southwest conference (SXSW), where YouVersion will be a topic of discussion among thousands of web and software developers and designers from around the world.
- Go to http://youversion.com/nexusone to sign up for the giveaway. Make sure to follow the directions!