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Big News! New Bible App for Symbian Phones

We’ve been working hard to bring you a new Bible app for the Symbian platform and we’re excited to announce that it’s ready and available for download now in the Ovi Store and on GetJar.com. Many Americans aren’t familiar with the Symbian mobile platform, so we’ll take a moment to explain why we believe this is a big deal.

First, Symbian accounts for about 40% of smartphones in the world. There are hundreds of millions of people carrying a Symbian-powered device in hundreds of countries. Second, because Symbian is so ubiquitous outside the United States, we’re excited to see how God uses this step to reach the world with the Bible, helping millions more engage with Scripture.

Like the first version of our mobile Bible app on other new platforms, the Symbian app is currently a basic Bible reader that accomplishes our foundational purpose of increasing Bible engagement around the world. Future development will bring more features you’ve come to love on other mobile platforms, like Reading Plans, social sharing with Twitter and Facebook, YouVersion Live, and more.

Have fun with the new Symbian app and don’t forget to tell your friends to download the YouVersion Bible app on their phones. It’s the easiest way to give someone a free Bible!

Free YouVersion Promo Video – Download now!

We love seeing more people engage the Bible through YouVersion, so you can imagine that we’re pretty excited that the YouVersion Bible app is being downloaded to a new mobile device every 4 seconds. But individual downloads aren’t the only thing to celebrate. We’ve been encouraged by how small groups, churches, conferences, and universities are adopting YouVersion Live as part of their events and gatherings and we’ve seen even more groups simply encouraging their people to download the Bible app during their regular meetings.

So, to make it even easier for churches, conferences, musicians, universities, small groups, coffee shops, and others to share the Bible and YouVersion, we’ve made the video above available as a free download on OPEN, LifeChurch.tv’s library of free digital resources for churches and other ministries. (Choose “Week 3 Whispers Promo” in the list near the bottom of the page.) The video can be downloaded in multiple formats and is free for you to use at church, in your small group, or just sharing with a friend.

Have fun and don’t forget to let us know how you plan to use the video to tell people about how they can engage the Bible through YouVersion for free!

Introducing YouVersion in Norwegian

Today is an important day for YouVersion. It’s the day that YouVersion begins a long-awaited initiative to help people around the world engage the Bible, no matter what language they speak. We’re incredibly excited to tell you that YouVersion.com has been translated into the Norwegian language. It’s the first of many steps that will make it possible for millions of people to read the Bible in their native language and in community with others.

To visit YouVersion in Norwegian, just go to http://no.youversion.com. Or, if you’re already on the site and want to switch to a different language, you can click the button that says “English” in the footer of any page on the YouVersion website to see a list of language options. (Right now it’s English and Norwegian with Spanish coming soon.)

Thanks to the generous folks at Norea Mediamisjon, the entire website has been translated by native Norwegian speakers and not by translation software. Human translation means it should be much more accurate and feel more natural. We’re committed to making further refinements as necessary to make sure the site is fully localized (geek-speak for translating a website) and ready for someone who only speaks Norwegian to enjoy.

We have big plans for YouVersion as it moves into the international community and more people around the world will be able to engage the Bible in their own languages. And, as usual, with big plans come big announcements, so stay tuned for more big news in the coming days and weeks!

Two Billion

That’s how many minutes you and millions of others in the YouVersion community have spent engaging the Bible on mobile devices! Two BILLION minutes!

Two billion minutes reading the Bible is a huge milestone for the YouVersion community. Since it’s tough to visualize such a huge number, let’s break it down. Two billion minutes equals:

  • 3,800 years (Abraham was alive 3,800 years ago.)
  • 1,388,889 days (You could fly around the world 785,714 times.)
  • 33,000,000 hours (You could fly to the moon 458,333 times.)

While 2 billion minutes is a huge milestone by itself, an even more amazing feat is that you reached 2 billion minutes in a fraction of the time it took you to reach 1 billion minutes. That means Scripture engagement on mobile devices is taking off like a rocket!

More time engaging the Bible— it’s why YouVersion exists, and you continue to break new ground and set new records doing just that. Way to go! Celebrate with us at http://youversion.com/billions or leave a comment below to let us know what you think of people reading the Bible for 2 billion minutes on mobile devices.

New for iPhone/iPad: Facebook Sharing & Universal App

The latest version of the YouVersion iPhone & iPad app is available now in the iTunes App Store. This update (2.3.1), along with the previous update (2.3), brings several niceties and one big feature update to Apple’s mobile platform. Here’s the breakdown by version.

2.3
With the 2.3 update, we joined our popular iPhone Bible app with our iPad app to create a single application that runs on both devices. This means you’ll only need to stay up-to-date with one app for your favorite Bible application on both iPhone and iPad. We also moved the “sign-in” to the Settings menu to prepare the way for the biggest update coming in 2.3.1.

2.3.1
We went one step further with 2.3.1 and completely changed how the app handles sharing to Twitter, plus we added the ability to share to Facebook. With the new sharing structure, you can share seamlessly to Twitter and Facebook at the same time through YouVersion Connections (which was also added recently to the YouVersion website, as well as the Palm Pre/Pixi and Blackberry apps). Once you’ve connected your YouVersion account, sharing the Bible with your friends on Twitter & Facebook will be easier than ever.

We have big plans for the iPhone & iPad (iOS) platform in the coming months, but we wanted to get these updates out to you as soon as possible. Let us know what you think by rating the app in the App Store and leaving a comment. Don’t forget that issues can be reported on our support site at http://youversion.com/support.

Connect with us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/youversion or Twitter at http://twitter.com/youversion.

New Reading Plan: The Essential 100 Challenge

We’re incredibly excited to introduce a new reading plan to our awesome YouVersion users: The Essential 100 Challenge. It’s the 23rd addition to our diverse list of Bible reading plans, and has some great features that will help individuals benefit from their Bible reading time.

The Essential 100 Challenge is “built around 100 carefully selected Bible passages – 50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament. It enables [you] to get the big picture of God’s Word and in the process develop a daily Bible reading habit.” The topical, guided nature of The Essential 100 Challenge brings a unique approach to the lineup of YouVersion reading plans.

We’re thankful to Scripture Union for providing The Essential 100 Challenge and helping us make it available to the YouVersion community. Many people have recommended this plan after following it, so if you’re one of those folks feel free to leave a comment below telling us a little about your experience with The Essential 100 Challenge.

Looking for 5 Amazing People

YouVersion has been growing by hundreds of thousands of users every month, and as we approach the point where 7 million people are reading the Bible through one of YouVersion’s many mobile apps, it’s time to expand the team. We’re looking for five amazing people to join the YouVersion team and LifeChurch.tv Digerati.

Mobile

Whether it’s on a mobile phone or a sleek tablet, YouVersion’s future will continue to revolve around helping people engage with the Bible through mobile technology. Three new mobile application engineers are needed to keep YouVersion planted firmly in the mobile space.

The exceptional people who join this team will share our enthusiasm for helping people engage with the Bible using technology, be experts on the platform for which they’re responsible, and be able to lead a team of other developers.

YouVersion Partnership Development

We’re also looking for someone who can join the team to help us with Partnership Development; someone who is so passionate about helping people engage with the Bible through technology that they ooze excitement at the mention of the topic. This person is a huge fan of YouVersion who knows how to tell a compelling story (written & spoken) and can build strategic relationships that further the vision of YouVersion. We are no longer accepting applications for this position as it has been filled.

Web

The LifeChurch.tv Digerati team is looking for an extremely talented Web User Experience Designer/Developer to join the team in a hybrid role; working on every web project that the Digerati team develops, including YouVersion, Babelwith.me, LifeChurch.tv, Church Online, ChurchMetrics, OPEN.LifeChurch.tv, and more. Read more about the Web UX role.

Read about all of our openings at http://lifechurch.tv/jobs.

New on Blackberry: Share the Bible With Your Facebook Friends

The latest version of the YouVersion Blackberry app (v2.2) is available for download in the Blackberry App World now. Although we made several updates to the core code and some of the menus (to clean them up a bit), the primary update involves how you share the Bible with your friends.

In addition to the standards, Twitter and email, we’ve added the option to share everything with your friends on Facebook. It uses our Connections feature, so all you have to do is connect Facebook to your YouVersion account either through the YouVersion app or on our website at http://youversion.com/settings/connections. Once that’s done, sharing Bible verses, reading plans, and the app itself will be simpler than ever.

We hope you like the newest addition to the Blackberry app. Our iPhone & iPad users can look forward to a similarly updated sharing feature very soon. Stay tuned!

Sprint HTC EVO and the Bible App by YouVersion

evoThe launch of Sprint’s HTC EVO yesterday was impressive. Many YouVersion team members waited in line for hours, and news reports confirm that stores across the US were slammed with early adopters! So many people were buying the phone, the Sprint activation system stumbled to cope with demand.

Thank you to all the thousands of HTC EVO users who have already downloaded the Bible App by YouVersion…and if you have not downloaded the App yet, simply search for Bible in the Market, or got to http://youversion.com/download

Happy reading…on your new mobile device.

Announcing New Bible App for Palm/HP WebOS

The WebOS platform was recently acquired by HP, and we’ve been working on some plans for the mobile operating system ourselves. Today we’re releasing a new, fully native Bible app that will make YouVersion’s mobile Bible available to millions more people around the world. We also happen to think it’s the most enjoyable mobile Bible reading experience in the world! Let’s jump into the good stuff…


Improved Bible Reader

Select and interact with multiple Bible verses at one time.

Load chapters and navigate the Bible faster and with less load time.

View text in 5 different size options.

Read the Bible in portrait or landscape mode with the flick of your wrist.

Search the Bible for keywords or Bible references more quickly than ever right inside the Bible reader.


More Options for Interacting with Bible Verses

Share Bible verses with your friends on Facebook and Twitter quickly through the new Connections you have tied to your YouVersion account. (Read more about YouVersion Connections.)

Share Bible verses with anyone via SMS (text message) and email to encourage someone privately.

Bookmark multiple verses at one time.

Create a new tag for your selected verses to group verses by shared topics or ideas.

Create a new contribution about your selected verses to share your thoughts with the broader YouVersion community.

View contributions (your own or others’) for the selected verses to get new perspective on that passage or see if yours has changed from when you first posted it.


Automatic Sync With YouVersion.com

This new WebOS app will be the first of our mobile Bible apps to automatically sync your YouVersion activity and data between YouVersion.com and your mobile Bible app. Right now, bookmarks and reading plans are the only two pieces of data that are synced both ways (to YouVersion and back to the device), but more syncing is coming very, very soon.


Reading Plans are Different in this App

Quickly and easily jump to missed days in the past or skip ahead to future reading selections with a mobile version of the Reading Plan Calendar we introduced on YouVersion.com recently. (Read more about the Reading Plan Calendar.)

Use the main Bible reader to read your day’s selections so you have full interaction with Bible verses. (We added a simple navigation footer to the main reader when reading your day’s selections so you can quickly navigate within your reading plan selections.)

Share your reading plan with your friends on Facebook and Twitter or through SMS (text message) or email.


There are plenty more “featurettes” like low-light mode for the whole app, 100% integration with YouVersion Connections, and many consolidated views for faster navigation, but you can encounter those fun little gems on your own.

And the best news of all is that it’s ready for you to download right now in the App Catalog!

We hope you enjoy the new WebOS Bible app. Don’t forget to share the app with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. And if you’re the social networking type, let us know what you think of the app on Twitter (@YouVersion) or Facebook (http://facebook.com/youversion).

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