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Major Updates: Performance Enhancements, Improved Search, & 3rd Party Connections

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.

For specific details regarding the changes made in this update, see the YouVersion release notes.

Connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/youversion.
Join the conversation on Facebook at http://facebook.com/youversion.
Get help with YouVersion at http://youversion.com/support.

NLT Offline Availability Extended

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.]

Announcing the New YouVersion Bible App for iPad

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.

Why wait? Get a sneak peek of the new YouVersion iPad app.

Reminder: NLT Offline Availability Ends April 5

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.

New YouVersion WordPress Plugin Available Now

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.

YouVersion Bible App for iPhone & iPod Touch Update: Enhanced Bible Reading & Bug Fixes

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.

Bug Fixes

  • ~ 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.

We hope you love the latest feature additions and bug fixes included in this update. If you have any feedback, questions, feature requests, or encouragement please let us know at http://youversion.com/support. You can also join the conversation on Twitter (http://twitter.com/youversion) or Facebook (http://facebook.com/youversion).

And for all the iPad fans, we’re working hard on bringing an amazing Bible reading experience to that device and we’re looking forward to unveiling it soon.

Win a FREE Unlocked Google Nexus One Phone!

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!

What are you waiting for? Go for it!

Register to Win!

4 Million Mobile Users and Growing

We are continually blown away by the growth of YouVersion and want to thank you for the huge part you’ve played. Sharing Scripture, your reading plans, and YouVersion Live events on Twitter and Facebook or by email has caused God’s Word to spread faster than it ever has before…virally. Keep it up!

We wanted to take a moment and celebrate passing a big milestone: 4 million YouVersion mobile app users on the iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Java, and Palm. Here is what the growth curve looked like over the past 6 months:

It’s exciting to see so many people engaging with Scripture on their mobile devices, as well as the growing momentum of YouVersion mobile apps. Each month, 500,000-600,000 new users install the YouVersion Bible app on their phone or mobile device. Here is a look at our top 3 mobile platforms over the past 6 months:

Top 5 iPhone Devices:

  1. 1. iPhone 3G
  2. 2. iPod Touch
  3. 3. iPhone 3GS
  4. 4. iPhone Edge
  5. 5. iPod Touch (first generation)

-We also see some iPad users have YouVersion installed!

Top 5 Blackberry Devices:

  1. 1. 8300/ Curve
  2. 2. 8330m/ Curve
  3. 3. 8900/Curve
  4. 4. 9000/Bold
  5. 5. 9630/Tour

Top 5 Android Devices:Top 5 Android Devices:

  1. 1. T-Mobile G1
  2. 2. Motorola Droid
  3. 3. T-Mobile MyTouch
  4. 4. HTC Hero
  5. 5. HTC Eris

We’re passionate about mobile because it’s proven incredibly effective in allowing millions of people around the world to access Scripture. As you may remember, just over a month ago we celebrated that YouVersion users had spent over one billion minutes reading the Bible on their mobile devices and we expect to hit 2 billion very soon.

Because we’re so excited about hitting this milestone we’re going to follow it up with a little celebration. So take a moment to subscribe in the sidebar follow us on Twitter or become a Fan on Facebook and stay in the loop!

NEW YouVersion Bible App for Palm’s WebOS!

The new YouVersion Bible app for Palm’s WebOS platform was approved and released in Palm’s App Catalog early last week. We’re excited for this release and have big plans for future development on the WebOS platform. You can download the app now from Palm’s website (http://goo.gl/hcbO) or search for “youversion” in the App Catalog on your Palm Pre or Pixi.

This release represents our first effort at providing a robust YouVersion Bible application for Palm’s budding platform and should be considered a “beta” release for two reasons.

Functionality is limited to what is possible on our mobile website. This beta release is a simple embedded browser that makes accessing our mobile website (http://m.youversion.com) quick and easy.
We have big plans for future iterations of this application to bring it from “beta” stage to a full-featured native YouVersion Bible app.

We love our Palm users…you’re some of the most vocal and passionate users we have and we’re aware of your deep desire to see YouVersion be amazing on WebOS phones. We share in that desire, and are excited to see the webOS platform grow and expand so we can expand our development efforts. Look for more webOS updates throughout the year.

NEW YouVersion Bible App for Java Phones!

We’re launching a new Bible application today that’s compatible with most Java-enabled phones and it’s available for download now. This app will give you access to the entire Bible (41 translations in 22 languages) on any phone that can run Java apps with a screen resolution of 240×320 or 320×240.

This release is significant for many reasons, but the most important reason is that the Java Bible app will be targeting hundreds of millions of people around the world that live in less developed countries and don’t have good mobile data connections or powerful smartphones. This includes India, China, Africa, South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. We’re most excited about the possibility of giving away millions of free Bibles in places where the Bible isn’t readily available.

Why is this app different?

Since most people associate mobile applications with smartphones like the iPhone, we thought it would help if we explained why this app is different.

Because of the basic nature of Java phones and the limited availability of mobile data connections, we’ve intentionally kept the Java Bible app simple. To accommodate as many phones as possible, we built two versions: (1) a “bundled” version that includes the ASV Bible and doesn’t need a data connection to read the Bible and (2) a “lite” version that necessitates a data connection to read the Bible.

Both the “bundled” and the “lite” versions can be downloaded directly to your computer and then transferred to your Java phone manually to allow people with zero mobile data connection the chance to have the Bible on their phone. But, of course, if you do have a data connection you will still be able to download the app from http://youversion.com/download just like all of our other Bible apps.

What is a “Java-enabled phone”?

Java (J2ME or Java ME) is the most ubiquitous application platform for mobile devices. Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Sony, Nokia, and others offer handsets that run Java applications. For example, if you have a Motorola Razor or a Nokia E63 (two of the most popular phones in the world), you can run Java apps. Even Windows Mobile devices can use this app.

How to Download

The easiest way to download the YouVersion Bible app for Java is to visit http://youversion.com/download from your Java-enabled mobile phone. From there you’ll be taken to the Java application store where you’ll be able to download the right version for your phone.

If you’d rather download the app to your computer and transfer it manually, go to http://www.getjar.com/mobile/29005/bible-from-youversion to grab it now.

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