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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 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 You can also join the conversation on Twitter ( or Facebook (

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 ( 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 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 ( 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 ( 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 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 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 to grab it now.

More News on YouVersion’s Scaling Progress: User Support

Phase one of YouVersion’s scaling process was completed a little over a week ago. It involved both hardware and software upgrades to help handle the increased traffic from both website visitors and mobile application users. You can read more about that process here, but we’re already seeing drastic improvements in up-time and reliability.

While the engineering side of YouVersion’s scaling was under way, we quietly started a project to scale our support infrastructure to better serve the millions of new users that are being added to the YouVersion community. With YouVersion adding more than 10,000 new users every day, it was apparent that our former support setup wasn’t going to work.

Nearing the end of 2009, we set out to overhaul our user support infrastructure so that it could scale to serve tens of millions of users efficiently and effectively.

First, we moved from GetSatisfaction to Zendesk ( Zendesk allows us to support users one-on-one through a private ticketing system while maintaining an open forum environment where the YouVersion community can help each other find answers. Second, we assigned a single person to be responsible for ongoing support. This doesn’t mean that one person has to answer every support request. Rather, this person is responsible for making sure the YouVersion community is cared for, heard, and helped. It’s more of a leadership role than a “customer service representative” role.

The most important change has been who supports the YouVersion community. While we have a dedicated support manager to guide and lead in this area, we’re going to start leaning on volunteers to provide answers and troubleshoot problems for other YouVersion users. The volunteers we’re trusting with this role are handpicked to join this team; the YouVersion Community Champions.

If you’re interested in being a YouVersion Community Champion, here’s what we’re looking for:

– Used YouVersion for at least 4 months on a very regular basis
– Very familiar with the main website and at least one YouVersion mobile application
– Displayed the ability and willingness to meaningfully help other YouVersion users in the public support forums by answering questions or providing guidance

We’re excited about how this new approach to user support will provide value to the entire YouVersion community. If you’d like to know more about volunteering for YouVersion support or in other areas, go to If you’d like to sign up immediately, go to

With the new system in place, we’re confident that we’ll be able to continue to effectively support the ballooning YouVersion user-base as it grows into the tens of millions. And what’s more, we’re prepared to make constant adjustments and improvements as necessary to make sure the YouVersion community is always well cared for.

Scheduled Maintenance Tomorrow Morning

In our continued efforts to keep up with the growth of YouVersion in recent months, we’re scheduling some downtime tomorrow morning to spend some time upgrading our hardware. YouVersion will be down for an hour (or less) between 9am and noon CST. We’ll post from the @YouVersion Twitter account when maintenance begins and again when we’re finished.

Sorry for the inconvenience. We promise to work as quickly as possible.

Scaling…phase one complete!

For the past few weeks our team has been focused on bringing stability and reliability to the YouVersion infrastructure. You can read a few posts about the process here and here. I am pleased to announce we have completed the first phase of that process, and had a very successful and stable weekend…more here and here.

As you are aware, YouVersion is growing at an amazing rate – over 1/2 million new mobile users added in the last 30 days, and over 250,000 new registered web users this month alone! We are not seeing growth slow down, so we are also preparing for continual scaling (phase 2, 3, etc.) to be able to handle the additional users.

Finally, with all this scaling and infrastructure talk you might be thinking we have stopped ongoing development…well, that is not the case! Look for some fun and exciting releases and announcements in the coming weeks.

Scaling to Handle YouVersion’s Massive Growth

As you may know, YouVersion grew by leaps and bounds in 2009, and 2010 is already shaping up to be a record-setting year for Scripture engagement on the web and on mobile phones. January is on track to see more new accounts, more new Bible app downloads, more unique views, and more time reading the Bible than we’ve ever seen before.

But with growth comes the challenge of scaling to accommodate it. God has brought together an amazing team of talented developers and engineers that have made it their single focus to stabilize and expand YouVersion’s infrastructure to handle the current load and prepare it for the increasing demands of new user-accounts, hits, downloads, and minutes reading the Bible.

Today we completed the first phase of infrastructure expansion and you should already start to feel the increased speed and better up-time from the changes we’ve made so far. Continued server and code-base optimization will take place over the next several weeks with ongoing evaluations and tweaks throughout the year.

As a side note to these challenges and our response to them, the YouVersion team is incredibly thankful for our users. You’ve been patient, courteous, helpful, and encouraging through this phase of growth and we don’t take that for granted. We know that God has big plans for YouVersion in the coming months and years and we’re honored to partner with you to see His plans come full circle.

(As a reminder, if you have questions, problems, ideas, or praise for the YouVersion team, you can post them to our community forum at

Massive growth…and the impact you are feeling!

Over the past few months YouVersion has been growing at an explosive rate, and for that we thank you! Many of you might not realize, but in the last 30 days we have added over 1/2 million new mobile users to the iPhone, Blackberry and Android Bible application and that continues to grow. In addition to those new users, we are seeing significant growth in mobile web usage as well as traditional web usage of We are excited to see so many millions of people interacting regularly with Scripture.

However, with the great news of new users…and people being able to engage in Scripture, the reality is we have had a few rough days this month, specifically on Sundays. As we see huge amounts of people using the Bible Application our core server infrastructure has not been able to handle the peak load. What we want you as our users and partners to know is we are very sorry for this issue. We are highly committed to addressing these current problems, and building a solution that will have the capacity to handle millions and millions of new Bible users each month. We have already made some major changes and improvements this afternoon, as well as initiated a plan to triple our server infrastructure.

As challenging as these past few days have been…we are excited and encouraged about the future. The idea of reaching hundreds of millions if not billions of people with the power of God’s Word is unfolding as a reality! We thank you for partnering with us and ask for your continued prayers and support as we continue this exciting journey.

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