If just the thought of reading the whole Bible seems daunting, consider this: The Bible’s not just one book. It’s actually a collection of several books and letters, written over literally thousands of years. The Bible’s stories and ideas, taken all together, paint a picture of the love God has for us. Consider making 2011 the year you start exploring!
Whether or not you’ve read the Bible before, Reading Plans are a great way to engage with God’s Word. The Bible App from YouVersion now has more than 50 plans to choose from, with even more on the way! Each Reading Plan has a description that tells what it covers and how long it takes, so it’s easy to pick one that will work best for you:
- The Whole Bible. Reading just a little each day, it’s very do-able to read through the Bible in a year. Just try The One Year® Bible New Living Translation (NLT), M’Cheyne, or Chronological. As just one example, The One Year® Bible NLT takes only 15 minutes a day, with Old and New Testament, Psalm, and Proverb readings. This particular “through the Bible” plan is clear, easy, and user-friendly. (See the “original” print version here.) And if you like to set your sights on big goals, we challenge you to read the Bible in 90 Days!
- Part of the Bible. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re ready to try tackling the entire Bible yet. Or maybe you want to read at a more relaxed pace without feeling pressed for time. Check out New Thru 30, Essential 100, or One-2-One.
- Topical. If you’d like to read really deeply in a specific area of interest, taking some time to reflect, try a topical plan. You’ll find plans as diverse as Marriage, Wisdom, Why Read the Bible? and Top Verses to Memorize.
- Devotionals. In 2011, consider dedicating a part of each day to framing your thoughts around God’s Word and his plan for your life. Try Lifetime Guarantee, Morning and Evening, or Breathe Life.
2011 can be your year to get a fresh start reading the Bible. Check out the Reading Plans online at our website, or directly in the Bible App on your device. All you need to get started is the Bible App and a free YouVersion account. Want a little extra support in meeting your goal? When you’re at YouVersion.com, sign up for progress update emails for yourself or an accountability partner. Make today the first day of your new plan!
Here at YouVersion, we want to make the Bible App as helpful as it can be on every mobile platform. That’s why today we’re pleased to announce: Notes are now ready for Android! (Available immediately.) If you’ve used notes before on YouVersion.com or on one of our other platforms, hopefully you already know how they work.
Here’s a quick primer:
- Associate notes with a passage. Find the verse or passage you want to comment on and select it. When the options menu pops up, tap Notes. To add your note, tap Create New.
- Add notes freely. You don’t have to tie a note to a passage. You can add a freeform note about anything you want. Just tap the Notes tab to get started.
- Other things notes do. To post a note to Twitter or Facebook, open the note, tap menu, then tap “Share.” If you see a note that contains inappropriate content, select the note, tap menu, then tap “Report.” We’ll flag it and have a look at it for review.
When you’re adding a note, be sure you take a moment to indicate how you want to share it:
- Draft. If your note still needs a little time to “gel” before you’re ready to share it, mark it as Draft. This keeps it private just to you, but you can tell it still needs work.
- Private. No one else can see notes that you mark as Private. Most of us here at YouVersion use this feature primarily for journaling, collecting the things we sense that God is showing us in what we’re reading.
- Public. Public notes are visible to everyone. Reading other people’s notes and then adding your own is one of the best ways to connect and share your Bible reading experience with others.
- Publish on: Your note is basically marked as Private for now, then on the date you specify, its status will flip to Public.
TIP: You can change a note back and forth between the different categories at any time.
We’re so glad to be able to bring notes to the Bible App on your Android device. We still have lots more enhancements and features heading your way, but in the meantime, we hope you’ll take full advantage of all of the Bible tools you already have in your hands. We also hope you’ll use the Bible App’s connecting features to engage the other people in your circles of influence with the things that God is saying to you through His Word!
If you use the Bible App from YouVersion on your iPhone, then we imagine you might have watched with just the slightest twinge of envy as you’ve seen notes come to some of our other platforms. Your wait is over! As long as you’re signed in to your free YouVersion account, you’re ready to start adding notes:
- General notes. You can add a note at any time, and it can be about anything. Simply tap the Notes tab.
- Connected to a passage. Of course, you can link a note directly to a single verse. Just tap the verse you want to comment on, then tap Notes on the options menu that displays. To add yours, tap Create New. (You can even add additional verses—and remove verses—from their association with a note.)
- Connect with community. “Share” any note to post it to Twitter or Facebook, “Like” a note to display it in a list of your favorite Notes on your profile on YouVersion.com, even “Report” a note to flag it as inappropriate.
Important! For any note you make: Give it a title, then mark whether you want to share it:
- Draft. A note “in progress”—one that’s not quite ready for prime time.
- Private. Only you will see this note. This is a great way to journal for yourself about the things that God is showing you in His Word.
- Public. Your note will be visible by anyone. One of the greatest benefits of notes, public notes allow others to share in your journey through the Scriptures—and you in theirs.
- Publish on: The note will be Private for now, but it will become Public on the date you specify.
TIP: You can change a note back and forth between the different sharing options at any time.
Many of you have been asking us to bring notes to the iPhone for a long time now, so of course we’re thrilled to be able to provide it for you. But this is still just the beginning. We’re really excited about all the continued advancements and improvements still to come. In the meantime, enjoy your Bible! And please share your experience with others!
- Draft. A note “in progress” that you’re not ready to share yet.
- Private. Only you will see this note. (You can use this feature to journal what God’s showing you in His Word.)
- Public. Anyone will be able to see this note.
- Publish on: Schedule the date you want this note to become public.
During our webcast this past Tuesday, one great question submitted through Twitter was, “When will we be able to take notes?” Terry Storch, our Digerati Pastor, answered that we planned to roll notes out on Friday. Happy Friday, everybody… Notes are here now!
What notes are. You can use notes to collect your thoughts, keep track of what God’s Spirit is saying to you, and even to share your insights and ideas with your friends. You can associate a note directly with a verse or passage (sort of like a bookmark with context), or you can just record your thoughts generally. As long as you’re signed in to your YouVersion account, your notes go where you go.
Notes come in two flavors:
- Public. When you create a new note, its default setting is public. This means that anyone will be able to see it.
- Private. You can mark any note as private at any time. That means no one can see it but you.
TIP: You can change a note back and forth between private and public at any time.
Start now. To add a note, just click the big Create New button and fill in the blanks. (Be sure to specify whether you want your note to be Private or Public.) Looking at an existing note is easy: Just click on it. Click Back to return to the list, or click the arrow buttons to scroll backwards and forwards through notes.
We’ll continue to refine the notes feature as we gain insight from how YouVersion users interact with it…and remember, notes will be rolling out to all our major mobile apps as well, so look for an update to your Bible App soon!
By the time you read this, we will have already launched the all-new, from-scratch YouVersion Bible App for Facebook. From entirely within Facebook, the Bible App makes it easy to:
- Read the Bible
- Switch between different Bible translations
- Jump directly to specific books, chapters, or verses
- Select verses or passages and share them, publishing them to your Wall and to your Friends’ home pages
Here’s a quick look at what you can already do in the Bible App (click to enlarge):
We know many of you enjoy spending time in Facebook. And we’d be happy for you to spend even more, especially if that means you’re connecting with God’s Word—and sharing it with others. Eventually, we even hope to bring most of the same features inside our Facebook app that you’ve come to know and love on other platforms. Go check it out and let us know what you think!
- Bookmark syncing. In the past, your bookmarks were stored directly in the app on the device you were using. Now, as long as you’re signed in to YouVersion, you’ll be able to jump to any of your bookmarks, regardless of where you are: iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, or web. Your bookmarks go where you go!
- Easier offline downloads. It was already really easy to download an offline translation of the Bible. But now we’ve made all tasks related to offline versions easier: Finding, downloading, seeing your existing downloaded versions…even removing versions you no longer use.
Everything we’re working on right now is focused on helping you engage with the Bible in the easiest, most natural way. We’re making it available on as many devices as we can, in as many ways as we can, so that you can fit it seamlessly into your life. Wherever you are in the world, we want you to have God’s Word close by.
With version 2.5 of the YouVersion Bible app for BlackBerry, we’ve added the ability to bookmark verses for quick access later. Bookmarking is a popular feature on iPhone, iPad, Android and our other mobile apps, and we’re excited to deliver this feature to more than 2 million BlackBerry users.
Bookmarking a verse is simple. Just select a verse, hit the menu button, and choose “Bookmark Verse” from the menu. Now that verse will be listed among your bookmarks, which you can reach from the app dashboard.
And, since many of our mobile app users also enjoy engaging Scripture on their computer at YouVersion.com, your bookmarks will also sync with your YouVersion account so you’ll have them anywhere you use YouVersion to read the Bible.
We have lots of new features coming down the pipeline for all of our mobile apps, so keep an eye out for great updates rolling out fast and furious. You’ll see things like the ability to share Bible verses via SMS (text message) and inside BlackBerry Messenger as well as faster load times and an updated dashboard design.
Also on the horizon is a revamp of YouVersion Contributions and Journals. We have big plans for them and can’t wait roll those changes out to you. Of course, that’s all we can say right now, but we know you’ll love the changes and what you’ll be able to do within your Bible app in the coming weeks.
- a complete redesign of the entire interface of the app
- a brand new dashboard for quick navigation of key areas
- dozens of small enhancements that make a big difference
Two months ago, we went back to the drawing board with the Android Bible app design to make reading the Bible an even more pleasing experience on your Android device. We thought through every element, menu item, and button to make sure you you could get around in the app easily and focus on Scripture.
The redesign is too extensive to detail here, so take a peek at a couple screenshots and download the 2.2 release to experience the real thing. The biggest enhancements can be found in the Bible reader and reading plans.
When we released the Palm webOS Bible app, we saw the benefit for our users to have a dashboard to act as a central hub for the main components of the app. The Android Bible app’s dashboard now includes a news section where you’ll find announcements about YouVersion, warnings about scheduled server maintenance, ways to connect with the YouVersion team on Twitter and Facebook, and a few splashes of color for your visual enjoyment.
Lots of Small Tweaks
We love to enhance the little things that make your experience the best it can be. Our team made over 70 changes to the Android Bible app for this release (some seen and some unseen) including tweaks that will improve the speed of the app, better communication with the user, and small design adjustments. Here are a few samples:
- double-tap the header to scroll to the top
- progress bars in the reading plans list for plans you’ve started
- sharing multiple verses at one time
- your bookmarks sync automatically with YouVersion.com
- donate to YouVersion inside the app
- more helpful error messages when something goes wrong
- lots of little bug fixes
We know you’ll enjoy the changes in release 2.2 of the Android Bible app, so download it now and engage with Scripture like never before.