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Update for the Bible App for Windows Phone 7

We’ve just released the newest update for the Bible App™ for Windows Phone 7. This latest release, version 1.4, addresses some bugs and performance issues. But the really big news here is the Bible reader. We rewrote the reader portion of the application from scratch to make it more responsive and easier to use. You can get version 1.4 now at the Windows Marketplace for Mobile.

German and Portuguese Now on YouVersion.com

Thanks to our awesome YouVersion community of volunteers, German and Portuguese are now available as interface options at www.youversion.com. Select the language you’d like from the lower left corner of the reader, or go directly to de.youversion.com for German or pt.youversion.com for Portuguese.

What this means is that you can interact with our Bible tools completely in German, directly from our website, or in the Bible App™ on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, Android, or BlackBerry. In the same way, you can use Portuguese on our website and also in the Bible App on Android and BlackBerry. Of course we already offer the Luther Bible 1912 (DELUT) in German and the Almeida Atualizada (AA) in Portuguese, with more versions in more languages coming.

If you have friends or loved ones who might enjoy engaging with God’s Word in German or Portuguese, please share this exciting news with them. If you’d like to help us get our interface into your language, let us know what you can do at our volunteer sign up. The YouVersion volunteer community truly is changing the world.

Available Now from YouVersion: Offline Versions on the Bible App for BlackBerry

Today we’re pleased to announce the single feature requested most by our BlackBerry users: Access to Bible translations for use offline. You can immediately download this newest version of the Bible App™, v. 3.0, through your browser or by visiting BlackBerry App World.

Other features. Our previous BlackBerry release included German, French, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese; this time, we’re adding to that Russian and Portuguese. And speaking of languages, the default Bible version the Bible App displays reflects the language you set for your device. Finally, you should notice when you open it that the Bible App loads much faster now.

Important! To download an offline translation, your device must:

  1. Be running BlackBerry 5.0 OS or newer.
  2. Have an SD media card with at least 50 MB of free space.

What’s offline use? In the past, BlackBerry users have not had access to Bible translations unless connected to the Internet or your service provider. Now, for the first time on BlackBerry, once you’ve downloaded a Bible version to your BlackBerry’s SD card, you’ll be able to read it anytime, anywhere—whether you’re online or not.

How you can get your free offline versions:

Make sure you’re connected to the Internet or to your service provider. Then, from the Bible reader:

  1. Select the top bar, where the current translation is presently displayed.
  2. All versions display in alphabetical order by language. Any translation with a download icon (a box with an arrow pointing down) means it’s available as an offline version. Select that version’s download icon.
  3. Follow the instructions and select the large Download button.

BlackBerry Update: Chinese, German, French and so much more!

The next version (v 2.9) of the Bible App™ for BlackBerry is available now. Get it at BlackBerry App World or download it here through your browser. One feature we’re thrilled to announce is the inclusion of Simplified and Traditional Chinese, right in the interface! If you know anyone who’d like a free, easy-to-read, easy-to-share Bible in Chinese, please let them know about the Bible App, powered by YouVersion.

All around, we’ve worked really hard to make this a terrific release, packed with improvements:

  • To give you a better overall reading experience, we’ve added headings, translation notes, even the words of Christ in red where the translation provides them. You can also change the font directly inside the Bible reader now.
  • The Arabic translation is now right-aligned, making it much easier to read.
  • Besides Simplified and Traditional Chinese, we’ve also added German and French interface support.
  • We updated and improved our Spanish interface, so it should be easier for native Spanish speakers.
  • And of course, what would any release be without bug fixes and performance enhancements?

Do you love reading the Bible on your BlackBerry? Have you told your friends about it yet? Please consider sharing your favorite Bible App features on Facebook and Twitter. We’d be honored if you’d show your friends how easy the Bible App is to get and how it works. (Especially friends whose native language isn’t English.)

BlackBerry Home Screen in Chinese BlackBerry in Chinese 01 BlackBerry in Chinese Bookmark Popup BlackBerry in Chinese Popup Menu BlackBerry in Chinese 04

Windows Phone 7 v. 1.3: Now with Reading Plans!

A new release, v. 1.3, is now available for the Bible App™ by YouVersion on Windows Phone 7! You can update yours at Marketplace for Mobile right now. While this release contains the typical “bug fixes and performance enhancements,” the feature we’ve actually worked the hardest to bring you is Reading Plans.

When you select a Reading Plan (from a list of more than 50), YouVersion gives you a simple schedule with a little to read each day. A Reading Plan is an easy, focused way to read through whatever you’re interested in in the Bible. And if you happen to miss a day here and there (everybody does sometimes), just tap the “catch up” button, and the Bible App will reset your reading schedule accordingly.

Once you have the Bible App installed on your Windows phone, just go to Reading Plans and browse for the one you want. You can sign up at YouVersion.com for progress update emails for yourself or an accountability partner. It’s never to late to get started!

Just think about it: This could be the year you really connect with the Bible. You can try a plan that takes you through the Bible in a year, or just select parts, even specific topics and daily devotionals. If you’re looking for a challenge, we even have one plan that will help you read the entire Bible in just 90 days!

Be sure to connect your account with your social networks and share your thoughts about what you’re reading with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Android Update v. 2.7: Reading Plan Widget!

YouVersion is really excited to be able to offer you our very first widget for the Bible App™ on Android! Specifically designed to help you with your YouVersion Reading Plans, you can use this widget to display your reading for today—right on your device’s home screen. Just tap today’s reading, and the widget launches you directly into the Bible App reader!

To get this widget, update to the newest version of the Bible App for Android, v. 2.7, available now in the App Market.

Once you’ve updated your Bible App, here’s how you can add the widget to your Home screen:

Surefire Technique:

  1. Go to your Home screen.
  2. Make room on your Home screen for another widget
    (removing other unused icons and widgets if necessary).
  3. Tap Menu.
  4. Tap Add.
  5. Tap Widgets.
  6. Tap the “Bible (Today’s Reading)” item.

Shortcut Technique:

  1. Go to your Home screen.
  2. Make room on your Home screen for another widget
    (removing other unused icons and widgets if necessary).
  3. Press and hold on any empty space.
  4. When the menu pops up, tap Widgets.
  5. Tap the “Bible (Today’s Reading)” item.

Badges: YouVersion.com Has ‘Em!

As a Bible App user, you probably already know the benefits of spending time in God’s Word. But we wanted to add an extra element of fun to your time with YouVersion, so we’re introducing YouVersion badges today just for you!

YouVersion badges are like little awards for reaching milestones such as finishing a Bible reading plan, sharing Bible verses with friends, and bookmarking your favorite Bible verses. YouVersion badges are meant to signify an accomplishment or special activity regarding your interaction with the Bible, and our hope is that you’ll be even more motivated to engage with and share the Bible everyday.

While we have big plans for badges in the future, here are a few of the badges that are ready for you to earn right away.

YouVersion badges have been live for a couple days already and you can watch the frenzy of other YouVersion users who are reading, sharing, bookmarking and earning badges here. Have you earned any badges yet? If so, let us know! We’d love to celebrate together!

Get Started with a Reading Plan

Reading Plans

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!

Now Android Has Notes, Too!

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!

Notes: Finally, It’s iPhone’s Turn!

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!

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