Hear God’s Voice in Your Everyday Life

What’s the most important voice in your life? You can probably picture a specific person’s face, even hear their voice in your head. That relationship didn’t “just happen.” You work on it. You value it.

That’s the kind of relationship God wants with you as his adopted child. And what in your life could be more important than that? He wants you to talk to him, and he wants to talk to you—through his Word. Starting a new year is the perfect time to freshen relationships and renew dreams. What might your 2013 look like — if you leave space to hear from him?

YouVersion’s Bible Plans make it easy to connect daily with God. People in the worldwide YouVersion community constantly share how much it means to make God’s Word a part of their everyday lives. The key is to just get started. Here we’ve made a short list to help you turn engaging with the Bible into a daily habit:

  1. If you haven’t already, download the Bible App to your device. (Read more…)
  2. Get your free YouVersion account.
  3. Sign up for a Reading Plan. (Read more…)
  4. Then just start reading God’s Word—or listening to it—a little each day. It really is that simple!

To help you stick with it, invite your friends! It’s easy to connect to Facebook and Twitter and let them know what you’re reading.

If you’re still having a hard time picking a plan, check back here tomorrow. We’ll share highlights from some exciting, brand-new Reading Plans, as well as some proven favorites!

Merry Christmas from YouVersion!

Please join us today in celebrating the birth of our Savior, God’s gift to us of His only Son. To the worldwide YouVersion community: Thank you. You are why we do what we do. Because of you, we’ve been able to bring the Bible for free to more people than we could have imagined.

This season offers unique opportunities for us to share our faith, as we gather with friends and family to celebrate and reconnect. If you or someone you love gets a new device this Christmas, that’s a great time to install the Bible App. (It’s free!)

It’s also a great time of year to share your favorite things about the Bible on Facebook and Twitter. If you haven’t already, it’s easy to connect your free YouVersion account and share straight from the app. Not sure what to share? Consider verses from the Christmas story, or even just your favorite Bible verse:

These are just a few ideas. Try to focus on why the Bible is special to you. And most important, have a wonderful Christmas as you celebrate the gift of a God who is with us, Emmanuel!

Bible App for iOS Adds More Offline Features, Thai Language Support

The new version of the Bible App™ for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch — version 4.2 — is available now in the iTunes App Store. Since many of you use the Bible App during times when you don’t have a mobile signal or Internet connection, one of the most frequent requests from the YouVersion community has been to make more of our features available offline. We think you’ll find a lot to love in this latest update:

Enhanced Offline Experience. We’ve added offline capabilities to most of your favorite features, like Reading Plans, Notes, and even your customized Today view! We’ve also improved the display of your list of downloaded Bible Versions when you’re offline. Now the Bible App for iOS stores information for all of these things locally on your device, only syncing with your online account in the background once you’re connected again. Add new Notes and keep up on your Reading Plans, anytime, anywhere — even when you can’t get a signal!

Better Bookmarking. Bookmarks still work the way you’re used to. Just tap a verse or passage you want to share, memorize, or study to Bookmark it. But we’ve added the ability to edit your Bookmarks, so you can keep them organized just how you like.

In-App Password Change. You’ve always been able to sign in and out from inside the Bible App, but if you wanted to update your password, you had to visit YouVersion.com. Not anymore! Now, for the first time ever, you can change your password directly from the Bible App on your device.

Thai Language Support. You probably know that YouVersion offers Bible versions in more than 200 languages. But did you know that, thanks to an awesome worldwide community of YouVersion translation volunteers, you can also set the Bible App’s interface on your Apple device—menus, buttons, and controls—to display in any of 31 languages? Simply go to Settings, General, and pick your favorite, or change the default language for your device. Thai is a brand new addition to YouVersion’s interface language offerings, available first on iOS in this release (and coming soon to more platforms)!

Bug Fixes and Performance Enhancements. As always, for each new release of the Bible App for iOS, we take the opportunity to make several improvements and adjustments. While our community lets us know about issues through our Support website, our own testing and development often reveal things we can do to make your overall YouVersion experience better.

Be sure to let your friends know about this latest update to the Bible App for iOS, especially if they speak Thai! And come see us on Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing from you!


For users interested in understanding our strategy in regards to iPhone 5, please read this blog post

Get Your Bible App Update Now:

If you already have the Bible App installed:

  1. On your Apple device, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Updates icon.
  3. Tap Update for the Bible App.
    OR
    Tap Update All.

If this is your first time installing the Bible App:

  1. On your Apple device, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Search icon.
  3. Search for “Bible”.
  4. Tap the Bible App from LifeChurch.tv.
  5. Tap the FREE button.

The Bible App Named in Apple’s Best of 2012

For the third year in a row, the Bible App™ has been ranked in the top 100 Free apps for iPhone on Apple’s “Best of” list. The Bible App was in the top 100 for iPad too — which means that it has appeared in the top 100 iPad apps every year since the iPad was introduced!

Of course, the real story behind the Bible App’s success and recognition is you, the global YouVersion community.

It’s because you download the Bible App onto your devices and help your friends download it onto theirs. It’s because so many of you use the Bible App every day to engage with God’s Word. It’s because you never stop sharing how the Bible is shaping your life on Facebook, on Twitter, and face to face. And it’s because so many of you generously donate your gifts and talents as volunteers to help YouVersion constantly improve.

YOU are the “Best of 2012.” Thank you. And congratulations!

Watch the World Read About the Birth of Jesus

The story of our Savior’s birth has been told and retold for thousands of years, but this year, for the first time, you’ll be able to see how many people are actually reading it.

The Christmas Story Tracker is a fun live map we created to watch the world read about the birth of Jesus. When someone uses the Bible App to read a verse about the Christmas story, the map lights a star on their country. A counter at the top right shows the total number of readings from the YouVersion community since December 1.

Christmas Tracker

 

Whether you’re reading a Christmas Bible Plan or just a verse about Jesus’ birth, you’ll light up a star on the map and add to the running tally. And it’s easy to get your friends in on the fun: look for the Facebook and Twitter icons.

What are you waiting for…go check out christmas.youversion.com!

Do You Have Plans for Advent? Yes!

Advent is here! Every year, beginning four Sundays before Christmas, Christians all over the world prepare their hearts to celebrate the gift of Immanuel, “God with us.” YouVersion offers several Bible plans to help you reflect on Jesus’ birth. This year, we have more plans for you than ever before. Find the plan that’s just right for you—or try several!

Rediscovering the Christmas Season features reflection questions and action steps that help you focus on Christ every day between December 1 and Christmas. From LifeChurch.tv. 25 days

Countdown to Christmas is an Advent calendar that teaches your whole family the significance of Christmas through fun activities. From Thriving Family. 29 days

She Reads Truth: Advent brings scripture, short devotions, and a few questions together each day to create changed hearts this Christmas season. From She Reads Truth. 28 days

The Christmas Story starts with Old Testament prophecies about the coming Savior, then turns to the Gospel accounts of his glorious arrival. From YouVersion. 5 days

Christmas Begins with Christ focuses on Jesus, sharing the light, joy, peace, and hope surrounding his birth. From Tearfund. 28 days

Carols: A Christmas Devotional shares the biblical foundations of songs that celebrate the true joy of the season. From LifeChurch.tv. 25 days

Find even more plans in the Christmas and Advent category on YouVersion!

Share the Love of Jesus this Season

The holidays offer us chance after chance to share our faith with friends, family, and others. And the Bible App makes it so easy! This season, look for those ideal opportunities where you can share your faith, simply by showing them your Bible App:

  • When someone receives a new mobile device as a gift
  • As you attend Christmas services
  • When you read the Christmas story with your family

Best of all, it’s quick and easy to help others get their own Bible App—no matter what kind of mobile device they have. Tell them they can just go to www.bible.com/download or, even better, install it for them!

Celebrate National Day of the Bible with Us!

Today, November 19, is National Day of the Bible, kicking off the annual celebration of National Bible Week. This week, Christians all across the U.S. will commemorate God’s Word with concerts, public readings, and special contests. (And if you’re lucky enough to be in Chicago this week, 2012’s official “Bible city,” be sure to check out their list of events.)

A group of businessmen started National Bible Week in 1940 to offer hope to a nation on the brink of war. In fact, when the first scheduled Bible reading radio broadcast was interrupted by news of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the broadcasters decided to continue reading Scripture in between news updates. And National Bible Week has continued as an annual tradition ever since, encouraging everyone to read the Bible, whether it’s Christians bolstering their faith or simply others who want to understand a different worldview.

Of course, the Bible App from YouVersion makes it easy. Our mission is to make the Bible freely available to as many people as possible, in whatever language they prefer. YouVersion offers more than 400 versions of the Bible in 209 languages (so far), along with hundreds of Bible reading and audio plans, also in many languages. With the Bible App already installed on almost 70 million unique devices, readers have spent more than 35 billion minutes reading God’s Word. You can get your very own Bible App on almost any mobile device quickly and easily—and always 100% free!

5 Million Bible Plans Completed!

YouVersion first launched Reading Plans in 2009, and since then people have used the Bible App to complete 5 million Plans! Whether you like to read, listen, or watch your daily selection, Bible Plans make it easier than ever to spend meaningful time in God’s Word. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing all over the world through the Bible App!

Making Plans Work for You

People who complete their Bible Plans sometimes get a little help along the way from these handy features. Just go to your plan’s Settings (the gear icon) and look for these useful tools:

  • Catch Me Up. Falling behind? In your plan’s Settings, tap Catch Me Up to shift your start and end dates. Your last fully completed day becomes yesterday. If you have partially completed days, those unfinished selections will remain unchecked.
  • Reminders. Have the Bible App remind you when it’s time to read. In your plan’s Settings, set Reminder to On and specify the time of day you’d like to be reminded. At the time you set, the Bible App pops up a handy reminder.
  • Email Delivery. Get your daily selections delivered to your inbox. In your plan’s Settings, set Email Delivery to On and select the time of day you’d like to receive your daily selection, along with which Bible version you’d like. The Bible App sends it to the email address you specified for your free YouVersion account.

For even more tips and tricks, be sure to check out YouVersion’s Support website!

The Bible App Now in Finnish and Vietnamese

The Bible App™ now in Finnish and VietnameseWith today’s announcement of the addition of Finnish and Vietnamese, YouVersion is now offering the Bible App in twenty-five languages. This includes not only Bible versions, but all of the menus, settings, and even reading plans. Simply select your desired language from the Bible App’s Settings, or set the language on your device. If you enjoy using the Bible App at YouVersion.com, you can choose from the list of languages at the bottom right. Whether you speak Finnish or Vietnamese, or you have friends who do, please help us spread the word on Facebook and Twitter!

Finnish

You can choose Finnish (Suomi) right now for your Bible App for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Android, or at YouVersion.com. (Finnish is also coming soon to the Bible App for Windows Phone!) We offer four Finnish Bible versions: the contemporary Kirkkoraamattu 1992 (KR92) and the traditional Kirkkoraamattu 1933/38 (KINB38), both provided by the Finnish Bible Society, and the Finnish 1776 (FI1776) and Finnish 1938 (FINPR). Also, be sure you check out one of our 25 reading plans in Finnish!

Vietnamese

We’re also pleased to now offer Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) on the Bible App for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Android, BlackBerry, and at YouVersion.com. Look for any of our 25 reading plans in Vietnamese, as well as four different Bible versions. The Revised Vietnamese Version Bible (RVV11) is provided from the United Bible Societies, the modern Thánh Kinh: Bản Phổ thông™ (BPT) comes from the World Bible Translation Center, and the Ban Dich 2011 (BD2011) from the Rev. Bau Dang. You’ll even find the classic 1934 Vietnamese Bible (VI1934).

Because of You

The only way that YouVersion can make God’s Word available to as many people as we do, and in their own heart languages, is through the passionate work of a worldwide community of translation volunteers. These are people just like you who use their gifts to translate menus, settings, screens, and other key text so they can take part in seeing the Bible shared with the world. We never stop improving the Bible App, so there’s always more translation to do. If you can volunteer to translate into Finnish or Vietnamese (or other languages), we’d love to hear from you. Please join us. You’ll be helping people all over the planet fall in love with God’s Word.

We asked a couple of our key volunteers in Finnish and Vietnamese to share with you about why they love working with YouVersion to reach the world. Here’s what they had to say:

YouVersion Finnish language volunteer Juho A. (l) with YouVersion Global Partnership and Community Pastor Brian Russell (r)

“YouVersion translation felt like a natural way for me to contribute to the ministry. Serving others by using my native language (that I’m quite passionate about!) gives me great pleasure. I’m so grateful for the awesome fellowship that we have due to working together in the name of Christ.”
—Juho A., Espoo, Finland

YouVersion Vietnamese language volunteer Tien L.

“I decided to volunteer for YouVersion because I had always been called to the ministry of language translation. What an amazing way to help bring God’s Word to people in my country! Thanks to my experiences volunteering, I’ve come to realize that I did not truly appreciate the abilities and assets God has given me until I used them to serve Him. All glory be to the Lord!”
—Tien L., San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

Why Isn’t the Bible App Optimized for iPhone 5?

We hope you’ve already downloaded the latest update of the Bible App™ for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), available now in the iTunes App Store. With each release, we try to bring you with the best experience possible on the device of your choice.

If you have an iPhone 5, while the newest release of the Bible App will work just fine on your device, you’ll probably notice that it doesn’t fill your new, larger screen. But all of the features you know and love in the Bible App are still there, along with a few improvements.

Unfortunately, if we update the Bible App to add support for the iPhone 5’s taller screen, Apple requires us to drop support for many iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches with older operating systems. That would mean that the 700–900 people who are installing the Bible App on these older devices every day wouldn’t be able to get it at all. It also means that many thousands of others wouldn’t be able to upgrade the Bible App they already have installed.

More than 69 million people have installed the Bible App so far. While that number includes Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and many other types of devices, almost 30 million people are using the Bible App on Apple devices. We simply can’t justify compromising simple, free access to God’s Word for so many people just because they have older devices.

Now, we’re constantly reviewing downloads, how often and how long people interact with the Bible App, and what devices they’re using to connect. We take very seriously our responsibility to position our development resources where they’ll have the greatest impact. And our simple mission remains the same: To help as many people as possible engage with the Bible, no matter where they live or what language they prefer—or even which Apple device they happen to have.

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