Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg first shared his concept for the printing press. By the early 1450’s, he had put his ideas into action, printing the Bible faster and for far less money than the only option previously available: hand-copied versions that took years to create. Through a series of unfortunate events, Gutenberg lost his printing presses to a creditor a few years later. In 1468, he died, having never achieved financial success. Worse, there was no way he could have foreseen at the time how his amazing invention would go on to change the world. 

Today, of course, we recognize how this early Bible printing device ultimately gave birth to modern publishing. Gutenberg’s contribution was the spark that made possible the vast proliferation of knowledge and information that the rest of us have benefited from over the last 571 years.

In our generation, many inventors and technologies have dramatically shaped the landscape of our everyday lives, reaching into every corner of society and every industry. Arguably, the greatest innovator and creative genius of this generation has been Steve Jobs. His ideas, leadership, and life’s work influenced the direction of entire industries: broadcast media, motion pictures, music, publishing, communications, and of course, computing.

Jobs was actually able to achieve the financial success that eluded Gutenberg, leading Apple to become the highest-valued company in the world shortly before his passing. And although he was fortunate to actually get to witness the massive growth and adoption of his inventions, Steve Jobs was likely unaware of just how his creations would be used to further the vision of Johannes Gutenberg.

Using the Bible App on their iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches—to say nothing of the countless other devices influenced by Steve Jobs’ ideas—30 million people now have free access to the very book that Gutenberg started printing.

Many people now know the Bible as the Bible App, primarily because Jobs envisioned a new kind of communication device. Just as research was indicating a rapid decline in Bible reading and engagement, millions of people all over the world are now spending billions of minutes reading, listening to, and sharing the Bible—using mobile devices that Jobs either created or influenced.

Once again, history repeats itself. When Gutenberg set out to print the Bible, he unknowingly sparked a revolution that changed the world. Jobs turned publishing, media, entertainment, and communications upside down through his iNventions. And in so doing, he unknowingly sparked a revolution in Bible engagement that we believe will change the world.

Happy Birthday, YouVersion—We’re 4 Years Old!

Original YouVersion.com DashboardA Simple Idea. In June of 2007, the concept of YouVersion was first introduced to the world: A free, online Bible that would allow anyone with Internet access to link rich media (like video, audio, images, text, and more) to passages in the Bible. It would retain the sanctity of the Scriptures, but you’d also be able personalize your interaction and experience with them. Three months later, on September 27, the YouVersion.com Beta officially launched, marking the beginning of what has so far been an incredible four-year journey. Throughout that time, our goal has been helping people deeply connect with God’s Word.

YouVersion Goes Mobile. In April of 2008, we announced our first mobile version. While that event was significant, we couldn’t have predicted what was about to happen. A vibrant YouVersion community gathered suddenly around the mobile version, and together we discovered how transforming it was to have the Bible with us everywhere we went, all the time. We read the Bible more, referred to it more, and started sharing God’s wisdom with our friends more than ever before.

A Revolution Begins. Just three months later, in July, we announced the first version of the Bible App™ for iPhone with a simple video. In just 24 hours, early adopters spent almost 200,000 minutes using the Bible App on their iPhones, propelling it into the top 50 apps on iTunes. It was official: this was the beginning of a revolution in engaging with God’s Word.

And Now Here We Are. Today, with the Bible App installed on nearly 30 million unique devices, the YouVersion community is literally worldwide. Generous Bible publishing partners provide us with 152 translations in 45 languages. More than 190 Bible reading plans help us breathe in God’s Word every day, reading and listening. Things we could only imagine doing on mobile devices four years ago, the Bible App lets us do easily now: Bookmarking, Notes, sharing on social media sites, sharing through email or text messages… and more. And this is only the beginning. We’re committed to continuing to use the best of today’s and tomorrow’s technology to help the world fall in love with God’s Word.

When you use the Bible App to uncover God’s story of love, and when you share that journey of discovery with your friends, you’re a key part of that global YouVersion community. Thank you for all you’ve done!

The Bible App for BlackBerry: Now With Highlights, Better Bookmarking

You can now get version 3.5.1, the latest release of the Bible App™ for your BlackBerry device, in BlackBerry App World or as a direct browser download. In this exciting update, highlights are all new, and bookmarks are better than ever:

  • Highlights. For the first time on BlackBerry, now you can highlight individual or multiple Bible verses or passages in different colors—just like in your favorite paper Bible! (If you’re new to reading the Bible, highlights are a great way you can mark verses you enjoy, or that you want to easily spot again later.)
  • Bookmarks. Bookmarking on your BlackBerry device works pretty much the same way it has for a long time, where you simply tap on what you want to mark, then select Bookmark. Only now, for the first time ever, you can select multiple verses at a time! But you’ll find a lot more functionality than just that. For example, you can choose a highlight color, add a title to your bookmark—even label it. Bookmarks are great for sharing special passages with friends, better organizing your personal studies, or for whatever purposes your imagination and creativity lead you to.
  • Fixes.While this release also includes the standard “bug fixes” and “performance enhancements,” the most significant thing we addressed this time around was repairing a troubling issue that was causing freezes for some users under certain conditions. That shouldn’t happen anymore, and the Bible App should be noticeably faster at many common tasks.

The Bible App™ for BlackBerry Select The Bible App™ for BlackBerry Bookmark Properties The Bible App™ for BlackBerry Bookmark List
The Bible App™ for BlackBerry Edit Note The Bible App™ for BlackBerry Custom Color

Please help us get the word out. If you have friends with BlackBerry devices, a new release of the Bible App offers a great opportunity for you to share YouVersion with them. Please consider helping your friends who have never tried the Bible App get it installed and start their own free YouVersion account. Everything we do is always completely free. Our simple vision has always been to make it as easy as possible for people to engage freely with God’s Word, no matter where you live or what language you prefer. And remember: The YouVersion community on Facebook and Twitter loves hearing your stories about spreading the Bible App!

Brand New Features in the Bible App for Android Version 3.4: Available Now

Version 3.4, the latest release of the Bible App™ for Android, is available now in the Android App Market, for immediate download. You’ll find this updated version packed with great new features, all specifically designed to make your experience connecting with your YouVersion friends better than ever:

  • Easier, More Direct Help. Now you can access Technical Support from directly inside the Bible App. With just a couple of taps, you can email our Support team from wherever you are, a feature which will automatically include useful information that can help get your issue addressed much faster.
  • Sign up with Facebook. For the first time, now you can sign up for a free YouVersion account using your Facebook login, right inside the Bible App. This streamlines creating your account, which will save you time: You won’t need to verify your email address, and your YouVersion account will automatically connect to Facebook for you. It’s now faster and simpler than ever to share your favorite verses or Bible plans—or even the Bible App!—with your friends.
  • Create New Notes from Other Apps. Now when you connect your YouVersion account with other digital Bible platforms that use compatible technology (like Monvee), the notes you make on Bible passages in those other places can sync directly with your YouVersion account!
  • Highlights for Notes. Notes just got a whole lot richer. Adding to the Bible App’s already robust set of features for notes, now you can even label individual notes with highlight colors. This allows you to spot your notes at a glance, and even to coordinate or organize them by color if you want.
  • Faster than Ever. With every new release, we try to resolve known issues and improve performance. But in 3.4, we’ve specifically addressed speed by caching data on your notes and in YouVersion Live. What this means is that the Bible App makes smart decisions and loads things in the background, based on whatever you’re doing. This translates into much snappier performance for you.

The Bible App™ for Android 3.4 Help Launcher  The Bible App™ for Android 3.4 Help Launcher  The Bible App™ for Android 3.4 Sharing  The Bible App™ for Android 3.4 Highlights
Let your friends know! The YouVersion community is of course all about sharing your experiences connecting with God’s Word. A new Bible App update with great features like this one is a great way you can start a conversation with your friends who have Android devices. Please consider offering to help them install the Bible App on their mobiles, and even show them your favorite ways to use it. And tell us your stories! Our Facebook and Twitter communities love hearing creative ideas about how we can all share the Bible App.

More Powerful Search Comes to Bible App for iPhone and iPod touch

Find exactly what you’re looking for! The newest update of the Bible App™ for iPhone and iPod touch was just released. Version 3.5—available now in the iTunes App Store—offers inline translation notes, improved signup with Facebook, easier Help, faster performance, and enhanced Search features. Today we’ll share some quick tips to help you take full advantage of the most robust, flexible Search tools the Bible App has ever offered.

Note: For now, these enhanced search features are available only on iPhone and iPod touch.

Quick Search in the Bible App™ for iOS Version 3.5Quick Search. As always, search is available directly from the Dashboard Launcher, right at the top. Simply click in the “Reference or Keyword” text field, key what you’re looking for, then tap the [Search] button. You can search on individual words, whole phrases, and even jump to specific passages with book names, and/or chapter numbers, and/or verse numbers.
 
Advanced Search in the Bible App™ for iOS Version 3.5More Search Options. As soon as you tap Search, the Bible App presents you with several additional options:

  1. Sort Order. Choose Traditional (in book order) or Relevance.
  2. Advanced. Once you’re in Search mode, switch Advanced to ON to see more options for refining your search results:
  3. Version. Select the Bible translation you want to search.
  4. Section. Choose Old Testament, New Testament, or both.
  5. Book. Select the specific book(s) of the Bible where you want to search.
  6. Instant Results. Based on the options you’ve selected, your search results display—in context—at the bottom of the screen. Simply tap one to jump to it in the Bible Reader. Try a new search from the “Reference or Keyword” text field at the top, and your results update instantly.
  7. Search History. Tap the clock face button (top right) to display your previous searches. (More details below.)
 
Search History in the Bible App™ for iOS Version 3.5Search History. When you have a free YouVersion account, the Bible App saves all of your previous searches in this list.

  • Cancel. Tap the [Cancel] button to return to the Advanced Search screen.
  • Previous Search. Tap a previous search to once again see its results on the Advanced Search screen. (You can even refine those results with the Advanced features.)
  • Clear. Tap the [Clear] button to empty your Search History.
 

We hope these enhanced features will make it faster and easier than ever for you to find whatever you’re looking for in the Bible. Our passion is to help as many people as possible freely connect with the Bible, no matter where they live or what language they prefer. And great new tools like enhanced search can be a great conversation starter to help you share the Bible App with your friends.

Thank you so much for the part you play in the global YouVersion community!

Version 3.5 Update: Enhanced Study Tools for Bible App for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

The newest release of the Bible App™ for iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) has all-new additions like inline study tools, as well as helpful upgrades like more robust search, more information connecting with Facebook, and Technical Support at your fingertips. In addition, we addressed several functional issues that you, the YouVersion community, reported to us.

  • Study and Translation Notes. Wherever translation and study notes are available, you can view them directly within the context of the passages they refer to. (You can turn them off just as easily.) Check out Psalm 119 in the New Living Translation (NLT) or in the King James Version (KJV) to see examples.
  • Improved Search. When you search the Bible, now you can limit where you’re looking. For example, you can search in just the Old or New Testament, in a range of books, or even within a single book! You can also sort your results—such as displaying them in book order—making it easier to quickly find what you’re looking for. (For now, enhanced search is available only on iPhone and iPod touch.)
  • Facebook Signup. You could already quickly sign up for your free YouVersion account using Facebook. But now, this handy feature displays even more useful information—even your Facebook profile picture!
  • Help. Another step in making Technical Support always-on, always available, we added direct access to Help straight from the Dashboard Launcher.

Inline Study Notes in the Bible App™ for iOS v. 3.5  Powerful New Search in the Bible App™ for iOS v. 3.5  Help on the Dashboard Launcher in the Bible App™ for iOS v. 3.5

Of course, we try to take advantage of every release to repair known bugs and to tweak the Bible App’s performance. You can update your Bible App to version 3.5, available right now in the iTunes App Store. Simply follow the instructions below to get yours.

Tell your friends! If you haven’t talked to your friends about the Bible App, a new update like this can be a great conversation starter. You can show them your favorite new features on your device, then maybe even offer to help them install it on theirs. Sharing is fun! Come let your friends in the YouVersion community on Facebook and Twitter know what you’re reading, and how God’s Word is speaking to you.


Get Your 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.

Portuguese on YouVersion: 3 New Audio Bibles from Publishers, Translation from Volunteers

YouVersion’s vision is simple and straightforward: Helping people freely, easily engage with the Bible and connect with each other. And of course, hearing the Word of God read aloud in your native language can build your faith like nothing else. Generous publishers partner with our community to provide high-quality audio and print Bible translations. And people just like you graciously offer their gifts and abilities to help reach others through interface and website translation and other tasks. We’re blessed to have the unique, world-changing opportunity to serve alongside you.

Bible Publishers

YouVersion is privileged to be able to offer, for the first time, each of these popular “plain language” Português Bibles in audio form. (They’re also available in print):

  • Tradução na Linguagem de Hoje (NTLH). The Brazilian Bible Society spent 12 years developing the NTLH, working diligently to keep its meaning as close to the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek as possible. The NTLH was designed specifically for readability, targeted at people who have not had the opportunity for so-called “classical” training in the Scriptures.
  • Tradução Revista e Corrigida de João Ferreira de Almeida (ARC). Also from the Brazilian Bible Society, the ARC was first published in two volumes in 1748 and 1753. A translation of the King James Version of the Bible into Portuguese, the ARC is considered a milestone because it was the first time the entire new New Testament was available in this beautiful language.
  • Nova Versão Internacional. The NVI is one of the most recent translations of the Bible into Portuguese. Provided by Biblica, the NVI adheres to more modern sensibilities for Scriptural translation, taking into account not only faithfulness to the original sources, but balancing that with clarity while also maintaining the beauty inherent in the language.

But that’s not all! YouVersion offers additional excellent print translations like the Tradução Brasileira (A Brazilian Translation), 2nd edition (TB) and the Brazilian Portuguese New Testament (WBPT).

Volunteers

Obviously, good Bible translations in a specific language are pivotal for helping YouVersion offer God’s Word to speakers of that language—and audio versions are the icing on the cake. But YouVersion is more than just Bibles. Even the best Bible App is still difficult to use if its audience can’t read its menus and controls. And that’s where YouVersion’s world-changing volunteers come in. People from literally all around the world—people just like you—generously offer their language skills to help others experience the story of God’s love. And the need for Portuguese speakers and translators never ends. YouVersion is constantly updating the Bible App on its many platforms to continue making it easier to use. Our community can use all the help it can get responding to user requests for assistance and technical support, whether that comes through email, Facebook, or Twitter. If you can help, please let us know.

But don’t just take our word for it. Read what some of our incredible Portuguese language volunteers have to say about what it’s meant to them to reach out and support their YouVersion community:

Brazilian Portuguese Language Volunteer Alessandra M.

“There’s nothing better than feeling God’s presence. To read about His love for us through the history of Christ is certainly the best way to do this. Being part of YouVersion.com and The Bible App translation team is a blessing because I know that every day more and more people will have easy access to the Bible in their own language. YouVersion is an excellent tool to strengthen your faith, no matter what language you speak or where you are!”
—Alessandra M., Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil

 

Brazilian Portuguese Language Volunteer Marcelo C.

“It is wonderful to feel the presence of God as alive as our God, experiencing the love of Jesus in our lives and His saving work. And the only way to know all these promises for our lives is knowing God’s Word. For this reason it has been so gratifying to be part of the YouVersion translators team. The more I work, the more I read the Bible and the more I feel God’s presence. And YouVersion’s Bible App lets us do it anywhere, reading or listening to God’s Word while doing any activity! God be praised!”
—Marcelo C., Limeira, São Paulo, Brazil

 

Brazilian Portuguese Language Volunteer Eric S.

“When I discovered this awesome application, I had no doubt that I would use it and show it to my friends. I quickly realized it wasn’t available in Portuguese yet, but I saw that I could volunteer! The fact that I can help this great application reach and bless many other people in my language is enough to feel great and satisfied!”
—Eric S., Limeira, Brazil

YouVersion for Brazilian Portuguese Speakers—No Matter Where You Live

Bible App­­™ Icon and Portuguese Flag Over World MapTo speakers and readers of Brazilian Portuguese, no matter where in the world you choose to call home, the YouVersion community is happy to welcome you to the Bible App™ and to YouVersion.com. Partnerships with generous publishers of Bibles in Português now make it possible for our community to steadily add popular versions in Português like ARC Tradução Revista e Corrigida de João Ferreira de Almeida, as well as easy-reading translations NTLH Tradução na Linguagem de Hoje and NVI-POR Nova Versão Internacional.

But Bibles are just one aspect of the YouVersion experience. YouVersion’s community of awesome volunteers work hard to continually bring Português speakers improved versions of everything YouVersion has to offer, entirely in their own language. More than just menus and buttons, this includes email exchanges, conversations on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, reading plans, and full technical support.

  • Brazilian Portuguese Speakers in Brazil. Speakers and readers of Brazilian Portuguese represent the potential to contribute to the YouVersion community in a truly dramatic way. The World Factbook reports that Brazil (also known as the Federative Republic of Brazil) is the fifth most populous nation in the world, home to more than 200 million people. And according to Wikipedia, most Brazilians speak and write in Brazilian Portuguese, a language all its own, unique from European Portuguese by as many as 15% of its words.
  • Brazilian Portuguese Speakers elsewhere. While the majority of people who count themselves as Brazilian Portuguese live in Brazil, of course millions more also live abroad, in places as far-flung as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Paraguay and of course, even Portugal.

Fortunately, no matter where you live, the Bible App is as close as your mobile device. It runs on all major platforms, ready to bring you full access to all its Bible engagement tools in Português the moment it completes downloading.

We’re thrilled to formally welcome all of our Brazilian Portuguese speaking friends into our ever-growing global YouVersion family. We look forward to hearing your stories about all the ways God is using our worldwide YouVersion community to reach more people than ever before with the life-changing story of His love.

The Entire YouVersion Experience: Now in Brazilian Portuguese

The Bible App™ Now in Brazilian PortuguêsFor the first time, now you can participate with the YouVersion community and use the Bible App™ entirely in Brazilian Portuguese! If you follow language developments at YouVersion, then you may remember that Português has already been offered at YouVersion.com for some time now. But what we’re announcing today is so much more than that. With the official launch of Brazilian Portuguese across YouVersion, now every way you can connect with YouVersion—whether you’re participating in community or using tools to engage with the Bible—you can do so entirely in Português! Brazilian Portuguese is our eighth complete language, after English, Norwegian, Spanish, both Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Russian and, most recently, Korean.

But what does all of this mean to you? Well, specifically, here are all the ways you can now connect with God’s Word in Brazilian Portuguese:

  • Great Português Bibles. Publishing partners generously provide the YouVersion community with many high quality, widely read Português versions of the Bible. (For the full list, look for Português on the Versions page or, in the Bible App, select the Bible version you’re already using to see a list of alternatives, including several excellent Português ones.)
  • Entire User Interface. YouVersion’s incredible community of volunteers continues to change the world. Thanks to their efforts, now when you select Português as your default language, whether you’re at YouVersion.com or using the Bible App on your mobile device—iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android, or BlackBerry—all of the controls and menu options display for you in Português.
  • Communication in Brazilian Portuguese. You’ll find blog posts relevant to you in Português, courtesy of translation by YouVersion volunteers. And if you send us an email in Português, or post a question on Facebook or Twitter in Português, Português-speaking volunteers will respond to you—in Português!
  • Support in Brazilian Portuguese. For the first time, now you can even get help with the Bible App and YouVersion.com in Português. Check the Português version of our all-new Tech Support site for details. Ask your questions in Português, and Português-speaking volunteers trained in YouVersion support will gladly assist you.

YouVersion’s simple vision is to help people connect easily with God’s Word, for free, no matter where you live or what language you speak. If you have friends whose heart language is Português, please share this great news about YouVersion.com and the Bible App with them. And be sure to come visit with us on Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing what YouVersion means to you!

Keep checking back… If you’re a Brazilian Portuguese speaker just joining us: Welcome to your YouVersion family. We’re thrilled you’re here! Right here on our blog, we’ll be sharing more about this exciting Brazilian Portuguese launch in the coming days. We can’t wait to show you all that your new community has to offer you!

Addressing an Issue in the Bible App for BlackBerry

Do you use the Bible App for BlackBerry? If so we want to give you a heads up about a problem that is popping up for a small segment of our BlackBerry community.

We’re very sorry for the frustration some of you have experienced with an unstable app. We have been battling a tricky error that causes the app to freeze for some people, but not for everyone. This bug has been challenging to find, but it appears to be related to how we have integrated BlackBerry Messenger into the Bible App.

To get this fixed, we are pushing as hard as we can to get a new release out to you. This new release will not have the BBM integration, but there is a lot to look forward to: highlights, improved bookmarking, and a few other speed enhancements that should really improve your experience within the app. We look to bring back BBM integration as soon as we are able to solve these issues.

We are finishing up the app and will be testing it rigorously before it gets submitted to RIM for approval. That means the new build with improved features should be in your hand in about two weeks. That really does seem like a long time given how long you’ve had to wait, but it is 100% necessary to give everyone the stable release you’ve been waiting for.

Again, our apologies for the problems you’ve encountered in using the Bible App for BlackBerry. Thank you for your patience and for working with us to troubleshoot the issue. We¹ll keep you informed as much as possible and we’ll certainly have a post here on the blog when the new update is available!