YouVersion’s Terrific Volunteers: Could You Be One?

The Bible App™ IconDuring the first 46 days of 2011, together the YouVersion community engaged with the Bible for more than 1 billion minutes. And during just the past 60 days, the Bible App™ was installed on 3.4 million new mobile devices. So far, the Bible App’s interface is available in 11 languages, with even more to come. More people than ever now have the opportunity to experience God’s Word in a personal, meaningful way. All of those things happened in partnership with dedicated volunteers passionately offering their gifts—volunteers just like you.

Volunteers with YouVersion have the opportunity to touch the lives of literally millions of people all over the world—volunteers like Klaus in Germany, Kleber translating Portuguese in Brazil, Sebastian in Poland, Yanick working on Dutch from the Netherlands, Jose in Guatemala contributing Spanish, Ingu helping with Korean from the U.S., Isaac and Jerry translating into Chinese, Roman and Vitaliy in Russia, and Ramelle in France. But even as great as these tireless leaders are, if you can assist with translation into any of these languages, they would be grateful to have your help.

But of course YouVersion isn’t stopping there. We’re also seeking volunteer translators for Japanese, Arabic, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Afrikaans, Swedish, Slovak, Romanian and Czech. And if there’s another language you’d like to see the Bible App in, and you can help translate it, please contact us.

There are other ways you can help, too. Can you translate? Provide support to other users? Design or develop websites or mobile apps? Test new versions and provide great feedback? Please let us know if any of these tasks sound like you.

We would be honored to welcome you to the YouVersion team.

YouVersion: Now with 130 Reading Plans—More Than Twice as Many as Before!

If you use reading plans, whether online at YouVersion.com or in the Bible App­™, then you already know how much they can help you engage with the Bible every day. On Friday of last week, we had 62 plans. Today we’re adding 68 more brand new ones—the most we’ve ever brought you at one time. That’s 130 unique paths for you to choose from to interact with God’s Word.

Why so many? Because we’ve been listening, and we’re trying to respond to requests from the amazing YouVersion user community. We want to equip you with as many tools as possible to help you—and the people you’re reaching—genuinely connect with the Bible. Whether you’re exploring faith, or you’re seeking to grow closer in the relationship with Christ you already have, or you’re simply looking for encouragement, you’ll find something just for you in YouVersion’s reading plans. Here are just a few examples:

  • Teens/Youth. We now have more than 20 plans devoted to topics that young people face every day.
  • Parenting by Design. This devotional offers quick, daily encouragement for parents who want to raise a Bible-centered family.
  • 1-Minute Daily Devotions. Right from the Heart Ministries developed this series of short, inspirational readings you’ll want to meditate on throughout your day.
  • New Testament Books. Individual plans lead you through most New Testament books.
  • Practical Topical Plans. Through a collaboration with the Stewardship Council, we have 3 new focused plans you might try: Debt, Compassion, and Busy Women.

YouVersion's Available Reading Plans

And of course, we try to make it simple for you to share what you’re reading with the other people in your life on Facebook and Twitter. Simply connect the Bible App to your social networks and go.

All this is only the beginning. Keep watching this space. Right now we’re working on new plans in additional languages. More announcements to come…

Bible App for BlackBerry: Now with Korean and Dutch!

Bible App for BlackBerry: Now with KoreanVersion 3.1.2, the latest release of the Bible App™ for BlackBerry, is available immediately from BlackBerry App World or as a direct browser download.

In our last release, you might remember that we introduced Russian and Portuguese as language interface options for BlackBerry. Today we’re happy to add Korean and Dutch to that list. This means that if you set your BlackBerry’s default language to any of these, the Bible App’s controls will display for you in that language.

YouVersion’s awesome volunteer community is who makes this happen. If you’d like to see more languages added to the Bible App on BlackBerry—and you’re available to help with the translation of our interface—let us know by signing up as a volunteer.

You should find that this new release loads faster and more smoothly handles connections to your service provider or the Internet. We’ve also addressed the “File not found” error that some users were seeing on some devices when using offline Bible translations. Speaking of offline translations, if you haven’t already heard about that feature, be sure to check it out. You can learn more about it here.

Update for Bible App for Android: Audio NLT, Slovak, NIV Offline Fix and More

Version 3.0.2 of the Bible App™ for Android is now available in the Android App Market. Here’s what’s new:

  • Audio NLT. The Bible App™ for Android can now read you the New Living Translation (NLT).
  • Slovak language interface. For the first time, when you configure your Android device to use Slovak as your default language, the Bible App will now display all its menus and controls in Slovak for you.
  • NIV bug fix. Some users who downloaded the NIV to their Android device later lost access to it. We found and corrected the bug that was causing that error.

Have you ever wondered who does all this translating for YouVersion? It’s a critical part of the YouVersion community, dedicated volunteers…people just like you. In fact, if we still don’t offer a language you’d like to see, please consider whether you might be able to help us with translation. Just fill out our volunteer form to let us know how you can help.

Brand New Today from YouVersion: 3 Reading Plans for Lent

Reading Plans on an iPadWe’re pleased to bring you three terrific new reading plans, each one specifically for Lent, available immediately at YouVersion.com and in the Bible App­™. This year, Easter Sunday will fall on April 24, which means that Lent, the period leading up to Easter, will begin next Wednesday, March 9. Lent is traditionally a time of fasting, prayer, charitable giving and surrender of vices. By focusing our thoughts daily on our relationship with God, most of us who participate in Lent together consider it a purposeful way to draw closer to Him.

  • Lent for Everyone is a devotional from N.T. Wright, generously being made available to YouVersion users for free by SPCK Publishing. This plan leads you through a portion of the Gospel of Matthew each day, and includes some ideas to help you reflect on that day’s reading. (Look under Devotional.)
  • Devotions for Lent from Holy Bible: Mosaic is another devotional, this one being provided free to YouVersion users from Tyndale House Publishers. Devotions for Lent from Holy Bible: Mosaic presents selected Bible passages each day, with supporting inspirational writings to provide context and insight into what you’re reading. (Look under Devotional.)
  • 40 Days of Lent is a plan that focuses each day’s reading solely on Scripture. You’ll discover the person of Jesus and His significance to us through passages predicting His coming, as well as directly from His own words and His life. (Look under Topical.)

To choose your next reading plan, visit the list of plans at YouVersion.com. To learn all about how to select and use reading plans for your mobile device, select from the following links:

Several more reading plans are on the way, each one uniquely crafted to help you connect daily with God’s Word. Lent is an ideal time of year to experience what the Bible and its message can mean to you personally, and to strengthen the bonds of your relationship with Christ. We’d love for you to share your journey and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Bible App for iPhone and iPad: Korean, French, Russian and More!

Bible App­­™ 2.7.2 for iPhone4/iPadThe newest release of the Bible App™ for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, version 2.7.2, is available now in the iTunes App Store, or as a direct browser download. This update includes performance enhancements and bug fixes, perhaps most significantly the one that corrects the error that was causing the Bible App to crash on iPads.

In our last release, you might remember that we improved our language interface options for German, Spanish and Chinese. Today we’re pleased to be adding Korean, French, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch and Slovak to that ever-growing list. What this means is that users who set their iOS device to one of these languages will experience the Bible App’s controls natively in that language. This is only possible through the dedication and commitment of YouVersion’s terrific volunteers. Speaking of which…if there’s a language you would like us to add—and you can help us with the translation of our interface—we’d love to hear from you. Let us know how you’d be willing to help and sign up as a volunteer.

If you enjoy using the Bible App on your Apple device, we’d love it if you’d share it with friends, whether in person or online at sites like Facebook, Twitter, or other places where you connect. And as we continue trying to help more and more people around the world daily engage with the Bible, we’d especially appreciate you spreading the word to your friends who speak languages other than English.

Time’s Almost Up for Free NIV Offline from YouVersion

Download IconWe just wanted to remind you: Our special promotion celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with Biblica and Zondervan is almost over. If you haven’t already downloaded the New International Version (NIV) to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android, or BlackBerry device, don’t miss your chance!

This limited offer ends next Tuesday, March 1,
at 12:00 PM noon U.S. ET (GMT-5)

That’s when you’ll also be able to pick up the NIV in print at retailers everywhere. We’d like to thank Biblica and Zondervan once again for making the NIV available offline. You can follow the NIV on Twitter or Facebook, or learn more about it at NIV’s website.

Just to be clear, even when this promotion is over, you’ll still be able to access the NIV you downloaded, just as long as you don’t remove it from your device. If any of your friends has one of these devices, please let them know about this special offer too—but hurry!

Here are instructions for how you can download offline versions:

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.

Audio Bibles Now in Beta from YouVersion in the Bible App for Android

Android Audio Now in BETA!The Bible App™ for Android can now read select translations to you. As soon as you’ve visited the App Market and updated the Bible App on your device to version 3.0, you’ll be able to listen to the English Standard Version (ESV), the New International Version (NIV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), and La Biblia de Las Americas (LBLA). Hear the Word of God spoken to you as you’re driving or exercising—or even just listen as you read along.

When the version you’re using has an audio option available, the Bible App displays the speaker icon next to the menu icon in the Reader. Simply tap it to start listening. Our audio Bibles use streaming sound files, so you’ll need to be connected to your service provider or to the Internet when you listen.

Because we’re still developing the audio tools and working to add more versions, we consider these features to be in Beta. So even if you don’t see audio for your favorite translation yet, keep checking back; more audio versions will be coming in the days and weeks ahead. (By the way, we’re working to bring this same functionality to our other platforms too; more announcements are coming.)

Also in this release: For the first time—and once again thanks to the hard work of incredible YouVersion volunteers—we now have the Bible App interface translated into Slovak and Polish on Android. If you’d like to see it in your language too, and you can help us translate it, please complete our volunteer form.

Please share the news with your friends!