New BlackBerry v. 2.8: Updated Reading Plans

The Bible App™ for YouVersion has been updated for BlackBerry, with version 2.8 now available in BlackBerry App World. Besides the usual interface improvements and performance enhancements you’d expect, the really big story here is the updated Reading Plans.

A Reading Plan may cover a specific topic, offer up daily devotionals, or take you through large sections and themes of the Bible—even the entire thing. With more than 50 reading plans to choose from right now (and with even more coming soon), it’s easy to find one that can show you the things you want to know. Subscribe to one you like, and the Bible App schedules a little for you to read each day, breaking your reading into manageable pieces. And if you happen to miss a day’s reading, just pick “Catch Me Up” to have the Bible App adjust your schedule for you. At YouVersion.com, you can even sign up to receive emails on your progress for yourself or an accountability partner.

Make 2011 the year you finally form that solid Bible-reading habit you know you’ve been promising yourself. If you’re up for a challenge, try reading the entire Bible in just 90 days. If you’d rather get started with an easier pace, choose from one of our many Bible-in-a-year plans. No matter which plan you pick, please share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter how your Bible journey is going. Also, we’d love for you to join our entire YouVersion community as together we read one billion minutes in January.

Your BlackBerry and your free Bible App from YouVersion are ready for you to start reading today. What do you say?

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!

Android v. 2.6: Now with Updated Reading Plans!

Reading Plans

A new release, v. 2.6, is now available for the Bible App by YouVersion on Android! You can update yours in Market > Downloads. While this release contains a few bug fixes and performance enhancements, the new feature we’re most excited about is Reading Plans. When you choose a Reading Plan (from a list of 50+!), YouVersion gives you an easy schedule with a little to read each day. A Reading Plan is a simple, focused way to read through whatever you’re interested in in the Bible. And even if you miss a day (everybody does sometimes), just tap the “Catch Me Up” button, and the Bible App adjusts your schedule accordingly.

Once you have the Bible App installed on your Android device, to get started, just go to Reading Plans and browse for one that meets your needs. You can sign up at YouVersion.com for progress update emails for yourself or an accountability partner. If you start today, you can even read the 5-Day Christmas Story Plan between now and Saturday!

Consider making 2011 the year you really connect with the Bible. You can try a plan that will take you all the way through the Bible in a year, or just select parts, even specific topics and daily devotionals. If you’re looking for a challenge, there’s even a plan that will help you read the whole thing in just 90 days! Try out the Reading Plans and share your thoughts with your friends on Facebook and on Twitter.

Also, in just a few days, we’ll be telling you here about a huge goal you can be a part of this January. (Hint: All you’ll need to do to participate is read the Bible, just a little each day.)

The 5-Day Christmas Story Plan

A Reading Plan is a great tool to help you easily connect with the truths in God’s Word in a focused, straightforward way. Reading just a little each day on a simple schedule that’s already been laid out for you, you can dig deeper into the stories and ideas shared in the Bible. As we enter this Christmas week, we wanted to let you know about one Reading Plan in particular, a very special one we recently added for you to the Bible App and to our website:

The Christmas Story Reading Plan
, available now, takes you through the biblical accounts of the events surrounding the birth of Christ. You can read directly from the source about the humble beginnings of a Savior the world had been anticipating for centuries: Emmanuel, “God with us.” Look for The Christmas Story Reading Plan in the Bible App (or on the website) on your mobile device under Reading Plans.

As close as your phone or computer, start today or tomorrow, and you’ll easily finish this beautiful story of God’s love for us, unique in all the universe, just in time to celebrate Christmas on Saturday. And be sure to let your friends know about this reading plan too, so they can share in the joy of the season with you.

Don’t already have the Bible App on your phone or mobile device? Get it here now. It’s 100% free. No gimmicks, no advertising, our gift to you. All you’ll need to start your Reading Plan is a free account.

And once you’ve completed the Christmas Story Reading Plan, you don’t have to stop there. Select another Reading Plan from more than 50 (and growing), and join us as together we plan to read 1 billion minutes in the Bible App during the month of January! More details are coming in just a few days…

YouVersion in the UK Media

As the Bible App from YouVersion continues to break records with downloads (more than 12 million unique device installs, listed in iTunes’ 2010 Top Ten Reference Apps) and usage (more than 4 billion minutes read so far), we’ve been receiving positive press in all sorts of venues. We shared some others with you just a few weeks ago. Most recently, YouVersion was listed in some media outlets in the UK:

  • MSN Tech. How your mobile can save Christmas. 16 Christmas survival apps that will help you get through the big day. Featured App #10: YouVersion Bible App. “The world’s best selling book… over 20 languages… downloaded every 2.8 seconds… bookmark your favourite pages.”
  • theSheepDip.co.uk. Get the Bible on your mobile – for FREE! SheepDip offers resources for church communications, and they recently featured a free article for churches to use that focuses on the Bible App. “…attracted the attention of celebs, including Destiny’s Child and Strictly Come Dancing’s Michelle Williams, who’s a big fan who tweets about the app.”
We’re thrilled that people all around the world are experiencing and sharing what the Bible App has to offer. We love the Bible, and for us, that’s what it’s all about. God is reaching out to people everywhere, and we feel honored and humbled at YouVersion that we get to play a role in His plan to share the story of His love with them.

Zombies! Robots! Code! The Bible!

Now that we have the attention of the right people everywhere…

The Bible App™ is getting downloaded onto nearly 1 million mobile devices every month. That means two things:

  1. We’re getting close to helping people read the Bible on 12 million mobile devices!
    Also…
  2. We could sure use some help

We’re looking for three amazing people to add to the YouVersion team:

Web Developer

YouVersion is looking for a PHP web developer that loves Jesus, the Bible, and MVC. View details.

Symbian Engineer

Phenomenal Symbian engineer with deep experience, ingenuity, and patience. This is Symbian, after all. (Must love puzzles.) View details.

User Support Coordinator

YouVersion is looking for an empathetic, technologically savvy leader to head-up our global support team. This team will be taking care of millions of Bible App users as they engage Scripture in new and exciting ways. View details.

Share the love. Whether you’re looking for yourself, or you know someone who you think would be great, keep checking our Jobs page. 2011 is going to be a huge year for YouVersion, and we’ll be adding more team members as we break new ground. Please tell your friends! Let people know we’re hiring! Thanks!

The Bible App for iPhone/iPad v 2.7 Released

The next version of the Bible App™ for iPhone and iPad, version 2.7, is now available in the iTunes app store and for download. We’re committed to continuing to make the Bible App as useful as possible. For this release, you’ll find several improvements, mainly to Reading Plans. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • We’ve made Reading Plans even easier to use all around!
  • We added Categories to Reading Plans, so it’s much faster and easier to find specifically what you’re looking for.
  • Especially when you’re trying to read through the entire Bible, everybody misses a day here or there. So we’ve come up with a feature we call “Catch Me Up” that helps you get back on track with whatever plan you’re using. Check it out!

We’ve also made the Bible App faster and more stable, and we fixed a few bugs. If you don’t already have it on your iPhone or iPad, we’d love for you to try it and let us know what you think on our Facebook page or on Twitter. If you already have the Bible App on your device, just tap the Apps icon and select Updates to jump up to this newest version.

Join us for Global Share the Bible Day

Hopefully by now, you know that we love the Bible at YouVersion. We want to make the Bible as visible as possible this Christmas to remind the world of its true meaning: the gift of God’s only Son. We’re declaring all day Saturday, December 25, “Global Share the Bible Day.” We’d love for you to join us!

Spread the word. Please start letting your friends and acquaintances know now what we’ll be up to together. Invite as many people to join us December 25 as you can. Use word of mouth and online conversation. But first, let’s sweeten the deal: As a little “extra” incentive to get the word out, we’re excited to be able to offer a few lucky winners who post it online their choice between an iPad, an iPhone 4, or a Nexus S! (Check here for details.)

Set some reminders. All day on December 25, take every opportunity to share anything you love about the Bible. Tweet. Update your Facebook status. Change your blog or website home page. Visit with someone you meet. Just share! Here are a few ideas for things you could share:

  • Your faith. What has God done in your life?
  • Your favorite verse. Why? What does it mean to you?
  • The Christmas story. What’s your favorite part?
  • The Bible App. Tell people how they can get the Bible for free. (Hint: Send them to youversion.com/download.)

But these are only suggestions. Don’t stop there. Wherever you are on December 25, whatever you’re doing, share what’s special to you about the Bible. If you share online (especially Twitter), please include the hash tag #Bible. The Bible App makes it really easy to share. But remember: This isn’t about the Bible App. It’s all about the Bible.

On December 25, let’s draw as much attention as we can to the Bible—the story of God’s love for us.

How to Link Your YouVersion Account to Twitter and Facebook

Linking your free YouVersion account to your social networks makes it really simple to use the Bible App™ to share your thoughts about verses you’re reading. You always have control over what you share—no surprises in your Twitter or Facebook feed. Linking is an easy way to share your faith with your friends.

And setting it up is easy. It literally takes just about a minute. Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Go to the YouVersion.com website.
  2. Sign in to your free YouVersion account or, if you don’t have one already, sign up for one.
    Note: If you have an existing Facebook account, you can sign up quickly with the “Sign up with Facebook” button.
    Sign up
  3. Top Right: Click your Username, then Settings.
    Settings
  4. Right: Select the Connected Accounts tab.
    Connected Accounts tab
  5. Twitter:
    • Select the Twitter tab.
    • Click the “Connect to your Twitter account” link.
      Note: If you’re not signed in, Twitter prompts you to sign in with your Twitter username and password.
    • Click [Allow]:
      Twitter Allow button
    • YouVersion connects your account to Twitter. (You can remove this connection at any time.)
  6. Facebook:
    • Select the Facebook tab.
    • Click the “Connect to your Facebook account” link.
      Note: If you’re not signed in, Facebook prompts you to sign in with your Facebook username and password.
    • Click [Allow].
    • YouVersion connects your account to Facebook. (You can remove this connection at any time.)

That’s it! You’re done, and you’re ready to let people know what you’re up to with YouVersion, anytime you feel like it, anywhere you are.

Vote for YouVersion in Mashable Awards

YouVersion, and the Bible, has a great opportunity to gain some mainstream visibility through the 2010 Mashable Awards. Thanks to all of your votes already we’ve made it to the top five finalists in the Best Mobile User Experience category. Now, with only 14 hours left to vote, we want to finish strong with a solid showing of YouVersion’s massive fan base.

So, if you have about 30 seconds today, go to the Mashable Awards page and vote for YouVersion in the category of Best Mobile User Experience. Just choose “Best Mobile User Experience” from the left dropdown menu and “@YouVersion” from the right dropdown menu. It should look like this:

And to all of you that have already voted multiple times over the past several weeks, thank you! We hope that the increased visibility will result in more people finding God’s Word on their phone.