Have You Tried the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)?

You might remember that Broadman & Holman first began generously offering users of the Bible App™ by YouVersion their Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) for offline use back in November. They have now graciously decided to extend this availability to you…indefinitely. We’re thrilled to share in this opportunity to partner with Broadman & Holman and LifeWay in making God’s Word freely available to you.

What “offline use” means: For several of the versions available through the Bible App, you can only read them when you have access to the Internet or to your data provider. This means that if you’re outside of coverage, you won’t be able to read them. But when you download a version to your device, you can read it anytime, anywhere—whether you’re online or not.

To learn more about the Holman Christian Standard Bible, check out their website. They even offer a useful online tool to help you study your HCSB.

How you can get your HCSB:

iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch: From the Bible reader, tap the top bar, where the current translation is presently displayed. All versions display in alphabetical order by language. (You’ll find “Holman Christian Stand…” under EN for English.) Tap the download icon (a green box with a white arrow pointing downward) on the right and follow the instructions.
Tap Current Translation Tap Download Icon Tap Download Button

Android: From the Bible reader, tap the box at the top right that displays the version short code. All available Bible versions display. (You’ll find “Holman Christian Standard…” under English.) Tap the download icon (with an arrow pointing down) on the right.

Tap Current Translation Tap Download Icon Download Complete

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.

YouVersion Support: It’s a New Day!

If you’ve had trouble getting timely assistance for your problems with the Bible App™, you’re not alone. And for that, we would like to sincerely apologize. At YouVersion, we’ve always focused most of our resources on making the Bible as widely available as possible. And because we move so fast, most of our support has traditionally come from our awesome volunteers.

But we want to do more.

Ben Armstrong

We recently realized that we’ve been receiving up to a few hundred support requests every day. Today, we’re addressing that need specifically. We’d like to introduce you to our newest team member, Ben Armstrong, User Support Coordinator for YouVersion. (That’s Ben at the right, hard at work, surfing a tube slide.) Ben will be answering your questions, developing tutorials, writing how-to’s and building out a more comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions list for you.

We’ve always wanted to make the Bible App the best app on your mobile device, whether paid or free. But we’d also like to give you better support than you could get even if you were paying for it. And, we even want to make that happen in all the languages we support.

For those of you who have may have already met Ben during the last week, you know he’s awesome. But Ben won’t be able to do it alone. He’ll need your help. What can you do to help us make YouVersion support fantastic? Here are just a few areas where we already know we could use your assistance:

If you can help, please sign up here, and be sure you choose “customer support”!

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.

Available Now on YouVersion: The Sharif Arabic Bible!

We’re excited to announce that the Sharif Arabic Bible (SAB) is now available for the Bible App™ and at YouVersion.com! The Sharif Bible is a complete translation of the Bible in Arabic, with special attention given to making the truths of the Gospel accessible to Arab readers.

While we’re thrilled to share this wonderful version with you, we’re even happier that we also get to offer it to you in offline form. This means that if you download it to your mobile device, you can have access to the Sharif Arabic Bible even when you’re not connected to the Internet or to your data provider. (See the instructions below.)

We’re so grateful to the International Sharif Bible Society for making this possible. With more than 1.2 million copies distributed so far, the Sharif Arabic Bible was first published in 1990, then updated in 2000. You can learn more about the Sharif Arabic Bible at www.sharifbible.com. (Note: This site is in Arabic.)

How to Download the SAB

Download Icon
iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch: From the Bible reader, tap the top bar, where the current translation is presently displayed. All versions display in alphabetical order by language. (You’ll find the Sharif Arabic Bible under AR for Arabic, near the top.) Tap the download icon (a green box with a white arrow pointing downward) on the right and follow the instructions.

Android: From the Bible reader, tap the top bar, where the current translation is presently displayed. Tap the box at the top right that displays the version short code. All available Bible versions display. (You’ll find the Sharif Arabic Bible under AR for Arabic.) Tap the download icon (with an arrow pointing down) on the right. That’s it!

The Bible App: An iTunes All-Time Top 10

We honestly cannot tell you how excited we are to share this news with you:

As of this morning, the Bible App™ by YouVersion is listed by Apple
as one of the all-time top apps for both iPad and iPhone.

In fact, according to this article at Tech Crunch, on iPad, the Bible App is in the top 10 free apps! And that’s overall, not just in the Reference category where the Bible App is listed.

And the great story just continues on iPhone. Out of more than 300,000 apps, the Bible App is in the top 50 all-time apps on iPhone:

We’d like to say a huge thanks to all of our users who have made this possible. One of the contributing factors to this milestone is that you guys don’t just use our application yourselves, but you freely share it with others. It’s proof positive: When you tell your friends and your loved ones about what you’re learning from the Bible, whether it’s sharing on Facebook or Twitter, or even in face-to-face conversations, you are making a difference.

Of course, what’s most exciting about this news is the visibility that it gives—not to the Bible App or to YouVersion—but to God’s Word. Everything we do at YouVersion is focused on making the inspired Word of God, His Bible, freely accessible to as many people as we possibly can. Achieving this distinction brings us closer to that ultimate goal.

Essential Reading

Today marks exactly 100 days until Easter, the day when we, as followers of Christ, will reflect on and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

One of the more than 50 Reading Plans we offer to help you engage with God’s Word is called The Essential Jesus. This plan leads you through 100 carefully selected passages of Scripture, just one each day from both the Old and New Testaments, to introduce you to the person of Jesus. You’ll read prophecies foretelling His coming, see the things He said, observe His interactions with people, follow Him through His death and resurrection—even read about His inevitable return. Because it’s a very manageable amount of reading, it can even help you develop a daily Bible reading habit.

All you’ll need to start is a free YouVersion account. Then simply go to the The Essential Jesus plan’s description and select “Start This Plan,” either on your mobile device or at YouVersion.com. If you link your account to your social networks, you’ll be able to easily share what you’re reading with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, directly from the Bible App.

Best of all, if you start The Essential Jesus today, you’ll finish up exactly on Easter Sunday, just in time to celebrate Him!

The Essential Jesus

webOS Bible App v. 2.2.1: Reading Plans Update

palm webOS Reading Plan

Great news for our HP/Palm webOS users! The latest release of the Bible App™, v. 2.2.1, is ready for you now in the App Catalog. Besides the usual bug fixes and performance tweaks you’d expect, we’ve fully implemented Reading Plansmore than 50 of them! A Reading Plan is a simple, focused way you can read through whatever interests you in God’s Word. Reading just a little each day, you can cover the entire Bible, specific portions or topics, or daily devotionals. And if you get off track, just select “Catch Me Up,” and the Bible App will adjust your schedule based on what you’ve already completed.

After you’ve installed the Bible App, select Plans and browse for one that suits you. With a free account at YouVersion.com, you can link to your social networks and share your Reading Plan with your friends. You can even sign up to get progress update emails for yourself and an accountability partner.

Why not make 2011 the year you read your Bible every day? It’s never too late to get started. In fact, if you’re up for a challenge, one plan can even take you all the way through the Bible in just 90 days. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you think!

2010 Mashable Awards: YouVersion a Finalist

Mashable 2010 Awards Ceremony: "YouVersion" on the screen

You may remember us asking you back in December to help us out by voting for us in the 2010 Mashable Awards. We just wanted to give you a quick update on the results. Last week, Mashable announced the winners at a special ceremony at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). We’d like to congratulate eBuddy, a messaging service who took home the prize for Best Mobile User Experience, the category in which YouVersion was nominated. While we did not win, we were proud to at least be named as a finalist. You can see the full list of winners at Mashable’s website.

We especially wanted to take a moment to say thanks to all of you who participated, for nominating us and especially to those who voted for us!

Who Has Time to Read?

The Bible App(TM) Icon

Why don’t people read the Bible more? Most Christians say it’s because they don’t have enough time. This week, we’ve been talking about how you can use a Reading Plan in the Bible App™ or at YouVersion.com to genuinely engage with the Scriptures. Most of us probably don’t feel there’s any “spare time” in our busy schedules. But there’s actually lots of time each day we could reclaim. Have you ever considered how much time you spend in a typical day…waiting?

When your Bible’s always with you, you can read:

  • Before anyone else you live with gets up (if you’re a morning person).
  • While you’re having your morning coffee or breakfast.
  • During your morning/evening commute on the train, the tube, or the bus. (Please: Not if you’re driving!)
  • While you’re waiting for a meeting to start.
  • As you’re eating lunch or taking a break from work.
  • When you’re waiting in line. (This could be anywhere: the grocery store, the post office, a movie.)
  • When you’re using the restroom. (Some of us get more time in the loo than others—some of us, much more time.)
  • While you’re hanging out waiting for your kids at soccer, at dance, at football practice, at volleyball, to get out of school… (If you have kids, you know this list could be practically endless.)
  • After everyone else you live with is asleep (if you’re a night person).

With the Bible App or another free tool, God’s Word is always as close as your phone. With offline versions like ESV and NLT (among many others), you don’t even have to be connected to the Internet or your service provider. If you don’t already have the Bible App, get it now. And start redeeming your time.