Mardel.com Features Bible App

Mardel, one of the largest Christian and Education supply stores in the U.S.,recently partnered with us to add a “Free Bible” page to their website (as seen on their home page below). This tool helps both Mardel and YouVersion fulfill our mutual vision to help people engage with the Bible as part of their everyday lives.

If you’d like to connect your website’s visitors with a free mobile Bible through YouVersion, we’d be happy to share with you how you can get your own Free Bible page. Even if you don’t have a big website, please check out this post to learn about the many simple, practical ways you can help spread the word about YouVersion. And be sure you connect with us on Facebook and Twitter so you can keep up with all the different ways to read and share God’s Word!

Notes: Finally, It’s iPhone’s Turn!

If you use the Bible App from YouVersion on your iPhone, then we imagine you might have watched with just the slightest twinge of envy as you’ve seen notes come to some of our other platforms. Your wait is over! As long as you’re signed in to your free YouVersion account, you’re ready to start adding notes:

  • General notes. You can add a note at any time, and it can be about anything. Simply tap the Notes tab.
  • Connected to a passage. Of course, you can link a note directly to a single verse. Just tap the verse you want to comment on, then tap Notes on the options menu that displays. To add yours, tap Create New. (You can even add additional verses—and remove verses—from their association with a note.)
  • Connect with community. “Share” any note to post it to Twitter or Facebook, “Like” a note to display it in a list of your favorite Notes on your profile on YouVersion.com, even “Report” a note to flag it as inappropriate.

Important! For any note you make: Give it a title, then mark whether you want to share it:

  • Draft. A note “in progress”—one that’s not quite ready for prime time.
  • Private. Only you will see this note. This is a great way to journal for yourself about the things that God is showing you in His Word.
  • Public. Your note will be visible by anyone. One of the greatest benefits of notes, public notes allow others to share in your journey through the Scriptures—and you in theirs.
  • Publish on: The note will be Private for now, but it will become Public on the date you specify.

TIP: You can change a note back and forth between the different sharing options at any time.

Many of you have been asking us to bring notes to the iPhone for a long time now, so of course we’re thrilled to be able to provide it for you. But this is still just the beginning. We’re really excited about all the continued advancements and improvements still to come. In the meantime, enjoy your Bible! And please share your experience with others!

The Bible App – now on Chrome!

Google’s Chrome Web Store is an online marketplace with tools and applications designed specifically for use with the Google Chrome OS and browser. If you have a Google Chrome device, come check out YouVersion’s page for the Bible App in the store!

At YouVersion, our driving vision has always been to make the Bible easily accessible—for free—to anyone, any time, anywhere. The Bible App is already the number one application for engaging with the Bible on iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and webOS, with more than 11 million downloads so far. Now, when you download the free Bible App to your Chrome device, you’ll get all of its best-of-breed functionality—including more than 40 translations, in more than 20 languages, a growing list of reading plans, and connectivity to your social networks.

Partnership to Reach Spanish Speakers

Recently we told you about the Bible App passing 11 million downloads. We’ve also shared how, so far, YouVersion users have spent more than 3.5 billion minutes reading the Bible. Of course we couldn’t be happier to see numbers like these. But there are some other numbers you should also know about. Recent polls indicated most people (more than 70%) felt it was important to know more about the Bible. But even among those people who said they thought they ought to read the Bible, most also admitted that they rarely do—with many even saying they didn’t read it at all.

Clearly, we need to make it even easier for people to engage with God’s Word. We need to get it into more hands. Today we’re pleased to announce a new partnership intended to do just that. The American Bible Society (ABS) is introducing an exciting campaign, called Descubre La Biblia, to promote Bible engagement within the Spanish-speaking community. As part of that plan, ABS is joining with YouVersion to launch the Bible App in Spanish, which will feature several of the world’s best-known Spanish Bible translations including the Reina Valera 1960.

If you have any friends who speak Spanish, we’d love for you to share the Bible App with them. To access YouVersion.com in Spanish, simply visit http://es.youversion.com/, or choose “Español” from the language selection box in the lower left corner of the site. (Users who already have Spanish (Español) selected as their language of choice on their device will automatically see the Bible App in Spanish.)

You’re on a Roll!

Thank you. In the two weeks since we shared the huge goal of reaching 1 billion minutes of Bible engagement in January 2011, YouVersion users have proven what we’ve known all along: you guys rock! You’ve gone above and beyond in responding to each of the ways you could help, and it is working as we see momentum building toward January.

11 million devices. Last week we passed another significant milestone: the Bible App has been installed on more than 11 million mobile devices! When you let others know about the Bible App, you’re introducing them to something that can help them hear from God no matter where they are.

Please keep voting for us at Mashable. We just got word about some more exciting news: your votes in the 4th Annual Mashable Awards propelled us into the final round! We are one of five finalists in our category: Best Mobile User Experience. Now the fun really starts :) We’re facing some stiff competition and the next round of voting lasts just two weeks, so we have until December 15 to stack up the votes. It would be awesome to see God’s Word take home the trophy at one of the top awards events in the tech community. We’d love for you to join us in voting daily!

Christmas Reading Plan starts today. Finally, we’ve got lots of things rolling out to make your Bible reading experience better and better. One we’re particularly excited about today is the launch of a Christmas Reading Plan. It’s a 25-day plan that will help you stay focused on what’s important this season. You can read through it on your own or share it with your family or small group.

We’re so thankful to share this season with you. The YouVersion community is the tops, and we appreciate your partnership in helping more and more people become captivated by God’s Word.

Your Stories: How can YouVersion help your youth?

Here at YouVersion, we talk all the time about how much we love the Bible. You know what else we love? Hearing your stories about how much you love the Bible, and about what it’s meant in your lives. Today we’re going to hear from a Youth Pastor who wants to help his students connect with the Bible. He even installed more Wi-Fi hotspots around his church to make sure students there can always access it!

Our favorite quote: “Having it all accessible in one place, it’s like we’ve brought the Bible to them.”
Have a YouVersion story of your own? We’d love to hear it at Facebook.com/youversion

Notice Anything…Different?

If you haven’t noticed it already, you might soon see your icon for the Bible App just a little…differently. That’s because the next time a new update is available for your app, you’ll get our updated icon. Of course, YouVersion is still the same Bible App you know and, we hope, love.

Because of platform differences (like BlackBerry vs. say, iPad) our icons evolved slightly differently in different places. However, with the Bible App’s growing momentum, we thought it was perfect timing to unify the icon across all platforms.

Some people have asked why we didn’t go with a YouVersion icon. The answer is simple: to help people focus on the Bible instead of a brand. We wanted people to easily recognize the Bible when they see it in the app store and, more importantly, on their phone.

So, in the coming weeks and months, wherever you experience YouVersion—whether iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, webOS, or even in Facebook — you’ll see the new Bible App logo. It’s one small tweak that we hope will help even more people open up God’s Word.

Notes Come to BlackBerry

We announced last Friday that you could take notes on YouVersion on the web. That same notes feature is now available on BlackBerry!

Download version 2.7 now from Blackberry App World.

Associate with a verse. Notes are pretty straightforward. When you select a verse and click Notes, you’ll see all of the public notes associated with that passage. To add your own, just click New Note.

Make a general note. You don’t have to associate a note with a specific verse. You can take one at any time. Simply go to the dashboard, select Notes, and go!

For any note: Give your note a title, and then select from the following options:

  • Draft. A note “in progress” that you’re not ready to share yet.
  • Private. Only you will see this note. (You can use this feature to journal what God’s showing you in His Word.)
  • Public. Anyone will be able to see this note.
  • Publish on: Schedule the date you want this note to become public.
TIP: You can change a note back and forth between private and public at any time.

Interact with notes. You can “Share” a note to post it to Twitter or Facebook, “Like” a note to put it in your Facebook newsfeed, or even “Report” a note to flag it as inappropriate content.

As we learn how you guys use notes in the Bible App going forward, we’ll continue modifying this feature to make sure it is as helpful as possible. Give it a try and go add some notes on your BlackBerry. And look for continuing development for the Bible App on BlackBerry over the coming months–cool things are ahead!

Rediscover the Christmas Season…with YouVersion

It can be hard not to get swept up in all the chaos of the Christmas season: Parties, travel, food, guests coming into town, and of course, shopping, shopping, shopping! For many of us, even if we take a moment to really think about what Christmas truly means to us, we might express it as “having your loved ones close,” or “family traditions,” or “peace, love, and joy.”

While certainly there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the people that we love, Christmas is about so much more than emotion, sentimentality, and giving and receiving gifts. First and foremost, it’s about Jesus. It’s about the greatest gift that mankind ever received, when the One Creator of the universe sent His only Son, knowing that that baby would one day grow into the man who would sacrifice Himself to redeem our lives.

What’s most important to us at YouVersion is helping people engage with the Bible. To give you opportunities to interact with God’s Word in fresh ways, we offer several different reading plans, which are great tools to help you read through the whole Bible, or just portions of it. We recently added a special Christmas Reading Plan: “Rediscovering the Christmas Season.” If you start this plan on December 1, you can experience the true Christmas story—direct from the source, along with supporting material to help you understand its significance—just in time for Christmas Day. (But don’t wait…You can get started right now!)

Decide to dedicate just a few minutes each day for the coming month to remember what Christmas is truly about.

A Few Things We’re Thankful For…

Here in the U.S., on the fourth Thursday of each November, we celebrate a national holiday called Thanksgiving Day. Historically, Thanksgiving was considered a religious holiday for people to express gratitude and appreciation to God for providing them with a bountiful harvest season. Today, all of us at YouVersion would like to take just a moment to share with you some of the things we’re thankful for:

Our partners, publishers, and donors. Many dedicated people have committed time and resources to join us in fulfilling our vision: making the Bible available to as many people as possible, and helping them connect with it. We couldn’t do that without these people and organizations.

Our users, and especially our volunteers. YouVersion is for you. And your feedback and passion have propelled the Bible App even further in helping people fall in love with God’s Word. Thanks especially to those of you who have devoted your time, your energy, and your abilities to helping us make it all work. There’s no way we could cover the ground we do without you.

This time that we live in. We’re convinced that this period in human history offers us opportunities unlike any this planet has ever seen: connection, interaction, and genuine global community. We believe that technology—whether we’re talking computers, communication, travel, whatever—makes it possible that we could actually see the Great Commission fulfilled in our lifetime.

A God who truly loves us. God has given us the opportunity to know Him and to hear His voice, especially when He speaks to us through His Word. We love the Bible because we love Him. And we’re deeply thankful to Him for the community He has brought to YouVersion—especially you!