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!

Your Stories: Connecting Community with God’s Word

This week we’re sharing some stories with you from our users, about how YouVersion and the Bible App have helped them and the people they serve connect with God’s Word. Today’s is from a pastor who uses the Bible App on his phone to share verses on Facebook and Twitter, and encourages the people in his church to take advantage of the

Reading Plans.

Our favorite quote: “We’re commenting back and forth on Facebook about how the Word is challenging us.”

How about you? If YouVersion has helped you, we’d love to hear more at Facebook.com/youversion

Updated NIV Coming to YouVersion December 1

The Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) recently completed their update to the New International Version (NIV), and we’re pleased to announce that The Bible App will have it soon. Thanks to our partnership with Biblica, worldwide publisher and copyright holder of the NIV, the updated NIV will be available on your mobile device through YouVersion! Starting December 1, you will see the updated NIV display in the list of Bible versions as “NIV © 2010.” Additionally, you will see the NIV 1984 © 1984 and TNIV © 2005. You can visit the CBT’s website or www.biblica.com to learn more about their work on this popular translation.

As always, The Bible App (and every translation you can find there) are free. All you need to do is download YouVersion to your iPhone, iPad, Android, or Blackberry. You can also point your browser directly to YouVersion.com, or to our newest platform: inside Facebook.

Your Stories: Helping Youth Engage with the Bible

Frequently, we hear from users who let us know how YouVersion and the Bible App have helped them engage with the Bible. This week, we’ll be sharing some of those stories with you. Today’s is from a Youth Pastor who used the Bible App to read through the Bible—in just 90 days!—with one of her students.

Our favorite quote: “…gave me a bigger, broader scope of the redemption plan.”
How has YouVersion helped you? Share your thoughts at Facebook.com/youversion

More Free Bible Apps

At YouVersion, we love The Bible. That’s why we developed The Bible App. It’s amazing how God can speak to us through His Word when we begin to make it a part of our everyday lives.

We’re passionate about The Bible App, but we’re passionate about it because we’re passionate about The Bible. Of course, YouVersion is just one way you can engage with God’s Word. We’re grateful to live in such an amazing time, when so many passionate people are building great tools and resources around the Bible. You can find so many great mobile applications or websites that will help you read and study The Bible. Several of them make a great complement to The Bible App. We want to make sure you know about as many of these as possible. So we’ve added a page to YouVersion.com where we can highlight for you some of the great options that you have available.

While we’d love for you to try The Bible App (which is completely free), most of all, we just want to help you connect with the Bible. Happy reading!

YouVersion for the Web: “Notes” Now!

During our webcast this past Tuesday, one great question submitted through Twitter was, “When will we be able to take notes?” Terry Storch, our Digerati Pastor, answered that we planned to roll notes out on Friday. Happy Friday, everybody… Notes are here now!

What notes are. You can use notes to collect your thoughts, keep track of what God’s Spirit is saying to you, and even to share your insights and ideas with your friends. You can associate a note directly with a verse or passage (sort of like a bookmark with context), or you can just record your thoughts generally. As long as you’re signed in to your YouVersion account, your notes go where you go.

Notes come in two flavors:

  • Public. When you create a new note, its default setting is public. This means that anyone will be able to see it.
  • Private. You can mark any note as private at any time. That means no one can see it but you.

TIP: You can change a note back and forth between private and public at any time.

Start now. To add a note, just click the big Create New button and fill in the blanks. (Be sure to specify whether you want your note to be Private or Public.) Looking at an existing note is easy: Just click on it. Click Back to return to the list, or click the arrow buttons to scroll backwards and forwards through notes.

We’ll continue to refine the notes feature as we gain insight from how YouVersion users interact with it…and remember, notes will be rolling out to all our major mobile apps as well, so look for an update to your Bible App soon!

You’ve Been Busy This Week!

Wow, it’s been quite a week for the YouVersion community! Our announcement that you’ve downloaded the Bible App on more than 10 million devices made a big splash with major headlines—here are just a few:

Then, so many of you showed up at the YouVersion Webcast that we were a trending topic in the U.S. on Twitter! If you missed it, you can catch the webcast in this post.

And in case you haven’t had a chance to get a good look at it yet, we wanted to share an infographic that gives you a little more insight into the 3.5+ billion minutes you’ve spent engaging with the Bible on YouVersion. (view below)

Thanks a million (or make that 10+ million) for all you’re doing to creatively use and share the Bible App. We can’t wait to see how God works through you in this next season to help more and more people fall in love with His word.