1 Billion Minutes: How You Can Take Part

During today’s special webcast, we shared exciting news about the Bible App’s recent milestones and about YouVersion’s future. So far, the Bible App has been downloaded more than 10 million times and people have used YouVersion to read the Bible for 3.5 billion minutes!

And as amazing as it is to see what God has done in the past 2.5 years, we’re confident that He wants to do much, much more to help people make the Bible a daily part of their lives. So today we introduced a crazy, God-sized goal:

1 billion minutes reading the Bible in 1 month

During January alone, we hope to see users spend at least 1 billion minutes reading the Bible. Because, after all, that’s really what YouVersion is all about: falling in love with God’s Word.

It’s only because of you, our user community, that YouVersion and the Bible app are where they are today. And we’ll need your help again to reach one billion minutes in one month. Here are just a few of the things you can do to help make it happen:

  • Rate us. If you haven’t done so already, please rate the YouVersion Bible app in iTunes (honestly, the sooner, the better).
  • Vote for us. Vote for us in the 4th Annual Mashable Awards.
  • Assist your friends. Help friends install the Bible app on their phones and other devices.
  • Share with your community. Mention @YouVersion in some tweets and Facebook status updates, and encourage your friends to download it to their devices. (It’s available for download on iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, and webOS in their respective app stores and marketplaces.)
  • Write about us. If you have a blog, please consider writing at least one post to let your readers know what we’re doing and ask them to participate.
  • Share the Bible on Christmas Day. You’ll be hearing more about this soon, but it will be a great opportunity to point people to the birth of Christ.
  • Consider serving on the YouVersion team in one of the many different positions that are available: proofreading, user support, app testing, design, development, and more. Sign up here.

If you could focus your efforts between now and Christmas, that’s the window where we have the opportunity to make the biggest impact. Stay tuned to the YouVersion Facebook page or Twitter feed to keep up with the latest.

We can do this! But only together. Let’s see what can happen when a passionate community of users works together to help people everywhere spend more time than ever in God’s Word.

10 Million Downloads!

If you didn’t know already, our very special webcast is happening right now! (As of this posting, anyway.) Come join us if you can. And let others know!

During the webcast, we are announcing that the YouVersion Bible App has been downloaded more than 10 million times! And we’re also very excited about this: so far, people have used the Bible App to read the Bible for more than 3.5 billion minutes. We are witnessing the Bible being read, engaged with and shared in new, inspiring ways.

While we are thrilled that we get to be a part of what God is doing, we also would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped make it all possible. It’s only through your passion, your commitment, and your help that we have reached these milestones!

THANK YOU!

To our partners and publishers: Thank you for providing the high-quality content that allows our users to enjoy so many great translations as they spend time in Scripture. Your partnership means lives are being changed around the world!

To our user community: It’s your passion for the Bible that put the Bible App on the map in the first place. It’s because you’re sharing your experience and your connection with God’s Word that more and more people are hearing about it, even now. Thank you!

To everyone who contributes financially: We appreciate your generosity in making it possible for people around the globe to engage with Scripture in unprecedented ways. Our ongoing commitment to you is that we will carefully steward these resources to extend the Bible’s reach as far as we can.

To our core group of volunteers: How can we thank you guys enough? We love you. Everything you do matters and makes a difference in getting the Scriptures into people’s lives.

To God: Thank you for the story of your love for us and the unparalleled connection we can have with you any time we open up the Bible. Please help us share your Word with the world.

10 million is just the beginning…millions more are ready for the Bible to become part of their everyday lives. More on that very soon!

Reminder: Webcast THIS TUESDAY, Nov 16!

This is just a quick note to remind you about our very special webcast coming up:

THIS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, AT NOON CST (GMT-6)

If you haven’t added it to your calendar already, please visit http://www.youversion.com/webcast for details. We’d love for you to join us. And bring your questions! We’re allotting special time to hear from you and make sure you know what we’re up to.

Also, don’t forget to tell your friends…tweet and post to Facebook to enter our giveaway for one of three iPads!

Keep checking back. During the next few days, we’ll be sharing all kinds of exciting news about YouVersion and the Bible app, right here…

Brand New: The YouVersion Facebook Bible App

By the time you read this, we will have already launched the all-new, from-scratch YouVersion Bible App for Facebook. From entirely within Facebook, the Bible App makes it easy to:

  • Read the Bible
  • Switch between different Bible translations
  • Jump directly to specific books, chapters, or verses
  • Select verses or passages and share them, publishing them to your Wall and to your Friends’ home pages

Here’s a quick look at what you can already do in the Bible App (click to enlarge):

We know many of you enjoy spending time in Facebook. And we’d be happy for you to spend even more, especially if that means you’re connecting with God’s Word—and sharing it with others. Eventually, we even hope to bring most of the same features inside our Facebook app that you’ve come to know and love on other platforms. Go check it out and let us know what you think!

New Living Translation (NLT) Now Available Offline…Free!

For many translations that we offer, YouVersion’s Bible app requires you to be connected to the Internet or to your service provider. But the list of free Bible versions we have available offline keeps growing. Today, we’re happy to announce the addition of the New Living Translation (NLT), available free for download for Bible App users on iPhone, iPad and Android. But don’t wait: This offer is only available until January 31, 2011!

Downloading the NLT will give you constant access to it, even when you can’t get on your network. The last time the NLT was available offline, thousands of people downloaded it. Now that opportunity is back, and we hope the same thing happens again. We’d love for even more of you to have the NLT directly on your device, so you can engage with your Bible anytime, anywhere. You can learn more about the NLT on their website.

How to get it:
For iPhone or iPad: If you’re using the Bible app for iPhone, first go to the App Store and check Updates [link], and make sure you have the most current version. Then:

  1. Tap on Read, then the blue arrow to view available translations
  2. Scroll to the one you want and tap the green download button

That’s it! From that point on, when you view your translation list, your downloaded versions display with a unique gray arrow icon.

For Android: We recently added offline support to Android and you can read about it here. Downloading the NLT works the same as downloading any other Bible version.

We’re grateful to Tyndale House to be able to offer you this additional version for download for a limited time. Be sure you take advantage of this great opportunity to connect with God’s word!

Brand New Update Available for Your iPhone!

Today we have a brand-new version of the Bible app for you, Update 2.5! As soon as you can, we’d love for you to update your iPhone YouVersion Bible app through the App Store. [iTunes Update Link] And be sure you let us know what you think. You can connect with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Major Highlights

  • Bookmark syncing. In the past, your bookmarks were stored directly in the app on the device you were using. Now, as long as you’re signed in to YouVersion, you’ll be able to jump to any of your bookmarks, regardless of where you are: iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, or web. Your bookmarks go where you go!
  • Easier offline downloads. It was already really easy to download an offline translation of the Bible. But now we’ve made all tasks related to offline versions easier: Finding, downloading, seeing your existing downloaded versions…even removing versions you no longer use.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect:

Everything we’re working on right now is focused on helping you engage with the Bible in the easiest, most natural way. We’re making it available on as many devices as we can, in as many ways as we can, so that you can fit it seamlessly into your life. Wherever you are in the world, we want you to have God’s Word close by.

Special Webcast on November 16

Please join us Tuesday, November 16, at noon CST for a very special webcast about YouVersion. Here’s what you can expect:

  • News about a huge milestone that YouVersion just reached
  • An inside look at some big things coming up, and
  • Vision for where we believe God is taking YouVersion in the future, and how you can play a part.

We’d be thrilled if you could join us and invite your friends.

We’re going to have some fun, and we’ll even be giving away three iPads. YouVersion will send a tweet to announce the webcast, and we’ll automatically register you to win if you retweet that tweet, post about it on your Facebook wall, or if you tweet about the event with a mention. Visit http://webcast.youversion.com for all the details, and then add it to your calendar!

You can follow what YouVersion’s up to in all of these places:

We’re really looking forward to this opportunity to share all the exciting things God is doing through YouVersion, and say a big, “Thank you!” to all of you who’ve helped YouVersion come so far, so quickly in making the Bible part of people’s everyday lives.

Windows Phone 7: The Bible App is Coming!

One mission drives us here at YouVersion: Helping people worldwide engage with God’s Word. We do that by making the Bible available digitally in as many versions and on as many devices as we can. So when the online store for Microsoft’s smartphone platform, Windows Phone 7, launches in the U.S. on November 8, 2010, our Bible app will be there.

Industry analysts predict Microsoft may spend up to half a billion dollars to promote Windows Phone 7, so you’ll likely start hearing a lot about it soon. To us, all that advertising and press represents a tremendous opportunity to connect even more people with the Scriptures. While the special features for our initial release of the Bible app on Windows Phone 7 will focus on social networking and connections, we’re still actively developing it, so we’ll continue rolling out more and more of the functions that YouVersion users on other platforms have come to count on. We’ll keep you posted about new Windows app features as soon as we release them—stay tuned here and on Twitter!

For those of you who choose Windows Phone 7 as your phone, we want you to know… We’ll be there.

Screen shots of the forthcoming Bible app for Windows Phone 7:

Last Week in Review

Last week was a banner week for the Bible app on multiple platforms, one we expect to look back on as historical in many respects. It was packed with developments to help you and millions of others engage with Scripture, no matter where you are. You won’t want to miss these, so let’s jump right in…

Offline Bible Versions Available on Android
The #1 feature that Android users have been asking for is finally here! To date, offline Bible versions have only been available for iPhone and iPad, but now millions of Android users can also read the Bible anywhere, anytime—whether they’re connected to the Internet or not. As the Android platform grows, literally hundreds of millions of people worldwide will be able to engage with the Bible, even offline. The Bible app for Android was already fast, but versions stored directly on your device now make it faster than ever. (Read more here…)

Multiple Bible Versions Now Available Offline
Several copyright owners of different translations of the Bible are now partnering with YouVersion to allow our awesome users to download their Bible versions to your device. With any of these offline versions, as long as you first download that particular version, then you’ll be able to read it anywhere, anytime—whether you’re connected or not.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) – Thanks to the partnership of Broadman & Holman, for a limited time (until January 31, 2011), you can download the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) for use offline on iPhone, iPad, and Android. Learn more about HCSB here, here, and here. (Read the original announcement here…)

English Standard Version (ESV)Crossway is allowing us to make the English Standard Version (ESV) available for use offline in your Bible app on iPhone, iPad, and Android. Learn why ESV is so popular at http://www.esv.org/. (Read more here…)

Contemporary English Version (CEV) – Through the continued partnership with the American Bible Society, now you can enjoy the CEV, a version “easily read by grade schoolers” and marked by “uncompromising simplicity,” anywhere, anytime on your device. Use it to help children or second-language English speakers engage with the Bible more easily. (Read more here…)

Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR60) – Also from the American Bible Society—and from the United Bible Societies—we can now offer you the Reina-Valera 1960 Bible for offline access on iPhone, iPad, and Android. The Reina-Valera 1960 is one the best-known Spanish versions of the Bible in the world. (Read more here…)

Good News Translation (GNT) – The fruit of another generous partnership with the American Bible Society, we’ve also added the Good News Translation (GNT)—also known as the Good News Bible—to the list of versions you can access offline on iPhone, iPad, and Android. (Read more here…)

Czech Bible21 – Just two months ago, Biblion first made the Czech Bible21 available for Bible app users, and already they’re allowing us to offer it to you for offline download on iPhone, iPad, and Android. Learn more about the Czech Bible21 here. (Read more here…)

So as you can see, it was a crazy week for YouVersion… and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ll keep doing everything we can to help keep you engaged with God’s Word. Happy reading!

Czech Bible21 Now Available Offline

It’s only been almost two months since the Czech Bible21 was introduced to YouVersion for the first time and now we’re making it available as an offline Bible version for iPhone, iPad, and Android. We’re very excited about offline access to the Czech Bible21 because it’s one more step toward meeting the needs of the international YouVersion community.

Making the Czech Bible21, and many others, available offline means faster loading times for Scripture and access to the Bible when and where you need it. The goal of YouVersion is to increase Scripture engagement around the world and this is one more step in that direction.

We’re thankful to Biblion for partnering with us to make the Czech Bible21 available offline. You can read more about the Czech Bible21 here.