When huge things happen in the YouVersion user community, we love sharing them so we can celebrate together. And today, we’re thrilled to announce that collectively, users of the Bible App™ have blown past yet another massive milestone:
You’ve read the Bible for more than 5 billion total minutes!
It was a little over a year ago that we announced that the total number of minutes read using the Bible App™ had crossed one billion. Just seven months later, we announced that number had doubled, as we passed two billion minutes together. Then, in our 2010 Year in Review, after only six more months, we told you that even that number had doubled, with more than 4 billion total minutes read.
We’re convinced that when people spend time reading God’s Word, lives are changed. His small still voice speaks through it, giving us His wisdom and insight. We are privileged to share with you in the work that God is doing. Thank you for engaging with Scripture through the Bible App by YouVersion.
Whether you call it Spring Festival, Chinese Lunar New Year, or simply Chinese New Year, this year, this most important of Chinese holidays will take place tomorrow, February 3. To prepare for this event, over the past several months, incredible YouVersion volunteers have been working together with our team to bring Traditional and Simplified Chinese to the Bible App™and to YouVersion.com. Now, wherever they are, Chinese readers can experience God’s Word in their “heart language,” not only in the Bible translation they’re enjoying, but in many of YouVersion’s interfaces as well. 管你是否称它为春节，中国的农历新年，或者就称之为中国新年，今年中国最重要的节日，就是今天，2月3日。为了这一节日，在过去的几个月中，YouVersion 志愿者们一直在努力工作以便推出简体中文和繁体中文版的圣经应用程序。不管在哪里，华人都可以用他们的“母语”阅读神的话语，不仅可以读中文版的圣经，还可以浏览中文版的 YouVersion 界面。
For thousands of years, the Chinese Lunar New Year has been a celebration to release the past, an opportunity to wish for peace and genuine happiness for all people. Because of its rich tradition and powerful message, Chinese New Year is the most popular of all holidays for Chinese-speaking people all over the world. 几千年来，中国农历新年都是一个辞旧迎新的庆典，是一个为人民祈求和平和幸福的时刻。因为其悠久的传统和丰富的内涵，这个节日对世界各地的华人而言都是最受欢迎的节日。
2011 is the Year of the Golden Rabbit, or Xin Mao. The rabbit symbolizes both wisdom and goodwill. This year is anticipated to be filled with good luck, calm and peace. During the traditional Spring Festival celebration, Chinese families and friends will gather to exchange gifts and spend time together, expressing loving thoughts and warm tidings for each other. 2011年是农历辛卯年或兔年。兔子象征了智慧和友好。华人希望这是一个幸运年，是和平幸福年。在传统的春节庆祝过程中，中国家庭将团聚在一起，互赠礼物，相互表达关心和美好祝福。
Our vision has always been to make the Scriptures freely available and as easy to use as possible, for as many people as we can. We believe the Bible represents the gift of God’s wisdom and His words to all of us. This Chinese New Year, please let all of your friends know—through direct conversations, phone calls, emails, on Facebook and Twitter—about this wonderful opportunity our language partners have given us to share the free gift of God’s wisdom and goodwill with our Chinese friends everywhere. 我们的异象一直是将圣经以最便捷的方式，免费送达到更多的人手中。我们相信圣经代表了神的智慧，是神给我们大家的礼物。值此中国农历春节之际，请通过面对面的交流，电话，邮件或者 Facebook 、Twitter 等方式，让您所有的朋友共享我们的中文翻译伙伴帮助提供给华人的免费新年礼物— 使用 YouVersion 随时随地地分享神智慧的话语和祝福。
Version 2.7.1 of the Bible App™ for Android is now available. Thanks to some amazing volunteers, we’re happy to announce that besides English, Spanish, German and both Traditional and Simplified Chinese, now you can also view your user interface in Korean, French, Russian and Portuguese. This version update, already available in the Android Market, also addressed a few bugs that were causing some random crashes.
Do you like reading from the Bible App on your Android device? Have you considered sharing it with others on Facebook and Twitter? Your friends are actually more likely to try the Bible App when you tell them about it than when we do. Please think about showing people you know how easy it is to get the Bible App, and how it works. (And especially if their native language is something other than English.) Also, we’re continuing to add languages, so if translation or proofing in another language is an area where you’re particularly gifted, we’d love for you to join us as a volunteer!
In this video, Terry Storch, Digerati Pastor at LifeChurch.tv, and Bobby Gruenewald, Innovation Leader at LifeChurch.tv, update us on YouVersion’s “1 Billion in January” challenge.
When we announced our goal for a billion minutes, the most we’d seen read in the Bible App™ during a single month was 250 million. Last month, you read 681 million minutes. That’s an increase of 172%! Incredible! While we didn’t hit 1 billion in 31 days, we’re still on track to do it in the first 50 days of 2011. Please keep making God’s Word a part of your life every day, and the moment we reach 1 billion, we’ll celebrate it here on our blog and on Facebook and Twitter.
We’d be honored to have your help spreading the Word. You can participate in lots of ways:
The next version (v 2.9) of the Bible App™ for BlackBerry is available now. Get it at BlackBerry App World or download it here through your browser. One feature we’re thrilled to announce is the inclusion of Simplified and Traditional Chinese, right in the interface! If you know anyone who’d like a free, easy-to-read, easy-to-share Bible in Chinese, please let them know about the Bible App, powered by YouVersion.
All around, we’ve worked really hard to make this a terrific release, packed with improvements:
To give you a better overall reading experience, we’ve added headings, translation notes, even the words of Christ in red where the translation provides them. You can also change the font directly inside the Bible reader now.
The Arabic translation is now right-aligned, making it much easier to read.
Besides Simplified and Traditional Chinese, we’ve also added German and French interface support.
We updated and improved our Spanish interface, so it should be easier for native Spanish speakers.
And of course, what would any release be without bug fixes and performance enhancements?
Do you love reading the Bible on your BlackBerry? Have you told your friends about it yet? Please consider sharing your favorite Bible App features on Facebook and Twitter. We’d be honored if you’d show your friends how easy the Bible App is to get and how it works. (Especially friends whose native language isn’t English.)
The next version (v 2.7.1) of the Bible App™ for iPhone and iPad is ready and waiting for you in the iTunes App Store right now. You can check the App Store on your device, or you can download it here through your browser. For this release, we’ve added a few features and tweaked several others. Here are just a few of the things you might notice:
We’ve improved the native language interface versions for Spanish, German and Chinese.
You can now “Copy” a verse, even if you’re offline (disconnected from the Internet or your service provider).
Now, when you visit Bible chapters directly, they’ll be included in your History.
And because we’re always working on improving the Bible App, we’ve included the ubiquitous “stability enhancements and bug fixes” which means the app will run faster and crash less.
Do you love the Bible App on your Apple device? Do you know friends who haven’t tried it? (Especially friends whose native language isn’t English?) Would you consider sharing it with them? We’d be thrilled if you’d show them how easy it is to get and update—and maybe even demonstrate a couple of your favorite features for them. And as always, we love hearing from you on Facebook and Twitter.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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:
Go to your Home screen.
Make room on your Home screen for another widget
(removing other unused icons and widgets if necessary).
Tap the “Bible (Today’s Reading)” item.
Go to your Home screen.
Make room on your Home screen for another widget
(removing other unused icons and widgets if necessary).