categories: YouVersion
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January 6th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

A (late) Christmas Gift for iPhone/iPod users

If you have the YouVersion Bible app installed on your iPhone or iPod Touch, you can now download the NLT (New Living Translation) to your phone to use when you are offline (no coverage, airplane, etc) –for FREE. We have had the NLT available on YouVersion for several months, but like many of the licensed translations, it has not been available to download and store on your phone/iPod. But, you will want to be sure to download it soon as it will only be available to download for 90 days. Thank you to the Tyndale House Foundation for their generosity in making it available.

You can find out more details about how to download the NLT or other translations (including the KJV, NKJV, NCV, The Message, God’s Word, and NET Bible) to your phone on the YouVersion blog.

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categories: YouVersion
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December 10th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

NLT and God’s Word on YouVersion.com

I know that MANY of you have been asking when we would have the NLT (New Living Translation) on YouVersion.com Well, the day has come.

You can now access the NLT on YouVersion.com, the Bible App for the iPhone/iPod, Mobile YouVersion, and the Bible App for the BlackBerry.  All are free.

For nearly 1 1/2 years, we’ve been working through the licensing and technical details to make this possible.  Thanks to Tyndale for their support.

Also, we are simultaneously releasing another modern English translation called “God’s Word.”  The team at Baker Publishing have also allowed us to also make this translation available for offline use on the iPhone App.  You will definitely want to check it out.

How many of you regularly use the NLT?

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categories: I'm curious, church, technology
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October 3rd, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

What should the Church be learning from political campaigns?

Earlier today, some of my team were discussing the new Obama ‘08 iPhone Application.  In my opinion, the application is a brilliant use of technology to empower and inform volunteers.  The conversation sparked further discussion about some of the things that the various political campaigns were doing and what we (The Church) could learn from them.  It may be offensive to some to compare the efforts of political campaigns with those of the Church, but I really do think there are many things we can learn including: effective communication, motivating voluteers, organizing large and small groups of people, fundraising, social networking, etc.

What are some specific examples of things that you’ve seen political campaigns do that the Church could/should learn from?  Now, please don’t turn this post into a political rant about who you are supporting or specific political issues that you do/don’t support.  I won’t allow it.  I’m simply interested in what we can learn from the systems, techniques, strategy, tactics, marketing, communication, use of the web/technology, etc.

Also, if you are from outside the US, I’m still intersted in your observations about your own political campaigns and/or your perspective on what you’ve learned from the US election season.

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categories: LifeChurch.tv, YouVersion
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September 17th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

Quick Update on YouVersion and the iPhone/Touch App

I’m at Innovate right now with Kevin, Jerry and Sam…looking forward to learning a bunch in the next couple of days.

I wanted to let you know that our team released a new update for the YouVersion Bible App for the iPod Touch and the iPhone.  There are many new features in this update, but the most significant is the ability to download several translations to your phone/ipod and use them while offline.  This is a big deal for iPod Touch users who no longer have to be connected to wifi to read the Bible.  You can read more on the YV blog.  Also check out this review on AppCraver.

I want to personally thank the folks at Thomas Nelson for being the very first Bible publisher to allow us to make their translations (NKJV, NCV) available for download in the Bible App.

Though the new features are great…I’m even more excited about the increase we are seeing in scripture engagement.  Now almost 340k people have installed it and have been engaged with the Bible for over 43 million minutes…and that makes every minute of development time worth it.

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categories: YouVersion, working together
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September 3rd, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

This post is shorter than The Bible, but only a little

There have been so many updates to YouVersion.com in the past week that I will barely be able to contain them in this one post.  Since you all have been a big part of the community that made YouVersion.com possible, I wanted to be sure to bring you up to speed on the development.  It’s an unusually long post, so hang with me.

We are thrilled that The Bible is becoming more accessible, engaging more people, and creating more conversation about God’s Word than ever before.

As many of you know, we recently launched the Bible App for the iPhone/iPod Touch.  Since the launch in July, we have seen 287,000 people download and install the app on their iPhone/iPod.  More importantly, these users have spent more than 30 million minutes reading the Bible!  For the record, that completely blows away any of my initial expectations.  Yesterday, a significant new update (v1.2) was released for the Bible App that adds the following features and enhancements:

+ Localization: the application now is localized to English (en), Spanish (es), French (fr), German (de).
+ New translations: mentioned in detail below.
+ Book divisions: the books area is separated into key sections. 
+ Share:
you can now simply share a verse with a friend via email, and also notify a friend about the application.
+ Settings:
within the settings area, you can change your font size in the Bible reader, and adjust to a low light version for simple reading in a dark place.
+ Improved speed and performance and a new user interface.
+ We also made an OOPS and accidentally released a little code that doesn’t work yet, but reveals what is coming in the next release - the ability to access several of the translations when your iPhone or iPod touch is offline (the number one most requested feature).

Remember, even if you do not have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can still easily access http://m.youversion.com from any web enabled phone (that includes the Blackberry).

Additionally, in the last week we have added many new translations in multiple languages to YouVersion.com.  You can now choose from one of 31 different Bible translations available in 16 different languages.  All of those translations can be accessed via your computer, mobile phone and via the Bible App.  Below is a comprehensive list of the translations that are currently available.

English:
- American Standard Version
- Amplified Bible
- Contemporary English Version
- English Standard Version
- Holman Christian Standard Bible
- King James Version
- New American Standard Bible
- New Century Version
- New International Version
- New King James Version
- Today’s New International Version
- The Message
- World English Bible

Spanish:
- La Biblia de las Americas
- Nueva Biblia de los Hispanos
- Reina-Valera Antigua

German:
- Elberfelder Bibel
- Luther Bible 1545

French:
- Louis Segond

Swedish:
- Svenska 1917

Chinese:
- Chinese Union Version Simplified
- Chinese Union Version Traditional

Bulgarian:
- Bulgarian 1940

Dutch:
- Statenvertaling

Finnish:
- Finnish 1938

Hungarian:
- Károli 1590

Indonesian:
- Terjemahan Baru

Norwegian:
- Det Norsk Bibelselskap 1930

Portuguese:
- Almeida Atualizada

Romanian:
- Romanian Cornilescu 1928

Russian:
- Бытие 1

I know that some of you have been patiently waiting on the NLT.  The good news is that we have worked out an agreement with Tyndale, but we have had some technical challenges on the implementation that we hope will be worked out very very soon.  Stay tuned.

NEED YOU: We could really use your help to continue to extend this Bible tool to more parts of the world.  We need people to help us localize (translate) the website, mobile site, and Bible App in to other languages.  The Bible App is currently localized in English, Spanish, French, and German and we hope to soon extend those languages to the YouVersion.com website too.  If you are fluent in multiple languages or know someone who is and would like to volunteer to help us translate several English words/phrases into Korean, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese, Russian, Romanian, Dutch, Polish or Italian, please email me or leave a comment below.  Others of you can help us spread the word by contributing content, sharing it with your friends and social networks, linking to it from your blog/website, or using it as a tool to engage your church with Scripture.

Sorry about the long post…we are obviously excited about getting tons of people more engaged in The Bible.  For everyone from the cautious explorer to the passionate follower, the Bible is life changing.

If you have any questions about YouVersion, future features, additional translations, languages, suggestions, even complaints (not really)….we’d love to hear them.  Feel free to comment below.

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categories: YouVersion
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July 24th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

Once upon a time, The Bible was printed on paper

The title of this post doesn’t quite reflect where we are today, but I can see the day coming where the Bible printed on paper seems as ancient as writing it on a scroll.

A while back I wrote that the future is mobile. The greatest book in history appears to be proving that. The Bible made its debut on the iPhone almost two weeks ago. In just the first 12 days, we have seen over 130,000 people install the Bible App on their iPhone or iPod Touch. What has been amazing to us is that iPhone users have spent more than 6.2 million minutes reading the Bible in just the last two weeks!

Earlier this week we submitted the first update to the iPhone application to Apple.  We hope that they will be releasing it soon on iTunes, but because of the backlog of applications it may take several days. This update includes several bug fixes, a few new features and design changes, and 4 additional translations (HCSB, Elberfelder Bibel (German), Louis Segond (French), and Chinese Union Version Simplified).

We are currently working on making several translations available for use when your iPhone or iPod is offline as well as more integration into the additional features of YouVersion.com

As a reminder to those of you who do not have iPhones. You can access many of the same features as you can on the iPhone on any phone with Internet access by using YouVersion.com Moble. Just go to http://m.youversion.com/ from any web enabled phone.

Additionally, there was a new update on YouVersion.com last week that included several new things. You can read more about those on the YouVersion Blog.

Thank you to all of you who downloaded the Bible App, shared it with your friends, posted about it on your blog, and wrote reviews on iTunes. All of that helped engage more people with Scripture…and that’s a great thing!

UPDATE:  Version 1.1 has been released and can now be downloaded from iTunes

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18 comments

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categories: YouVersion, technology
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July 12th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

186,894 minutes spent reading the Bible on the iPhone

Since yesterday’s launch people have spent a total of 186,894 minutes reading the Bible on their iPhones using the YouVersion.com Bible App.  It is now one of the top 50 applications on iTunes.

Our goal with YouVersion.com all along has been to increase people’s engagement with Scripture, and yesterday has proven to be a big milestone in this effort.  I’m really excited to think about all that will happen as more people began to make the Bible a part of their everyday lives.

If you have an iPhone (and soon to include now the iPod touch) I encourage you to download it - it’s FREE.  We are continuing to develop new features for YouVersion, so the website, mobile site, and iPhone app will continue to get better.

Be sure to blog, twitter, and email your friends who have iPhones.  I also really appreciate all of you who have taken the time to write a review on iTunes.  Thanks.

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categories: YouVersion
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July 11th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

YouVersion Powers the Bible App on iPhone

The wait is over. As the web is buzzing with reports of the new iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 update, we’re adding to the excitement with the debut of a Bible App for the iPhone, powered by YouVersion.com.

The ease of use you’ve come to expect from YouVersion.com now fit in the palm of your hand. We’re thrilled to launch this new application that iPhone and iPod Touch users will be able to download for free. It’s called the Bible App and it’s available now from Apple’s built-in App Store.

Here’s a video that shows you the Bible App in action and points out a few key features:

I’m also including some screen shots to show you what users can expect from the Bible App.

Read: As you read, you can easily scroll through the chapter with a simple upward or downward flick of your finger. In the navigation bar area, you’ll find buttons to move forward or back a chapter. When you’re done reading and close out the application, it will automatically save your last spot in the Bible view andDaily Read this will be your starting point the next time you start up the Bible application.

Daily Read: The One-Year Reading Plan provides daily selections to keep you on track with your Bible reading when you’re on the go.

User ContributionsUser Contributions: Since the Bible application is powered by YouVersion.com, you are only a few taps away from an online community of people experiencing the Bible in a new way. Expand your perspective by checking out relevant notes, video, images, and links users have contributed—just tap the number next to the verse. You can also tap the Contribs icon located in the tab bar to view a list of recently shared items.Search

Search: Search the entire Bible for a word, phrase, or verse, and you’ll get your results in seconds. It’s never been easier to find your way around the Bible!

There are 15 different translations (including Spanish versions) available in the Bible App. You can pick your favorite and make it your default.

iPhone users can now have the Bible via YouVersion.com with you no matter where you are, whether you need help remembering a verse while talking to a friend or you want to make the most of your time stuck in line.

Take a look at it and download it from the app store. Do us a favor and write a review if you have a chance.

Let me know if you downloaded the app and what your thoughts are.

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