Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

App Review: You Version Bible

If you received an electronic device for Christmas you are probably doing what all new device owners are doing other than using the device: you're looking for cool applications to run on it. I've found many interesting and useful applications from viewing star maps to ordering pizza (which as far as I'm concerned is the height of technical excellence) but the app I use the very most is the  absolutely free You Version Bible application.

The You Version Bible app is by all accounts the most popular bible application out there. It's available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Windows 8, HP/Palm, Java, Symbian, and Kindle Fire. If, for some reason, you find yourself on a mobile device that is not compatible with the different apps, they also have a Mobile Web version so you can open it up in your browser. It's also accessable without a mobile device by going to www.youversion.com in any web browser on any computer, there the web page has all the functionality of the mobile applications. 

I've used the web site, the iOS version on iPad, iPhone, and iPod, I've used the Android version on Android phones and tablets, I've also used the Blackberry version and the web site itself and I've found that each version has the same functionality and ease of use that it's brother app has. The You Version offers numerous functions that facilitate reading God's word: they offer 443 bible versions in 236 different languages. You can highlight passages, create notes, share notes, and create book marks, and my favorite: follow reading plans. There's a live option where churches using the You Version can share their sermon notes along with other information and some offer you an option for feedback. A friend of mine has a small church down in Florida and I'm able to see what he's preaching on by following his You Version live notes. 

One of the very best things is that when you create an account you can log in on any device or computer and pick up your reading plan right where you left off, which is great if you travel. I've found myself in a long line at the grocery store whipping out my phone and catching up on today's reading while I wait for the line to advance. And the reading plans are numerous and varied. Some are full bible plans where you read the full bible in a year (or less), some are topical plans which go a few days to a couple of months based on a particular topic such as Easter, Christmas, sin, forgiveness, marriage, money, etc. There's a few plans I've found which have video feeds to accentuate the subject of the reading plan you're following. You can even earn badges for completing bible reading plans, sharing verses, sharing notes, etc.

  • It's completely free
  • Reading Plans
  • Shared notes so you can see what others think about a particular verse
  • Ability to highlight verses
  • Ability to share verses via email, twitter, or facebook
  • Ability to change font sizes and background color
  • Some bible versions have text to voice capability, so if you're tired of reading your device, your device can read to you

  • While many bible versions are downloadable to your device, some of my favorites (like the NIV and the NASB) are not downloadable so if I don't have a WiFi or cell connection I'm forced to read a different version
  • Some of the shared notes are not applicable to the verse you're reading, not sure if this is a fault of the application or the persons who posted the notes
  • The shared notes are not separated by language, so you're going to have to sift through a bunch of Korean and something in Cyrillic to find your favorite language
  • It's not expandable, so you can't add a study guide to the app. If you want a study guide you'll have to run one separately which can be a painful experience on an iOS device.
  • The Message is available.
You Version is put out by LifeChurch, a non-emergent (hurray!) mega-church which is part of the non-emergent (hurray!) Evangelical Covenant Church. The theology of the LifeChuch and the ECC are rock solid bible based, Trinity oriented. 

How big is the You Version community? As I write this:
The You Version has been installed 57,000,000 times
202,282,000 verses have been highlighted
158,427,000 bookmarks have been created
5,839,485 reading plans have been created
and in total through the You Version app, the bible has been read for 38,700,670,000 minutes

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