The app I was talking about is of course YouVersion, which I have mentioned here in the blog several times before. If you have it on your phone, it's probably just called "Bible". If you don't have it on your phone, right away you should visit http://youversion.com/download with your phone and download it! Here's a QR code you can scan to take you there if that's the way you roll:
YouVersion's Bible app really is the cream of the crop for mobile device Bible reading. Well, I'll temper that statement a little bit: the YouVersion app is free, and there may be paid apps out there that rival it in one way or another. In fact, since I use the Logos software on my home computer, I also have the Logos Android app installed, and it gives me a bunch of study materials that YouVersion doesn't have (the ESV Study Bible notes, for example), and on top of that it lets me split my screen in half and view two translations at once! But I use YouVersion far more often, and here's why:
- YouVersion has probably every Bible translation you've ever heard of. It certainly has my favorites... the ESV, NAS, HCSB, NIV, NLT. There are scads of English versions, and a bunch of non-English translations as well.
- Audio. Not a recreational reader? Staring at a page of text makes your eyes roll back in your head? The YouVersion app has audio files for many of their translations, which means that after you point and click your way to a passage, you can listen to it instead of (or in addition to) reading it. This means that you could listen to the Bible in your car on a daily commute (I've done it), while you're going to sleep at night (done that too), or wherever you are.
- Reading plans. YouVersion has tons of daily reading plans that you can choose from. Some of them are only a couple of days or a week long and cover specific topics or books; others range up to long-term plans to read through the entire Bible. And you can use the audio in conjunction with your reading plan, so instead of reading passages from sometimes several different books/locations, you can have them read to you. I'm working on a reading plan that has a two chapters assigned each day from two different books. If I start the audio running on the first chapter, when it reaches the end it proceeds to the second chapter automatically! How cool is THAT? If you sign up for a free YouVersion account, you can track your reading over time, and you can actually read through an app or their Web version and you "get credit" from whichever you use (so you could read from your phone one day, listen to audio on your phone the next day, and read on your computer the next day, and the system tracks your progress from all three). It can also be set up to fire an alert on your phone every day to remind you to read your passage, and if you miss a day or two you can shift your reading program's dates so that today's reading is the only one you have to complete to be caught up. No guilt trip and no scrambling to catch up by reading multiple days... nice! It's the least stressful Bible reading plan system I've ever tried.
- Downloadable translations. Some, but not all, of the Bible translations in YouVersion can be downloaded to your mobile device so that you can access them even from places where you do not have data access; other translations (because of restrictions set by the publishers) are not downloadable.