Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Awesome iPhone Bible Apps

The recent passing of Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs feels personal to me.  From my first computer, a Mac Classic II, to the MacBook Pro I'm presently pecking at, I've always preferred Apple technology to its competitors.  Jobs' philosophy of reliability and intuitive interface has always made these products a pleasure to use.

Having recently purchased an iPhone, I want to share which Bible apps most reflect this philosophy in my opinion.  First, all of these are great apps.  You'll have an awesome take-anywhere Bible no matter your choice.  Second, this review is based on my own experience with the apps.  I recommend researching each app personally before settling on the best one for you.  All the mentioned apps currently come in free versions.

1.  Accordance
 Accordance tops my list because it's been my techno-study Bible since about 1995.  Over the years I've accumulated dozens of Accordance Bible translations, commentaries and dictionaries, almost all of which can be downloaded to my iPhone via a "Sync with Mobile Device" feature found on the desktop version.  The iPhone/iPad app is free and includes a copy of the English Standard Version linked to Strongs Hebrew and Greek numbers.

Getting around on this app is fairly easy and just about any module you can imagine for Scripture study can be added at extra cost.  Accordance is a powerful program and was even used in the translation of the HCSB.  The iOS version makes a great smaller sibling of the original!

Go to the Accordance iOS page for more info.

2.  YouVersion
 Within a few seconds of downloading YouVerion, I was reading a passage and listening to Max McLean narrate it from The Listener's Bible, all without paying anything for the app!   This web 2.0 based app has revolutionized Bible study.  YouVersion is available on several devices including a java version, making it accessible to more people.  As of April 2011, YouVersion users had read the Bible for a total of over 5 billion minutes!

Personally, I like to have at least my favorite version stored on my phone.  Maybe it's a residual fear from my days with the Palm Treo, and inconsistent internet connections, but I want to know, come internet or not, I can access the Word!  Modules can be purchased and downloaded.  But as long as you have decent connection YouVersion is a free full featured offering.  Reading the Bible, studying the Bible, even listening to the Bible are all at your fingertips.  Their website version is great too.

Go to the YouVersion about page for more info.

3.  Glo Bible
USA Today ranked Glo Bible as number 1 in it's September 6, 2011 post, The 10 coolest book apps for fall.  Even in the digital age the Bible is still a best-seller!  To get the full effect of this app's awesomeness you probably need to have an iPad and shell out 50 bucks for the full version.  However, Glo Lite, the free version, looks pretty good on iPhone and includes the updated NIV text at no cost to the user - This alone makes it worth the download time!

Glo Bible and YouVersion have partnered so that you can access many YouVersion features through Glo Bible!  Glo also includes many media goodies, such as picture and video.  Reading on this app reminds me of the Kindle format with pages moving side-to-side, rather than scrolling down.

Go to the Glo Bible Features Page to find out more.

4.  Olive Tree BibleReader
I just downloaded about 1,200 sermons by John Piper for BibleReader.  I can open a second screen below a sermon that shows the particular Scripture being referenced in the sermon.  The highlighting and search functions on this app are pretty cool.  On the down side adding modules for this app can get expensive fast.  For example, the NIV module is $18.99 for just the Bible text.  For a dollar more I can get the recently updated NIV Study Bible for Kindle.  I like the look of this app's full screen mode.  BibleReader also has a free version of the HCSB, but missing the publisher's notes.

Go to the BibleReader Info Page to find out more.

5.  PocketBible by Laridian
 I was able to log into my old Laridian account from my Palm Tungsten T days and access many of the modules I paid for back then.  Laridian allows downloading these to their iPhone app.  The Bible app they were known for on the Palm platform was MyBible.  This was hands down my favorite Bible for Palm!  I also memorized dozens of Bible verses using their Memorize! app.

My mention of this app is mainly sentimental.  Although the iPhone app does recall the clean format of those earlier days.

Go to PocketBible to check them out.

6.  Kindle as a Bible Reader
 Don't forget everyone's favorite e-reader!  I use a Kindle everyday of my life, and I love it!  With Kindle's upcoming fall lineup of Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire, navigating God's Word can be anything from less taxing on the eyes to more colorful, depending on what device you choose.

Kindle offers both ESV and NIV Study Bibles, as well as several other translations, commentaries and thousands of inspirational books.  The Kindle app looks great on the iPhone, and you can carry your Kindle content on several devices, including your desktop computer and web browser.

Which one do I use?  All of them!
* Accordance comes with the free ESVi and my purchased stuff!
* YouVersion quickly gets me to free audio Bibles.
* Glo Bible comes with Free NIV2011.
* BibleReader has a free version of HCSB.
* PocketBible gets me to some of my previously purchased modules.
* Kindle is a book collection, the size of a small book!

The important thing is to read the Bible, believe it, do it, and let God transform you with it!

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