I know that lately, being a Christian doesn’t seem to be the most popular thing. I don’t really care because that’s who and what I am. As a Christian, one thing I’ve struggled with more than anything is making that extra effort to spend time in prayer and reading my Bible. Any devout Christian will tell you that getting into the habit of having a daily devotional is often difficult. If they didn’t have trouble getting into it – well, then they’re the exception or I’m a bigger sinner than I thought. One app – both on Android and on my iPhone – that has helped remedy this is simply called “Bible” and it is available for FREE in both the Android Market and iOS.
Here goes my first ever review…
The Good: The daily devotionals are interesting and if you do enough of them, you unlock achievements – yes, achievements, like on your PS3 or Xbox. I know it may seem petty, but these things really help keep me motivated. I think I’ve only unlocked a few, but you also get a congratulatory email every time you’ve finished a reading plan/devotional and that really helps me stay encouraged. Also, after reading each day you get a pop up that comes over the screen and tells you how many days you’ve completed and a big congrats to also help encourage you.
Every version of the Bible I could think of is available for download with this app – for FREE. How can you beat that? You want The Message on your phone? Done. Want it in Hebrew? You got it. Why spend tons of money on different version of the Bible when you can have it in the palm of your hand?
If you happen to be reading and like something, you can highlight it and if you’ve created an account with Youversion, should you ever change phones (like I did, going from an Android to an iPhone), all of your highlights and notes will transfer over. I found this incredibly helpful. I really hated getting a new Bible and having to go back through and highlight, underline, and scribble new notes that I felt I had to have in whatever Bible I was using for my personal devotions – now I don’t have to. I just type it in on my phone, or highlight it in blue, yellow, green or pink (The app also lets you choose your own color of highlight) and it goes on over to the next phone.
Another interesting feature is that you can have the app read the Bible to you. I really haven’t spent much time doing this, but one day when I was running late for work I had the app read me a chapter out of Romans and it was actually very smooth.
When I went to Bible College, we all used BibleGateway on our laptops rather than lug around our huge NIV Study Bibles. Now, you don’t even need the laptop or even to open your web browser. Plus, you get a ton of choices for your daily devotional.
The Bad: As a Christian its kind of hard to want to say something about the Bible. So I need to take a second to remind myself I’m talking about the Bible App, right? Right. Okay, with all the hype and excitement I have for the app there are a few negative things that kind of seemed to pop up.
First, the devotional app, while very helpful, sometimes gets off on its day counter. If you do miss one day, you can go back and read it later, but it may throw off the day count. Also, I’m still not a hundred percent sure what the “Catch Me Up” button is supposed to do, but at this stage I think they should rename it the “Throw Me Off Count” button, because that’s what it does to me.
Second, If congratulatory emails and achievements aren’t for you, maybe you find them annoying or hindering, you may want to disable them. For me, this really isn’t a gripe, but for some people it might be.
Finally, some of the reading plans aren’t very long and some are made to last a whole year. While the variety is nice, trying to do multiple reading plans may get confusing or even more of a hassle, thus causing you to get burned out and dropping the app for your devotion time. To prevent this, I recommend picking a couple of reading plans that only go for five days at a time, then a couple of fourteen day reading plans, and working your way up to a full year’s worth of devotionals. The reading plans seem to be tailor made for people, so if you’re a guy you may not want to pick up the Joyce Meyer devotional, or if you’re an older person you may want to avoid Josh McDowell’s Youth Devotions. Be realistic about what you’re picking to read and don’t give up or get yourself overwhelmed!
Do I Recommend This? Yes.
Absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, if you are a Christian download this app. The negatives are not really even that big of a deal and they’re easily overlooked by the fact that everything in this app I have used has been free and incredibly useful. As one friend told me a few weeks ago, “I’m glad you told me about the Bible app, because I’ve never been able to get into doing my devotions as much as I have since I got it.”
I think that says enough.
Thoughts? Questions? Want to review my review in 140 characters or less? Hit me up on twitter at @williamsjeff1