Posted on January 13, 2017

How to Find New Bible Apps in 2017

Posted on January 13, 2017 by DJ Chuang Categories: Internet

It's a new year and this means new mobile apps will be newly launched along with updates to existing apps. Just a month ago, in December 2016, the most popular Bible app by YouVersion surpassed 250 million installs! With the world's population exceeding 7.3 billion people, there are still many people to reach with the life-changing message of the Bible. 

With mobile usage continuing to grow, both in terms of number of users and amount of time spent, there is growing opportunity for Bible apps to connect more people with the Scriptures. Developing and using new mobile apps for the Bible can be valuable in at least 5 ways:

  • reaching new audiences with the Bible 
  • innovating new ways for people to engage with the Bible
  • providing different preferences in design and functionality
  • developing coding skills for programmers and developers 

Here are four of the newest Bible apps that have great potential:

OneVerse https://onever.se — "Read the Bible One Verse at a Time"

SourceView Bible http://sourceviewbible.com (also sourceview.bible) — "Discover more about the Bible innovatively.. what’s been written, who said what, and how its words impact and shape our lives, our work, and our world."

Holy Bible App http://www.theholybibleapp.com — "the simplest, the best looking, and the most customizable iOS Bible app"

Bible Energy http://bibellesebund.ch/bible-energy.html (app is in German)

With technological advances in both hardware and software, launching something into the digital world—whether an website, app, or device—is not a one-time endeavor. It's the start of an on-going journey to provide relevant services and content through technological platforms and channels.

Getting apps developed and launched is one thing. Getting those apps found and used is another thing. How many apps are there in the app store? As of January 2017, there were over 2.6 million Android apps and over 2.2 million iOS apps. Finding a specific app becomes quite challenging when users try to search based on keywords or try to navigate a dozen or so categories one tap at a time. 

There's at least 3 alternatives to making an app easier to find and install, including: (1) using alternative app search engines (like appgravity.com and appcrawlr.com), (2) using a domain name that points people to an easy-to-share web address, (3) using website content that show up in search engine's organic results.

There are over 12,000 Android apps with the word Bible (via appgravity.com) and nearly 6,000 iOS apps (via appgravity.com). Of course, just because the word Bible is in an app's name or description doesn't necessarily mean it is about engaging with the Holy Bible. There are some apps that use the word "Bible" generically to refer to an authoritative guide on another topic, like golf, fishing, or barbeque.

Back to the topic at hand. How do you find the newest Bible apps when there isn't a category specifically for Bible apps? (Many app stores don't even have a category for religion or Christianity.)

We've found this app search engine with a filter for new apps less than 2 weeks old. The link to display just the newest apps with the word Bible is: appbrain.com/search?filter=new&q=bible. Encouraging to see that many of the newest apps are for different languages and countries, like Italy, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Indonesia. 

However, please use caution when considering which of these new Bible apps to try out. This Komando.com article, "Watch out for malware in Bible apps, of all places," describes why:

...  cybercriminals find Bible apps so appealing. They figure you trust anything related to the Bible, so you'll download Bible apps without thinking about protecting yourself. But cybercriminals are infecting Bible apps with malware, to steal your personal information, or take over your device.

Cybersecurity firm Proofpoint found that 3.7% of Bible apps contain malware. That's far higher than other apps, including gambling apps (0.22%) and apps for the Muslim holy book, the Quran (0.36%).

Proofpoint examined 5,600 Bible apps on iOS and Android devices. They found that 208 of them were infected with malware and 140 were at high risk for malware, all Android.

Before you install a Bible app or any app for that matter, be sure to use your discernment. One of the first things I do when I see a new website or new app is to check its reputation. For a website, I check the "about" page and see if things look real. For apps, I check the developer's website for clues to its reputation. I search the web for more information. If things are sketchy or absent, I'd be reluctant to install that app until I learn more. 

Do you have other tips for practicing safe computing or finding new apps? Please add a comment.