Reading the Bible on my iPad is my new favorite way to do regular reading and meditation. I look for two things in a Bible app: a clean display of the text (without notes / links / distractions) and the availability of help if I want to read more. I also appreciate an app that can track my Bible reading progress and remind me to follow my plan. I’ve found some good apps that give the simplicity of focusing my eyes on the text alone, allow quick access to notes and cross-references if I want to study, and help me track my Bible reading progress.
Highly Recommended Apps
The free YouVersion app from LifeChurch.tv has the best feature set. It provides online access to hundreds of Bible translations in several languages, as well as offline access to dozens of those versions (including Ancient Greek). This app also has many built-in reading plans with notifications. Tapping a verse highlights it and displays a small icon that allows you to add a note, share the verse (via Twitter, Facebook, email, or text message), copy the verse to other apps, bookmark, or highlight the verse with a custom color. YouVersion also has a “Live Event” feature that allows users to interact and share during a message or event. This is my favorite Bible app and the one I always use for daily reading.
The smoothest Bible app is the free ESV Bible app from Crossway. Its interface is clean and fast. As soon as you scroll down, the header disappears and you see the text full-screen. Tapping a verse brings up a list of cross-reference links and a “Create a Note” button. You can also bookmark verses or quickly share them via Twitter, Facebook, or email from this page.
The free ReadingPlan app does just what its name says: lets you select a Bible reading plan and helps you stay on track. It does not have a Bible in it, but it comes with several plans pre-loaded and lets you browse through dozens of others. ReadingPlan will send a daily push notification to your device and allow you to open your preferred Bible app or website to read the passages. The App Store description says that this app will let you “create your own,” however, I haven’t figured out how to create a custom plan yet.
Other Useful Apps
I rarely use the free Logos app. I don’t own a large Logos library package and this app is much more challenging to use than the ESV or YouVersion apps. If you do have a Logos package and use it for daily reading, the ReadingPlan app can open Logos to your current daily reading for you.
The free Bible+ app from Olive Tree has a few versions available at no charge, but most of the better translations are only available as additional purchase (in-app or through the App Store). The main benefit to this app is split-screen viewing on the iPad. The only time I use this app is when I need to read Greek and English side-by-side.
The best all-around app for Bible reading and plan tracking is YouVersion. It has the most features and versions – and the best price tag.
If you’re already committed to another app for reading and just need to add a plan tracker, get ReadingPlan; it will tailor well with your current reading habits.
Do you have a different favorite Bible reading app? Tell me about it with a comment!