YouVersion – changing the whole context of Bible
If you don’t yet have a smartphone, you may not realise their compelling advantages. These include having with you 24/7: a still/video camera, diary (which can syncronise automatically to other family members, work colleagues, church etc.), satnav, photo album, note-taker, alarm-clock/watch, Kindle e-reader (there’s a free Kindle app – and there are plenty of free classics to choose from), news updates, games as well as all the usual web services – browsing, email, Facebook, Twitter. Free (or very cheap) apps extend this functionality in many ways.
The downside is battery life. Expect to recharge almost daily. But there are many battery-saving tips and apps, and you can plug smartphones into the USB port of any computer to pick up a charge, and a pocket emergency back-up battery is a useful accessory.
Easy to use
Smartphones are remarkably easy to use. Their touch-screens are usually much more intuitive than the buttons on feature phones. You do not need to be remotely techie to use one. Indeed, they are considerably easier to grasp than, say, normal laptops.
You don’t need a contract
You don’t have to buy a contract to have use a smartphone. If your phonecall usage only merits PAYG service, you can buy your own smartphone even secondhand (using your existing sim-card if you wish) and access most services through wifi. People legitimately sell new or nearly new handsets, often because they are unneeded contract upgrades. With due care, bargains can be found on eBay. Always check the reviews of different models at the excellent online resources such as TechRadar and CNet. Read more on why and how to buy a smartphone.
A further bonus to Jesus-followers is the free phone YouVersion Bible app – offering you multiple versions and languages, many of them downloadable so you don’t need bandwidth to use them. YouVersion has transformed bible access in the last few years. It can be installed on any type of smartphone, as well as some Java-equipped feature phones. You can highlight or bookmark verses, add notes, and more. Here’s a series of video shorts about YouVersion:
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