There are literally thousands of Bible apps available in the App Store, and finding one that fits you is a long road of trial and error. First ask yourself what you need from a Bible app. Do you just want to look up verses? What’s your favorite translation? How important is typography and aesthetics? Do you want to have additional tools for word studies and translation comparisons?
I’m going to save the heavy-duty study apps for later. What I’d like to share with you today is the best app for leisurely reading of the Bible. This app is perfect for morning devotions, following along during a sermon, or an afternoon refocus. It’s called NeuBible.
NeuBible is a free download from the App Store. What makes it special is its simplicity — its creators chose to focus on crafting the absolute best reading environment. There are no footnotes or sharing options to distract you. In fact, one of its only options is to hide verse numbers entirely, helping you to approach the text as a seamless narrative. Since the iPhone itself is plagued by so many distractions, the dedicated sense of focus from NeuBible is worth raving about. If you put your iPhone into Airplane Mode as you read NeuBible, you might be tempted to forget that you're even reading on a phone. I love it.
Out of the gate, NeuBible comes with several translations: Holman Christian Standard (HCS), American Standard (ASV), King James (KJV), and World English (WEB). None of those really float my boat, so I immediately started looking at the buyable downloads. Other versions are available as separate purchases ranging from $1.99 to $9.99. This might strike some readers as expensive, but most publishers treat their digital versions as physical book sales. Securing the rights to sell Bible translations isn't cheap for app developers. I was thrilled to see that the English Standard Version (ESV) as an option for just a few bucks, but there’s also the Common English Bible (CEB), New American Standard (NAS), New International (NIV), and New King James (NKJV). According to their website, The Message and New Living Translation (NLT) are coming soon.
NeuBible is designed with reading and ease of use in mind. Navigating around the app can be done entirely by swiping from left to right. This is a big deal and contrary to how most other Bible apps navigate. Other Bible apps will usually take up screen space by displaying tab bars along the top and bottom of the screen, thereby taking up potential reading space. With NeuBible's sliding gestures, you're never far from the text, and the text is never covered up by buttons. This also makes one-handed navigation super easy. Book selection, search, and settings is a slide to the right and chapter selection is a slide to the left.
Among the settings, you'll find an option to adjust your text preferences. NeuBible has four gorgeous text themes to choose from. They're pictured in the screenshot above. Text size, line spacing, and day or night mode are also options. After poking around the text choices for a minute, you'll quickly find something that pleases your eyes and does justice to the passage you're reading.
Swiping your finger towards the left reveals the sleek chapter selector. As you would guess, taping on the number takes you immediately to that chapter.
Like I said, there aren't a whole lot of features to speak of. When tapping on a verse, you're given the option to highlight, copy, or bookmark it. Note that sharing is not an option. For some, that might be a deal breaker, but I'm glad that I don't have the option of being distracted away from the passage by posting to social media.
In the app's preferences, you can toggle red letter text, verse numbers, and choose another translation. Reading reminders can be set up here, too, which does exactly what you'd think. Very neat.
Is NeuBible for you?
Like I said, there are a lot of Bible apps out there. Most of them have been overloaded with superfluous features that lure you away from the primary focus of the app: reading Scripture. I've tried a lot of these, and I think NeuBible is simply the best. Tap here if you'd like to see a video of NeuBible in action. It's been added to our App Hall of Fame, and I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it as well.