iPhone App Review: Bible360

iPhone App Review: Bible360

January 17th, 2012 by

When I was a kid I had neighbors with the best, most interesting and exciting book I had ever seen: a comic book version of the Bible. It was easy to read, accessible, probably glossed over some of the finer points, but it got me hooked. The Bible is not renowned the world over as being the most engrossing and engaging read, nor does it use the most contemporary language, but it contains a message that those in the know believe needs to be shared the world over.

Bible360 is a new app that brings the text of Scripture to life through video, virtual tours, interactive technology, social media and more! Social features include the ability to share Bible verses, photos and snapshots via social networking channels such as Twitter and YouVersion, through the popular Jesus Daily page on Facebook, or through the reader’s own personal social networking platforms. Bible360 is free with a premium upgrade available. Bible360 allows users to access any Bible chapter or verse in just two clicks. Every page of the Bible then features relevant videos, artwork, HD maps, photos, and virtual tours, resulting in an interactive experience that gives users the full 360 degree view of the Bible.

How It Works

The app is available for iPhone, iPad, and as a desktop computer download (Windows and Mac), all of which can be synced if you create an account. There is a free version that includes two translations, three “Lenses” (what they call the different ways to visualize information contained in the Bible),  and limited multi-media features. The premium versions has three more translations, several more lenses, and a greater collection of media, artwork, and supplementary articles; plus the ability to follow reading plans (several are included, and you can create custom plans with the desktop premium version), and create your own selection and filter Lenses. Both versions allow you to add notes, highlights, and bookmarks to verses.

The app is so dense and rich that it would be impossible for me to detail exactly how you get around. It’s basically designed to be explored, in much the same way as you might flip through an encyclopedia (remember those?) and get lost in the text and the pictures and the information.

The “Bible” lens is the meat and potatoes, the actual text. You tap to enter a book, then choose a chapter and start reading. Tapping on a version gives you options for highlighting and bookmarking. You can also share verses via email or one of several social networks.

“Media” gives you direct links to the artwork, videos, and other supplementary content within the app. You can also access certain media by tapping on the related verse within the text of the Bible itself. The “Atlas” is a detailed map (powered by Google Maps) featuring all of the locations in the Bible. Sort of a Hollywood Walk of Fame, but for the Bible. The desktop version also has a “Timeline” and a “Topical” lens. Each version also features a “Me” lens, which is a direct link to your journal, your friends, and your reading plans. This information can be synced across devices.

A detailed breakdown of what each version of the app features can be found here, although it’s worth noting that every app download is free, and you only need to pay one time to upgrade to the premium package, which spans across all versions of your Bible360.

Pros And Cons

Bible360 is quite simply a 21st century update to the Bible done right. You can explore and delve into numerous aspects of the text from several different viewpoints, the atlas and the timeline being the most fun to explore. Reading the text is simple and pleasurable as well, with the app getting its own interface out of the way once you’ve drilled down to the chapter level. Making highlights and notes is as simple as a tap, and you can access further information via the media library just as quickly.

The wealth of photos and information available in the Media lens, especially in the premium versions, is quite simply astonishing. Whether or not you are religious, Bible360 is a rich source for stunning photographs from locales that are a part of the history of human civilization.

The developers have also done the Lite version of the app in the way it should always be done: giving you premium-grade access to a limited subset of the content. Each Lite version has samples of each of the forms of media and atlas, letting you explore the data presented and get an understanding of whether or not the premium offerings are right for you.

The premium version of the app is also a great deal, giving you premium access to all of the app’s features and content on up to five devices (being a mix and match of iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC). The only thing missing that could improve the feature set is some of premium web-based access that might let you sync certain items to be viewed later on the web (or perhaps as a way to allow those without the PC or Mac version to create presentations or custom reading plans, without adding those features to the apps).

The app also scales nicely to the different platforms. iPad provides the best balance of size versus portability, letting you have the most “Bible-like” reading experience while still giving you access to the great technology features. The computer version is the “full” experience, but is not as convenient or portable. The iPhone version is obviously the most portable, letting you catch up on your reading plan or share verses on the go, while still giving you access to the multimedia features that make the most sense.


Bible 360 is an amazing technological exploration of the Bible, putting tons of information at your fingertips beyond the text of the Bible itself. Some content requires an active internet connection to sync to your device. It is available now for iPad and iPhone as a free download, with in-app premium upgrade available.

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