Friday, November 22, 2013

About YES file

Since version 2.0 published more than 2 years ago, Bible for Android apps have been using a file format for storing Bible translations. It is commonly called YES files, since the files are saved with a ".yes" file name extension. When you choose a Bible version from the version list screen, a YES file is downloaded to your device. With that, you can have more than one version/translation of Bible on your device.

The YES file contains the version information (name of the version, short name, description, language); the Bible text itself (keyed by book, chapter, and verse numbers); and optionally: pericope headings, footnotes, and cross references.

YES files consist of binary data that is not intended to be read by human, but it is optimized to be read by computer programs. Some of the content can also be compressed to make the YES file smaller. A YES file for one complete Bible translation is approximately 2 MB in size.

If you try to open a YES file from the email client on your Android device or from the file manager, you can choose to import it to Bible for Android app. You can also share a version by long-pressing on an item from the version list screen and selecting Share.

Tools to create the YES file

First option is to convert it from an PalmBible+ file, which are also known as a PDB file. You can open a PDB file from the version list screen, or you can also use the online converter here. Using the online converter produces a compressed YES file.

Second option is to create a plain text file called a YET file. It serves as a human-readable alternative to YES file. The data contained in a YET file is the same as the one contained in a YES file. The specification of the YET file can be read here.

We also plan to support The Word modules, hopefully this can be done in coming months!

1,000,000 downloads!

Thanks be to God! Alkitab has been downloaded by more than 1 million users!


Currently this is the most popular Bible app in Indonesia (the author's home country). There are more and more new Android users in Indonesia, when combined with relatively religious nature of Indonesian people, we feel blessed to be able to participate in bringing a good Bible-reading app for Indonesian people.

In the future, we plan to do the following, with God's grace:

  • to keep the app simple and straight-forward for regular-reading of the Bible
  • to introduce more Bible study tools, so users could dig deeper to understand the Bible
  • to create an open-source platform for publishing Bible translations

Currently our app is on Android only, but hopefully there comes a time where we or other contributors can create the app on other platforms as well.

We also want to thank contributors in sending suggestions, corrections, and bug reports, helping in processing the text, giving technical advices, doing UI translations, and generously making donations!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bible Daily Verse App Widget

When a Christian read a quote from the Bible in a book or on TV or even at a tombstone, usually the object will immediately catch his attention. It is not only because he read it before, but I believe the Word of God reminds him about his conviction deep inside his heart. That's why many Christians put a plaque or picture with a quote from the Bible in their houses. That's why many Christians want to have a quote from the Bible in their mobile phone to remind them about their faith. The new Android bible app widget does just that.

The app widget brings to your home screen a new quote from the Bible everyday. At the midnight it is scheduled to display a new quote. The quotes itself has already been selected by the developers not randomly selected from the Bible, to ensure that the verse displayed in the widget is not cut in the middle of the sentence.

When you bring the app widget for the first time, a configuration screen will be displayed where you can customize the app widget.


In this screen you may configure the version of the Bible. It depends on the active versions you have in the application. You can also adjust the text size in the widget from the seek bar. Lastly, if you already have a pretty wallpaper and do not want the app widget background to block your wallpaper, you may want to turn on transparent background option and select dark text if your wallpaper is dominantly white or uncheck the dark text option if your wallpaper is dark.
After you're done with the configuration, an app widget will be displayed in your home screen.


With a transparent background it will look like this:


In this app widget, you can navigate to the next or previous verses (in case you already remember that verse or you are curious about the next verse). And the most important thing is you can click the verse and it will open the Bible for you at the verse you see in the widget.

We hope that this feature will help you to remember about the Word of God and bring joy to your busy day.

Troubleshooting: If you do not see this Bible app widget on the widget list, make sure you install this Bible app on your phone or tablet's internal memory, not on removable SD Card. Android does not support showing widgets from apps in removable SD Card. Go to system settings > Apps > select Alkitab or Quick Bible, and then click "Move to phone" to move it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bible Version Update

Thanks to Alkitab (Quick Bible) users who gave their comments on bible versions that were provided to be downloaded. We recently updated and replaced some versions to new ones. These versions are King James Version, Chinese Union Version and Reina Valera (Spanish).

King James Version

For King James Version, there is an error in the previous version:

Lamentations 1:1  How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people how is she become as a widow she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary
In the new version it is written:
Lamentations 1:1  How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

The new version has extra exclamation marks in the verse and it is easier to understand.

Another feature in the new version: it includes song titles in the book of Psalm.

However there is a minus in the new version: in the previous version, the word of Jesus could be displayed in different color. In the new version, it does not mark the word of Jesus so we cannot display them in different color. You can download the previous version from the Versions screen, it's listed as King James (Red Letter).

Chinese Union Version

In the previous Chinese Union Version (Simplified), the are some known errors, for example:
Deuteronomy 15:7:
在耶和华─你神所赐你的地上,无论那一座城里,你弟兄中若有一个穷人,你不可忍着心、?着手不帮补你穷乏的弟兄。
2 Timothy 3:2
因为那时人要专顾自己、贪爱钱财、自夸、狂傲、谤?、违背父母、忘恩负义、心不圣洁、
In these verses we can see question marks that should not be there. Probably the source text uses non-standard characters, but we're not sure.

In the new version Chinese Union Version Modern Punctuation (Simplified)

Deuteronomy 15:7:
“在耶和华你神所赐你的地上,无论哪一座城里,你弟兄中若有一个穷人,你不可忍着心,攥着手不帮补你穷乏的弟兄,


2 Timothy 3:2:
因为那时人要专顾自己,贪爱钱财,自夸,狂傲,谤讟,违背父母,忘恩负义,心不圣洁,


CUVMPS version has no error in these verses. However the chinese translation is not exactly same as the CUVS, which may cause confusion for those who already familiar with CUVS.

Reina Valera

The difference between the new Reina Valera 1909 with the previous one, in the previous version:
Genesis 17:23:
Entonces tomó Abraham á Ismael su hijo, y á todos los siervos nacidos en su casa, y á todos los comprados por su dinero, á todo varón entre los domésticos de la casa de Abraham, y circuncidó la carne del prepucio de ellos en aquel mismo día, como Dios le

The new Reina Valera 1909:
Genesis 17:23:
Entonces tomó Abraham á Ismael su hijo, y á todos los siervos nacidos en su casa, y á todos los comprados por su dinero, á todo varón entre los domésticos de la casa de Abraham, y circuncidó la carne del prepucio de ellos en aquel mismo día, como Dios le había dicho.

As we see, the previous version missed "habia dicho." in the verse.

We hope with these revisions, the Bible preserves its originality and helps people when they read it.
At the end, we would like say thank you to ifbweb for the KJV, ccel.org for the Reina Valera, and also to Biblegateway.com for the CUVMPS.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Progress (Jejak): mark your Bible reading progress!



A new feature has been added, progress. A progress allows you to put a mark at the last verse you read.

So what is the difference between a progress and a bookmark? You are not allowed to move a bookmark, so when you put a bookmark in a verse, you can only edit or delete it. But with a progress, you can move it wherever you want. So a progress has the same function as a bookmark in your real life when you read a book, while a bookmark is like a sticky note. So if you have a reading plan or if you read the Bible sequentially, you can use this progress to mark the verse that you read.

Some people read the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter. They want to read the whole Bible, but the problem is, they sometime forget the verse or chapter they read last time, especially when they read Psalm, where all chapters look the same. If you read a book, you can insert a bookmark. But when you read the Bible in your mobile, how do you put a note at the last verse that you read? In the "Alkitab" application, you can add a bookmark, but you need to delete it and add it again after you finish your Bible reading.

If you have a reading plan, let's say you start from Genesis and you now want to use a progress, how do you use it?
The bible has 5 built in progresses you can use. They have 5 different colors and 5 default names (I will show you how to edit the name later). To start use it, you have to select single verse and select the progress.

After you select your progress, you can see that the verse now has a small icon (it looks like Google Map location icon).

As I mentioned earlier, you can save up to 5 progresses. You can see all the progresses from the menu and click "View progress".

In this menu, you can see all your progresses and also the time when you use it. If you forget the last verse that you read, this is the best place you can find it. Clicking on the progress will quickly jump to the verse. Long click the progress will allow you to rename the progress or delete the progress. If you have two reading plans, one Old Testament and one New Testament, you can rename the progress by tap the progress and hold it for a second. It will prompt you option to rename or delete. If you select rename,



You can delete a progress, but you can only delete the referenced verse, not the progress itself. So deleting the progress is only revert it to an empty progress with its default name.

You can add multiple progresses at one verse, and you can add another bookmark and notes if you want. All of them will be displayed next to the verse.

You can tap the icon to show you the progress name, the verse address and the time you move it to this location.

Next day, when you continue your reading plan and finished Genesis chapter 1, you will need to select the last verse that you read and select the same progress, and it will be moved to the selected verse.
So now you have no excuse not to read the whole Bible. But what if you say you forget what books you have read all this time? Well, for now this feature does not provide you the history, so use a piece of paper and write them there.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Export markers to an HTML file


Bible for Android has a new feature to extract and send your bookmarks, notes and highlights in a readable format. With a new export function, your markers are formatted in HTML and you can read them in your browser or open it in a word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Drive or LibreOffice.

Marking the Bible with bookmarks to help you remember some topics, and writing notes in the Bible while you are listening to a sermon or even highlight the text in the Bible to get your attention while reading through some passages is very enjoyable, useful and effective. But once in a while, you may want to take your time in your reflection about what you've been doing all this year. At this moment, you take your Bible app and you realize how many notes you have written. Maybe you want to see all your markers in your desktop. You may try to send it to your email with "transfer" function. But it gives you xml format which is not quite readable.
Export markers function comes for this purpose. You now are able to see all your markers in a readable HTML format.

If you go to markers screen, now you can see that it now has one additional menu item "Export".


When you tap "Export", it will pop up a dialog:


You can select which markers you want to export. Once you click OK button, you will be able to select how you want to export. Probably you want to export it to your own email account, or use an online storage like Dropbox.
If you see the exported file, you will see an html format file, so you can now open it in your browser or word processor.


As you see in this output file, it shows all your bookmarks, notes and highlights. It also keeps your label color and highlight coloring. And if you see at the date, it shows you the time you created and edited. So you can now observe what and when you have written in a click.
We hope you try this feature and let us know what your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bookmark label colors, sharing fixes, chapter navigation, Romanian and Japanese (2.2)


Now you can assign colors to your bookmark labels. It's now even easier to organize your bookmarks!

Change the colors by long-pressing on a label on the bookmarks screen.


When you see the list of bookmarks, the labels will be colored, too!



There was long-standing issue on sharing of verses. Normally, sharing text works on any sharing destinations that declare themselves to receive data of text/plain type. However, for some unknown reason, Facebook declines sharing of plain text. Facebook only receives plain text that forms a URL. Unfortunately, there is no way for an Android app to know which sharing destination the user selects if (using Intent.createChooser()). This has prevented us to share to Facebook correctly.

The only way feasible for now is to create our own sharing screen. Starting from this release, Bible for Android will use its own sharing screen, which IMHO better than the default sharing screen. It loads the list and the app icons in the background, so it doesn't lag like the default sharing screen :D

Moreover, and most importantly, we know when the user selects Facebook as the destination. We can treat it specially and give a URL instead of verse text.


We also added an option to use volume buttons to navigate between chapters. This was suggested by +Rony Gabriel, thanks! An excellent suggestion.

Last but not least, now there is two different Bible versions available as optional download: Romanian (Corneliscu's translation) and Japanese (口語訳 – colloquial translation). +Liviu Foltut helped in providing the Romanian Bible translation and also translating the app into Romanian.



As you can see, the Japanese version has identation (for quotations and poems) and paragraph break. This is processed from the perfect XML files provided by bible.salterrae.net.