Bibles on Phones information

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Getting your Bible onto your phone

Lots of people ask us about how to get the Bible in their own language onto their phones. This is often easy for major languages like English or German (which have both free and paid apps available), but often not so easy for minority languages. We'll try to give some hints and links on this page.

Most minority language Bible translations are produced in USFM format (or can be upgraded from SFM or converted into USFM format. We can use the Bible Drop Box to convert USFM Bible to other formats, including converting it to a Sword module via OSIS XML. Sword modules can be used on many desktop computer operating systems.

This page is dedicated to phone operating systems which may range from Android (#1), iOS (#2), and those with considerably smaller market share. Again, there are applications available on many of those operating systems that can use Sword modules.

There are also many new smartphone operating systems in development including Firefox OS, Ubuntu Touch OS, and Tizen. Now the challenge is to get Bibles onto these newer operating systems. We are currently trying to get a small team together to produce a Bible application for these phones that can use data formats derived from USFM Bible files.

One of the difficulties that we face, is that a large proportion of our clients who want minority language Bibles on mobile phones, live in areas with poor infrastructure. So we have to make sure that the Bible application has a way to store the Bible data locally on the phone, so that the Bible text can be read (and hopefully also searched) even when the mobile data service is not available.

Please use the Contact Page to let us know of any corrections or improvements to these instructions, and/or any other methods to get minority language Bibles onto people's devices. Thanks.

You may also be interested to read our Sword modules instructions page.

You should also look at the resources at Distant Shores Media such as this blog page and this one and much more.

Note: Those with older feature phones that can run Java, should probably look at Go Bible (also described here in Wikipedia.)