BibleOn - Mobile Bible designed for reading
BibleOn - Mobile Bible designed for reading
We are changing the way you read on screens—making it enjoyable! Engage with the Bible, in print type quality, on your mobile device
We are changing the way you read on screens—making it enjoyable! Engage with the Bible, in print type quality, on your mobile device Read more
Music by Chris Zabriskie
Help us funding the development of the next generation Bible reading software for mobile devices, beginning with iOS and Android. And to achieve that, the development of a cross-platform text layout engine to fill the gap between the reading experiences in print and digital, and a typeface optimized for the mobile screen.
We want to create a Bible reading app that is easy on the eyes. That is easy and intuitive to use, still without limiting the possibilities that comes with digital.
Reading on a tablet or smartphone is hard on the eyes and it is difficult to concentrate—actually it is most often just plain annoying and not pleasant at all.
Text is not “just text”. Presenting text that makes you want to engage and dig deeper into the content is an art. We are typographers, graphic designers and are designing and typesetting more than 50 Bibles every year. We see the need for advanced text layout and high typographic quality in a Bible reading app.
We believe that digital readers should not have to sacrifice their reading experience.
- The future of Bible reading—A walkthrough of typographic features
BibleOn is a very ambitious project and includes development of technologies that do not yet exist.
We have already made huge investments to reach our current state of technology development. By reaching our pledge goal we will have sufficient funds to cover the final steps:
- 1: Development of the app
- 2: Development of the brand new cross-platform compatible text layout engine
- 3: Finalizing the whole new family of typefaces, optimized for the mobile screen
Goal 1: Development of the app
BibleOn already exists today, as an app for iOS. It is the result of 4 years of development, updates and feature additions.
The existing model is quite simple: Download the app for free and purchase the Bible translation you wish to use, from the publisher, within the app.
But we have realized some major things:
- The addition of more and more features through the years have decreased the ease of use and the intuitiveness of the app
- More users have multiple devices of different make, e.g. an Android smartphone and an iPad
- Purchasing digital content, when it is available for free elsewhere, is not working
This is why the next generation development is focused on those things exactly:
- Bringing Bible texts to users for free
- Developing a cross-platform technology, with which we do not have to lower our bar of typographic quality
- Simplifying by rethinking the set of features, integrate them better, and overall create a better user experience
The application will be rewritten for iOS in the new Swift programming language and integrate our new cross-platform text layout engine for high typographic layout and display. Quality, responsiveness and speed are important for a good user experience, which is why all development is made in native programming languages.
Some major examples of features we are sure to implement:
- User customization by selection of typeface, type size, colors and text features
- BibleOn will work completely offline, with all material being downloaded to the device
- Users can add personal notes to scripture passages
- Users can save scripture passages to favorites
- Favorites and notes can be saved for one specific Bible translation only, or be accessible from all
- Favorites and notes will be synchronized and stored securely in the cloud
- Android and iOS versions will use same content and users can access their material from both
- Smartphone and tablet version
- Reading any Bible with daily devotional content
- Reading any Bible with study material content
- Reading any Bible, illustrated with various sets of Bible illustrations
- Advanced full text search
- Modern user interface
- Simple and intuitive user interaction
- Support for non-latin texts (Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrillic …)
- Extendable by downloadable color themes and typefaces
We are targeting two major mobile platforms, iOS and Android.
All the technologies we have planned are written in cross-platform compatible programming languages, which can run natively in most mobile environments, Android and iOS included.
We are eager to get started on the Android version as quickly as funding allows. The initial funding goal covers the iOS application, but additional funding is needed to start developing Android earlier in the process.
Goal 2: Text layout engine
Besides the quality of print, full control of text layout is the main reason why text is better in print than on screen.
With the high resolution screens of modern smartphones, the quality difference is less significant, leaving only the layout. Our new engine will close the gap.
Tools for typesetting and layout are developed digitally, but the results are reserved for print and bound to fixed sizes.
The text layout engine we are developing lives on the device and can layout text to fit the size of the screen, with the same full control of layout as found in modern typesetting software.
Goal 3: Bible Serif Screen
We have designed the Bible family of typefaces, used in many of the most popular printed Bibles. The family consists of:
- Bible Sans, a compact sans serif typeface drawing on some of the best sans serif designs from the 20th century. It is designed for the purpose of setting a lot of text on the fewest amount of pages. It is super economic in terms of characters per page since it has shorter than normal ascenders and descenders to allow for really tight line spacing.
- Bible Slab, the accompanying slab serif typeface for Bible Sans. It is designed with some of the same uses in mind as Bible Sans and it bears some of the same characteristics. It’s relatively large x height makes it extremely readable even in small sizes. The robustness of the slab serif design makes this typeface excellent for bad printing conditions where other typefaces sometimes wither away.
We are currently working on the last part of the family, Bible Serif. It is designed from the same criteria as Bible Sans and Slab, for readability, compactness, and durability under harsh printing conditions. The large x-height ensures maximum readability even in small sizes. The short ascenders and descenders allow for tight leading. Bible Serif is equipped with sturdy serifs that perform well rendered on screen as well as printed on thin paper.
Bible Serif Screen will be designed from the Bible Serif typeface, but with the main goal to make it legible and aesthetically pleasing on screen. If funding allows, we would love to make Screen variants of the complete family!
The Bible has through history always been the first to adapt to new technology or information platforms. It has always been the most important volume of textual information: written by hand for centuries, the drive behind the invention of typesetting and printing by Johannes Gutenberg, and through the last centuries it has been the major project by many respected printers and designers.
We share the passion and the respect for the Bible, and we too want to push the boundaries of technology to enhance the quality of the Word. We believe that the Bible deserves the same attention today, as it did 500 years ago, when Gutenberg printed his 42 line bible.
This is why we aim for:
- High quality typographic layout and display
- Intuitive interface and interaction that makes the Word accessible
- Beautiful, modern interface design that indicates the Bible is also relevant today
- Enhancing understanding of the Word by providing study material and devotional content
We have already established partnerships with Bible publishers, content providers and type foundries from all around the world and are in ongoing dialog with many more. The list will be updated as new agreements are closed.
- The Bible Society of Portugal
- The Bible Society in Russia
- The Bible Society of Spain
- Biblioteca de Autores Cristiano
- Broadman & Holman
- Christliche Schriftenverbreitung
- Crossway Bibles
- The Danish Bible Society
- Editorial Verbo Divino
- German Bible Society
- Japan Bible Society
- Katholieke Bijbelstichting
- The Latvian Bible Society
- The Lockman Foundation
- Forlagsgruppen Lohse
- La Maison de la Bible
- Mota Italic
- Netherlands Bible Society
- Nordisk Kirkekunst
- The Norwegian Bible Society
- Type Together
- Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
- Uitgeverij Jongbloed
Some Bible texts may continue to be paid in-app purchases in the upcoming version.
Since the app will be free, it would not make sense to offer it as a reward. Instead we have prepared these great alternatives for you:
Type specimen posters
We have designed 3 posters, one for each typeface in our Bible family. The numbered posters will only be available through backing our Kickstarter project.
Type specimen T-shirt
The lovely poster prints on high quality T-shirts. We will produce T-shirts for both men and woman in standard sizes.
Bible Serif Screen web license
We will, uniquely on Kickstarter, offer a Bible Serif Screen web font license for non-commercial use on your website.
Risks and challenges
We plan to finalize development during the first half of 2015 and launch the next generation of BibleOn for iOS in August 2015. Android release is yet to be determined.
We have already developed proof of concept that the text layout engine technology we are developing works on Android and iOS.
We are experts in developing custom-designed typefaces. We are certain that we can complete the custom designed family optimized for screen use.
We have already developed huge parts of the iOS application in Swift, and we are more than certain that we can complete this.
Android development is not included in the funding goal since we anticipate meeting most of obstacles in that phase.
As with any project, projected launch dates may vary from our original estimates due to unforeseen obstacles that may arise. In case of delays, we may be able to release an iOS version with our existing text layout engine, before releasing an update with the new text layout engine.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)