'Alexa, Open YouVersion Bible'

(Photo by Andres Urena on Unsplash)

They can adjust the lights, make a room warmer, play a favorite song, and they can help people hear from God. As voice technology saw explosive growth in 2018, YouVersion announced this week they are enhancing their Bible offerings for Alexa and Google Assistant.

By the end of last year, more than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices were installed in homes and offices around the U.S., according to RBC Capital Markets, and at January's Consumer Electronic Show, Google announced its Assistant is now on 1 billion devices. These are just two of consumers' ever-growing options for voice-enabled devices. As more Americans turn to Alexa and Google Assistant for help in navigating their day-to-day lives, YouVersion encourages people to think of voice technology as another way to engage in the Bible.

"By adding to our YouVersion voice offerings, we hope to help our community expand the presence of the Bible in their daily life, and also to reach people who may have struggled to consistently engage with the Bible in the past," said Bobby Gruenewald, YouVersion founder. "We believe daily engagement with the Bible is an important part of developing a deeper relationship with God, and we're passionate about finding new ways to help people do that."

YouVersion Voice Offerings

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Since November 2015, the YouVersion Community could ask Alexa to read any book, chapter or verse from the Bible. Today, with a little help from Alexa and Google Assistant, the YouVersion Community can enjoy new ways to engage with the Bible using voice technology.

  • Listen to Daily Bible Plans: Using simple voice commands, people can now ask Alexa or Google Assistant to read their YouVersion Bible Plan. By saying "Open YouVersion Bible," people can hear the full list of options, or they can go straight to their Plan content by saying "Ask YouVersion Bible to read my plan." The voice assistant will read the first incomplete day of the most recently subscribed to YouVersion Bible Plan.
  • Play Children's Bible Stories: Children can ask their Alexa-enabled devices to play one of the Bible App for Kids' 41 children's Bible stories. They will be able to watch the story video or listen to the story depending on their device capability and the availability of content. To begin, they can say "Alexa, open YouVersion Kids Bible," and then they'll have the option to play the Story of the Day or ask for a specific story or Bible character, such as "Wherever You Go" or "Ruth." YouVersion Kids Bible will be available for Google Assistant this spring.
  • Make the Bible Part of Every Day: Alexa users have long been able to add the Verse of the Day as a flash briefing, which is customizable audio and news delivered daily or weekly. Now, they can also add the YouVersion Kids Bible - Daily Story to their flash briefings. The YouVersion Kids Bible - Daily Story flash briefing will read the children's Bible Story of the Day, or show the Story of the Day video on voice-enabled devices with screens. With Google Assistant, users can add a Good Morning routine and add "Ask YouVersion Bible for the Verse of the Day" as an action to start their day off with Scripture.
  • Play the Bible Trivia Game—YouVersion Bible Challenge is the newest voice product available on Alexa-enabled devices. People can test their Bible knowledge with this game that reads a Bible verse and asks where in the Bible it's found. Players earn more points for saying the correct book, chapter and verse. The game is available for solo players, or it can be played in a group of two, three or four with the use of Echo Buttons.

"It's become common for people to have Alexa add something to their grocery list or ask Google Assistant about the weather," said Gruenewald. "We're excited to see more of our community use that same technology to incorporate the Bible into their daily lives, because we know consistent engagement with Scripture changes lives."

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