Home > Crossway Blog > ESV Study Bible + App Hits Version 1.4 for iOS

ESV Study Bible + App Hits Version 1.4 for iOS

Nearly a year since it’s debut, the official Crossway ESV Study Bible + app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch has been updated to version 1.4. We’ve added the option of seeing the words of Christ in red, along with better navigation. On your iPhone or iPad, swipe easily between the ESV text, the Study Bible notes, and your own notes. Also, there is an improved “tap to return” feature when exploring cross references, notes, highlights, and articles and resources. Finally, we now have a feedback page accessible directly inside the app to help field your questions, feature requests, and identify bugs. Two feature requests in the pipeline are Cloud Sync and Daily Bible Reading Plans, both scheduled for release by year’s end.

Take a look at some of the new features…

To Turn on red letters, go to “More” and slide the switch to “On”

John 8:12 with Red Letters on

As mentioned above, we’ve added features for faster navigation. You can now swipe your finger side to side to quickly switch between study bible notes, the Bible text, and your notes. In addition, when you tap and view a linked passage within study resources you will be given the option to “Tap to return…” to whatever resource you were previously reading.

Lastly, as you use the app and think of questions or suggestions, go to “More” and click on “Feedback” to let us know.

Mobile support preview

What is your favorite feature of the ESV Study Bible+ app? We’d like to know!

Don’t have the app yet?  ESV Study Bible + is available for purchase in the itunes app store.


July 8, 2011 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Crossway Staff @ 12:06 pm | (59) Comments »


  1. Android, please.

    Comment by Jonathan M. — July 8, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  2. Another Android request.

    Comment by Tim Gibson — July 8, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

  3. Android please, we are a big community too.

    Comment by Miguel Sequeira — July 8, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

  4. Thanks for your evident excitement for the ESV App! Be assured that similar updates for android are in the works.

    Comment by Ted Cockle — July 8, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  5. This was said in July of 2010 on this blog…
    Dear Android Users:

    We want to serve you as well and we’ve been laying the groundwork for an Android app. We are redirecting our digital resources for you over the next few months.

    Thank you for your patience!

    I love Crossway and the ESVSB, but it’s been 12 months. Can someone please get on this?

    Comment by Steve McCoy — July 8, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  6. How about linking to web version with username and password to also use daily devotions???

    Comment by Peter Halford — July 8, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

  7. Please, please make an Android version. It simply doesn’t make any sense in this day and age to be pouring all of your development energy into iOS development when they hold 10% less market share than Android devices.

    Your Android users want to be able to access the ESVSB on their devices, too. And as Steve McCoy noted, it’s been a year since the last word on Android was spoken by anyone at Crossway.

    Look, I realize that development for Android is a minefield compared to development for iOS, but with 500,000 Android devices being activated every day, can you really afford to go on ignoring this vast sector of your audience?

    Take a look at Netflix. They took a pretty huge PR hit for taking so long to release an Android version of their iOS app; and, while I’m sure that the ESV’s audience is far more forgiving than Netflix’s is, the point remains that the Android Market has existed for only 4 months less than the iOS App Store, and yet we Android users have been waiting a year for a version of the ESV+ on our devices while iPhone users get an update every few months.

    Please. I implore you, even beg of you. I’m a loyal ESV reader and Crossway customer. I’m not going to lay down an ultimatum or threaten to leave for Zondervan or burn down your headquarters if you don’t or anything. I just really want to be able to access a good quality study Bible while I’m on-the-go.


    Comment by =David — July 9, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  8. David – We appreciate your passion and we are not ignoring Android users. We must ask for your continued patience. Crossway is a not-for-profit publishing ministry and doesn’t have the resources of Netflix. We are currently working on a number of fronts, and are thankful the ESV App is available for Android. It is our desire to have the ESV Study Bible up as quickly as possible. If you’d like to rally some donors together to help speed up digital development, please do! :)

    Comment by James Kinnard — July 9, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

  9. I really appreciate the response. It’s more than I expected, and I’m glad to hear from you. I am very thankful that there is an ESV app for Android, and I’ll be happy to spread the news that there’s work being done and hopefully bring in some donors. I was happy to buy the ESV Study Bible in hardcover, iOS format, and Kindle format; and I’ll be happy to buy it again in Android (hopefully) soon.

    Thanks for replying! I continue to be happy and excited to hear updates on the progress of the ESV and other Crossway projects.

    Comment by =David — July 10, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

  10. I like the ESV (study bible) app and use it frequently. My one request is what I’d call “rich browsing history”. Right now, there only appears to be search history, not browsing history (as far as I can tell). Often, I pop from one passage to another, but want to return to the passage I was originally reading. A simple “back” button would suffice, but history would be even better.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Comment by Kevin Lee — July 10, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  11. The notes without a syncing option are useless. You guys said a year ago you’d have them included on the app in a couple weeks. I realize you guys ate a non-profit but, you’re also the most expensive app I own.

    Please let me know if the sync is really going to happen.

    Comment by Brian Barr — July 12, 2011 @ 7:51 am

  12. Brian – We are working on syncing. Are you able to link to where we said we’d have syncing “in a couple weeks”? I’m fairly certain we never would have said that given the complexity of pulling this together. But it’s always possible we misspoke. Please send us a link as we might need to issue a more formal apology. Thanks.

    Comment by James Kinnard — July 12, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  13. Android folks.

    1. Download the Kindle App
    2. Purchase the ESV Study Bible

    It’s just that easy

    Comment by Seth Houser — July 23, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

  14. Syncing notes, favorites and highlights within all platforms(iPad, iPhone, iTouch) and online account would be outstanding!

    Thanks for the hard work!

    Comment by Angie — September 6, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  15. what is the status of an update for syncing a user’s ESV Study Bible + App and ESV Study Bible account? this 2011; next december 2012…?

    Comment by doug — October 19, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  16. Doug, I know a specific time frame would be helpful, and we’re working toward that. We’re not providing any dates, however rough, at this point as there isn’t a cookie-cutter solution we can simply plug in. All of this has to be developed from scratch, so it necessarily involves time and unforeseen delays. We know you guys have been very patient so far. Thanks for holding on a little more until we can offer more information.

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — October 24, 2011 @ 9:00 am

  17. I have had this application for almost a year and love it on my ipad. I’m legally blind so really like the ability to have the bible read to me. However, after the last upgrade this feature no longer works. I have tried backing up my ipad and deleting it from the ipad and then syncing it again. This did not work. Do you have any other suggestions to correct this issue.

    Comment by David Miller — January 5, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

  18. David, it’s not a problem with the app in general, as we’ve tested it on several devices and it’s working fine. Make sure your iPad is connected to a WiFi or 3G network, as the audio reading streams from the internet. Beyond that, you can contact our developers directly here: http://community.crossway.org/crossway/products/crossway_esv_mobile_ios Be sure to mention you’ve already tried deleting the app and reloading it again. Sorry for your troubles!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — January 6, 2012 @ 8:20 am

  19. I have the print version but would love this app for android tablet too.

    Comment by scott — January 12, 2012 @ 5:58 am

  20. Sometimes I use my iPhone 4 in church; other times I use my iPad 2. Whichever device I use i always take notes within the program itself. It would be greatly helpful and make much sense to be able to “sync” the “my notes” between such devices using iCloud or a similar technology. Please note that as a seminarian I often purchase hard copies of this study bible, then give them away to those who I think would benefit. Thanks and I look forward to some updates!

    Comment by Ken — January 29, 2012 @ 4:02 am

  21. Ken, there have been a lot of requests for syncing across ESVBible.org and our various Bible apps. We’re working on a cloud syncing solution as we speak.

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — January 29, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

  22. I use the esv study bible app to take notes on both my iPhone and iPad. I want to sync these notes between devices so that I can access them from either device.

    Can I do that, or can you incorporate it into a future release using iCloud?


    Comment by Karen — February 1, 2012 @ 12:42 am

  23. Karen, thank you for your inquiry about cloud syncing. We are working towards a solution for syncing notes between devices and ESVBible.org. Please stay tuned for future updates.

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — February 1, 2012 @ 9:10 am

  24. I’d love a feature built in to the ESV Study bible app to track your progress through a reading plan, something like what’s on esvonline.org… Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Seth — March 19, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

  25. Thanks for the suggestion, Seth! Reading plan integration is in the pipeline. We’ll make sure you’re updated as development moves along.

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — March 20, 2012 @ 8:05 am

  26. My app just started crashing when I listen to the audio Bible. How can we fix that?

    Comment by kurt kovach — March 20, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

  27. Kurt, I’m sorry to hear that. I just tested the audio playback on my app, and it seems to be working fine. It might have been a hiccup with the server, since the audio streams. Or you might try deleting the app (back it up first!) and reloading it onto your device. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — March 20, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  28. Just a heads up – the Feedback section allows for circumventing the “Disable Safari” setting in Parental Restrictions by clicking on the “Get Satisfaction” company’s link in the header.

    Possible/feasible to develop a different front end solution?

    Comment by Jon — March 24, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  29. Jon,

    Thanks for the heads up. Disabling Safari in Restrictions only limits use of that particular app. A number of other apps, including Twitter, and in this case the ESV Study + app, have rudimentary web browsers built into them. I replicated your problem on my iPhone but found I wasn’t able to navigate the web in the Study + app. I could follow hyperlinks onscreen, but wasn’t able to type in a URL anywhere. It’s possible I missed something, but it seemed to me that the only sites really available for browsing were Get Satisfaction (a customer service site) and crossway.org. At the same time, we don’t want to be making things harder for parents, and really appreciate your feedback. I’m passing it on to our digital media people right now. Thanks Jon!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — March 24, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  30. On the Get Satisfaction website, they have Facebook links on their “About” page for each of their staff bios. Once on Facebook, you can basically go to pages like Google’s Facebook page and have unrestricted search. You may not be able to type in URLs directly, but I have noticed that type of freedom within social media applications particularly.

    Comment by Jon — March 24, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  31. Jon, thanks for the follow-up. I’ve passed your comments on to our developers.

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — March 24, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

  32. How much better is the app, than using an iPhone browser with the free online subscription I got by buying the ESV Study Bible? I’ve been using a browser, wondering if the difference is worth $15 for the app…

    Comment by Brandon — March 31, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

  33. Brandon, I will say it’s exactly the same content, but in a radically different format. I’ve personally found the iPhone app considerably easier to use. Another benefit is it’s native to your device, so you can access the content even when you’re offline. But it really depends on how often you would use it, and if the convenience factor is worth $15 to you. There should be screenshots and some video reviews you can browse to get a better feel for the interface. Hope that helps!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — April 2, 2012 @ 9:55 am

  34. Out of curiosity, was the issue I mentioned about the workaround for parental restrictions rolled out with the 1.6 release of the ESV Study+ app?

    Comment by Jon — April 10, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

  35. Jon, I don’t believe it was but our developers are looking into the issue.

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — April 11, 2012 @ 8:39 am

  36. Kindle Fire is great for taking to church… bigger than iPhone and less obtrusive that iPad. If only it had the Study Bible app…

    Looking forward to its release.

    God bless

    Comment by Doug — April 25, 2012 @ 5:39 am

  37. Doug, we’re looking forward to it too!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — April 25, 2012 @ 8:18 am

  38. Android app, please!

    Comment by Andro Bernabe — May 1, 2012 @ 4:53 am

  39. Andro, we’re working on it!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — May 1, 2012 @ 11:10 am

  40. Hi, I’m not sure where to leave technical feedback so I’ll post it here hoping the right people see it. I am running the latest version of the Study Bible App on iOS 5.

    a) The chapter references in the charts on the study note part of Genesis Chapter 17 are not formatting correctly. They are too large and are covering up the text in the charts themselves.

    b) The button for “Introduction: History of Salvation Summary” takes me to a blank screen.

    c) In the “My Notes” part of the app, text is trapped there. You cannot copy, paste, email, or anything else. Is it simply not working properly on mind?

    Thank you. Overall, I really like the app and use it everyday.

    Comment by Fred Lenard — May 3, 2012 @ 8:45 am

  41. Another idea is that a quick “bookmark” on each screen would be nice.

    Comment by Fred Lenard — May 3, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  42. Fred, I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. It sounds like the app’s not behaving properly. Have you tried backing everything up on your computer, and then deleting the app and reloading it again from your computer? If that doesn’t work, you can speak directly to our developers here: http://community.crossway.org/crossway They should be able to address any technical issues you might have. Hope you get the help you need!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — May 3, 2012 @ 8:54 am

  43. Thanks for your quick response, Andrew. I will try that link.

    Comment by Fred Lenard — May 3, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  44. Are we getting close to notes syncing? Looking forward to it!

    Comment by Jonathan Esposito — May 7, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  45. Jonathan, we’re still working on it! Sorry I can’t be more specific right now. We’re looking forward to it too!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — May 7, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

  46. any new updates on syncing notes and highlights since May 2012, or still forthcoming with limited outlook for implementation? if so, what are the types of limits from giving updates or making progress, since the ios app is paid for by the users rather than free.

    how nice would it would be to implement some of the YouVersion features into this preferred app.

    Comment by Doug — September 19, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

  47. I concur… We really need to have this feature. This is the most expense “app” I purchased through the app store, and, what is now fairly common for apps, a syncing feature would be greatly beneficial and much appreciated.

    Comment by Ken — September 20, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  48. Ken and Doug – Thanks for your feedback and input, we really do appreciate it. As may you know, Crossway is a not-for-profit publishing ministry and therefore, as you might suspect, we are working with limited resources. That said, the syncing project is currently in the development stage. While I can’t give a firm release date, I can assure you it is a priority. If you’d like to rally some donors together to help speed up digital development, please do! :) In the meantime, we appreciate your continued patience.

    Comment by Ted Cockle — September 24, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  49. I really want to piggyback on what Doug and Ken said. This is definitely the most money I’ve spent on a app, yet it to not have features that are standard in other apps. I don’t think it’s fair to play the “not-for-profit” card after charging so much. It certainly isn’t a gift to needy pre-Christians like when churches pass out free Bibles. Rather, this app is a high-end item that costs 15x what a normal app costs.

    If you do want to pull the not-for-profit card, then I’m sure that many recently graduated Christian software developers would love to work on this app for free to be able to contribute to the ministry and to put it on their resume.

    I also want to point out that there are problems in the ESV Study Notes tab. A lot of the charts aren’t formatted well and many of what I think must have originally been scans (like explanations of the temple), aren’t zoomable — impossible to read.

    Also, in many places, it refers to the study notes, but they don’t seem to be included in this app (unless I just haven’t found them).

    Another issue is that the option to listen to the passage does not always work. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and other times it is choppy. This cannot be blamed on my wifi, as I have 100Mb download, and stream high definition movies just fine.

    As far as syncing being “in the development stage,” we all know that could be public-relationese for “we mentioned it at a staff meeting once.” Basic features that should be included in the note-taking part are: copy and paste; as well as send to email. With iOS 6, sending info straight to FB to to a text message would be nice.

    I really feel like this app should have been marketed as a beta version at a much reduced price — if not free — until standard iPhone features are included and the major bugs have been taken care of.



    Comment by Fred Lenard — September 25, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

  50. Fred,

    Let me start by apologizing. I’m sorry for your frustration, and I assure you I was not intending to play any “cards” other than to show my hand.

    We are aware of the bugs you mentioned and are working to rectify the problems as quickly as possible. If you find any additional bugs, please consider sharing them with us here: http://community.crossway.org/crossway

    Regarding your thoughts on “in the development stage” I assure you that we have moved beyond mentioning it in a staff meeting—in fact, coding for the project is well underway.

    Lastly, I’m sorry that you feel this app was priced high for what it was. While it is more expensive than a typical $.99 app, it also contains the entirety of the ESV Study Bible materials. That said, I will take your suggested price reduction to our digital team for consideration.

    In the meantime, I’d ask for your continued patience and benefit of the doubt.

    Thanks again,

    Comment by Ted Cockle — September 26, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  51. It would be great if there could be an update for the iphone 5! Id love to have more text on the longer screen!

    Comment by brett — September 26, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

  52. No no no! Android users have been waiting for over two years on the ESV Study Bible app, and we haven’t heard anything in ages! Please don’t work on the iPhone 5 version until you release one for the Android OS!

    Comment by =David — September 26, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  53. Sounds like they are working on Android version already. I know coding can be tricky due to the various versions of android software and hardware that run it.

    I believe the iphone 5 screen is a matter of display settings.

    Lets hope both arrive soon!

    Comment by brett — September 26, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  54. I have been having a problem accessing
    my ESV Bible app, it begins to come in
    then disapears

    is there a problem with this I have not been able to use it for almost a week.

    Comment by Rochelle Baumann — October 12, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  55. Well over a year and a half the discussions were hitting on “syncing” notes between mobile devices and tablets. We were told it was “in the process.” Can it really take developers a year and a half to figure out what every other App has already? Cloud-based syncing. What is the status? And I prefer not to hear the same old. Thanks!

    Comment by Ken — April 1, 2013 @ 9:54 am

  56. agreed. posted about this on October 19, 2011 and September 19, 2012.

    “”Doug, I know a specific time frame would be helpful, and we’re working toward that. We’re not providing any dates, however rough, at this point as there isn’t a cookie-cutter solution we can simply plug in. All of this has to be developed from scratch, so it necessarily involves time and unforeseen delays. We know you guys have been very patient so far. Thanks for holding on a little more until we can offer more information.
    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — October 24, 2011″”

    “”Ken and Doug – Thanks for your feedback and input, we really do appreciate it. As may you know, Crossway is a not-for-profit publishing ministry and therefore, as you might suspect, we are working with limited resources. That said, the syncing project is currently in the development stage. While I can’t give a firm release date, I can assure you it is a priority. If you’d like to rally some donors together to help speed up digital development, please do! In the meantime, we appreciate your continued patience.
    Comment by Ted Cockle — September 24, 2012″”

    perhaps a new answer other than these would be helpful toward understanding the cloud release time frame, and not to defer to the new third party crossway/glo (immersion) esv app. this app is preferred over the new app for its simplicity & functionality, and already $ and notes invested in app.

    or perhaps supply-side economics could be applied to increase purchase-demand for more funding that is needed for the not-for-profit reason of delayed cloud syncing//

    Comment by doug — April 1, 2013 @ 10:15 am

  57. http://www.crossway.org/blog/2012/11/introducing-powered-by-glo-esv-bible-apps/

    “”Doug, the “original Study Bible app” does refer to the ESV Study + app. Thanks for your suggestions on licensing the development of the app to a third party. It actually is being developed by a third party. Cloud syncing, although commonplace in apps these days, is a complex and expensive feature. In our particular case it’s involved an extensive restructuring and recoding of ESVBible.org and related Crossway accounts, which has been the cause of some of the delays.

    We are painfully aware of how long app users have been waiting for syncing, and I can only assure you we’re still hard at work on it. I can personally resonate as I waited nearly 2 years for the implementation of cloud-syncing on a separate (award-winning and heavily funded) app. It is indeed exasperating, so thank you for your patience with us.

    I won’t offer a firm time frame for its deployment, as that hasn’t served users well in the past (when unforeseen delays and technical hurdles have meant we couldn’t keep the date), but I’ve been told by our developers it should be ready “soon.”

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — December 12, 2012″”

    Thanks for your question! We’re currently working on tying ESVBible.org into our mobile apps and hope to have something soon. It’s high on our priority list!
    Thanks for your patience!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — February 23, 2013″”

    in addition, incorporating the ability to toggle the white-space buffer on/off as with the old site would be helpful. other than that, it seems to be headed in the right direction.

    keep up the good work.

    Comment by doug — April 1, 2013 @ 10:38 am

  58. just wondering if iCloud syncing of notes is still in the pipeline.
    thanks for a great app!

    Comment by kyle — October 25, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

  59. Yes, this update is under review by Apple and we hope that it will be approved soon, but we can’t guarantee a specific timeline.

    Comment by Lizzy Jeffers — December 18, 2013 @ 10:57 am

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