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ESV Mobile App FAQ

 1. Crossway has different ESV apps available for the iPhone and iPad (iOS). What are they and how much do they cost? 

We currently have two apps available for iOS, with one more on its way.

1. ESV app (free) – includes the full ESV Bible text
2. ESV Study + app ($14.99) – includes access to ESV Study Bible notes and resources

We’re working on a Gospel Transformation Bible app which will include access to the Gospel Transformation Bible notes and resources, as well as syncing with ESVBible.org.

2. You offer “web apps” for sale on your website. Are those the same thing as mobile apps?

Web apps are not the same thing as mobile apps. The web apps we sell on Crossway.org are resource modules to use with your free ESVBible.org account. On the other hand, mobile apps are developed to reside on specific mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.). While you can certainly use ESVBible.org on your phone (through a browser like Safari or Google Chrome), the mobile apps we’re talking about here are designed for a smoother experience on that particular device (as well as offline access).

3. Are any mobile apps available for Android or other platforms? 

We currently offer a free ESV app, but have not yet released an ESV Study Bible app for Android. Crossway hasn’t yet developed mobile apps for other platforms, although several good options are available from other developers, such as Olive Tree and YouVersion.

4. Where do things currently stand with Android development? 

We’re working with an outside developer to help with Android development. Our hope is that by finding the right partner we can speed development to better serve all ESV readers, including Android users.

Android has many benefits as an operating system and enjoys a strong customer base. However, when creating an Android app, developers have more variables to account for due to the diversity of hardware and systems on the market. Because we want our apps to work closely with ESVBible.org, we’re doing things with these apps that haven’t been done before. These variables become more complicated with Android than they are with iOS by comparison.

5. Can you do more to prioritize mobile app development? 

We’re committed to the gospel and God’s Word at Crossway, and we view the development of digital resources as an important part of that mission. We have an exceptional team of developers supporting ESVBible.org, Crossway.org, and mobile development.

However, the reality is that as a not-for-profit organization, we’re always working with limited personnel and resources. If you want to help, please consider supporting Crossway’s publishing ministry. We’re also looking to hire another web application developer if you or someone you know is interested in applying.

6. Do any apps sync with ESVBible.org? 

Our latest update to the free iPhone app brought syncing of notes and highlights with ESVBible.org accounts (iPad to come, see #8 below). Syncing is available for users who have iOS version 6.1 or newer. We’re working on an update to the Study+ app with updated design and syncing. When finished, our Gospel Transformation Bible app will offer syncing with ESVBible.org from the start. The Android app does not currently offer ESVBible.org syncing, but this will come in a future update.

7. The iPad version of the free app doesn’t match the latest iPhone update. Why isn’t the update available for the iPad? 

iPhone and iPad apps are actually separate files, both optimized to differing screen sizes and capabilities. Since syncing with ESVBible.org was long-requested we felt it was better to release the iPhone update (which was ready) rather than wait for both to be ready.

We’re hard at work on an iPad update that will bring with it the new design and syncing (for version 6.1 or newer) now available for the iPhone. We’re expecting something fairly soon and will let you know when it’s ready. 

8. When can I expect an update of the iOS Study + app that provides syncing with ESVBible.org? 

We should have something very soon. It’s our next priority!

9. When should I expect the release of the Gospel Transformation Bible app?

We plan to release the Gospel Transformation Bible app at the same time as the Study + app update. 

10. When can I expect either an updated Android app or an ESV Study Bible Android app?

Our plan is to release the Study + and Gospel Transformation Bible apps for iOS and then the iPad update to the free app. We’ll then start on important updates to the free Android app. Once we’ve figured out syncing for the free app we’ll then move to an Android Study Bible app, Lord willing. We can’t give a firm timeline for Android development, but this is important to us. Android users, thank you for your patience!

11. It seems like past timeframes for the release of apps have fluctuated. Why?

In the past we haven’t always delivered on expected timeframes for the release of new apps and important updates. This has undoubtedly been confusing for many.

Since we’re building these apps from scratch, and are now integrating them with our own ESVBible.org, there’s a tremendous amount of trial and error. We regularly discover problems we couldn’t anticipate. The reality of working with limited resources in app development is that when we encounter roadblocks, we often don’t have the flexibility to shift more personnel/money to the project, and are thus forced to adjust our expected release date. See #4 above for how you can help.

12. My print edition of the ESV Study Bible and/or Gospel Transformation Bible came with free online access through ESVBible.org. Does unlocking online access also give me free access to the mobile apps? 

Unlocking ESVBible.org access to the online edition (i.e. the web app) of our study Bibles does not provide free access to our mobile apps. Part of this has to do with restrictions Apple has in place and part of it has to do with off-setting the significant development costs for both our mobile apps and ESVBible.org. As a not-for-profit ministry, we’re trying to keep these apps as accessible and affordable as possible, but we also need to ensure we can afford to support them in the future. 

13. What’s the best way to hear about new app updates and releases? 

Keeping an eye on our blog isn’t a bad idea – we’ll post anything app-related here. You can also follow us on Twitter: @esvbible, or on Facebook: facebook.com/esvbible. You can also subscribe to our ESV Newsletter. 

14. If I have a problem with one of my apps, whom should I contact?

The best place to post comments or ask questions is on our online forum: community.crossway.org

January 13, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,Digital News,ESVBible.org,Mobile Apps,News | Author: Andrew Tebbe @ 2:00 pm | (8) Comments »


  1. So grateful for all your’re doing on the digital front. These apps are serving the gospel in so many ways. Looking forward (very much) to the update on syncing with the ESV study + app for ipad/iphone.

    Keep it up!

    Comment by Doug Plank — January 14, 2014 @ 8:01 am

  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Doug! It’s our pleasure to serve.

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — January 14, 2014 @ 9:32 am

  3. I very much appreciate this post. I am a long-time user of the ESV bible on print, web and iOS app platforms. (I even applied for a web developer job at Crossway, not sure if you remember me Mr. Tebbe.) This post should answer some of those confusion I have seen on the feedback forums and I vote for even more updates and transparency from the Crossway team.

    Comment by Y Lee — January 15, 2014 @ 12:37 am

  4. Thanks Mr. Lee. We appreciate your comments!

    Comment by Andrew Tebbe — January 16, 2014 @ 7:20 am

  5. I’d love, love, love to volunteer as an Android beta tester. I have a Moto X and a 2012 Nexus 7.

    Also, if sharing is an option in the app, please include Google+ among the sharing options.

    Comment by Doug McHone — January 17, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

  6. Very helpful FAQ, this answered a lot of my questions, particularly regarding Android apps. I’ve been a long-time web user, can’t wait to get the study tools on my mobile too. As a college student studying software development, it’s fantastically encouraging seeing you guys using technology so proactively for the Lord’s work. Be encouraged :)

    (Also, hope this isn’t cheeky, but I’d also be interested in any Android beta testing, if that’s something you let civilians get involved with ;) )

    Comment by Ian Knight — January 17, 2014 @ 4:20 pm

  7. Bible software is currently converging. PC programs such as Wordsearch and Logos are now also available on the web and as phone apps. PDA specialists such as Olivetree and Laradian are now available as apps and for PCs. ESV very widely available and the study bible nearly as much. Youversion gives the best range of current bible translations. Beyond that you need to consider the library you want to end up with.

    Comment by David — January 18, 2014 @ 5:51 am

  8. We are now in July… When will I be able to have GTB and updated ESV Study apps on my iOS8 devices?

    Comment by Josh Taylor — July 2, 2014 @ 8:21 pm

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