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Years ago, I had one of the first 500 apps on the iPad, named Holiwrit. My goal was simple: create a beautiful and easy-to-use Bible for iPad. I was frustrated that no one in the space was making such a thing. Now, yes, Holiwrit was skeuomorphic, but all apps at the time were. Wood and paper matched with a columned layout and easy navigation. Beyond that, no features. Just reading.

The problem I found is one that I’m sure many have in trying to enter that space. The most popular translations had licensing that is above anything the independent developer could afford. For me to make any money at all from my endevour, I’d be forced to sell it for a high price or use free, “open-source” translations. The app didn’t go far, unfortunately because of this.

That pursuit of "beautiful utility," as designers like to say, stands in contrast to their less design-minded competitors. Papyrus scrolls, blazing crosses, clouds lit by divine beams of light—the App Store is chock-full of Bible apps with enough skeuomorphic, Christian-kitsch to give Jony Ive permanent nightmares. Even worse, many are riddled with design flaws, from feature-overload to poor navigation. But NeuBible stands apart, with a pared-down structure that puts the text front and center. The font choices are modern—no Italicized cursive, here—and the left-side navigation disappears from view while reading. Apart from verse numbers and chapter headings, the content is unadorned.


Today, a new Bible app was released that gives me hope once more. Focused 100% on usability and the text before features, NeuBible built an absolutely beautiful app. Download it on the App Store for $1.99 today!