YouVersion bible app on 100 million unique devices

YouVersion bible app on 100 million unique devices

YouVersion makes 100 million - screenshotOn July 10th, YouVersion celebrates its fifth birthday. And one with an extra reason for celebration. Just a little while ago, the YouVersion bible app has been installed on the 100 millionth device and the counter is still going.

I have been using the YouVersion bible app ever since I got my first iPhone and as the first iPad landed on my desk, it was one of my first apps. And it has come a long way since. Personally, I find it inspiring to know that the whole idea behind YouVersion was conceived by Bobby Gruenewald in 2006 in a security line at O’Hare airport in Chicago. And he wondered whether we were at a point in time where technology could transform the way in which we engage with the bible. And that started YouVersion, which now reaches millions of people with scripture on 100 million devices.

Again, congratulations to the YouVersion team. For having the vision, for building the app, but also for engaging people with the scriptures through initiatives like reading the entire bible across the world in 400 seconds. Those are fun ways to be brought back into the bible again and I am sure they are many more that have inspired people to pick up their bible again and got them to stick with it.

If you want some statistics, this infogram was published by YouVersion on the 26th of June. It gives you a great overview of what is happening in YouVersion every second.


Android security flaw – 900 million devices at risk

Android security flaw – 900 million devices at risk

exploitYesterday, Bluebox Security’s research team announced that there is a weakness in every single Android phone since Android 1.6. To put this in perspective, Android 1.6 was launched back in September 2009. This means that this problem has been present in most Android based phones that are currently in use. The official estimate is that it would extend to about 900 million devices, which is 99% of the android phones that are used today.

Naturally Bluebox has shared the problem with Google in February 2013. This means that Google is now able to fix it. However, most of the 900 million handsets will not be protected any time soon. The biggest problem with the Android system is that it used by many manufacturers. That enables you to have a great choice of phones when you walk up to the store. However, all these brands have added their own special sauce to their phones and put an HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony or other front on the phone that has been programmed in the base version of Android. In itself that is not a problem and it helps a user enjoy their phone that much more. But it often stops manufacturers from updating the firmware on the phone as they do not want to lose their custom development. Which is understandable, but it puts their customers at risk as there will be no more security updates.

So, is this the time to run away screaming? Not really. Yes, there is a vulnerability and yes, Bluebox is going to share it with the world at the end of this month. However, the biggest risk is when you install apps from sources that are not trusted. Granted, with Android there is a bigger risk that that game that looked so appealing is in fact a malicious trojan virus, but if you stick to the larger publishers, there is a pretty good chance you will be safe. Safest is obviously to keep your Android phone as updated as you can.

What can go wrong with your phone? Now this is the troubling part. If set up correctly, a malicious app can take over your complete phone. It can not only access all your contacts, messages, emails, documents and more, but it can also dive straight into your phone’s firmware. This means it can make calls, send messages, switch the camera on and off or even use your phone as part of a worldwide network.
In essence, it is much better to try and stay as far away from this as you can.

Though we at Techpastors cannot tell you how to completely protect yourself, we thought that this was important enough for you to know. And how real is this? Well, the image on this article shows the device information for a phone. This phone has been infected by the Bluebox team and it has changed the Baseband version to a new name which includes Bluebox. This value can not be changed by anything or anyone but the firmware, which shows that is is a serious matter.

Evernote adds reminders to Android

Evernote adds reminders to Android

android_checkoffI have had times where my desk was buried under to-do lists and memos about things I needed to remember. However, as more and more piled up, I lost the overview and things were forgotten. I am sure you are not like that, but if you want to structure your notes and to-do lists in a better way, Evernote is a great option.

Evernote is a service which basically helps you remember everything and helps you get things done. They have a website, but they also have mobile applications for phones, tablets and web browsers. And now they have brought their reminders to their application for Android phones.

But what can this do for you? Essentially, this can help you work together with your team a lot better. Especially in churches and organizations that rely on many volunteers to make it all happen, this could be a wonderful tool. As more and more people carry their smartphone around, it is easy for them to be in touch with the team more actively. It also makes it easier for teams to split tasks and share notes or ideas.

I would like to challenge you, to try out Evernote with one of your teams. Pick a team which makes notes of its meetings and that has tasks that people need to carry out before certain times. Convince them to use Evernote for a while. As time passes, it is going to be interesting to see whether it made it easier for them to share their thoughts and ideas over time. Or whether it became easier to make sure everything was ready before a set date.

You can just set an alarm time for Evernote reminders. They will then just pop up on the screen of your mobile to tell you what needs to happen and when. Check out Evernote for more information on the application or to download it for your computer, phone or tablet.

The price of storage: get 20Gb free, or 1Tb if you like pictures

The price of storage: get 20Gb free, or 1Tb if you like pictures

copyThe past week has seen a rise of storage opportunities. Last Thursday I tweeted about Copy. It is a new dropbox competitor that has decided to show off that storage has become cheaper and cheaper. Where Dropbox, Google Drive and Skydrive only start you off with a measly 5Gb, Copy jumps in and gives you 15Gb to start with. If you use a referral link from someone, you can get an extra 5Gb which brings you up to 20 free gigabytes. A good start. And whenever anyone uses your personal link to register, Copy gives you an extra 5Gb of storage. Without a limit. With three people using my link, I am now up to 30Gb. But Chris Pirillo got his bonus storage up to 10Tb. Now that sheds a whole new light on free storage. I do not even have 10Tb worth of harddisk space in my house…

And as we are on terabytes of storage, Flickr has released its all new and revamped service yesterday. Where the old service limited people to just 200 photos and seconds of video, the new service is like a self-help, free for all, storage bonanza. Now they offer 1Tb of storage for your photos for free. And all the annoyance you get is some ads on the pages. I have been a long standing Flickr Pro member and I love their new look. The photos are presented better, there is a much improved timeline and I finally enjoy going to the Flickr homepage to see what my friends are doing, instead of looking at their activity in my Facebook or Twitter timeline. However, as a Pro member, I do feel left out in the cold a bit. I have my subscription until October 2014 and all that gives me is unlimited space, no ads and detailed stats. I am certain I will not be touching that 1 Tb limit this year, I seldom look at the stats and I haven’t got a clue how many ads they show, so that could not be too bad. So, if you are a free member of Flickr, or if you are just starting out, just don’t pay for anything. I am sure that by the time you have filled up your 1Tb (that would allow for 500,000 very high resolution pictures) they will come out with a free 10Tb upgrade.

Storage has become cheap. So, go and create, take up space and claim it. After all, it is free and easy.

And if you want to get 20Gb of online storage for free, click this link: (and give me some 5Gb extra in the process, thanks!)