Creating a Bible app with Scripture App Builder

Once a translation has been checked by the key experts and stakeholders, it is ready to be published! This could be in a variety of formats, from printed text to digital text, audio, video, or any combination of these. 

While it’s important to get expert and stakeholder approval before publishing a translation, digital publication options allow you to be more flexible and responsive to user feedback after publication, making changes as necessary. This way, you can ensure that your translations are of the highest quality and meet the needs of your audience.

What are some ways a computer can help?

Digital publishing can allow feedback on a Bible translation or other publication, which can be reviewed and the publication rapidly updated. Computer tools make digital publication easier than ever, taking text, audio, and video and making them available in numerous formats and platforms.

Publish Scripture to the Google Play store with Scripture App Builder

As soon as Scripture portions are ready to be released publicly, you can download Scripture App Builder to take the raw Paratext or Digital Bible Library files and output an Android phone app, which can then be distributed through the Google Play store.

In addition to including the text Scripture, any audio recordings can be included with the app, and can be linked to the text so that the reader sees the verse highlighted as he or she hears it spoken.

When you first open Scripture App Builder you will be guided through downloading and installing Java Development Kit (JDK) and the Android SDK. You can then proceed by clicking “New App…”

The app will guide you through various stages, including:

  • Naming your app
  • Choosing a font (and working with non-Roman fonts)
  • Choosing the color scheme and icon
  • Entering copyright information
  • Choosing your Scripture source files, which can be in any of the following formats:
    • Paratext (USFM)
    • Digital Bible Library (DBL)
    • SFM
    • Word (.docx)
    • Bloom
    • Zip files containing books

Once your app has been produced it can be pushed to the Google Play Store, and shared with anyone who has an Android device and an internet connection!

Build an Android App for your Dictionary

Similarly to Scripture App Builder, you can use Dictionary App Builder to create an Android smartphone app for your language.

After downloading Dictionary App Builder, the program will guide you through installing the Java Development Kit, which is needed in order to create your dictionary app.

You can then input your language data in either of the following formats:

  • Lexicon Interchange FormaT (LIFT)

This allows easy import of files created in programs like FLEX, WeSay and Lexique Pro.

As with Scripture App Builder you can then choose various ways to customize your app, before sharing it online in the Google Play Store, or offline via bluetooth or storage devices.

What might the future hold with advanced technologies?

As online publishing becomes ever quicker and simpler, Scripture and other language data can be exported to community members in minutes rather than weeks or months. This also creates new possiblities for quick feedback and iterative improvements of the product.

User feedback can be built into publication tools for users to suggest corrections and changes, or even just express preferences. This user feedback, and even A/B testing of possible renderings,  could then be used to refine the product.