iPad Appidemic: Glo Bible Premium

Sections: Appidemic, Appletell Announcements, Education / Reference, Features, iDevice Apps, iPad, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Mac Software

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As a kid, my interest in the Bible began not in church, but in this huge, old hardbound edition my parents had sitting next to the encyclopedias. Before I could read, I was fascinated by its gory, baroque depictions of decapitated giants and its brutal imagery of the crucifixion of Christ. That was the coolest Bible I’d ever seen…until perhaps now.

What is it?

Glo Bible is an interactive Bible for your iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC. The basic version is free, but if you update to the premium version for $49.99, you’ll be able to install five copies across these platforms, making sure you always have a copy with you.

Glo Bible Premium

The iPad version is my favorite, even though it’s not as feature rich as the computer version, because it seems so natural for the device. Glo Bible is an interactive media experience, after all, giving you the full NIV, NIV Study Notes, KJV, ESV and the Message translations of the Bible with a vast amount of supplemental videos, photos/paintings, virtual tours, and more.

How does it work?

Glo Bible actually works (and feels) more like a virtual textbook than a study guide. The material here doesn’t just present scripture, it digs into it and helps you understand it with guides and supplemental materials. Most of these materials are web based and therefore only accessible with a Wi-Fi or 3G connection, but you’ll get access to the text when offline, of course.

Glo Bible Premium

The iPad version focuses all of this into two “lenses:” Bible and Media. This helps you get directly to the content you want, but it’s worth noting that searches will span both lenses and offer results for each. So, if you’re search for, say, the story of David and Goliath, you’ll get both scripture and media results.

The interface can feel a bit clunky at first, but once you get a feel for how Glo Bible works, you’ll be able to find your way around without too much trouble.

The design, though, has a modern, somewhat dark and spacey feel to it that imparts a sense of scope on what you’re reading. I liked that. The entire presentation, in fact, is very sophisticated and professional, and thankfully not the cartoony, “sing-songy” design that can often make products such as this feel goofy.

Glo Bible Premium

Is it contagious?

How you feel about Glo Bible will be determined by how you read the Bible. If you’re the type who likes to find a solitary place for moments of quiet reflection, Glo Bible isn’t nearly as intimate as that old printed version you received at Confirmation. But if you prefer to take a more educational approach, Glo Bible provides a tremendous amount of material to help you understand both the meaning of what you’re reading and the context in which it was written.

$49.99 is a lot of money, yes, but considering you then get access to the Mac or PC version which has even more material and functionality, it’s a fair price. And since the initial download is free, you can take it for a quick spin to see if this digital presentation of the word of God works for you.

Category: Reference
Developer: Immersion Digital
$49.99 (includes versions for iPhone, Mac and PC)
Download: Glo Bible

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  • Deane

    Thanks for the review, Kirk. But I'm very curious: what was the hardback edition of the Bible which included portrayals of decapitated giants? If you can find out, I'd be most grateful.

  • Kirk Hiner

    I'll have to check next time I'm at my parents' to get the print details…provided they still have that Bible.

    The "giant" was Goliath from David and Goliath in the painting by Caravaggio.

  • Deane

    Thank you, this site gives me email notification of replies, so whenever you do, I should see it.

    You might already know that the Goliath-head in Caravaggio's painting was a self-portrait by Caravaggio, and the boy David was Caravaggio's real-life boy-lover.

  • Kirk Hiner

    If memory serves, isn't it also reported that Caravaggio once killed someone?

  • Deane

    Yeah, he was a colourful character. A few months ago I read a news story that had a reproduction of his police charge-sheet.

  • Rod Lowell

    I was part of the development stage of GLO and have loved it since then. I was champing at the bit for the release and have used it almost every day since I got my copy! If you like to get the full scope of what you are reading then this is for you.