November 9, 2011
The most extraordinary iPad book app of the past year isn’t The Civil War Today, Ultimate Sharks or even The Monster at the End of This Book. No, while each of these titles are great, nothing compares to the Glo Bible + app, released earlier this year by Immersion Digital. Unlike other digital Bibles that look, well, like Bibles, Glo is something new entirely. Sure, Glo’s focus remains on offering text written thousands of years ago, which is studied by millions across the world, as it should. However, Glo also readily accepts that most of today’s readers need more than text to get excited about a subject. Therefore, the app also includes plenty of media features as well, such as interactive videos, photos, and the like. The end result is fascinating both from a technical and religious point of view. However, here, we’ll concentrate on Glo’s practical attributes. The Glo System Before discussing the Glo Bible + app for iPad, it’s important to explain the Glo system. Yes, system. Immersion Digital, as its name implies, is committed to offering a fully immersive bible exploring experience. In fact, Glo’s moniker is “Experience the Bible Like Never Before.” As such, Glo is available across multiple platforms – Mac, PC, and iOS. Each is available online (through the Glo website or through the App Store), or in package form at stores nationwide. Initially, all packages are called Glo Lite, which is the company’s free version. For $49.99, you can upgrade to a Glo Premium Membership, which naturally offers more content. This membership, it should be noted, extended across all platforms. Glo for iPad On the iPad, Glo Lite includes full text of the Bible in two format: New International Version (NIV) and King James Version (KJV). In addition, the app includes three “lenses.” The first lens, Bible, offers the content of the Bible in its natural order. Here, you can quickly drill down to a chapter in as little as two clicks using a zoomable interface. You can also access and edit study notes, artwork, and photos. The second lens is Atlas, which looks at the Bible geographically. Here you can explore more about the cities mentioned in the text, as well as take virtual tours, explore photos, and enjoy video. Under Media, finally, is where you can access all of the app’s media offerings in one location. These include photos, artwork, virtual tours, maps, and videos. Glo Premium (which is available as an in-app purchase) offers three additional translations of the Bible, more virtual tours, and a 3-½ hour interactive video entitled, In His Shoes. In addition, Glo Premium Membership provides Mac and PC owners’ two additional lenses, including Timeline and Topical. Timeline organizes the Bible chronologically, while Topical addresses major life questions of the Christian faith. The Glo Bible + for iPhone app offers the same features as those available on the iPad. Regardless of your view on the Bible, there is no denying that Immersive Digital has provided iPad and iPhone owners an interesting way to explore the world’s most-read text. On this, they should be applauded. The Glo Bible + app is available today for the iPad and iPhone.