Thursday, January 5, 2017

Teleprompter Mode for Bible App

Project Status: Feature Request
Progress Made: YouVersion's New Verse Tracker Feature

The App

The YouVersion Bible App is awesome. If you haven't checked it out you should, it's free and one of the best out there. Don't worry, they don't pay me to say that, I am not affiliated with them, just a user and these are my opinions.

The Idea

This Bible App has a feature where you can listen to the audio readings of some versions of the Bible. Super cool. I would like to suggest that they take that a step further and implement an auto-scrolling teleprompter mode. Currently the only option is to constantly scroll to try and keep up with the audio version.

The Details

What I am picturing is the portion of the Bible currently being read aloud by the audio file always staying in focus. Leaving a little text above that has just past and a lot of text below that is upcoming. Much in the same way a teleprompter works for television and news teams, so that the viewer can simply follow along.

I think there should be some neat way of highlighting the current position. A simple way for the development team to do that would be to use the highlighting or underlining feature for verses that they already have built in. In this way the current verse is always easy to spot if you happen to look away while it is automatically scrolling for you and you need to regain your place without being disoriented.

The scrolling should be smooth, slow and feel good. Avoiding quick jumps ahead from one position to another.

This should be an option or feature that the user can choose to use or not. Some people would love this. Some would not, but I think letting them have that choice is the best option.

The Next Level

This is will make a lot more sense if you have ever used the Shazam App. If not I recommend you check it out, it is also free and no I don't get paid by them either. Basically you can open the app and have it listen to its surroundings. If a song is playing within earshot of the app it can almost always identify it within a few seconds. Then it often has options to view things like a YouTube video of the song or lyrics.

How is this even related you might be thinking? Well, let me bring it together here. Sometimes when the songs have lyrics available you can actually go to them and they auto-scroll while the song plays. Ah see, now you are getting it.

So the far fetched next level step to this idea, which will probably always stay another one of my pipe dreams, is to allow users of the Bible App to do this.

Now we are no longer talking about the prerecorded audio files that the development team can easily match up to points in the Bible and auto-scroll with little effort. Instead we are talking about live everyday people reading straight from the Bible, maybe not from the app itself but from across the room or within a study group.

Imagine you are in church and someone is reading the Bible aloud. You open your Bible App and tap an option to let it listen. Then just like Shazam, within seconds it can identify where in the Bible is being read, even which version of the Bible and jump to it. Once there it can keep listening and auto-scroll while highlighting the current position or you can turn the listening off and scroll along on your own. Maybe it could even make special note of words that accidentally get skipped or misspoken by the reader.

The End

That's my idea for today anyway. I have tons of them for the Bible App and for many other things. I'll be sure to post as many of them here for you as I can.