Our latest app update did nothing but remove features.
Getting out of the swamp of “growth” and back to the actual idea.
Scriptura is a Bible app for Android that was built as a counter-balance to most of the Bible apps on the Play Store. I built it out of frustration with the current Bible apps on the market. Most were either laden with unnecessary features that bloated the app (*cough* YouVersion *cough*) or simply had a dated design.
Scriptura was designed to be a ridiculously simple Bible App. When it first launched, you could literally only read the Bible and change between Day & Night mode.
However 8 months later and you had 4 font options, Notes, verse highlighting, a Verses screen for your highlighted verses and Themes. Hmmm.
The reason we added that stuff wasn’t simply for the sake of competing with other apps, it was actually because a lot of the Bible translations (the real popular ones) require a minimum number of downloads (often around 5K). So we were adding stuff in the hope that features would bring growth, which would bring bigger translations, which would bring bigger growth.
But is sacrificing the whole philosophy of your app worth it just to squeeze out a few more downloads a month? In the end I realised as a user of my creation I wasn’t using some of the features, they were unnecessary and bloated the app (sound familiar?). They were taking away from the overall experience.
So we got a little carried away. Some of those features were really good and will remain in the app, but we’ve realised that loads of features isn’t actually what this app was meant for. And so today, our first update in 9 months, we’ve done nothing but retire a feature (ok and fixed a couple of small bugs).
From today, you’ll no longer be able to take notes in Scriptura*. The notes feature was developed quite quickly, and being honest wasn’t that good. Most notes app offer a significantly better experience. So we had the choice of either trying to make ours better, or removing it. We decided to remove it.
We do have some ideas for other features we could add, but we’re going to be very thoughtful with anything new and test it out over a period of time.
Going forward we hope this leads to an app that is lean and to the point.
*there will be a grace period during which you can export any existing notes.
If you’re an Android user and are looking for really clean (and getting cleaner), easy to use Bible app, check out Scriptura.