Hello, Dwellers! Over the last few months, we've noticed a lot of the same questions coming in through social media and email. We thought it made sense to create a Top 10 list and share those questions and answers with you. Here they are!
Can the background music be turned off?
Yes. We're excited that so many supporters are excited about the background music that’s being created exclusively for Dwell, but we're often asked if the music can be turned off. The answer is absolutely. The background music has always been meant to draw you into the text. If it does that for you, great. If it doesn’t, turn it off. Another fun fact: You’ll also be able to adjust the volume of the music and the voices separately.
Can you listen to the audio at faster or slower speeds?
Yes, listening speed can be adjusted on the fly. Here are the listening speeds we’re thinking about making available at launch: .75x, 1x, 1.25x, 1.5x, and 2x.
Variable speeds are great, and interestingly, they can do more than simply speed up or slow down the text. For example, speeding up Rosie’s voice to 1.25x has the effect of making her sound more casual and less meditative.
Will you be able to rewind or fast-forward when listening?
Yes. Our rewind and fast-forward buttons will move you back or forward one verse at a time. So, if you want to re-listen to a particular verse you just heard just tap the rewind button once and, voila, it's back.
Will the app include voice medleys like the previews you’ve been sending out?
Yes. You can hear all four voices in a medley when listening to many of our Playlists within the app. We won’t, however, have a voice-shuffling feature at launch available for other sorts of audio (like Plans, or a particular book of the Bible). Still, you can always change the voice you’re listening to during playback, even mid-chapter.
In regard to background music, how many tracks are available to choose from?
48 tracks. For launch, we’ve commissioned 4 albums worth of background music, each in a different genre. The album titles and genres are:
Stillness : Intimate Piano
Linger : Expressive Ambient
Gathering : Peaceful Guitar
Moments : Gentle Cello & Piano
Also, we'll be releasing a brand new Dwell music album every quarter. That means you’ll always have fresh background music to enjoy. You’ll also be able to stream Dwell music through Spotify and Apple Music if you want to listen to it outside of the app (coming soon)!
Will there be a memorization or Scripture ‘repeat’ feature?
Not at launch, but we are really passionate about building a robust and comprehensive Scripture memorization feature for Dwell soon. Right now, we’re laser-focused on getting Dwell’s core product — Scripture listening — built in the most thoughtful and engaging way possible. After launch, memorization will be a strong focus for us.
Will there be a Free version of Dwell available at launch?
Yes. Right now, the plan is to offer one voice (Mark only) for free use. Our heart is (and has always been) to help people build a habit of listening to Scripture regularly, so we want to make sure that everybody can do so, even if they can’t afford to pay. The Free version will also include audio commercials for Dwell Unlimited every 7 to 15 minutes. Why not make the entire app free? Right now, Dwell employs 10 people in either a full or part-time capacity. These people are not only incredibly skilled, but they have a heart to see Bible engagement increase and are willing to direct their efforts toward that end. We echo what Paul said in his letter to Timothy, that workers are worthy of their wages. Plus, our team will continually be working on new translations, features, and even languages to add to the app.
Will offline listening be available at launch?
Unfortunately, no. Offline playback is more challenging than it might appear. To support offline playback we need to consider a lot of new functionality including pausing/resuming file downloads, managing device storage properly, storing playback positions and other settings locally and then properly syncing them when you come back online, and more. It’s a challenge, but it’s one we’re excited to tackle in the future.
Will the actual words of Scripture be on the screen as I listen?
No. It’s our contention that there are many, many pockets of “listening time” that can be redeemed for the Lord. Dwell’s top priority has always been to create a world-class listening experience for the Bible. We want people to be able to easily tune in on their commute, while exercising, doing chores, and during other activities that do not lend themselves to reading. Our hope is that Dwell won’t diminish your reading time, but instead will increase your overall engagement with the Bible.
With that said, many of our supporters have expressed interest in having a ‘read-along’ feature. This is something we’re actively exploring, although it may not look exactly like what you’re used to on a normal reading app.
What about accessibility for the blind?
As we build out Dwell we’re committed to ensuring that everyone who can use a smartphone can listen to God’s word from Day one. Apple provides two main technologies to help the visually impaired: Dynamic Type and Voiceover. We will be leveraging both throughout the app. Doing so will help the millions who struggle with visual impairment engage with Scripture more easily. This is important to us, and something we’re excited about offering at launch.
So that's the answers to the Top 10 questions people are asking about Dwell. We hope it was helpful! Are there other questions we missed? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to do my best to answer them! We can't wait to get the app into your hands.