Logos for iPad

Author: Sven Rafferty
March 15th, 2011
Logos for iPad - Logos Bible Software

Pros

  • Cloud syncing with desktop and iPhone Logos
  • Access to most of your desktop library
  • Off-line viewing of many library titles
  • Share verse with Facebook, Twitter, or email
  • Greek or Hebrew Lexicon, Word Study, and Passage Guide makes your iPad a powerful research tool
  • Great Bible in a Year plans that sync with desktop
  • Ability to access devotionals such as Morning and Evening

Cons

  • Copy and Paste not supported
  • Inability to share more than one verse
  • Share feature supplies link and not actual verse
  • Lack of highlight, history, and notes feature make it less of a study tool than others
  • Reliance on Internet connection for the Passage Guide or Word Study functions slow tend to make these features a bit sluggish

The Bottom Line
Logos is well known within the industry as the premiere resource for Bible study which makes it a tough task to shove all that into an iPad. Logos faithfully recreates quite a bit of the desktop experience into the tablet version of its application but falters on many levels in attempts to duplicate its big brother’s success. As a read-along Bible for Sunday sermons, Logos will frustrate you; however, if you are the one preparing for that sermon, it will greatly aid you in that measure.

Ratings

Overall:

Features:

Ease of Use:

Design:

Usability:

Price:

Recommended
Yes

Full Review
Logos has become the Mercedes Benz of Bible software. I haven’t spoken to a pastor that hasn’t either heard of it or swear by it. From big names like Mars Hill Church’s Pastor Mark Driscoll to President of FamilyLife Dennis Rainey, Logos is the starting and ending point for many in the Christian community. This applies some pressure to one when it creates a new product and the iPad version for the iPad is pressure indeed. How can you recreate – mimic – the absolute amazing desktop version into a small hand-held device…successfully? The bigger question is, did Logos in fact succeed at this monumental task?


Take a look at SvenOnTech’s review of the desktop version and you’ll quickly see just how much we loved it. It is powerful. It is versatile. It is amazing. Naturally when the iPhone and iPad version were announced, we were very excited.

Upon install, I quickly opened it and smiled as we saw the familiar interface. Learning curve near zero due to its similarity to the desktop version. Nice. As I started tapping my way through and opening books and jumping from verse to verse, I immediately noticed that I was relying on the Internet for everything. Thankfully, an off-line capability was added to most of the books in my library which increased speeds immensely. Navigating books was once again what you would expect on the iPad. Sadly, it’s not possible to download the vast array of information behind the Passage Guide and Bible Word Study, so these features continue to suffer from slowness due to the Internet.

Logos taps into your desktop library for your mobile experience. While Logos would love to duplicate every desktop title to your iPad or iPhone, many publishers have been hesitant to give the thumbs up for this. Logos told SvenOnTech, “Though we’re steadily closing the gap between the number of resources available in Logos and the number of resources available via the iOS apps, some publishers have hesitated to allow their products to appear in the app. Every resource we add to Logos now is available on all our supported platforms, and more and more publishers are steadily getting on board with our new model of buy once, read anywhere.” If you only have a small resource set, then this is what you get on your iPad. If you have a large one, then it all too appears on your mobile device. The fatter the library, the more expensive the initial cost; however, the iPhone app is free and thus there is no added a cost. For those unfamiliar with Logos, the iPad and iPhone app may come to them as a surprise when request money for books and thus why we gave the app a four star for price instead of five. It in away, there is a hidden cost associated to the app.

The Internet. Yes, it is a great little invention of the US government that has changed the world. From email to FTP to the web, the Internet has become a huge part of technology. Now with the portability of devices such as the iPhone and the iPad, the Internet becomes even more powerful and Logos harnesses this power to pull of some amazing features. For example, if I am at home working on a study in holiness and making some bookmarks for cross referenced links and such, I can easily pull out my iPad at church on the Lord’s Day and show my results to a brother with a few taps. Same goes for the iPhone version.

The Passage Guide and Word Study is the bulk of the power of Logos for iPad allowing you to, “Get a report with links to dictionaries, lexicons, verses using the word, and view various translations of the Greek or Hebrew word,” from the latter. The former allows you to input a verse or from a current verse you may be enjoying and dig deep into God’s Word. Passage Guide brings up commentaries, cross references, literary typing, and even media resources such as pictures pertaining to your verse of select. Through my use and testing of Passage Guide, I did find it to be some what sluggish at times due to the need for all the information to come from the Internet. However, with the richness of information you are blessed with, you tend to overlook the latency between request and reward. Logos for iPad also gives you the ability to find the original Greek and Hebrew word. All you need to do is tap-and-hold on a word. Up comes the Lemma and morphology of the term.

I love Logos for my Mac and enjoyed the power of it on my iPad; however, I just found myself wishing for more ever Sunday in the pews. While Logoses strengths lie in its power to bring immense study tools to you anywhere an Internet connection is, it completely ignores the simple things that go a long way. Little things like History, Highlight, Notes, Copy-and-Paste, unlimited verse sharing, and Bookmark title editing are missing from Logos for iPad.

The absence of a history feature is the most remarkable of the list since an average user will find this to be a very helpful tool in jumping back to other verses quickly. For an application that prides itself as a study tool I am a bit perplexed to see the lack of being able to highlight or apply notes to verses. Silly, really.

Then there’s the sharing feature. While it’s great that I can share via Twitter, Facebook, or through an email, why can I only share a single verse? In my months of use of Logos for iPad, I have been unable to find an occasion where I had a single verse to share with someone; it’s always been at least two or more verses. To add insult to injury, Logos for iPad just sends a link to its beta Bible website! The text doesn’t even get shared. Selecting your verse to share is no better as it defaults to the first one on the page forcing you to tap a small icon to select your desired verse. I guess one could just copy-and-paste the Scripture and post directly, but guess what? Ya, no ability to even copy text. Really? I feel like I’m on the first generation iPhone again.

Logos for iPad does allow you to bookmark pretty much anything opened which is great. Searches, Bibles, and other books can be bookmarked. That’s where the goodness ends. If you want to go back and find that encouraging verse you read a few months ago, hope your list isn’t long so you don’t have tap-and-hunt for it to long. Well, you could just always remember what the verse was, right? But then why bookmark? :)

I requested the basic features from Logos five months ago and in that time users received two updates…sans the features I hoped for. No copy-and-post and no history, the two main items I had wished for. I’m sure copy-and-paste isn’t a trivial task since Logos for iPad already has many gestures being used, but it needs to be here plain and simple. History should be an easy add so why it’s absent makes no sense. Do note, however, I have been told by Logos just before publishing this review that version 1.7.0 B is in the works and History along with Copy-and-Paste are finally going to make their debut.

So what it comes down to is this: I use Logos for iPad when I wish to study God’s Word when mobile. Otherwise, I use Olive Tree’s Bible Reader since I can easily highlight, makes notes, copy-and-paste, edit bookmark titles, and quickly jump from place to place with its eye pleasing Goto menu. Hopefully, I can use Logos for iPad (and my iPhone) sometime soon to have access to everything in one great app.

Price: Free

Platform: iPad running iOS 4 or higher

Website: Product Webpage


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