Review based on version 1.4.4
Logos is primarily a paid for bible study package for your PC or Mac, but their iPhone application is free to download and comes with some free titles bundled with it. The real power of Logos on the iPhone is for people that already own a base package, as most of the titles can then be read on your iPhone – but there are more than enough free books to make it worth downloading right now!
As with many iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch applications it is still under development with further changes expected to improve some of the issues noted below. I expect the free Logos application to improve much over the coming months and years. However, here are my observations on why you might want to download it (it is free don’t forget!), and where it would benefit from some improvements.
Lots of free bibles and 30 free books!
The first thing the Logos application has going for it is that you straight away get a good collection of bibles at your disposal. However, it is worth noting that the ASV is the only resources that you can actually download and have available at any time (unless you own a base package with logos).
As well as many other free bibles, Logos includes these:
- An Arabic bible
- The Apocrypha
- Giovanni Diodati Bibbia (Italian Bible)
- Gods Word
- Greek New Testaments
- La Biblia de las Americas & Reina-Valera (Spanish Bibles)
There are several other languages available other than English, so check it out if you are interested. In all you get 41 free bibles.
If you sign up for a free account (which is very quick & easy to do) then you also get access to 30 additional books other than bibles. It really is worth doing this, as the additional free resources let you tap into some pretty advanced features of the application.
Here is a selection of the some of the books:
- Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible – Fausset
- Strong’s A concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible
- Easton’s Bible Dictionary
- Thomas a Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ
- Charles Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening
- Edward Bound’s The Necessity of Prayer & Power through Prayer
- George Whitefield’s Selected Sermons
- New Nave’s Topical Bible
- Strong’s Systematic Theology
Online access only, so a little slow
The big downside with the free Logos application is that you need to be connected to the internet to access any of the files. If own a base package you can download the books – but otherwise you need to be online at all times.
This obviously limits it uses somewhat, particularly for iPod Touch users. It also means it can be a little slow moving around resources as they need to be loaded every time.
Bible Word Study
The Logos software packages you can have on your computer are known for providing powerful word studies. Understandably this is a little more tricky to achieve on a small iPhone than a laptop or desktop. Currently this achieved by using the Logos’ servers to do all the work, which means this feature is only available online.
When you click on any word you get a little doughnut image which shows the various Hebrew or Greek words that are translated to that word, and a definition if there is one available. It take about 5 seconds or so to pull up the information. The free resources available though don’t really allow this to be fully utilised.
You access the passage guide through the “more” menu. I find this more useful than the word menu. It pulls up any commentaries that are linked to the verse, cross references, parallel passages (if applicable), and a few other options.
- Other advanced features which can be useful are:
- A text comparison tool that allows you to compare any verse over 5 different translations
- Bible Reading Plans
- Adjustable split view (have two different books open at the same time.
I use personally use the Logos iPhone application quite a lot, but this is mainly as I own a base package. So for me, having access to over a thousand books on my iPhone is frankly awesome (plus you can then download them). However, I’ve never quite got on with using it for anything other than a book reader. I find it lags just slightly too much so I’m never 100% sure if I have pressed the screen properly. And the wait for looking up words, whilst no doubt quicker than finding it in a real bible is still a bit slow.
Also, I still don’t really find the use of it intuitive. Maybe because the other applications I tend use different keypresses? I’m not sure, but I always seem to end up studying a word when I don’t want to.
It is a great looking application though, and perhaps more excitingly I know they have a lot of developers working on exciting updates so I think the Logos application will get better and better.