I’m gaga over Logos 4.
Immediate clarification: BibleWorks is still my first love, and I still think both programs are worth having and work complementarily. Logos 4 is still far too slow, even on my brand-new laptop, in its Bible searches. And I like the BibleWorks notes best, though Logos has definitely improved!
But back to my second love: Logos has really done it. In several weeks of usage I am convinced. Meshing the program so thoroughly with the Internet was brilliant. Adding cover pictures to the library list and to the open tabs radically improves the usability of the software. The whole user experience is streamlined. The program looks fantastic. I’m even a fan of the default window positions.
Connecting Logos to the cloud was probably the best idea of all. I spend more time reading and using my resources than fiddling with them—sometimes a real nightmare for me because of my two computers. Logos just takes care of my resource files and licenses automatically. No more refreshing resources. Logos 4 even backs up my window positions and (I think) syncs preferences between my two copies of the software. Cool!
A few more positives:
- Tabbed browsing now feels much more natural than in Logos 3.
- The local resource indexing has definitely improved search times.
- I love the drag-and-drop customizable buttonbar.
- The locator bar is great, and the contents pane is much more intuitively accessible than it was in the previous version.
- They don’t appear to have a separate Power Tools add-in. All functionality is available to everyone.
- The new customizable reverse interlinear system is really pretty neat.
- Hiding resources is quite simple.
- I like rounded pop-up window corners, ok? A pleasing look matters to me. You can tell by the photo at the top of this blog.
- The default font and colors were chosen by a designer with sense!
Now a few negatives, also-rans, and rough edges:
- The iPod Touch application is generally too slow and currently includes too little of my library to be of much use, but it bodes well—and I wasn’t always a fan of how well Logos was boding.
- The command line is a great idea, but it’s not as powerful as BibleWorks’ command line and a little pop-up helper menu like BW’s would help.
- I never use the Home Screen, and I’m not sure who would (but at least I don’t have to).
- This is piddly: I wish that hovering over a link to a resource in the passage guide would pop up a picture and a description like elsewhere in the program. Sometimes the title is not enough to tell me what a book is.
- I have it on good authority that the Mac version crashes at random and is incomplete—but Bob Pritchett himself said he’s committed to working on the Mac version persistently.
- The program is overall just a bit slow to respond to my clicks (though it’s far better than Logos 3).
Get ready for my biggest negative, and it’s not what you’d expect. The cover pictures go a long way to solving the problem I’m about to mention, it’s not really Logos’s fault, and they have basically fixed it—but I’m still willing to charge them with a little complicity. My problem? The upgrade calculator encouraged collecting books like you collect baseball cards, something that is already a danger of the whole e-book package concept. I was deeply frustrated when I could not find out anywhere which books I would get if I upgraded from Gold 3 to Gold 4. I was mostly told that I would get more resources if I forked over the cash. As it turns out, I was able to contact a Logos insider (who is no doubt reading this post and will leave a comment), and he answered my question. Only then did I buy, because the new resources looked worth the money. Now the Logos website’s upgrade calculator gets more specific. Good for Logos.
I encourage readers of this blog to question the assumption that more books is better. Go for quality. Logos, blessedly, puts out a lot of great books. They’re a quality company. But these books should not be collectibles. Some of the books are worthless or worse. Know your resources.