Logos 6

by Oct 27, 2014Bible Software12 comments

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 10.02.19 PM

Logos 6 is launching for the public this very instant—8 a.m. Eastern Time. I’ve been using it for a couple weeks, and I am genuinely impressed. I don’t have time to write a great deal, but I must say that Logos has put me in an awkward position: I just concluded publicly, not many months ago, that ministerial students should buy Accordance (by a nose over BibleWorks) and then work on building a Logos library. I’m now prepared to say, Go Logos all the way.

All three major Bible software platforms are great. I have them all and use them all. And Logos is still slower then the other apps. But Logos just keeps working and working to filter information in helpful and visually appealing ways. And on a good computer is acceptably speedy. Mobile options are nice, too.

I’m sorry, but I’m getting tired of running BibleWorks in a weird emulator on my Mac. =( I like beautiful software; I’m a sucker for it. I still turn to BibleWorks for the quick comparison of Bible translations and quick searching of multiple Bibles. I prefer to use keyboard commands. But I’m beginning to see that the Logos command line can sometimes be almost as good as BibleWorks’—and Logos puts at my fingertips some of the key information I want, especially the well-designed Bible Word Study feature.

Accordance is zippy, but it lacks some of the neato features of Logos—features that really are worth having (they’re not just fluff or eye candy).

It’s hard to keep up with all three Bible software platforms at once (it’s easiest with BibleWorks since it hasn’t changed much since I got it); I’m sure there are pros and cons I’ve failed to see. But right now Logos is my top recommendation.

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  1. Wally Morris

    Although I know that software companies must update software (and we want them to), these new updates from Logos are expensive. I have not updated to complete Logos 5, but use the free Logos 5 add-in to my Logos 4. I have one of the upper level packages, and they want to charge me $1,000 to upgrade to Logos 6. Despite the comparison to print versions and the new features of Logos 6, I find that amount very excessive. I also use Bibleworks 9. I tire of the constant marketing from Logos, even though they have a good product.

    • Mark Ward

      Fair points, Wally. I do not think Logos is money-grubbing; they put a lot of effort into their product. They pay a lot of full-time salaries. But I’m with you: I haven’t paid for the upgrade and I won’t until the resources I get are worth the money.

  2. Duncan Johnson

    Cost vs. benefit is holding me back too.

    When I checked yesterday, it looked like I would have to pay around $1000 to move up to 6, and I have Logos 5 Diamond (I think… I honestly can’t tell really). I think maybe the biggest gains for me would be getting the complete PNTC and NIGTC sets in addition to the volumes from the NAC and BECNT that I already have.

    Whenever you have a minute, Mark, would you mind sharing about any of the new features in 6 that you feel are really worth having and not just eye candy? Maybe I just don’t know how to use it well, but I haven’t found *any* of the features in Logos 5 to be really worth much for my purposes (aside from the commentaries in my collection).

    Once in a while I’ve used some of the media (photos/infographics/maps) in my library for illustrating a presentation or something, but if I recall correctly, some of those are packages you can get for *free* just by signing up for the FaithLife stuff.

    [Just to clarify: I’m not an unhappy customer. Just not a fanboy either.]

  3. Dustin B.

    Your waffling concerns me! 🙂

    Both are excellent software. I have quite a few modules in both platforms. I was also using the Logos 6 beta (but of course was prohibited from discussing it with you), but wasn’t impressed. In fact, it seemed just as slow to boot up, just as much processor power to index, and just generally kept pushing me back to my work horse, Accordance. It seems that Logos chose, once again, to spend their resources on new features, rather than speed and ease of use.

    A few thoughts for you, Mark and others, to consider:

    1. I think we’re past the point where we can say “Go _____ all the way.” Most people have already purchased some for one or the other, perhaps both—like me. It’s kinda like your discussion of Android vs. Apple: to tell people they should switch is telling them they have wasted, in this case, hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars.

    That being said, when I do come across someone, on Facebook for instance, who has not yet invested, I do tell them to go Accordance. Accordance is made for the Mac, unlike Logos, which is seemingly just ported to the Mac.

    2. Accordance 11 is on the brink of being released. While I doubt it will look as pretty as Logos does, it is so much more functional.

    3. I may regret saying this years down the road when I don’t have a library with 12 book cases, but I find myself gravitating often to hardback commentaries. I think the pendulum swing will come back the hard copy direction in years to come, just as it has with taking class notes by computer vs. taking class notes by hand.

    The biggest thing Logos has going for it is the number of resources that they have. I’m often disappointed at Accordance’s small selection. But Accordance is still my work horse and likely will be for some time.

  4. Mark Ward

    Good points, Dustin, especially the first paragraph of point 1. If you’ve already invested in another platform, don’t go Logos all the way. I’m speaking to first-time Bible software buyers when I say that.

    Accordance is definitely faster than Logos, and embarrassingly so sometimes. But I find I don’t mind much. I’m still running most Bible text searches in BibleWorks, just because it’s like muscle memory. I don’t have to think at all. But mostly in Logos I’m looking at books and journals. I don’t mind that it’s not lightning fast. I’m with you, however, that I’d rather see performance improvements than new features.

    We really are in a confusing situation nowadays; one of the reasons to go for Logos is that they seem to have the most going for them. But Accordance and BibleWorks aren’t dead yet… Really, it’s a good problem to have.

    Duncan, I need to do what you say but I don’t have the time right now! Will try!

  5. Duncan Johnson

    Dustin, I’m using print books more and more too, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. No need to be ashamed of it!

    I think this is a good time to be a Bible software user too. Even on Windows, but not yet on Linux (I’m still hoping!). 😉

  6. dcsj

    I subscribe to Logos blog RSS feed. Most of it is just ads, I click through those. Occasionally, though, usage tips come through, especially the ones by Morris Proctor (and occasionally others). I try to follow these and learn more things. This makes Logos more useful than it has been in the past.

    I agree it is dead slow. I have recently been learning about Personal Book Builder – basically a markup language. There doesn’t seem to be any reason the searches should be so slow if that is what the core of each resource is. I realize that a system with lots of resources will take time – probably multiple index files? But when one thinks how fast Google is, one would think Logos could get with the program with their own proprietary format and all.

    I have no problem with them making money, I am a capitalist at heart. But I think their pricing structure is out of whack, especially for upgrades. I think they could still make money and sell a lot more software if their prices were a bit better.

    My nickel (no pennies in Canada!)

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  7. David Daniels

    I used the Crossgrade option to get the new features of Logos 6 without purchasing more books – I have around 4000 titles now and don’t really need anymore. Using the middle choice of the three Crossgrade options was best for me, giving just about all the new tools in 6. Why not consider that option? https://www.logos.com/ways-to-move-to-Logos-6

  8. Kerby Rials

    I keep going back to Logos, trying to see why it has been rated highly by some. It is still very very slow and clunky. It is snail slow compared to the other software I have, and it is by far the most expensive Bible software I have found. I thought maybe it was slow because I needed more RAM on my MacBook Pro. The sales person at Logos said that was likely the cause. Doubled RAM and put in a lightning fast solid state hard drive. Guess what? Logos is still slower than watching grass grow. The pricing is ridiculous. For instance, the IVP NT commentary set (20 volumes) is $279 on Logos, but only $59 for the same thing on e-Sword. What’s the deal there? Logos’ ads talk about ease of use and speed, probably because they know that it is NOT easy to use and is painfully slow. I have considered upgrading to Logos 6, but have not found any reason to do so. If someone can tell me if the core engine is faster or the interface more intuitive, then perhaps I will but I have yet to see that stated.

    • Mark Ward

      I know that the leadership at Logos is aware that other apps are faster. As for the pricing being ridiculous, I personally have spent a not-insignificant amount of money on Logos resources and I simply disagree. In isolated instances like the IVPNTC, the price in Logos appears impossibly inflated, but when I actually ran the numbers on the commentary sets and base packages I purchased, I came out way ahead of Amazon or any other source. And I only counted up the value of the books I felt I’d actually use.

  9. Kerby Rials

    One more thing: as to ease of use, the very fact that Logos offers classes on how to use its software, and has prepared 28 (count ’em!) videos on how to use it speaks pretty conclusively that it is not intuitite software. They have great resources, but the interface needs a major overhaul for speed and ease of use. Logos 6 as far as I can see, isn’t that. Many of the commentaries sold by Logos are available free with other software (like e-Sword and Online Bible). This includes JFB, Albert Barnes, Adam Clarke, Expository Bible, Keil & Delitzsch, etc. Logos also charges for Strong’s, which are free on just about every platform. I have a base package (Logos 5) that does not even come with Strong’s numbers! They could do a lot better. I hope someone at Logos is reading this.

    • Mark Ward

      Someone at Logos is reading this. I’m standing here right now! =)

      Logos is a premium tool for professional-level work. Like Photoshop, it’s going to have some complexity to it because professionals need it. But the layperson should be able to grasp pretty quickly, I think, that searching one’s library and opening books are the main two things you do—and those couldn’t be easier or more intuitive.

      As for public domain resources being included in our offerings, of course that’s true. But as I said in my previous comment, do the math. Make a list of the books in a Logos base package that you will actually use, then go find out how much those books would cost (used even) at Amazon, then see which is better. I doubt Amazon will win, and it didn’t for me—especially if you get a bigger base package.