Logos has released a new ground up version of their Bible software package. Logos 4 is said to have been redesigned and is very different from previous versions. I have had it fully installed for a couple of days now and am still getting to know and understand some of the features. So keep in mind that this review may be a bit premature. To be clear, I received nothing for this review. I am not associated with Logos. I am not even a beta tester.
Installation is the greatest weakness of the package. While it is a new program it attempts to use much of your old data. However it must re-index that data into a single file. Logos says this will make searching faster.
The single DVD installation moves very quickly. However the re-index will take hours and hours. There is no status bar to indicate how the process is progressing and a system tray icon gives wildly varying estimates of the time left. It seems that limited HD space, less than 4 GB, will slow the indexing. Also, such processor intensive work depends upon the speed of your machine and any other processes that may be running. I shut everything down except Logos, gave it a high priority and on my box it took about 24 hours to become usable.
I would think the re-indexing could be far more elegant than it is and I fault Logos for wasted hours.
The core of any Bible software package is its ability to search for words or phrases, in varying languages against a wide array of resources. Logos 4 does this well as did version 3 before. The ability to construct complex search criteria is still there. Speed, on my 1.6ghz laptop is marginally better.
I am very comfortable with constructing searches in this product and it works quickly, reliably and accurately.
The user interface is completely redesigned. Personally, I like it – except for the home page. However I think once I finish customizing the home page I will be happier. I never used the version 3 home page.
Logos 4 allows for full user customization and the saving of different workspaces. This is especially useful when you wish to move from devotional, personal Bible study to intensive word study or syntax analysis. One click and you have new resources on your desktop ready to go.
The default settings are probably fine but they look very busy to me. The user will probably want to do some serious customization and that is easy to do.
Visual filters are easy to access and use. Whether turning off and on red lettering or internal links it is all available with the touch of a button.
For me, the greatest new feature is the ability to automatically sync Logos 4 on your home computer to the software on your office machine. When you create a new layout, add highlighting, change resource collections, create notes or clipping files, etc. the changes you make on one machine automatically are saved and stored on the Logos servers. Then when you sign in on another computer they are transmitted to that machine. This is a huge time saver and a great addition.
They are many version three features that were left out but are still coming. In fact, I am pretty well convinced that Logos 4 was rushed to the market a bit too soon. I’m guessing some marketing decisions caused that to happen.
The inability to import notes made in version 3 is a major failure in my judgment because it ignores a potentially large body of work by previous users. We are told in the forums that the ability to import is very near but nothing yet. Verse lists, prayer lists, better printing support and integration with third party software is coming – sometime.
I think I am going to like Logos 4. There is no question in my mind that Logos beats the competition hands down. There is simply nothing out there to compete. However, if I had to do it over again I would wait until the program was better developed before going through the trouble of the installation.
If you are considering purchasing Logos for the first time or if you are thinking about the upgrade, be patient. Let it develop a bit more and then take a look.