Logos 5 Review: Initial Impressions
Logos 5 has arrived.
I started using Logos 4 two months ago for a review I finished last week. Now version 5 is released today. But 4 had been out several years, so v. 5 has been in the works for some time. Having had and used Logos 5 for a few days now, I want to offer an initial set of impressions by way of review.
As I installed Logos 5, it was nice to know that I’d have access to all of my same resources, layouts, and highlights in books from Logos 4 when version 5 downloaded. This is one of my favorite things about Logos, and a feature that sets it apart from other Bible software. Logos works best with Internet enabled; you use a log-in that works across multiple computers and devices. After using Logos on a Mac, yesterday I opened it on my PC, and it opened exactly as I had left it on the Mac–all the same windows opened to all the same pages, like I had never stopped working. This is an immense time saver and a great feature.
Knowing this made the thought of installing 5 in place of 4 easier to deal with. And, sure enough, when I opened Logos 5, even though I had a new Logos engine, all was as I had left it the last time I had used 4. The installation itself took 2.5 hours (on a machine with no Logos 4 on it at the time), with a long indexing process of some 5 hours or more to follow.
The icon in my dock for Logos 5 is the same as Logos 4 (unless this is still to be updated?)–I would have expected a change here to set apart the new product even more.
Logos has also changed the structuring of their base packages, so that I am reviewing something called “Silver,” a new combination of resources. There are, in fact, seven new base packages in Logos, as noted in their table below. The sale price is offered in conjunction with the new release.
|Full Title||Resource Count||Print List Prices||Retail||Sale (15% off)|
The Silver package is certainly an upgrade from the Original Languages Library I reviewed in Logos 4. The Silver package includes Swete’s Cambridge Septuagint, the entire New American Commentary series, a ton of preaching/illustration resources, and more. My library expanded significantly upon downloading Silver.
The default font changed (across resources) to a font I found less readable. It took me all of 30 seconds, though, to figure out how to go into preferences and change it back to a font called “Default (Logos 4).”
What’s new in Logos 5? The two most obvious changes are visible below (click image for larger). For one, the icons and command bar at top are joined by three additions: “Documents,” “Guides,” and “Tools.” This gives the user quicker access to more features and tasks in Logos.
The second big noticeable change is the addition of more “Guides” (it becomes obvious why it has its own place right next to the command bar). Note above the “Topic Guide,” Bibliography, and “Sermon Starter Guide.” (These join the Exegetical and Passage Guides.) The Bibliography is especially helpful to this occasional writer of academic papers, and can be adjusted to various styles.
Note also a neat customizable reading plan guide (below at bottom right, how I could read the Septuagint in a year) and a “Bible Word Study” (at top right) with graphic, among other results that come up.
I have mixed feelings about the additions of new Guides in Logos. Though my initial skepticism about the Exegetical and Passage Guides changed to appreciation the more I used them in Logos 4, it’s hard to know at this early stage of using Logos 5 whether these guides will prove helpful or just seem like clutter. The Sermon Guide holds promise, as it gathers resources in one place that would take time to compile by hand. However, the Exegetical and Passage Guides already do this, albeit with a slightly different focus.
The Bible Facts feature (new in Logos 5) is pretty cool, and could be useful in teaching settings. See here:
Whoever does graphic design at Logos is aces. Follow them on Facebook and you’ll see well-done graphics for verses each day. Bible Facts incorporates that. This is a good addition in Logos. It auto-suggests search terms and returns results quickly.
More about Logos 5, including full details of what’s new, can be found here, with some brand new videos here. I’ll provide an additional review installment once I’ve had chance to spend more time with the program.
UPDATE: A bit more from me on Logos 5 here.
UPDATE 2: A week later, further impressions on Logos 5.