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This post has 80 Replies | 13 Followers

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PL | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Dec 28 2010 9:38 AM

A competitor just released their new 5.0 iPad app before Christmas.  It features split screen reading, ability to highlight, bookmark and take notes, a comprehensive Resource Guide (similar to our Passage Guide) complete with sections for Biblical People, Biblical Places, maps, images, and more -- with all of these features functional while offline!

I hope some of these features and more enhanced offline use are in the not-too-distant roadmap of Logos for iOS.

I take the train to work everyday, and I would say 90% of the people spend their time on the train and waiting for the train using a mobile device (smart phones, eReaders, iPads).  (The other 10% are reading the free newspaper they pick up from the train station.)

Not only will mobile Bible apps be useful to believers, they will also be a great way to bring God's word to the masses who spend time commuting on public transportation every day.

I sincerely hope that Logos will invest more heavily on mobile platforms, triple or quadruple your mobile app staff, and accelerate the rollout of your mobile strategy/roadmap - iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, Kindle, etc.

Thanks,
Peter 

Posts 502
Randall Hartman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 10:30 AM

Yes

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 10:46 AM

I have to concur with that. The resource guide is magnificent. Unfortunately it's hard to imagine how this could be achieved with Logos (it's BibleReader's relatively small library that makes it possible). OliveTree's programmers have done a brilliant job with the Resource Guide, Logos' programmers will need to be doubly-brilliant if we're to get something comparable. Let's hope they're up to the challenge!

Posts 401
Timothy Ha | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 11:40 AM

+1

Perhaps we should tell Apple to sponsor Logos, because more iPads will be sold.

I am waiting for Logos to grow to justify an iPad purchase.

JesusChrist.ru - Russian Christian Portal, with free Bible software; Timh.ru - blog

Posts 299
Robert Mullen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 12:24 PM

Mark Barnes:

I have to concur with that. The resource guide is magnificent. Unfortunately it's hard to imagine how this could be achieved with Logos (it's BibleReader's relatively small library that makes it possible). OliveTree's programmers have done a brilliant job with the Resource Guide, Logos' programmers will need to be doubly-brilliant if we're to get something comparable. Let's hope they're up to the challenge!

That is spiffy but am I the only one who thinks it looks very similar to the desktop Passage Guide in L4? I think the Logos team can do better but am growing a little impatient myself. Lets see what 1.6.0 brings.

Posts 1350
PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 12:48 PM

Timothy Ha:

Perhaps we should tell Apple to sponsor Logos, because more iPads will be sold.

I was going to suggest that Bob acquire Olivetree, but that would be too controversial... Zip it!

 

Posts 502
Randall Hartman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 1:18 PM

More than anything else regarding my IPAD app I want/need/desire/would-kill-for a button to click that will download ALL of my available resources.  This is why I got the 64mg. 

Geeked

Posts 1350
PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 1:30 PM

Garrett Mercury:
... a button to click that will download ALL of my available resources.

Yes!  I'm hoping that the "bulk download" feature on the app's Home Page when we upgraded to 1.5.1 can be expanded to allow downloading of all our resources with the click of a button.

Please, Logos?

 

Posts 326
tjebme | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 1:31 PM

+1 Agree Peter.

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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 1:37 PM

agree. Need much more work, much quicker in mobile web. It is the way that Logos will likely be able to reach the masses even more effectively than with their desktop software. Gotta get in and get people before they become too heavily invested in another platform.

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

Posts 84
Ron Barry | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 2:01 PM

That Olivetree app is very slick - but we need to realize that IS their niche market...mobile apps. I feel bad for the folks at Logos whose primary product is meant for computer use. Now everyone will be comparing each platform to various company's specialties. It's a no-win situation. Now that I said that - I hope and pray that Logos develops an iPad app that is as slick as the "other one." I hate duplicating software across platforms. 

Posts 226
Kurt Trucksess | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 28 2010 8:03 PM

I completely agree.  Logos progress in iOS is very slow.  This needs attention.  Logos, an otherwise first rate program, is falling behind.

Bob, beef up the team.  Keep up the good work guys.

Dr. Kurt Trucksess www.christ2Rculture.com
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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 29 2010 2:16 AM

Kurt Trucksess:
 Logos progress in iOS is very slow.  This needs attention.  Logos, an otherwise first rate program, is falling behind.

Logos did indicate several months ago that progress would be slow as they did some major 'behind the scenes' changes for 1.5. Now that's done, we should see development speed up.

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 29 2010 9:49 AM

Mark Barnes:

Kurt Trucksess:
 Logos progress in iOS is very slow.  This needs attention.  Logos, an otherwise first rate program, is falling behind.

Logos did indicate several months ago that progress would be slow as they did some major 'behind the scenes' changes for 1.5. Now that's done, we should see development speed up.

Logos needs to move away from it's web based approach to make any real strides. Until we can say I want A B C D F Q installed on my iOS device and to ignore all other items unless I request them I am sure I am just going to continue feeling disappointed with the program. I realize there are many who want it all on their iphone,  but for me i want a few translations... a few commentaries and the books  I am currently reading. I know for passage guide to work the way Logos wants I must be online but I want a better way to unplug from Logos than putting myself in airplane  mode.

 

-Dan

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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 30 2010 9:07 AM

Dan Francis:

 

Logos needs to move away from it's web based approach to make any real strides. Until we can say I want A B C D F Q installed on my iOS device and to ignore all other items unless I request them I am sure I am just going to continue feeling disappointed with the program. I realize there are many who want it all on their iphone,  but for me i want a few translations... a few commentaries and the books  I am currently reading. I know for passage guide to work the way Logos wants I must be online but I want a better way to unplug from Logos than putting myself in airplane  mode.

 

-Dan

The newest version makes great strides in making offline mode work well, and the next version will even improve upon that more. 

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

Posts 87
Ray D | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 30 2010 10:48 AM

Mark Barnes:

I have to concur with that. The resource guide is magnificent. Unfortunately it's hard to imagine how this could be achieved with Logos (it's BibleReader's relatively small library that makes it possible). OliveTree's programmers have done a brilliant job with the Resource Guide, Logos' programmers will need to be doubly-brilliant if we're to get something comparable. Let's hope they're up to the challenge!

Yes +1 Wow! Have to also agree. The resource guide is an amazing step forward in iOS Bible software.

As a new owner of Accordance, waiting for them to unveil their upcoming iOS release... should be any day now. Brimming with anticipation! Sure hope Logos follows suite - love you guys, just think (from my limited perspective) you bit off more than you can chew in the last year or so and as a result have what some would view as significant deficiencies across your product line. Having spent many years in software design & dev, I'd encourage you to shelf some projects and focus resources on core products. If you don't, I would imagine that you will lose market share. But what do i know. Big Smile

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 30 2010 9:45 PM

Wow... how are we supposed to follow all this advice? :-)

We need to both A) spiff up our mobile solutions (while moving away from the web, which is what enables them to use your desktop data files!) and B) drop some products so we can focus on a few core products.

We could drop mobile completely, and put all our energy on optimizing the Mac product. Or we could drop the desktop, and go all mobile? (And is that iOS we should focus on? There's another thread where people are pleading for Android support!)

Alas, I think that we'd fail to get consensus on a course of action...

Mobile started for us as a "free add-on". It was hard to justify a big team since there's literally no revenue attached to it -- the app is free. Yes, some people do buy the desktop software so they can use the books on the mobile device, but it's just a small fraction of our customers (and thus, of our revenue).

It's clear mobile is becoming very popular, and we hope to devote more resources to it in the future. But it's not clear that mobile-oriented customers buy the same quantity (or type) of books, or that the revenue from a mobile focus -- where it's fewer books being read through, instead of larger libraries being searched/studied -- could support our organization.

Of course, these are our problems to figure out, and we're working on it. My personal preference is that you'd all stop chasing new platforms, and we could go back a few years in time to when there was one dominant platform that we could focus all of our software development on. Yes, I know the iPhones, iPads, Androids, and Mac's are cool and shiny -- I've got them too! -- but now we're expected to deliver the same app / functionality / interface / performance on a half-dozen very different platforms.

It's like the 1980's all over again. :-)

Yes, in the short term I believe we could deliver things faster if we stayed focused on one platform. But in the long term, as you change platforms (and use multiple platforms in your daily life) I think you'll be glad that Logos is making the (slower) investment in being a true cross platform "buy once, read anywhere" solution.

 

Posts 87
Ray D | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 31 2010 5:46 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Mobile started for us as a "free add-on". It was hard to justify a big team since there's literally no revenue attached to it -- the app is free. Yes, some people do buy the desktop software so they can use the books on the mobile device, but it's just a small fraction of our customers (and thus, of our revenue).

Hi Bob,

I appreciate your reply and would ask your forgiveness if I stepped out of line with the advice. I have some appreciation of how difficult it can be - having managed multiple development efforts across product lines for a number of years in the past. You might very well be correct, and I might be part of a small minority that invested heavily in Logos resources over the past year or so based on what I viewed as a top priority "buy once, read anywhere". For what it's worth, I never viewed the iOS app as a "free add-on", it was part of my overall motivation to invest (I was investing in a cloud, not any one platform) :-)  It remains a top priority for me and so I hope you can appreciate the frustration that it causes having invested heavily in "buy once, read anywhere" when I see slick apps like BibleReader 5. As far as advice, you know your customers best so I will leave the future management of Logos to you. God bless you brother, I am praying for you and everyone at Logos.

I pray you have a restful week filled with the wisdom of the Lord,

Ray

 

Posts 1350
PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 31 2010 10:54 AM

Hi Bob,

As always, thank you for your reply.

Bob Pritchett:

Wow... how are we supposed to follow all this advice? :-)

We need to both A) spiff up our mobile solutions (while moving away from the web, which is what enables them to use your desktop data files!) and B) drop some products so we can focus on a few core products.

We could drop mobile completely, and put all our energy on optimizing the Mac product. Or we could drop the desktop, and go all mobile? (And is that iOS we should focus on? There's another thread where people are pleading for Android support!)

The original request in my original post was to ask you to increase your investment and commitment to mobile platforms. With the digital world moving into diverse platforms (again), I don't think it's wise for you to drop anything.  I don't see any of your platform offerings (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android) that can be dropped.

Bob Pritchett:
Mobile started for us as a "free add-on". It was hard to justify a big team since there's literally no revenue attached to it -- the app is free.

By the same token you can also say that the Windows and Mac apps themselves (not the resources) are offered for free.  Does that mean that you shouldn't invest in those apps and platforms?

Bob Pritchett:

Yes, some people do buy the desktop software so they can use the books on the mobile device, but it's just a small fraction of our customers (and thus, of our revenue).

It's clear mobile is becoming very popular, and we hope to devote more resources to it in the future. But it's not clear that mobile-oriented customers buy the same quantity (or type) of books, or that the revenue from a mobile focus -- where it's fewer books being read through, instead of larger libraries being searched/studied -- could support our organization.

I think this is a chicken-and-egg problem.  The observations you made above (assuming they are accurate and fact-based) are influenced by the following factors:

1) The fact that a good percentage of the books we purchase from Logos are NOT available on mobile devices -- this makes me think twice before puchasing any new resources from you, because on a typical day I spend more time using the iPad app than the PC to do my study.

2) It's true that people typically use their mobile devices more for reading than searching and researching, but it is also true that if searching and research functions are available offline on the iOS, more people (including myself) would be doing that.

By having some key resources not available on mobile devices (while they are widely available from other vendors), and by severely limiting what can be done on the iOS devices while offline, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that people are not buying more resources for research and study use on the mobile devices.

Bob Pritchett:
Of course, these are our problems to figure out, and we're working on it. My personal preference is that you'd all stop chasing new platforms, and we could go back a few years in time to when there was one dominant platform that we could focus all of our software development on. Yes, I know the iPhones, iPads, Androids, and Mac's are cool and shiny -- I've got them too! -- but now we're expected to deliver the same app / functionality / interface / performance on a half-dozen very different platforms.

I wasn't sure if this was an attempt at humor or a complaint, but I assume you understand that the current trend toward mobile and toward multi-platform is not going to change or slow down any time soon.  I know this is good for innovation and for consumers, but it is not good for us software developers (yes, I'm in application development also).  See John Fidel's article: http://www.bsreview.org/index.php?modulo=Articles&id=14

Regardless of how you feel about these current digital trends, I hope the recent releases and advances by Olive Tree and Accordance on the iOS platform will give Logos a new incentive to double up your effort on mobile platforms.

I want to stay loyal to Logos on all platforms (and not have to repurchase similar resources all over again), but it's hard not to notice the advances made by the competition while the Logos iOS app is SO FAR BEHIND and still lacking some of the most basic features expected of a Bible study app -- note taking, highlighting, split windows, copy and paste, offline search, sync with desktop app, etc.

It is frustrating not because we are demanding users, but because we are loyal fans!

Thanks for listening, and have a blessed 2011!

Peter 

P.S. BTW, seriously Bob, if it's been hard to focus on so many different platforms (at least that's the impression I'm getting from your post), have you considered partnering with or even acquiring a dedicated mobile software vendor to gain more progress and velocity on mobile?

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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 1 2011 8:25 AM

Peter Li:

Logos iOS app is SO FAR BEHIND and still lacking some of the most basic features expected of a Bible study app -- note taking, highlighting, split windows, copy and paste, offline search, sync with desktop app, etc.

 

Hi Peter,

I view Logos as one of the innovators in the market place. They drive the market more than respond to it, sometimes more quickly than they may be able to keep up with. They were one of the first desktop developers to release an iPhone/Pod/Pad app. What most developers are finding out is that customers want more features in their mobile apps, and they want it now. As to being behind in the features you mentioned, you are correct that Logos does not currently offer them. However, what they do offer is still pretty remarkable.. thousands of resources that do not have to be purchased again; Passage Guide; Bible Word Study; Cited by search, etc.. If you read the forums and reviews of the other developers, you will find their customers are making suggestions for improvements as well.. customers just expect more.

When it comes to iApps, the cost is up front for the developer. iApp customers are not always the ones that will spend hundreds or more on additional resources, as so much is free or 99 cents. A company cannot make up their cost on volume when the app and some useful content is free. The app must generate sales of resources or support the sale of resources in the desktop apps. I think this will be the case over time.

The various developers mentioned in this post also focus on what they feel is important to their customers be it searching or note/highlighing or library integration with a limited number or resources or making thousands of resources available on multiple platforms. There will be room for developers to excel in the markets they define, but probably not in every market..

The technology behind this software is changing at such a rapid pace.. that is the point that Bob was making.. developers need to pick their markets and do what they do in that market really well.. that is the point you and others are making.. I am confident that the best of these developers will find the balance between the two.

Happy New Year!

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