Review: Logos Bible Software 4 for Mac

Back in October, Logos Bible Software launched what, to me, is one of their most exciting releases of Bible software yet. I am of course talking about Logos Bible Software 4 natively for Mac. It’s been a long wait for Mac users over the years to fully experience the best of Logos on the Mac, and Logos finally pulled it off and did it extremely well. Here is my review of Logos Bible Software 4 for Mac.

100% Logos, 100% Mac
During the creation of Logos 4, Logos did something that was vital if they were going to succeed at creating the full Logos experience on the Mac. They scrapped all the years of hard toiling over their old platform (the Libronix Digital Library System) and re-built and re-imagined Bible software from the ground up. The result was not only a simpler, smarter, speedier, and synced experience on the PC, but with this new shared codebase on .NET (verses the old experience which was heavily tied to IE and required the Mac version to be re-coded bit by bit), bringing Logos to the Mac was easier and more efficient. Even the early alphas had more features than the shipping version of the old Logos for Mac. The result of the new codebase allows for a unified Logos feel across both platforms, while still feeling like a favorite Mac native app using Cocoa window controls and Mac-GUI elements (unlike some of the competition which utilizes X11 for their software, talk about clumsy). And to top it all off, Logos for Windows and Mac syncs with each other, almost feeling like having Microsoft Exchange for Bible Software. The best result is the syncing comes free with Logos. I’d almost be willing to pay a subscription to have it, but Logos includes it free.

Powerful, Customizable Bible Study Reports
As its PC counterpart, Logos 4 for Mac includes all the same Bible study reports found in Logos 3 (Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, and Word Study Guide), but Logos 4 takes things a step further. The Bible study reports can now be customized, so rearranging elements and hiding unwanted elements are a snap. Furthermore, users can create their own personal Bible study reports with ease and save them for use in their own personal studies (and as the rest of all user files in Logos 4, they sync between the PC and Mac). This is perfect for allowing someone to create their own personal guide for Inductive Bible Study, and maybe another for lesson or sermon preparation. This really turbocharges the way Logos does Bible study, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this new feature.

Biblical Facts Made Easy
Logos 4 for Mac also includes three new Biblical facts viewers to make it easier to visualize the Bible. Biblical People outlines all of the Biblical relationships on a family tree-style format, Biblical Places contains maps and photos of the Holy Land with interactive navigational tools, and Biblical Things lists all sorts of objects commonly found in the Bible. Better still, these can also show up in the Bible study exports, making it easier to discover them during a Bible study.

Simpler, Smarter, and Speedier
Logos 4 for Mac is much simpler and smarter when it comes to organization than its predecessor. What used to take time in complex building of resource associations, collections, and workspaces is now done much more quickly. Serial resources are automatically created by Logos, so no need to manually configure commentary sets to jump to a different volume when typing in a verse contained in another volume. Collections are built as easy as finding books in the library, and turning them into a parallel resource set is a click of a checkbox. Prioritizing resources are drag and drop simple. Workspaces are now termed Layouts and are automatically created, so a simple naming creates the new layout. Logos 4 is also smarter when it comes to updating the engine or downloading new books. Most of the time it happens automatically. Plus, there’s no more messing with CD’s and activation codes. Everything is synced with a account.

Logos 4 is also much speedier thanks to the indexing process. Once it’s scoured a library and indexed the books, searches are done in seconds. The search dialog has also been simplified, and complex searches (such as Syntax searches) have been made simpler with the use of templates, Syntax forms, and the Bible Word Study report. All program settings are now contained in one window, and many of Logos comparison tools have now been simplified. Logos was able to place all the comparison graphs into one Passage Analysis window (and rollout some new tools as well), as well as integrate the Parallel Bible and Compare Parallel Versions into a new Text Analysis window.

At Your Command
Logos 4 also includes the Command Bar, making it easier for power users to initiate commands at Logos 4 without having to do complex digging. Simply typing in a book’s name or a search term allows Logos users to jump to different aspects of the program in seconds. In addition, it allows for more powerful commands (such as manually updating the app) to be executed here instead of cluttering up menu space.

Multi-Monitor Goodness
Logos 4 is perfect for those who work on multiple monitors. Floating panels is a snap, and dragging them over to another monitor is a breeze. Docking panels back together with other panels is just as easy. Logos really thought out the new interface, and it’s truly intuitive to work with.

Still Enter Passage, Click GO!
Even with all this new power and simplicity, Logos didn’t forego what’s made them famous. Entering a passage and clicking GO! from the new homepage (which looks fresher and feels more as a custom newspaper) still launches the ever familiar Passage Guide, but there’s way more information contained now when launching. All of one’s favorite Bibles now appear all linked together, as well does the Exegetical Guide and Text Comparison. So much more information is included, all with the same simplicity we’ve come to enjoy from Logos.

Bible Study Anytime, Anywhere
The great thing about Logos 4 is that purchasing a book does not limit a person to a particular platform. Logos 4 runs seamlessly on the Mac (as I’ve been reviewing), as well as Windows, and even on the go with the iPhone and iPad (and it’s not just a glorified Bible Search website either, it’s a full Logos experience complete with a Passage Guide, Bible Word Study, Text Comparison, the works), as well as coming soon to Android, and even runs in a web browser with their mobile web app and Logos 4 allows for Bible Study anytime, anywhere, on a myriad of platforms, all in sync and all just as wonderful.

Logos 4 for Mac, just as the PC version, is a major step forward for Logos at providing Mac users with an incredible Bible Study experience. From the early alphas to the final product, Logos 4 for Mac has been a fantastic journey watching it all come together. It feels wonderful to be able to sit down at my favorite MacBook Pro and enjoy a rich, powerful Bible Study experience using my favorite Bible software.

Checkout Logos Bible Software 4 today! It’s truly Bible Study re-imagined, and now on a Mac!