I have documented my adventures with Logos Bible Software and their most recent Mac program, Logos 4 Mac. If you have been a longtime reader of this site, then you know that I was one of the earliest adopters of Logos 4 Mac. I purchased it right around the time it was advertised as being publicly available.
At the time, I was using an old PowerPC Mac G4 that could not run Logos 4 Mac, which was a bit disappointing for me. I installed the Windows version – called just Logos 4 – on a PC I used in concert with the G4. I enjoyed the interface, if it was a bit clunky at the time.
When I got my Macbook Pro later that month, I was surprised to discover that Logos 4 Mac was not even close to ready for public release. It was still in alpha testing. (If you don’t know, most programs go through three stages of pre-release testing: alpha, beta, and gold master.) Every geek around the world knows that alpha means buggy and clunky. It means the software is nowhere near complete and often several different builds are out there as the teams try to figure out how to make things work. It really bothered me that Logos would release an alpha to the general public as if it were a finished product. Later, Logos released a fairly good explanation of why they chose to release the alpha version, and while I still thought it had been a mistake, I kept using the product and enduring the nearly daily program updates.
Now, we are almost two years into Logos 4 Mac’s public existence, and we are on Build 4.3, Service Release 3. That means we are on the third update of the third major edition of the program. Over the past two years, I have had nearly two dozen alpha versions, about the same number of betas and more service releases than I care to remember.
On average, the programmers update Logos 4 Mac about once every three weeks. Most of the updates are improvements, and the most recent one (the move from 4.2 to 4.3) brought in a fantastic feature called Personal Book Builder. Basically, you import a Microsoft Word document into the program and it becomes part of your library. This is great for a lot of unpublished commentaries and such that I have laying around.
I am going to be honest. It took until version 4.2b, which was released in May of this year, for Logos 4 Mac to be useable as a daily Bible study program. There were long periods of real frustration because the features took so long to load or operate. Those of you who use Logos 4 Mac and had it back in 2010 remember how awful it was.
I am very pleased with version 4.3 so far. The response time on searches and interlinear work has been improved to the point that it is almost instantaneous. Everything about the program works (finally) at the level that Logos 3 did on my PC.
So, if you’re interested in a professional Bible study tool, I recommend Logos 4. If you’re on a Mac, it is worth the money – FINALLY. If you already use a previous version of Logos, you can get a very reasonably priced crossgrade of your resources. It does not require you to purchase new resources (the Logos 4 engine is free, and works with your current resources) and for a minimal cost, you get all of the functionality of the new resources.