Google Productivity Pad: Gospel Library 3.4.0, new look, new features

Monday, February 24, 2014

Gospel Library 3.4.0, new look, new features

Last week the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which I am a member, updated their app Gospel Library to version 3.4.0. It was a rather big change for a .x update so I was a little surprised.

Here is what changed (the list is straight out of the update text) and what I think about it:
• Implemented new iOS 7 design
It looks really nice. As a social media person I am especially happy about the new more prevalently placed share button. I wish you could change the color scheme though.

• Improved navigation (tap the title to go where you want)
Yes, drop down menu works much better then the 3.0 side bar. I like being able to see the "layers" you have drilled down through.

• Simplified search feature (group results by collections and sort by book order)
This has been a long time in coming and I am glad they have finally made search work better. What I still find annoying though is that you cannot specify parameters for the search. Normally when I am searching I know the general area where what I am searching for is located, I don't need to search the whole cosmos of church publications on my device. An advanced search option would go a long way to making this better. In addition a "search this page" function would be really helpful, particularly if you miss a reference in Sunday school. This feature should mimic using control f on a computer similar to how Safari and Evernote do it.

• Redesigned bookmarks
I don't really use the bookmark feature (I just highlight things) so this is not bag deal to me, but it does look nice. If you use this feature please let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

• Enabled unlimited screens
I actually did not realize this one was missing, I don't know what the cap was before but I never hit it. If you did would you please let me know in the comments below.

• Added 'favorites' custom collection
This is nice, not really different then what you could do before with a custom collection. I like to be able to keep the manuals I use at church in a place together.
• Integrated with LDS Music app for access to sheet music
I already use the LDS Music app in lieu of a hymnal in many meetings, integration will probably make it easier.

• Improved accessibility
I don't  use any of the accessibility features so I can't say what these improvements are like especially since they were not specific in what the improvements were. If anyone reading this who uses accessibility features please let us know what/if you have seen anything improved by using the comments section below.

• Moved language content and grid/list view selections into settings
This one is self explanatory, just the simple change listed.

• Moved history under bookmarks
Nooooo! This is one change I do not appreciate. The history feature has long been one of my favorite features of gospel library because it was so easy to use, it was easy during a lesson to get back to something you had been discussing previously. Now instead of having its own button it is buried under the bookmarks button.
It is actually ok because if you switch it to history it will remain on history until you switch it back to bookmarks. It just won't change the icon to a little clock like it use to. It is much more accessible now then it use to be though, you just have to know that it is there.

• Simplified settings
These seem fine, I have noticed anything drastic here.
• Fixed bugs and improved performance
We shall see as time goes on how this is, so far so good.

Well I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of the updated app. I really think they have made some nice changes. I hope you let me know what you think in the comments below. Have fun, and remember, live better.

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