I've been "test-driving" Logos' new service Logos Now for the past couple of weeks. If you haven't heard of Logos Now it is a subscription service available for $8.99 a month or $89 for a year (basically two months free). For those who own Logos 6 this service allows you to access their new products without waiting for Logos 7 to arrive. Currently, Logos is giving $100 worth of product (a set selection, but still worth $100) for those who sign up, so if you think these books would be worth purchasing, then the service is basically free.
Now, for reader, I must note that this year's service is free for me. Logos has given me a subscription in exchange for a review. But, so that you know this isn't just a commercial for their product, all Logos asked from me was "an honest written review on your blog", which I will give you! So let me begin with the first question on your mind: would I have spent the money to purchase the subscription knowing what I know now? My answer? I think so.
I think the $89 annual subscription is a better deal than the monthly, obviously, since it's twelve months for the price of ten. The $100 in freebies are so-so. I like the Discourse Analysis and Other Topics in Biblical Greek edited by Porter and Carson. I don't have much use for the other two, though readers of this blog might. That being said, the first book is worth $29.95 alone, and it's a nice book to have in your library. So, in a sense, the subscription as it is offered now is at least twelve months for the $60.00 if you think you would have ever purchased the volume edited by Porter and Carson. That's basically $5 a month, i.e., the cost of a latte.
Now, I don't know that I would have bought that book, so I will presume I would have paid $89 for the annual subscription. That is still only a little over $7 a month for the price of a latte and a pastry. (Ok, as I write this I'm beginning to talk myself into it!)
But what is most important is the product. Are these tools you will use? As I said in my first blog post about the product, there are some tools I won't use, e.g., the Systematic Theology Tool. That being said, I know that there are those out there who may find this tool to be the most useful. It's subjective! In another post I listed all the new tools provided by Logos Now. If you take a look I think you'll agree: there are things you'd use and things you won't use. But it should be noted that this is just the beginning, or so I presume. If they've got this much available this early, and it appeals to a fairly wide demographic, it makes sense that we'll continue to see new services available with some frequency.
There are three tools that I've been using so far. First is the Multiview Resource. This has made searches much easier. I use the parallel viewing all the time now. Second is the Manuscript Explorers. This is a great tool. It connects you to online mss. if they're available. It's great for sorting by all kinds of criteria. There is one for the NT and one for the LXX right now. I presume we'll see one for the Hebrew Bible/OT. Maybe one the Apostolic Father and other early Christian literature? I like the direction they're taking with this tool. Third is the Greek Grammatical Constructions tool. Another major time saver. It allows you to view how a given construct appears across the NT. Also, it comes with a handy "Greek Grammatical Constructions Documentation" written by James Parks (hey, I know him!) that will show you how to make the most of this tool.
I can foresee the usefulness of the Data Sets, as I've explained already. I think the Interactive Media will continue to include some great tools. Overall, Logos Now is promising.
If I could dream for a moment, one thing I'd love, love, love to see added was some sort of library feature. Sometimes good scholarly books aren't easily accessible, especially from academic publishers like say Brill. While I have no idea whether or not this idea is feasible, I wonder if publishers like Brill would allow Logos to digitize some of their monographs and add them to Logos Now as something you can access as part of the subscription. Probably not, but that would be wonderful! Like a Netflix or Apple Music for biblical studies.
But this is a review of what Logos Now is now and it's good. It has a ton of potential. If Logos Now continues to add Data Sets, if they broaden their selection of Interactive Media, and keep thinking about how their Features can simplify research, then this service will be well worth $7-8, even $9, a month. But if your the type who waits to buy a new smartphone or computer until you've seen that it remains useful after the initial hype, then I wouldn't blame you for waiting. That said, at $89 with freebies, it may be worth jumping on the bandwagon now, especially since I predict we'll be seeing a steady stream of helpful tools coming our way through Logos Now.
I know blog readers have a sort attention span, so I'll end my review here. Overall, on a scale of 1-10, I'll go with 8.5 since I've been attracted to only a handful of the new tools. But that could change to 9 or 10 asap as we continue to see what comes forth. If you have any questions about the service that I didn't answer, feel free to ask me in the comments!