Windows users have reason to celebrate a new release for Gospel Library (GLW) for their phones. The new release is much like the tablet version, with a full complement of rich content and enviable features on par or better than peer-apps for the iOS and Android platforms.
Developers for this all-volunteer project have come closer than ever to a universal app for Windows on a phone. The mobile form-factor has the expected features desktop users have come to enjoy and a few more besides. Version 188.8.131.52 is now available in the Windows store, and reviews are for the most part very positive.
If your Windows phone is preconfigured to auto-update, the next time you open your GLW phone app, you’ll experience a brand new interface, one that will be familiar yet enticingly fresh and appealing. If you have been using the beta version, the new Windows release can be downloaded and co-exist on the same device.
Here are some new features to investigate:
- GLW phone has close to 100% of the content as other platforms, and images and multi-media follow intuitive patterns, with inline video and audio streaming, and standard formatting and page numbering for manuals, magazines, and conference addresses.
- GLW phone has navigation controls and “Settings” anchored at the bottom, the menu icon conveniently positioned in the upper left, and multi-tiered search capability like the tablet version. Menus can be expanded or contracted by tapping on the headers to provide a “jump list” to switch between items quickly.
- GLW phone has synchronization with your LDS Account for highlights, bookmarks, or inline notes. When installing or updating your phone app, make sure your LDS Account information is entered under “Settings” so the synchronization feature updates consistently.
Marking is no longer limited to an entire paragraph, and the on-screen radial menu has options for editing and personalizing your annotations. “Peek-mode” (look without opening) is supported and “History” serves as a place to move between sources while reading.
- GLW phone audio streaming has better options for audio playback. Users may set the interface to “keep playing” so activity is not suspended at a chapter break and works well when plugged into a sound system while driving or using ear-buds while exercising. A “read-along” feature enables the screen to scroll automatically when playing audio. Audio controls allow for skipping ahead or going back. You can jump to the next or previous chapter by hitting the up or down volume buttons and then hit the appropriate button in the “Universal Volume Control.”
- GLW phone allows you to pin bookmarks to your start screen as short-cuts to quickly return to a reading location. As you update your bookmarks while reading, the shortcut automatically updates for you. You can have multiple shortcuts for different purposes.
- GLW phone has more options for personalizing your reading environment than other platforms with a choice of three languages (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) for the interface and 107 languages for the content. More interface languages are pending and more fonts, themes, and text sizes are supported by Windows Gospel Library than iOS or Android. “Open Dyslexic” font, unique to Windows, is “weighted” for people with visual-perceptual problems.
- GLW phone “Inspiration Messages” are now in the user interface language. Content for the inspiration feature is pulled from an RSS feed (online format used to publish continuously updated content) with enhanced ability to revisit prior featured items and link to original source documents.
- “My Collections” allow you to create custom groups of items you use frequently together into one library location. You create the collection and give it a name, then add items to it. Those items retain their position in the library groups where they originated.
GLW developers are looking at the rapidly growing adoption rates for Windows 10 and work is already underway to code and test a new interface for Windows 10 Gospel Library with tabbed navigation, an improved toolbar to supplant the floating radial menu, and better “scaling” for large and small screens. When that version is released it will run on all possible devices universally including 3-D Hololens Xbox.
As always, user feedback is welcome. The few glitches that remain are being fixed and an update will be released as quickly as possible. The best way to contact developers with your comments and suggestions is to use the email address under “Settings,” ”Options,” and “About” or to join in the group discussion on the Windows Gospel Library project on the LDSTech Forum.