Availability of Church content is a priority for those who support the Gospel Library app. Unfortunately, as mobile ecosystems change, it's impossible to continually improve the app while supporting older devices indefinitely.
Only the newest versions of Gospel Library will continue to receive the newest content (new general conferences, magazines, devotionals, curriculum, editions of the scriptures, etc.). The content format used by the app changes with major app releases to support new features. As an analogy, you can think of this as switching content from PowerPoint files to Word files. The new format allows us to do more, but is not compatible with the old app. For a little while, as users transition from the old version of the app to the new, the content team produces both (continuing the analogy) a PowerPoint and a Word file of each content item, but eventually, the old file type is phased out to focus resources on providing more and better content in the new format.
In addition to content format changes, most recently, security changes were made on the Church servers (http:// to https://, updated TLS) that prevent older devices from establishing a connection. Previously, old versions of the Gospel Library app were provided on the Google Play store for users on older devices.* These older app versions are no longer available from the store, but if you have them installed, you may continue to use them in your study. However, after October 2018, functions that require authentication – annotation sync and access to role-based content – will no longer work, because of the server changes. Additional changes may prevent books from downloading. The Church is a continual target for those who want to do harm, so keeping security standards up to date, while it provides inconvenience at times, protects the Church and its members.
If your device doesn't support the newest Gospel Library, don't feel obligated to buy a new device. The Church doesn't require members to use the newest technology to study the gospel – Gospel Library is provided as a tool for those who are able to benefit from it. If you are on an older device, you can access the newest content by browsing LDS.org, by downloading PDFs to your device, or using an e-book reader. If you don't have a smart device at all, the Church continues to provide scriptures and other core content in print format. We know that transitions are difficult and we hope that you will be able to continue growing in faith through consistent gospel study, no matter your circumstance.
If you are considering purchasing an Android device to use Gospel Library or other Church apps, check the Android version. I wouldn't recommend any Android version below Android 5.0, which is the minimum supported Android version for most Church apps and will likely become the minimum supported Android version for Gospel Library sometime in 2019 (in large part because of security standards). Newer versions of Android will almost always provide a smoother experience and will last farther into the future. For reference, the current version of Android (as of October 2018) is Android 9.
*For historical reference, these are the Android versions where support has changed:
If you're on Android 2.2 and up, your device will run Gospel Library 2.6.1. (No longer receiving content updates.)
If you're on Android 2.3 and up, your device will run Gospel Library 3.2.14. (No longer receiving content updates.)
If you're on Android 4.0 and up, your device will run Gospel Library 4.2.3. (Content updates are expected to continue until 2019.)
If you're on Android 4.2 and up, your device will run Gospel Library 4.4.2. (Content updates are expected to continue until 2019.)
If you're on Android 4.4 and up, your device will run the latest version of Gospel Library (currently 5.0.0). (Content updates will continue for the foreseeable future.)
Discussions around the Android version of the Gospel Library application.
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Last edited by russellhltn on Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.
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