Supported Android versions for Gospel Library

Discussions around the Android version of the Gospel Library application.
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sbradshaw
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Supported Android versions for Gospel Library

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:38 am

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, sometimes changes are made on the Church servers that prevent older devices from establishing a connection. For example, recently the Church servers were updated to newer security protocols (http:// to https://, TLS 1.2). Older versions of Android and iOS don't support the latest security standards, so they are no longer able to authenticate with the Church's servers for sign-in, annotation sync, or role-based content. 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 6 (Marshmallow). Android 5.0 is the minimum supported Android version for most Church apps and will soon become the minimum supported Android version for Gospel Library. 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 April 2019) is Android 9, with Android 10 coming out later this year.

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 available, and not receiving content updates.)
  • If you're on Android 2.3 and up, your device will run Gospel Library 3.2.14. (No longer available, and not receiving content updates.)
  • If you're on Android 4.0 and up, your device will run Gospel Library 4.2.3. (No longer available, and not receiving content updates.)
  • If you're on Android 4.2 and up, your device will run Gospel Library 4.4.2. (No longer available, and not receiving content updates after March 2019.)
  • If you're on Android 4.4 and up, your device will run Gospel Library 5.2.2. (Content updates will continue for the foreseeable future.)
  • If you're on Android 5.0 and up, your device will run the latest version of Gospel Library. (Content updates will continue for the foreseeable future.)
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

bcoolbear
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Re: Supported Android versions for Gospel Library

Postby bcoolbear » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:31 pm

Please make the older versions of gospel library available. It is very frustrating that I am disenfranchised because I must use an older device. The app worked fine 30 minutes ago before I reset my phone. Now you have made it impossible for me to have the app on my device. The internet is not always available when I need to use the app. Having access to the scriptures is a blessing. It is convenient to ha e them installed on my phone.

Please respond:
Bcoolbear@gmail.com

lajackson
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Re: Supported Android versions for Gospel Library

Postby lajackson » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:07 am

bcoolbear wrote:Please respond

Because this is a user-to-user forum, no one here has the ability to make your request happen.

The message immediately before yours explains that the Church is not able to maintain support for both current and older devices. It is not a matter of just keeping the older versions of the app available. Every time an operating system changes, many of the underlying apps must be rewritten.

The Church does not have the resources to rewrite older versions of the app each time there is a change and still maintain the current versions. There are also continually improving security issues that force changes on app developers, often making it impossible for older versions of apps to be modified to run at higher levels of security.

These problems are not unique to Gospel Library. They affect every app, not just church apps. This is a normal part of the computer world in which we live. The Church has been very good to maintain apps as long as they are able, and they are sensitive to the desires of members to be frugal and careful with their investment in electronic devices.

But the Church does not control operating systems or advances in security measures. All they can do is the very best they can to make the apps last as long as possible, which I believe they are doing.

davesudweeks
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Re: Supported Android versions for Gospel Library

Postby davesudweeks » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:01 am

Also keep in mind that the reason you cannot update your older device to a newer version of Android (or iOS or any other operating system) is controlled by the OS manufacturer.

So the reason you cannot update to the current version Gospel Library is caused by your OS manufacturer. If they would allow you to update to the current OS, you would be able to install the current version of Gospel Library. This is where the problem lies, not with the church.

russellhltn
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Re: Supported Android versions for Gospel Library

Postby russellhltn » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:04 pm

bcoolbear wrote:The app worked fine 30 minutes ago before I reset my phone.

You didn't say what version of Android you have. 4.4 is quite old and still has a functional version of GL. If you had an even older version of the app, it may appear to work, but wouldn't have been able to sync any notes where they'd be safe.
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