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.)