Joining the strength of 450,000 Apple apps, including the Gospel Library published by the LDS church, Deseret Book has recently released an app for mobile devices.
More than 20,000 smartphone users have downloaded the free Gospel Library giving them digital versions of LDS scriptures, manuals, magazines, hymns and more than 1,500 titles published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The new Deseret Book app hopes to give users a similar experience.
The recently released Deseret Bookshelf has more than 1,500 e-titles available, offering users the world’s best selection of LDS e-books for use on iPad, iPhone or iPod. It is the first mobile app launched by Deseret Book Company, which plans to expand to Android later this summer. The free application gives users access to the scriptures, LDS study materials and eight popular eBooks published by Deseret Book. Other than the eight gratuitous eBooks which are pending release, titles must be purchased digitally through Deseret Book.
The Deseret Bookshelf app allows users to surf, view and purchase digital titles offered by Deseret Book. Although Deseret Book offers 1,200 books for kindle, items purchased using the Bookshelf can only be accessed using the Bookshelf app. Users must create an account with Deseret Book before the app can be accessed.
“We now have the capacity to publish books that can literally be accessed anywhere in the world in a matter of moments,” said Sheri Dew, president and CEO of Deseret Book, in a news release. “This is a remarkable era for publishers when content can be made readily available in whatever format suits your personal tastes.”
Kevin Johnson, 26, a senior studying computer science, said he prefers browsing LDS scriptures on a previously downloaded, third-party scripture app.
“I will probably not replace my other scripture app; I haven’t seen anything here that is so much better than my other app, but it all seems to be on par,” he said. “Their cross references are pretty good, and navigating between chapters is really easy.”
Unlike the Gospel Library app, the Bookshelf allows users to search and link to scriptures from their entire library.
“Bookshelf is the only app on the market that offers instant full-text search of your entire library,” said Matt McBride, digital product director for Deseret Book. “It makes finding favorite quotes and passages much easier. Bookshelf also includes a copy of the scriptures so you can simply tap and read the verses cited in other books.”
The application is customizable to users, allowing for bookmarks, links to scriptures and customization of e-book titles. In addition to searching and using copy/paste functions, users can navigate their digital library with content jumping and a linked table of contents. Deseret Book is planning on releasing free upgrades that include highlighting and note-taking capabilities.
Deseret Book has other digital offerings and is currently preparing the release of several other apps. Future releases include an app based on the popular board game “Feast and Famine,” and a series of Book of Mormon games for young children. Users can download Deseret Book-published apps on the iTunes app store. Visit DeseretBookshelf.com for more information and to see frequently asked questions.