A question recurs. Should I pay for some of these apps that publish LDS material that the Church does NOT charge for? Well, I’m not one to say someone shouldn’t or can’t get paid for taking free information and packaging it in a way that provides value for people willing to pay for it. But it depends on what they actually add to it to make it worth paying.
The question I would ask is, is there another way to get the information without paying for it in and app? I have found the answer to that question most of the time to be “yes”.
Let me give you one example.
There are apps in the app store (both iTunes and Android) that charge you for Church material as a subscription. Some of them are the Ensign app, The Friend app, and the New Era app. These are apps that consolidate their magazines into one app and present them in an nice format. The fact that you continually pay for the magazines is the part that makes me look elsewhere for that same solution.
For me, I get that ability and nice format free within another app that I paid (one time) for. I paid for the LDS Scriptures app (the Gold Plates one) because it gave me an awesome ability to mark scriptures, tag scriptures, make notes on scriptures and do many things easier on my iPad than I can do in my paper scriptures. All of that functionality made it worth paying for. As a bonus, the developer of this app automatically includes additional material, even in “nice” formats for FREE. This includes the Ensign and other magazines. Every edition of the Ensign is available for free download, and it’s presented very nicely. So I would not pay for another app, especially one that charges subscriptions I must continually pay.
Here is a look at the Ensign in the LDS Scriptures app:
Another solution is to watch the LDS Tools app that is developed and maintained by the Church, and see what additional content they add to it. There are continual changes they are adding making it a better and better solution for so much spiritual content (scriptures, manuals, mags, etc.), and they never charge for any of it.
So before you pay for an app that give you LDS material that the Church doesn’t even charge for, see if there’s another option.