Watchtower Library on Windows Phone?

Watchtower LibraryI am often asked by blog readers and users of my Windows Phone apps (MinistryMate, AssemblyMate, and TMS Tracker) if its possible to install the Watchtower Library program on their smartphone running Windows Phone 7.  The question is understandable, because a few years ago, a version of the program was made compatible with Windows Mobile devices.  And when running the setup for Watchtower Library, you are asked whether you want to install it on your computer or your Windows Mobile phone.

Is It Possible?

In a word, no.  Unfortunately, since Windows Phone 7 was a complete reboot of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, programs are not compatible across the two platforms. I know this is particularly disappointing for a lot of people.  I for one was excited about the launch of Windows Phone 7 because I anticipated having the Watchtower Library app on my phone.

Also, as of now, I am not aware of any effort being put forth by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (the publishers of Watchtower Library) to make a version that is compatible with the current Windows Phone platform.  If anything, I could foresee a version that would run on tablets, such as iPad and Android, and perhaps future Windows 8 devices. I’m sure such a broad approach would be well-received by the friends. But my fear is that with the mobile computing landscape changing so rapidly, they may decide that it’s impossible to keep up, and their time, energy and resources could be better spent elsewhere.

Other Options

The good news is there is a way to get the data from the Watchtower Library on your Windows Phone in a useable format.  The best approach is to install an app called iSilo, available here in the Marketplace for $9.99.  iSilo is a versatile e-book/document reader, available on a wide variety of software platforms.  Once you have it installed on your phone, you will then want to locate and download the Watchtower Library data in a format that iSilo can read.  Here, you have to be conscious of the terms of use outlined in the Introductory Letter found in the Watchtower Library program.  It says in part:

 What constitutes proper use? Watchtower Library has been designed for your personal use. Hence, you may copy, print, or excerpt from the data for your personal use. But you may not distribute the program or large sections of the data to others who do not own Watchtower Library on CD-ROM. Do not sell Watchtower Library or put the program or data on the Internet or any electronic network.

Because this excerpt specifically forbids distributing the data to those who do not own Watchtower Library, some brothers have viewed that as tacit approval of providing the data to those that do own the program.  One site where you can find the data – along with detailed instructions for downloading it into iSilo – is MeekSpace.com.  In order to get around the above restriction, the brother requires you to become a member of the site, and the process of becoming a member involves proving you own a copy of Watchtower Library.  Once you have downloaded the data file to your device, you will be able to use iSilo to access all the data in the Watchtower Library.

You can find some additional information and links at TheoShare.com.

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