Back in June of last year, we discussed some cool new features that were added to the LEGO Life app (see: LEGO Life App Instructions Plus & More!). Just to recap, the LEGO Life app is a very basic online community app for children ages 5+ to take part in challenges, watch videos, and share their creations, while their online safety and privacy is fully protected. Although the app is meant for kids, the new features added last year made it interesting to adults as well. The app’s QR code reader allows you to easily access the digital building instructions for recently released sets (alternatively, you can use the search feature to access building instructions for older sets without the special QR code). For sets released in 2019 and beyond, you could also access interactive building instructions with zoom, rotate, 3D view, and ghost view modes making it much easier to build complex sets. And some of the sets come with ideas for alternate projects.
To make these advanced features of the LEGO Life app accessible to teen and adult builders without having to navigate through the kiddie interface, LEGO recently released a new app called LEGO Building Instructions. With the LEGO Building Instructions app you can access Instructions Plus, including the 3D building experience for sets released in 2019 and beyond, PDF building instructions for sets 2015 and beyond, the search feature to explore LEGO sets, and the save feature to save sets to you LEGO account (when signed in with your LEGO ID).
The app is really easy to use with only four navigation buttons; search, access your collection, scan, and log in/out of your LEGO ID. You get started by scanning the QR code found on the front cover of the instruction booklet, or by searching for the set number, or by browsing through themes. Most of the sets will just have the standard PDF building instructions, but some of the sets also come with the Instructions Plus experience with 3D building, zooming, rotating, and enabling ghost view to see your progress as you build.
Although you don’t have to log into the app with your LEGO ID to use the features, I do recommend it, as this allows you to save your sets and access them across devices and apps. (If you already built up your set collection under the LEGO Life app, it will automatically sync with the LEGO Building Instructions app once you log in.) If you would like to learn more about the Instructions Plus experience, go to our review here: LEGO Life App Instructions Plus & More!
Some things to keep in mind when using the LEGO Building Instructions app. You will need a stable internet connection to use it (it’s needed for downloading instructions). The app is very new, so there may be some glitches. I didn’t have any major problems with it, besides that it sometimes restarts itself. The team behind the app is continuing to make improvements to the features. They are also adding more sets to the database. Please note that new sets are only available in the app after their official release date. So, if you bought a set a bit early at a retail store, you will not be able to access it through the app just yet. If you have any thoughts and recommendations for the app team, you can leave it under the review section of the download page.
If you are interested, you can download the free LEGO Life app via Google Play for Android devices, the App Store for Apple devices, and Amazon for Kindle tablets. At the time of this writing, the LEGO Building Instructions app is only available at Google Play for Android devices (just follow the link), but I’m sure it will be added to other devices soon.
When I was reviewing the new features of the LEGO Life app, I was thinking to myself that it would be so nice if these features were accessible to teen and adult builders without the LEGO Life interface. And here we are! So far I’m very happy with the app, except that I have noticed that many of the sets that are available with Instructions Plus in the LEGO Life app, are not yet available with the Instruction Plus advanced features in the LEGO Building Instructions app. However, as mentioned above, the team behind the app is still working on this. If you would like to see all the sets available with Instructions Plus, you can check them out on this page.
I mostly build new sets from paper building instructions, but I also appreciate digital building. It’s especially helpful when more than one person is working on different parts of the same set. And I like Instructions Plus with 3D building and other advanced features. They are helpful when building complex models. Anyway, if you’re interested check out the app and let me know what you think.
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