Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

Universalis on the iPhone

Posted by universalis on 16 July 2008

There are now two Universalis-based programs available for download on the iPhone App Store. Both of them will work on both the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

ScreenshotUniversalis contains the calendar, the About Today pages, the Liturgy of the Hours (Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Night Prayer) and the readings at Mass, just as you see them on the Universalis web site. Everything is formatted specially for the iPhone’s screen. There is no restriction as to dates: you can go as far forward or back as you like. It costs around £20/$40 and you can buy it directly from the iPhone App Store.

Catholic Calendar contains the calendar and  the lives of the saints from the About Today pages. You can download it free from the iPhones App Store. Everyone who has an iPhone should have one, so tell all your friends!

60 Responses to “Universalis on the iPhone”

  1. Gene said

    How do the two iPhone applications integrate? Are they hyperlinked, for example?

  2. Universalis is Catholic Calendar plus some extra pages. (Or, if you prefer, Catholic Calendar is Universalis minus some pages).

    Either way, if you have Universalis, you don’t need Catholic Calendar because you’ve effectively already got it incorporated inside Universalis.

  3. Fred said

    Is there any way to incorporate NAB into this as well? I have purchased Universalis, and it’s incredibly useful for private use, but here in the US, everything is standardized to the NAB edition.

  4. I’ve just written to the copyright owners to see if they’ll give permission and on what terms.

  5. Dan said

    I do love the online version of Universalis and I appreciate the enormous amount of work that has been done. You do deserve proper compensation for this. I am disappointed that the UK price on iTunes is significantly more expensive than the USA price. Are they different products.

  6. It’s the same product. Apple have decided that £1=$1.65, and there is nothing that anyone can do about this.

  7. Bob Goodyear said

    I recently purchased the IPhone version on Universalis. If my phone is lost, stolen etc; will I have to purchase another program or is there a registration number as with the on-line version?

  8. Steve Wright said

    I will buy this when you have USA version

  9. Bob, thank you for an interesting question.

    The iPhone version has no registration numbers. It will run on any device that Apple have decided it should be allowed to run on.

    As I understand it, all mobile content (both iTunes music and software) will work on any mobile device (iPod and iPhone) that is synchronized to your iTunes account. If I’m right, there will be no problem with a replacement iPhone and it will pick up all the content that you had originally obtained through iTunes.

    (In fact, you ought to be able to buy yourself an iPod Touch now and find yourself with exactly the same set of software and music that you already have on your iPhone).

    I have to add this disclaimer: I’m not Apple, your purchase is governed by Apple’s terms and conditions, not ours, and so if you want an authoritative answer to your question then you’d better ask Apple. I looked on their web site and couldn’t find an immediate answer to this question. If you investigate and find that the answer isn’t as I’ve said, I’d be grateful if you would post another comment here.

  10. Sue Cesare said

    Please advise if there is a service where I can get the Daily Liturgy of the Hours and the daily Mass REadings send via Email to my Palm Treo.

    Thanks, Sue Cesare

  11. Sue, we don’t offer such a service directly ourselves, but the parts of the Universalis content that are available as RSS feeds can also be sent by email if you sign on to one of the services that do this.

    This page has more details.

  12. melissa said

    Are you considering adding the full text of the Psalm (rather than just a citation) for the daily Mass readings? Also, please let me know or offer an update if/when NAB version becomes available for us Yanks. Thanks

  13. I LOVE being able to access the Liturgy of the Hours / Office of Readings / Mass readings for the day via Universalis/iTouch. It is FANTASTIC!!! I know if more people knew how easy it pray the Liturgy of the Hours via the iTouch people would buy the iTouch / iPhone just for that reason. I really suggest you let the Catholic community know of this great service/product you are offering. I am telling everyone I know!!!!! Thank you for your hardwork, time and effort it took to put this feat together! Elizabeth

  14. Have used Universalis for a long time off and on. Now that I am in the Diaconate in my Archdiocese, I will be using it even more. Love to take it with me on my PDA phone. My wife got a Blackberry recently. Any chance of a Blackberry version? Yeah, I know she can do the web version, but the full blown app is much better IMHO.

  15. John said

    I can’t wait to use this App…but I *will* wait until the US translation is available! Thanks for looking into this! I hope it happens relatively soon.

  16. Ignacio said

    I want to congatulate you for this excelent work. I employ Universalis, appart for prear, to improve my English. I live in Spain and I have been a bit surprised with some commentaries in the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola. He was born, certenly in the Basque region of Spain (that is in northen Spain), but the only mention to Spain is to say that spanish authorities were “paranoid”. I think this is not fair and do not reflect that St Ignatius (born in the Spanish Basque region) is one of the glories of Spain. Thank you and congatulations again for your excelent work

  17. Wonderful product. Thank you very much.
    One of the other posters asked about putting in the text of the psalms as well- do you have plans for that?

  18. Tim: No Blackberry version is planned, I’m sorry. I have more than enough to do as it is.

    John: Apparently I’m meant to hear next week about whether I can get the rights to reproduce the NAB lectionary, and whether the terms are reasonable.

    Ignacio: Thank you for your comment. There is something to be written about the relations between the Spanish ecclesiastical authorities and their saints – think of their treatment of St John of the Cross as well as your patron saint – but a phrase in the middle of a biography is not the way to do it. I’ll make sure the text is different next year.

    David: The trouble with the responsorial psalms is that their owners don’t allow them to appear on the Web at all. At some point I may try to see what can be done about downloads, although I don’t really want to set up a system of first-class and second-class citizens of Universalis.

  19. mary said

    Greetings I also love having Universalis on my PC. But in order tho get it on my iTouch, do I need to purchase it again?

  20. Mary: Unfortunately the iPhone / iTouch version is a completely separate product in licensing terms. This is because we don’t sell it: Apple sell it, and they make no provision for supplying applications at anything other than the full price.

    I’m sorry for the inconvenience but it’s something I can’t do anything about.

  21. John said

    Wonderful application (and website). I have only recently started praying LOTH, and while I like the hardcopy breviary, it can be a bit confusing. I ran across Universalis, and bought it right off – even though it’s the UK version, and not US (NAB). If you do get permission, will the NAB version be a different version, or an “option” for the current version?

    Anyway, thanks for all the work to get this on the web and iPhone!

    God Bless,


  22. John: It all depends on the terms on which I get permission. If I can manage it then I’d prefer to make the NAB an option for the current version. That would save having to choose versions when you buy, and it would also mean that the upgrade from the English to the bicultural version could be done free of charge.

  23. is there a site to get a better translation of the prayers? I prefer the prayers found in the catholic book publishing breviary. I prefer asking for a peaceful death, rather than a peaceful end. Thanks!

  24. FrEd said

    I’ve looked at Universalis for iPhone, and from what I can see it looks great. The pricing, however, is off-putting. I, and several of my priest colleagues, would buy without hesitation for half the UK price (ie £9.99). As it is, I just wait til I get home and check the readings on the web or in the lectionary. I don’t feel I can justify the present cost. I don’t want to sound mean – the product looks really good. Thanks for providing this service.

  25. Christina said

    Thanks be to God for being able to download the Mass and LOTH onto my itouch! It is absolutely fantastic!

    The only thing is that I cannot get it to do the Mass readings for Ordinary Time instead of the Memorial Day E.g yesterday (Thurs 21 Aug) was Pope St Pius X and a memorial in England and not a Feast day so the readings at Mass was for Thursday Wk20A Ordinary Time instead of the readings on Universalis for 21 Aug Pope Pius X and I tried to see if I could change the readings to feria instead of Piux X and I could not. Is there a way around this?

    Also would it be possible to have the psalms from the Grail version as an option? as I am used to using the breviary in Uk mode. Many thanks for all the hard effort gone into this application!

  26. John said

    So…any update on when the US translation will be available?

  27. FrEd: thank you for your remarks. It’s always good to know what people are thinking!

    Christina: I’m going to look at the question of feasts. As for the Grail psalms, the owners don’t allow them onto the Web. If and when the US translation gets sorted out, I’ll look at the matter again.

    John: I asked about rights to the US translation two weeks ago and got a reply “I’m just back from holiday, I’ll look at it next week”. Silence since then, but I don’t want to nag because goodwill is essential in negotiations like this. Probably a lot of relevant people are away in August.

    • Fr Martin said

      Dear Universalis, I want to know if there has been an update on the possibility to have the psalms from the Grail version as an option? as I am used to using the breviary in Uk mode. Many thanks for all the hard effort gone into this application! Best regards Fr Martin

  28. Jay said

    Will the antiphons also be included in an iphone update? Thanks.

  29. jwordsmith said

    Don’t suppose you’d be doing a Kindle version, would you? I know there isn’t a huge market yet, but I remain hopeful.

    BTW, Universalis was one of the first things I loaded onto my Pocket PC back in 1999 or 2000! (So glad this is still going well for you) .I don’t use a PocketPC any more but do love my Kindle.

  30. Jody said

    Where do I go for tech support? I bought this, and it’s in my applications library at itunes, but it didn’t sync on to my iphone! Sorry for asking here. I love universalis.

  31. Paul said

    I have been running Universalis on my iPod Touch since it first appeared on the Apps Store. Its a great app and I use it most days – every day when I’m away from home.

    Would it be possible in a future release to have a search engine to find scripture references contained in the Mass and Office of Readings as is always helpful when planning liturgy to know what day a certain scripture reading falls.

    Thanks for providing such a great service.

  32. Matt said

    Great looking! Can you tell me who gave the imprimatur/nihil obstat?

  33. Steve said


    My family and I worship at a Parish in the USA that does not have missalettes. Years ago, I owned the A, B, and C books, with which I could follow the entire mass for each day of its respective year – including the first and second readings and the gospel. I apologize if I’m missing the obvious, but from what I’ve read, it appears your iPhone Universalis does not perform the same function for US Catholics. Am I correct?

    Thank you,


  34. Nicholas said

    Love your work! Thank you for supporting the beautiful grace of the church’s public prayer!!! Please put me on the list to be notified (if said list exists) regarding the NAB translation. We’ll be patiently in the corner interceding for the motion.

    God’s Peace

  35. daniele said

    Is ther any possibility of adding at least one off the day prayer hours? This is when I am usually out and about and would be MOST useful.

  36. mariosol said

    I’ve been using the LotH for a longtime already in tis paper form, and i have gotten used to the NAB version, pls let us know when it will be available in NAB version. I’ve been trying to get familiar with your version but i somehow get confused when i pray, the Nab version kept coming back on my mind. This is the only thing that is stopping me from buying your great product. Please include in the list if ever you can get that edition.

    BTW, thanks for the Calendar it is a great help.

    More power!

  37. Chris said

    Universalis is doing a great service. Would it be possible to include Feastdays/Memorials separately as in the weekday missal alongside the everyday readings?

  38. steve said

    Thank you for your hard work!! I use the site often and am gratefull for it!! Several thoughts: I have to conclude that at least some of the people constantly asking for the ‘NAB’ version of the LOTH really mean the Grail version of the psalms as the readings are quite short and it’s the psalms that don’t ‘sound’ the same. How did you arrive at your own commisioned version? Who made it? Any thought to other options?

    Also, there is a fixed psalmody for the daytime hours,mostly for those that pray more than one of them. It would be easy to include this on the site to alow more fully praying daytime prayer.

    All this said, for most of us, as lay people under no obligation, it is most valuable that we pray!! As with the MAGNIFICAT booklet, not all the prayers and translations are ‘official’ but that is not out of some motive but unfortunate legal realities. Thanks again for this tremendous service!

  39. Jay said

    Will the full versions of Terce, Sext & None be added eventually?

  40. Bart said

    Wow, This is a great App. I bought the App. for IPod touch. I use it when I am away. It’s very handy. However, I wonder why you don’t put hymns, antiphons and other things on it. Is that the copyright problem as well?

  41. Symeon said

    Really great! I myself am waiting for these kind of resources for the extraordinary form.

  42. Craig said

    Does it include the entire set of minor offices (eg, Terce, Sext, None) so that one can pray these without the Book?

  43. […] – bookmarked by 3 members originally found by busbeytheelder on 2008-10-21 Comment on Universalis on the iPhone by Fred https://universalis.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/iphone/#comment-5913 – bookmarked by 6 members […]

  44. Alberto said

    The application doesn’t show wheter it includes the Spanish language & the Spanish Catholic calendar and readings. Thanks.

  45. John said

    Hi. Thanks for a nice product. Is there a time when we can expect the US/NAB version of the app to be released? Is this being actively pursued and developed? Can you please provide an update for all of us waiting for this? (I first asked in August 2008).

    Thanks again.

  46. Leonard said

    Does this only work in a WiFi zone?

  47. Bill Madden said

    With my iTouch I go to the Universalis home page via Safari. Everything that is available on my computer ( all the prayers, Mass readings, etc.) can be viewed there. Why is there a $3x charge to view something that you can view for free on your laptop ?

  48. Alberto, it’s English only. If anyone seriously wants to collaborate on a Spanish version then I’ll be happy to talk to them.

    John, my lips are sealed, but don’t be surprised if something happens this year. Watch the blog or join the mailing list.

    Leonard, it works anywhere. You have all the content on your device and an Internet connection isn’t needed.

    Bill, the whole point of the exercise is that whatever we sell, you can also view for free on the Web. You say, “view for free on your laptop”, but actually you can view selected Universalis content for free on your iTouch as well. Free, on the Web, you get a week’s worth of content. Paid for and downloaded, you get the content for all time, past and future, and without needing to connect to the Internet every day. The layout is rather better, too.

  49. […] Universalis, another application that provides the liturgy of the hours for the iPhone, is also available. It is, however, considerably more expensive! […]

  50. Fr John Abberton said

    I have “Universalis” on my new itouch and was using it for a couple of days before realising it was not “approved” (I got it mixed up with “iBreviary”). However, I like your setting very much – and the psalms. I urge you to get it approved by the Vatican or the Bishops’ Conferences. iBreviary relies on connection with wifi, but your application sits on the phone. if I want to avoid lugging heavy breviaries on holiday (which I do), PLEASE do what you can to get official approval.

    Fr. John Abberton

  51. […] site which provides the Liturgy of the Hours. I was pleased to learn that Universalis has published Universalis on the iPhone. The application is rather expensive, but well worth it (as opposed to buying the four volume set […]

  52. Saradove said

    I am in the U.S. & love the words of the Jerusalem Bible. It has been my favorite translation for years & years. Even if you do, in the future, offer a U.S. version, I would stay with the present version. I thank you so much for the iphone app, I use it daily.

  53. Maria said

    Hello, I just wanted to let you know that I bought Uiversalis for my iPod Touch a few months ago and love it. I also just got back from a Holy Land Pilgrimage a few days ago and had a wonderful experience. I am now continuing to pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day. We used the eBreviary, printed books given out by our Priests, and that led me to look into both sites since I have not heard much of the eBreviary before our Pilgrimage. All of this has led me to a few questions that I hope you help answer for me. I live in the USA and I absolutely love the Universalis because I can read the readings of the day and the Office reading as well as the Liturgy of the Hours when I am not near my computer.

    I have read all the comments and am quite confused about several things people have said. First of all, what is the difference between Uiversalis and the eBreviary? Second, What’s the difference between the Jerusalem version, UK version and the USA version? Third, I don’t understand why eBreviary is approved from the Vatican and Universalis is not.

    Thank you very much for your time and God bless you on your continued work,

  54. Robert said

    Thank you for the wonderful work you have put into this app. I love the Jerusalem Bible translation as well. This is helping my prayer life very much.

  55. NAB is there, at last!!! (for the Mass readings only).

    And if you download the Windows version of Universalis, you can use it to create your own private e-books in Kindle or ePub format.

  56. Ben said

    Echoing Symeon’s comment on the Extraordinary Form, I’ll phrase it as a question instead:

    Does Universalis intend to integrate the Extaordinary Form (or is it too niche)?
    I’ve got to imagine that laypeople who pray the Divine Office daily might trend more “traditional”.
    I guess I’d prefer a “no” than no response at all.

    Good job on what you have done!

    • No, I’m afraid it’s not going to happen.

      Not only is the calendar different and more complex, but the whole shape and size of the Office is different. Apart from reusing the translations themselves, it would be like building the whole project all over again.

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