Electric Prayer

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

Archive for September, 2016

Malayalam in Universalis

Posted by universalis on 20 September 2016

The project to provide Malayalam translations of the Mass texts – the Order of Mass, the readings and psalms, and the prayers and antiphons – is almost complete.

Because we have been given these texts free of charge, we do not intend to charge for them. Here is how this works:

Android

Catholic Calendar normally has a one-month period during which it shows you the full text that the paid-for Universalis app would show. But if, in the app settings, you set the “Order of Mass” language to “Malayalam”, then for the Mass pages only this time limit is removed and you will be able to view the Mass without ever having to pay.

This is available now.

Windows and Mac

The Universalis program normally has a one-month period during which it shows you everything; after that, you need to buy and enter a registration code if you want to carry on seeing anything other than the “About Today” page. But if, in the “Translations” screen, you set the “Order of Mass” language to “Malayalam”, then the Mass pages will always be visible and will not require a registration code.

This is available now.

iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)

Free access to Malayalam text will be available in the next release.

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Music in Universalis

Posted by universalis on 15 September 2016

We have long wanted to be able to add music to Universalis, and now at last we have been able to take the first step. Users of the Universalis and Catholic Calendar apps on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch can now hear:

  • The Marian anthem at the end of Compline (Night Prayer), free of charge.
  • The whole of sung Latin Compline for Sundays, as an in-app purchase.

A useful liturgical fact is that Sunday Compline is allowed to be used on any day of the week, not just Sunday. A useful technical fact is that we have been able to get Universalis to show the sung Latin in parallel with the English and to highlight each line as it is being sung. This means that as you listen, you know where you are and what the sung words mean.

This music has been recorded specially for us by the Schola Cantorum of The London Oratory School, is one of the leading liturgical choirs in Britain. We are grateful to Charles Cole, the Director of the Schola Cantorum, and the choristers for recording sung Compline. We would also like to express our gratitude to Father George Bowen of the London Oratory for his enthusiasm and support, and to the Fathers of the London Oratory for allowing the recording to be made in St Wilfrid’s Chapel, Brompton Oratory, London.

We intend to provide more music (and audio generally) throughout Universalis, so look out for updates! As soon as more music is available, we will also work on adding it to the Android app and possibly to the Windows and Mac programs.

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Android progress

Posted by universalis on 9 September 2016

The Universalis app for Android has been around for a few years now, and many thousands of people are using it. There have recently been some changes and there will be more. This posting gives you an idea of what is going on.

1. Subscriptions

The Android app costs £9.99, or the equivalent in your currency, and once you have paid this, you never need to pay again.

Some people have told us that this is a big lump of money to be paying all at once and they would prefer to pay monthly. So now you have that option. If you get the free Catholic Calendar app, which gives you a month’s worth of free Universalis content (all the Liturgy of the Hours and Mass pages), then at the end of the month it will offer you the chance to start a monthly subscription. This costs $0.99 in the USA and commensurate amounts elsewhere: in the UK it is between £0.75 and £0.89.

Full details are here.

Obviously it’s cheaper in the long run to buy the Universalis app and get rid of Catholic Calendar – but at least you now have the choice.

2. Improved display

Hitherto, the Android app has displayed its pages to you by creating a temporary web page and asking Android to display that page. This had many disadvantages.  For instance, if you were half way through a page and turned your device sideways, there was no reliable way for the rotated display to be scrolled to the right place. Either it would bounce up to the top of the whole page, pause a moment, and then bounce back to where you were reading, or it would go up to the top of the page and stay there. This was a serious defect in the design of Android web views and it was impossible for us to do anything about it.

The most serious problem with using web pages was that it was impossible for us to move forward and make the improvements we wanted to make – for example, offering a page-turning display mode of the kind that iOS has. (Some people love scrolling and can’t stand page-turning; others love page-turning and can’t stand scrolling; so it is good to have a choice).

So now we have done the necessary programming, and Universalis is displaying its pages directly on your screen instead of via a pseudo-web view. Once this has all settled down, we will be able to move forward and give you more features and more readable displays.

Any problems?

If you have trouble with the the new display mode, you can turn it off. Open the Settings screen, and you’ll see a switch marked “Advanced Display Mode” at the bottom. But do please let us know. If you don’t tell us what you don’t like, we will never be able to improve things for you. Here is how to contact us.

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