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

Archive for the ‘Downloadable Universalis’ Category

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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Android Bug

Posted by universalis on 11 August 2016

The Kindle Fire has a bug which makes all pages in the Universalis and Catholic Calendar apps blank. (We have had just two reports of non-Kindle Fire devices being affected, but it is almost always the Kindle Fire).

The apps themselves continue to work normally in every other respect: for instance, the calendar listing is still visible, and you can switch from one page to another.  It is just that the content of the pages themselves is blank.

The bug appears intermittently, on specific dates, the same date each year. It appeared in August 2013, and again in August 2014. Both times it went away after a few days. 11 August appears to be the peak day for bug reports.

We have conducted detailed research, thanks to one of the Fathers of the London Oratory who was experiencing the bug and able to lend us his Kindle Fire.

  1. Only early models are affected. Modern Kindle Fires aren’t.
  2. The bug is not in Universalis but in Android itself.
  3. The bug is triggered by viewing Morning Prayer for 11 August, the feast of St Clare.
  4. Once the bug has been triggered, the text of the page is never updated again.

How to get round it

  1. Move to an Hour other than Morning Prayer, or a date other than 11 August. You won’t see any change in the text yet, but the headings at the top of the screen will show the date and the hour.
  2. Close Universalis and shut down your device completely.
  3. Power up your device, and the problem will have gone away.

What we have done

In the latest releases of the Universalis and Catholic Calendar apps, released in September 2016, we have changed the way in which text is displayed. The main motive for doing this was to get more control of scrolling, and to lay the foundations for future plans (such as a page-turning mode as an alternative to the scrolling one). But the new display mode also avoids the defective component in Android, and the St Clare bug no longer occurs.

The new way of displaying text is turned on automatically, and you don’t have to do anything: just make sure you have the latest update of Universalis or Catholic Calendar.

 

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How to get the two-year cycle

Posted by universalis on 3 May 2016

The two-year cycle of readings in the Office of Readings has raised much more interest than I expected. Normally a new feature creeps in and people gradually discover it, but this time I’ve already had a dozen emails, many of them asking variations of “It’s a beautiful feature but how do I get hold of it?”.

So this blog post will tell you how.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The two-year cycle of the Office of Readings

Posted by universalis on 29 April 2016

Update: Here is how to get the two-year cycle in your Universalis program or app.

When the liturgy was extensively revised in 1970, one of the themes was the inclusion of a far wider range of biblical readings. At Mass, this meant a three-year cycle of Sunday readings and a two-year cycle of weekday readings. In the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours this meant a two-year cycle, both of Scripture readings and of the patristic Second Readings which accompany them.

The two-year cycle covers the whole of salvation history and uses practically every book of the Bible – not avoiding tricky passages which need thorough reading and meditation and aren’t suitable for the “listen fast or it’s gone” nature of the readings at Mass. It is also carefully designed to be out of step with the Mass readings, so that if you hear a passage read at Mass then it won’t appear in the Office of Readings for a year (or at worst, for a few months).

This masterpiece is lovingly described in §§147 to 152 of the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours. But if you look in the actual printed books – it isn’t there. In its place is a one-year cycle of readings, covering half the material.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Malayalam Project

Posted by universalis on 9 March 2016

അത്യുന്നതങ്ങളില്‍ ദൈവത്തിനു മഹത്വം

The Malayalam language is spoken in the state of Kerala, which is on the western side of the southern tip of India. Kerala has a large Catholic population, and we are working with the Bishop’s Council to provide the Order of Mass and the readings at Mass in Malayalam, as part of Universalis.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Android Bug

Posted by universalis on 11 August 2015

The Kindle Fire has a bug which makes all pages in the Universalis and Catholic Calendar apps blank. (We have had just two reports of non-Kindle Fire devices being affected, but it is almost always the Kindle Fire).

The apps themselves continue to work normally in every other respect: for instance, the calendar listing is still visible, and you can switch from one page to another.  It is just that the content of the pages themselves is blank.

The bug appears intermittently. It appeared in August 2013, and again in August 2014. Both times it went away after a few days. 11 August appears to be the peak day for bug reports.

The bug has appeared again in August 2015. Following previous experience, it should go away by itself in a few days.

Almost all Android devices are unaffected by this bug, and it seems likely that most Kindle Fires are also unaffected. We have no device at all with this problem.

There is nothing we can do until we do have an affected device at a time when it is affected. We have been offered the loan of such a device so if the bug persists for another day or so, we may be able to make progress.

What you can do

Nothing really, except wait. If the bug is triggered at the time the Universalis app starts, then you might occasionally try one of the following:

  1. Shut down the Universalis app and then restart it.
  2. Shut down the device completely and then power it up again.

Last year, one user reported that turning wi-fi off and on again cured the problem. This is obviously impossible – but it shows that there is something strange going on deep inside Android.

How you can help us

If you do get the problem, please try the following and let us know the result:

  1. Ask Universalis to display a page for 29 June 2015. Does text appear, or is the page blank?
  2. Leaving that page displayed, shut down your device completely and then power it up again and open Universalis. It will still be on 29 June 2015. Does text appear, or is the page blank?

 

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New release: new calendars

Posted by universalis on 7 July 2015

The latest release of Universalis adds some new local calendars. Each diocese in Scotland is now included, and so are Plymouth and Singapore. As usual, various misprints are also corrected.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Kindle e-books for Ordinary Time

Posted by universalis on 21 May 2015

In a few days’ time it will be Pentecost, and those of you who have “Advent to Pentecost 2015” e-books on your Kindle will be wanting to get a new e-book to take you from Pentecost 2015 to the beginning of Advent.

How you do this depends on how you got the e-book last time.

If you created the e-book on your own computer

Do it again, just as you did before. All you need to change is the period you want the e-book to cover. This page has links to the instructions for Windows and Mac.

If you sent the e-book to yourself using our web site

You started at this page and entered your registration code. So do the same thing again. Remember to open the list under “Which month do you want?” and select “Pentecost to Advent 2015”. And of course, press the Create button at the very bottom of the page!

If you bought a pre-packaged e-book from Amazon

We also make a few standard Liturgy of the Hours e-books which can be bought directly from Amazon. The e-books are half a year long and (just like a printed book) once an e-book is obsolete you have to throw it away and get a new one. All the same, some people find this more convenient than buying a registration code and creating the e-book themselves.

The e-books we offer are:

  • Liturgy of the Hours 2015 (UK & Ireland, Ordinary Time), available from amazon.co.uk for £5.99, from amazon.com.mx for 34.99 pesos (about £1.50), amazon.in for 69 rupees (£0.70) and amazon.br for 3.99 reais (£0.85).

  • Liturgy of the Hours 2015 (USA, Ordinary Time), available from amazon.com for $9.99.

  • Liturgy of the Hours 2015 (Australia, Ordinary Time), available from amazon.com.au for AU$9.99.

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