iBreviary – the iPhone app

Do any of you have an iPhone and have iBreviary installed?

I do. 

I don’t know if any of you have the same experience, but I don’t think it is being updated.

More often than not, I refresh and there are no texts available.

Is this just me?

Do we need to warn people off this app?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Geometricus says:

    The English is there most days. Lately the Latin has not been there at all. The Mass readings in Latin have never been there. My guess is that the Latin will be there only for “routine” days, ferias with no special saint or feast with proper hymns or antiphons.

    Therefore I can only recommend this app for those who pray exclusively in English. And if you are obligated to pray the office, I can’t recommend it at all because it is unreliable. Only casual users of the Office like me will find it useful.

    Is there a low-cost alternative? I haven’t seen one yet, but I haven’t checked lately.

  2. fathermichael says:

    The Italian version is working just fine.

    The only delay I’ve ever experienced is for just a matter of minutes and for no more than an hour. I often wonder if that has more to do with my TIM data plan than the application itself.

  3. beez says:

    The app is flawed. The person or persons responsible for updating it seems to take his responsibility very lightly. Using both the English and Spanish, I have found that it is right about 80% of the time, with the exception of Compline which is almost always wrong (Almost always Sunday after Evening Prayer II)

    I have written to the developer and even given the app horrendous reviews on the App Store to try and provoke a change, but people keep giving a mediocre app 5 stars, which draws more people into buying it.

  4. rotaa says:

    Has anyone tried the Divine Office iPhone app (http://divineoffice.org/)?

  5. Fr Tim Edgar says:

    Mine has crashed totally. I’ve reinstalled to no avail. Just get the opening screen for a few seconds then back to the icon.

  6. markomalley says:

    From an Android point of view, one can simply install an RSS feeder and pull the Universalis feed (http://www.universalis.com/atomweek.xml)

    If you are having problem with an iPhone app, you might want to consider that kind of approach.

  7. gkeuter says:

    I use the RC Calendar app by Universalis (www.universalis.com) It was made free recently but I don’t know if it still is.

    I also use iPieta ($2.99) which is a bible, the church calendar w/ readings, tons of prayers that can be configured to have audio, and the Veritas tab has information on all Saints, the Baltimore Cataechism #1, #2 and #3. Q & A on spiritual writings by saints Like St. Louis Marie Demonfort’s True Devotion to Mary and many more. It has a section on Doctrine of the Church including St. Thomas’ Catechism. Text from all the Ecumenical Councils, the Summa Theologica and many (if not all) Papal Encyclicals. Oh, and all this is in English, Latin or in English and Latin on the same screen. All this Catholic stuff for $2.99. Wow.

    For the sake of full disclosure, I have no relationship, financial or otherwise, with the owners and producers of iPieta.

    Have a blessed day.

  8. Orlandu84 says:

    I too have been having the problem of both the LAtin and English not refreshing properly. When iBreviary launches, it usually works form about 75% of the time. Unfortunately, the longer I used it the fewer times it would launch before I ad to reinstall it :( Caveat emptor.

  9. Father Ignotus says:

    The problem with Universalis is that it is not a licit text for us to use, who are obligated to recite the Office daily.

  10. don Jeffry says:

    Fr. Tim Edgar, I had that same problem. I spoke to the owner of the App and he had me uninstall it from the iPhone then redownload it, no cost since it was already purchased, reinstall it and then it worked fine. I have days that are missing too. I am in contact with the owner and I will have him come and read this blog entry.
    Best, don Jeffry

  11. MargaretMN says:

    If there is a pdf copy of the breviary you want to use (or you could make one, which would be tedious but not so bad if you didn’t do it all at once) there are various ways to read pdfs on an iphone. Not as cool as an app, but gets you exactly what you want.

  12. I’m so glad you are having this discussion because my contract ends on my sprint phone and I have been looking seriously at the iPhone.

    Fr. Ignotus said: The problem with Universalis is that it is not a licit text for us to use, who are obligated to recite the Office daily.

    I was wondering about this. I’m ignorant here, but what is it that makes it illicit. Is is Catholic or other?

  13. I should add that one of the reasons I narrowed my choice down to iPhone were the apps, including iBreviary. It’s still high on my list.

  14. don Jeffry says:

    Fr. Z et al. I spoke to don Paolo Padrini who is the “ideatore”/”he had the idea” of the iBreviary iPhone App. He is setting up a collaborative effort to continue the necessary work on the iBreviary app in short order. He acknowledges some data problems and kindly asks for pardon. Good news: there will be an important upgrade of the complete texts of the Mass and other languages. If anyone has any problems, do not hesitate to email him at this address: paolopadrini@me.com I have found him to be extremely available when I needed info. Best regards, don Jeffry

  15. Jim of Bowie says:

    I have had the same problems with iBreviary. At some point, it will refuse to load at all. To correct this you have to delete and reinstall it.
    I use universalis which is great. It has all the hours, mass readings and a bio for the saint being celebrated. They do not have the American translations, but I just got an email from them saying a revision is in process to make that option available.
    For daily mass reading I use iMissal which is a great application.

  16. plaf26 says:

    For all its faults, I still use iBreviary most of the time. It gives me more of a chance to say the office in a timely fashion. If I try to refresh just after midnight, I usually draw a blank. But if I try again in the morning, it’s usually all there.

  17. I’m also curious whether anyone has an opinion, review or comments on the DivineOffice.org iPhone app. It seems to be surperior to Universalis in that it uses an official Catholic text (from the 4 volume bound Liturgy of the Hours texts), and it apparently includes audio and text so that you can both listen to and pray along with it.

    Anyone have this newer app?

  18. thefeds says:

    Fr. Z,
    I’m a Deacon Aspirant and am only using the English and for Morning & Evening Prayer, but all seems well there for me.

  19. Re: Universalis – why not?

    I think Fr. above is talking about priests who are ordered to use certain breviary translations and not others. But I don’t know for sure.

  20. Sid says:

    Universalis indeed does not use “approved” (ICEL) translations. Thank God! — because the ICEL/Grail is a bad translation of the Psalms, and both the USA and UK editions (UK better than the USA yet now out of print) of the Breviary just don’t translate what the Latin text says in the Liturgia Horarum. Universalis uses The Jerusalem Bible (not the NEW Jerusalem Bible, mind you), a dynamic rather than literal translation, but one of the better of the dynamic in English, in my judgement.

    One remedy for users of books is the Mundelein Psalter, at least for Lauds and Vespers, the only two offices in it. Compare the Preces in the Latin, the USA, the UK, and in the Mundelein, and then compare the hymns for today’s Feast of St. Andrew!

    I suppose those in Holy Orders are obliged to use the ICEL. The rest of us aren’t.

  21. Jim of Bowie says:

    This is part of the announcement I received from Universalis:

    “Liturgy of the Hours on the web site: Jerusalem Bible readings. Our translation of the psalms.
    Liturgy of the Hours in the downloads: Jerusalem Bible readings. Our translation of the psalms, or the Grail psalms. The downloads contain both versions: you can use a setting in the downloaded program to choose which translation you want to use.

    If you are using Universalis on the iPhone or the iPod Touch then you will receive an automatic update through the iPhone App Store. To switch between one translation and another in this version, tap on the “i” in the bottom left-hand corner of the calendar page, and then select “Settings” from the menu that appears.”

  22. Bill in Texas says:

    As you can see by now, Father Z, it isn’t just you. However, I don’t think we should give up on iBreviary or warn people off of it. Give don Paolo a chance to get it working better.

    The Divine Office app has its problems once in a while, too. For example, at the moment, I am looking at it and seeing “no prayers available for today.”

    I wish that either iBreviary or the Divine Office folks would add The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1961) to their offerings. I use the Baronius Press edition but it would be more convenient if it were on my iPhone. (By the way, there are a number of translation errors in the Baronius Press version. While the publisher provides a one-sheet insert to fix problems on two of the pages, there has been no errata sheet – sfaik – to fix the translation problems. For example, throughout the book, “pulchra ut luna” is translated as “fair as the morn” instead of “fair as the moon”.)

  23. Father Ignotus says:

    Clergy who are obligated to recite the Divine Office are required to use approved translations; Universalis is not an approved translation of the LOH. I suppose it would do in a pinch — if you were caught someplace without your breviary and otherwise could not recite the hours — but on a day-to-day basis, we are bound to use what is officially approved, whether it be ICEL, Spanish, Latin, whatever. I have all three of those and use them all at different times.

  24. Fr Tim Edgar says:

    don Jeffry, – many thanks. Working fine now.

  25. kradcliffe says:

    You guys pay for iBreviary? I have it on my Android phone and it didn’t cost me anythng. I’ve also not noticed any problems, but I don’t use it every day.

  26. ipadre says:

    I have the app and have had very few problems. On a couple of occasions, it has come up empty for night prayer. Mine updates regularly also. I would recommend contacting the owner. I believe this app is made by a priest or a few priests in Italy (could be wrong though).

  27. TKS says:

    I had trouble also so now I use:


    Probably not authorized version but it works for me.

  28. chonak says:

    Now that the Revised Grail Psalter is approved for use in the LotH in certain African countries, perhaps don Paolo can get permission to incorporate it into his options.

  29. MarkJ says:

    I use a hardcopy of “The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (Baronius Press), and you know what? Every time I open this “application”, it works! Nothing like a good old book when you need to pray…

    By the way, the 2nd edition has corrected the errors of the 1st edition, including the translation of “pulchra ut luna” mentioned by “Bill in Texas” above.

  30. donpaolo says:

    Ibreviary Dear friends, I apologize for the inconveniences of this period, related in part to my personal difficulties and partly to technical reasons.

    I proceeded to make some corrections, and I think that everything is now settled and working.

    If you have problems do not hesitate to contact me directly to my emails


    Also, I take this opportunity to ask for help. In order to provide an ever improving service, I’m looking for a partner who can help with the inclusion of texts in Latin. If anyone is interested to do this work voluntarily, can contact me.


    fr. Paolo

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