iBrievary is the Liturgy of the Hours for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The original release was in Italian only, but the new version includes support for English, Spanish, French, Latin, and Rite Ambrosiano. The app is available for 99 cents.
I downloaded it to give it a try out. As someone who has the 4 volume set of the liturgy of the hours I have always wanted an e-book version that automatically had the correct readings for each day. Even after you learn to use the Liturgy of the Hours there is a lot of page flipping going on.
To get started after downloading the app from the iTunes App store you need to go to the settings button, select iBrievary and then select the language to use and the font size. The settings are not accesible through the app itself, but are part of the settings displayed for the iPhone/iPod Touch.
Once the main menu is displayed you can select the readings you want. You can use the refresh button to make the language displayed match the language you selected.
The bottom tab area allows you to select the Brievary, the Mass Readings for the day, provided prayers, and the info & credits section.
Like most iPhone/iPod Touch apps you can choose to view it vertically or horizontally.
When you have selected the section to read you simply swipe down to move the page down.
In practice this works very well and you can be praying the Liturgy of the Hours quite easily and not thinking about the mechanics of moving around the application.
I have read a couple of books via my iPod Touch and it does make a very good book reader which you can hold and control one handed.
The English translation is different from what you would find in the 4 volume set, but I think I like this translation better. You get all of the same texts that you would in the 4 volume set including the two readings in the Office of Reading and the readings they had today were for the exact same readings as I had read today.
The only thing really missing is having a hymn inserted. The text simply says "A suitable hymn may be inserted here." Though I have read that there are plans for an audio accompaniment with Gregorian Chant. The text could also be formatted better for reading. Though I could wish that you could swipe left or right to advance one page.
I would certainly recommend this application. For 99 cents you can’t go wrong and this provides a great introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours for those just starting and might have been put off by all the ribbons you have to use in a paper set. The fact that you get pretty much the full LOH in such a portable fashion is pretty cool.
The Application is written by an Italian Priest, Fr Paolo Padrini and can be downloaded here via iTunes.Some stories about this application have said it is the only iPhone/iPod Touch application approved by the Vatican. Well I certainly doubt that there is some app approving department in the Vatican, it has been mentioned by the Vatican’s Council for Social Communications.
Universalis has a Liturgy of the Hours application that was available from the beginning when the iTunes Application store first opened up. Though the price for this application is $32.99 which certainly kept me from checking it out. The pictures available for it makes it look to have the text formatted much better, though it also includes no hymns.
Regardless iBrievary is a nice addition for my iPod Touch which also has an excellent Advent Calendar and RC Calendar (free saint of the day information), and Douay-Rheims Bible Translation. Though I wish there was an RSV-CE edition of the Bible available for it. While there is a New American Bible version, I am certainly not fond of that translation.
Update: Around the beginning of 2009 the texts for iBrievary have been updated specifically the English version. It now uses the approved texts that identical with the 4-Volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours. It includes the antiphons and the invitory and at times a hymn. It really is now a fully functional replacement for the hard cover copies and can even be used in community. Since the addition I have been using this app full time now and I really love being able to pray the different hours as a single stream without a bunch of page flipping. The formatting of the text could still be improved and I hope to see this in a later version.
There is also a Facebook version called Praybook for those who don’t have an iPhone/iPod Touch.