Anyone watching the news, reading their Diocesan Publication, or grabbing a copy of the latest OSV has noticed quite a lot of attention is being given to various Catholic inspired iPhone apps, some of which have been available for a while. Fortunately this attention finally got me to visit the iTunes store.
My iPhone is a couple of years old, and I'm not even too sure what model it is. I think it's a 3G8 or something. I never visited the iTunes store in the past because I thought it was only about music, and why would I want to press an iPhone up to my head to listen to stuff I could blast on my stereo at home with CD's? The point is, I got my OS updated to 4.02 for free at the Apple Store (from a lowly, outdated 2.01) so I can now download pretty much anything offered at the iTunes store without spending $200 for an upgrade to iPhone 4.
In my search I found there are around 300 Catholic apps from which to choose. And the choices can get rather confusing if you aren't sure where to start, as there is significant overlap among the selections. I found there are two that every Catholic should start with, and then proceed from there: they are iBreviaryPRO and iPieta. It should be noted that both also have their own iPad versions, too. For a detailed review on iBreviary for iPad, click HERE for Roma Locuta Est.
"Free" is a the first word that comes to mind, and a very important one it is in these Obama times of high unemployment and economic sinking, when iBreviaryPro is mentioned. Yes, this iPhone app containing the updated Liturgy of the Hours with the touch of a button costs nothing to download or use. It has the Office of Readings, Lauds (morning prayer), Daytime Prayers, Vespers, and Compline (night prayers). It also has a list of Lectures consisting of Antiphone and Opening Prayer, Readings, Prayer over the Gifts, and Antiphon and Prayer after Communion. On another tab are 23 other prayers ranging from Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes to Spiritual Assistance to the Dying. Then there is the Daily Missal consisting of Ordinary, Readings and Prayers, Preface, Eucharistic Prayer and Prayer of the Faithful. All this for free. There are other apps out there like Universalis and Surgeworks, both of which are highly rated, but cost money.
The resolution for iBreviaryPRO on the iPhone is very sharp, and the settings for font size can be adjusted to 150% for visually impaired folks like me who wear bifocals. And though (I hate to admit) I have gotten a little bit confused by the Christian Prayer book on the order and locations of prayers, this app is VERY user-friendly. Everything is in its proper place and easy to handle. When I am out on the job and have a moment, rather than twiddle my thumbs and tell myself to be patient, I can simply pull out the iPhone and do Liturgies instead.