Universalis Automatic Calendar

The Automatic Calendar feature creates an events calendar showing the saint or feast of each day. You can view this calendar in the Calendar app on your iOS device. If you synchronize your device with a Mac, the events calendar will also be visible in iCal on your Mac.

The calendar that is created is called Universalis Automatic. It has one event per day.

To turn on the automatic calendar

Go to the Settings screen. Here are the instructions.

At the bottom of the list of settings you will see the Auto-Update Calendar setting. Turn it on:


And that is all.

How it works

The Universalis (or Catholic Calendar) application creates a calendar called "Universalis Automatic" if one doesn't already exist.

For every date in the year ahead, it creates an all-day event to tell you what that day is. As time goes on, it repeats this process occasionally so that you always have a year's worth of future events.

All this happens in the background and it doesn't interfere with your normal use of Universalis. It takes between 5 and 10 seconds, so if you turn Universalis Automatic ON and then leap immediately into the Calendar app to see the results, don't be surprised if you don't see them just yet.

If it doesn't work

If you don't see events appearing in the Calendar app, or if you see those events but they appear to belong to a calendar other than Universalis Automatic, you have come across a bug in Apple's Calendar app when it is used with iCloud. See Curing the Apple Calendar Bug for how to sort this out.

Other devices and synchronization

If you have a Mac, then when you synchronize your device with it (either through iTunes or iCloud) the Universalis Automatic calendar will be visible on your Mac as well.

If you have more than one iDevice, only turn on auto-update on one of them. Otherwise one of two things will happen. You may end up with two calendars called Universalis Automatic, one of which may not even get updated. Or there will be one Universalis Automatic calendar and both devices will be updating it, which could make synchronization slow if each of them tries to undo the work of the other. (This could happen, for instance, if your two devices were set to use different local calendars). This kind of "calendar fight" is particularly irritating if you use iCloud, because iCloud will obediently transfer the changes made by one device onto the other. The result could be a certain amount of wasted data transmission and battery power.

Deleting the Universalis Automatic calendar

If you turn Universalis Automatic OFF, the calendar will no longer be updated but it will continue to exist. This is for your safety. We want Universalis to be incapable of deleting calendars, so that there is no possibility of unfortunate accidents.

If you want to delete a calendar, use Apple's Calendar app, or iCal or the Calendar app on your Mac.

Curing the Apple calendar bug

The version of the Calendar app included in iOS has a bug which can cause one of the following things to happen:

We first came across this bug in iOS 5.0 but it may also be present in later releases.

What provokes the bug

The bug happens when you are using iCloud and the Universalis application creates the Universalis Automatic calendar not in iCloud but directly on your device. The Calendar app can't cope with this situation and gets very confused. (In contrast, the calendar application on the Mac is perfectly able to handle a mixture of local and iCloud calendars).

We do what we can to ensure that if you have iCloud turned on, Universalis creates the Universalis Automatic calendar in iCloud, but in this can't be fully reliable because there is no way for an application to determine unambiguously whether iCloud is indeed turned on for calendars.

How to cure the bug

To cure the bug, you need to "repatriate" your calendars from iCloud to your device, so that they are all local calendars. The Universalis Automatic calendar will then be visible. Next, you re-connect the calendars to iCloud, and from then on everything will work normally.

This procedure has been recommended by Apple Technical Support. It does no harm to your other calendars or to iCloud.

In detail:

1. Disconnect from iCloud calendars

In the Settings app, go to "iCloud", find the "Calendars" switch, and set it to OFF.


Choose "Keep on My iPhone".

2. Reconnect to iCloud calendars

Once the "Turning Off Calendars" status has disappeared, turn the "Calendars" switch ON again:


Once the "Turning On Calendars" status has disappeared, everything will be back to normal and you will be connected with iCloud as you were before. But the Universalis Automatic calender will now be in iCloud too, and will be visible in the Calendar app.