Vatican Launches New JPII iPhone App

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

Thousands of youth who descend upon Madrid for World Youth Day later this month will have a new iPhone app, named after Blessed John Paul II, to help them keep up with events and fuel their devotions.

The Religion News Service (RNS) is reporting that a new iPhone app, known as iJPII, was unveiled at the Vatican on Friday. The app, which will also work on Apple iPad and iPod devices, will feature prayers and poems by the late Pope, photos of him and Pope Benedict, along with inspirational videos such as one of opera singer Leontyne Price performing the “Ave Maria.”

The app will also provide continuous updated information about WYD activities, directions to local restaurants and lodging, and a sightseeing guide to Madrid. WYD participants will be able to track each other’s location via GPS, using a social networking utility included in the app.

It will come in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. A version in Pope Benedict’s native German was not available only because they ran out of time.

The app goes on sale today for the price of 3.99 euros ($5.70).

Plans are underway to introduce versions for Android, BlackBerry and Symbian smartphones at some time in the future, perhaps in time for next year’s International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.

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