Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass Thursday.
By Maria Sciullo Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
There are apps to ring bells in honor of the new pope, apps that link to video of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and apps with biographies of the previous popes.
But like Pope Francis himself, the Vatican's free mobile app is the genuine article.
In the weeks leading up to Wednesday's white smoke announcement, it linked to the Holy See website for updates on conclave protocol. A "list of Eminent Cardinals entering into the conclave according to their respective order of precedence (Bishop, Priests, Deacons)" was a glimpse into the pecking order of procedure.
At the top of Wednesday's page was the announcement "Habemus Papam," and the following day there was a press conference video in Spanish, Italian and English.
The app itself is in six languages: English, Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish and German. Italian apparently is the default because occasionally a tap takes you to a page in that language.
There are photos and videos, some from the Vatican press site, as well as press releases. For the faithful, the official Vatican app is useful, particularly for news about Francis and his coming installation. But it doesn't have many interactive features. So its appeal might wane in the months to come.