Monday, March 11, 2013

Social Media Conclave!

In 2005, social media as we know now really did not exist. Flash-forward to 2013, and there is Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and especially Twitter, all of which are bombarded with news, photos, and videos, as soon as something happens.

EWTN finally re-released their Android app, which has live-streaming of EWTN programming, as well as archived content. The iOS app is HERE.

Recently, the Vatican Press Office, the Vatican Information Service, and the Vatican Television Service managed to get together to develop an app, called the Pope app. Both the iOS version and the Android version can be found in the link. They were extra-kind, and sped up the release of the Android version due to the interregnum. Surprisingly, it is very smooth-looking, and only has one or two minor kinks. It features live broadcasts of papal liturgies and other special events, contains the text of major speeches and documents (like the Angelus addresses of the last few weeks, or the motu proprio just issued to modify the start of conclave). The only thing they need to do to make this otherwise lovely app perfect is to first, allow the time zone to be changed, and second, get rid of the Paul VI staff on the logo! I mean, Benedict XVI did go back to the Bl Pius IX crucifix years ago.

If you are at the computer, or want a bigger picture, the Vatican Player also has a website, and is the same content as streamed to your mobile device. Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia says there is no commentary. I know for a fact there is, but I wonder if you can turn it off. Another warning: if the Holy See had to be nice by giving us live content, then they had to throw a wrench in somehow. The player is a pain to navigate. The quality on both mobile and desktop is going to look sweet, regardless.

Logos Bible Software came out with a free app called Conclave for both Android and iOS, which gives cool background facts.

Finally, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students came out with a Pope Alarm, which will send you an email or text message when white smoke billows from the Sistine Chapel Chimney, and when the bells of St. Peter's Basilica begin to toll. I intend to hustle out of bed, or go to one of my nifty apps (if at school...sigh) when the smoke is white, so I can view the announcement which should be 40 minutes afterwards. The 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing should be 50 minutes later.

 Remember, there is a plenary indulgence with the usual conditions (i.e. Holy Communion and Confession within eight days and praying for the Holy Father's intentions, and remember Holy Communion must be made again for each work to carry a plenary indulgence; otherwise it is partial) attached to this blessing, which is also given at Christmas and Easter in modern times! This applies to anyone participating in it, even if by television or radio (and I presume live-stream counts as TV!).

UPDATE: I have just found out that Pope Alarm was overwhelmed, and can't take anymore phone numbers. They do have email spots left, and for those of you with a smart phone, it shouldn't make much difference anyways.

UPDATE: On the Vatican Player, just hit 'audio' to take out the commentary, and get the picture with audio as it happened.

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