VATICAN CITY — If your parents are paying your way to World Youth Day in Madrid and you want them to know where you are, then the Vatican has an iPhone and iPad app you both might want. On the other hand, you can use it just with your friends.
The iGPII application, coming to the Apple Store Aug. 1, features a “Friend Finder” so that when you are in Madrid you can find anyone you have befriended with the device. The service is part of the application’s GPS function, which also lets you figure out where you are, where WYD events are and where there is a restaurant open nearby that will accept the WYD pilgrim meal tickets.
The app, developed for the John Paul II Foundation for Youth and carrying the Pontifical Council for the Laity seal of approval, will cost $4.99 from the Apple Store in North America and €3.99 in Europe. Although journalists got a preview peek at the Italian version today, it also will be available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Polish.
Proceeds from app sales will be used by the foundation to help young people from developing countries get to Madrid and to future celebrations of World Youth Day, said Marcello Bedeschi, president of the foundation.
Iacopo Barberini, who works for Futurtech — the techie brains behind the app — said the program comes with a password that will give users free access to wi-fi hotspots in Madrid so they can update the app without paying roaming charges.
In addition to the “Friend Finder,” the app has a detailed WYD program, prayers and papal messages, a city guide, information about the foundation, a ton of info about past WYDs, photo albums featuring Blessed John Paul and Pope Benedict XVI and a varied collection of YouTube videos featuring prayers set to music. One is Bobby McFerrin leading a crowd in singing “Ave Maria.”