Pope Apps And Websites Help You Stay Up To Speed On Papal Selection

There are some high-tech tools for those who are on the edge of their seats, waiting for the first wisp of white smoke to signal the new. A handful of new apps like iConclave, Pope2You and simply The Pope App — the official Vatican one — let you follow the process on your mobile device. And websites like popealarm.com and istherewhitesmoke.com offer alerts for when the big decision is made.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

When the smoke goes up, you'll know what's going down. That's the tag line for the website popealarm.com.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's just one of the many high-tech options out there for all of you on the edge of your seats, waiting for the first wisp of white smoke.

BLOCK: And if a website isn't immediate enough for you, there are a handful of new apps.

CORNISH: Pope2You, New Pope, iConclave.

BLOCK: They're chock-full of cardinal bios, procedural rules, odds on the candidates, tweets and live feeds from St. Peter's Square where not much is happening.

CORNISH: Most of the apps are free. But one called Conclave Alert does cost 99 cents. It boasts, quote, "History is now, and we are part of it."

BLOCK: Or if you go with an app called Popechart, you can read biographies of the most papable cardinals. Yes, that's papable. And you can pretend you're a cardinal and vote for your favorite next pope.

CORNISH: There is an official app out there from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Yes, that exists. The app is simply called the Pope app. It advertises all access.

BLOCK: Well, access at least to what they call official papal-related content. No, you will not get a sneak peek into the conclave at the Sistine Chapel.

CORNISH: Finally, the Guardian newspaper is keeping it simple. They've set up a website called...

BLOCK: Istherewhitesmoke.com.

CORNISH: Yup, just a blue screen with a plume, currently of black smoke, and two big, bold, white letters answering the website's question: Is there white smoke? No.

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