This year's official Oscars App is now live on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, providing fans unparalleled access to the 84th Academy Awards®.
Developed by the Academy and Disney/ABC Television Group's Digital Media Team, the Oscars App is designed to be the ultimate complement to the live telecast, giving fans premier access to the most memorable moments of the night through exclusive live cameras strategically placed on the Red Carpet, throughout the Kodak Theatre and even in the Governors Ball, which is the official Oscar party of the night.
Special cameras include the Thank You Cam -- offering winners an extended opportunity to thank their supporters; Backstage Cam -- capturing sound bites, backstage action, short interviews and behind-the-scenes footage; Control Room Cam - allowing users to watch the show's director in action; and Press Room Cam - featuring moments of winners in the press area.
"Many iPad, iPhone and iPod touch owners use their device daily while watching TV to look for show-related information," said Karin Gilford, SVP of Digital Media for ABC.com.
"Our goal is to utilize the best digital technologies to make sure those fans are having a really full, immersive experience leading up to, during and after the Oscars. We want this to be the next best thing to attending the show itself."
"We love the level of interaction this app provides our fans," said Christina Kounelias, chief marketing officer, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
"It pulls back the curtain and takes viewers on a backstage experience that is fun and engaging. It allows fans access and vantage points that guests in the theater don't have."
The app debuted last year as an integral part of the Oscar Digital Experience, which won an Emmy for Creative Achievement in Interactive Arts.
This year the team has built on that success with a few key enhancements, including:
* A much larger pre-show presence in a new magazine-style format. Fans who download the app between nominations and the live show will have access to original video from last year's show, photos and - utilizing new iOS 5 Twitter integration -- the latest social media buzz. * All video views are tracked through iCloud, so viewers can keep track of what video they've watched regardless of the iOS device they are on.
* Access to the hugely popular "Oscar My Picks," an interactive play-along game that offers fans a chance to test their Oscar prediction skills. Once they fill out their ballot, they can share and view their friends' picks on Facebook. On Oscar Sunday, users play along during the show and predict category winners ahead of the opening of the envelopes. The app will refresh and calculate your results as categories are won.
* Viewers can watch the live experience in two different modes, Watch or Direct. In Watch mode, viewers will be guided through the live behind-the-scenes show. In the Direct mode, viewers can select the cameras they want to use.
* This year's app will have a live video grid so viewers can watch all available cameras at once or zero in on one that looks the most interesting to them.
* Once in a camera view, a ticker will display over the video to tell viewers what is happening on other cameras. That way, if a fan's favorite actor enters another view, he or she can jump to it quickly and easily.
"Our team really listened to what fans had to say last year, and made a huge effort to build on the things that worked to make them even better," added Gilford.
The 84rd Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 26, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscars App is available for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, or at www.itunes.com/appstore.