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Appiphilia: The award for best Oscars-related iPhone app goes to...

February 19, 2009 | 10:45 am

"I would like to thank God, the Academy, my agent, my lawyer, my colorist, my personal trainer, Simon Cowell, my cat psychologist and -- I can't forget this one or I'll never hear the end of it -- my iPhone."

These days, one could practice an Oscar acceptance speech using an iPhone, I suppose.
Credit: Michelle Maltais / Los Angeles Times.

I don't know about you, but, drama queen that I am, I've been practicing my Academy Awards acceptance speech since I could utter words and hold that soccer statue up in place of an Oscar.

If you too have been stung by Oscar buzz, there are iPhone apps to whet your appetite before this weekend's Academy Awards extravaganza. I've reviewed the performance of a select number of Oscar-related apps. After tabulating the results, I have named a winner of the first annual Oscar apps award: The Shelley (named after me, of course).

Here are the nominees:

  • Movie Challenge: Oscars Special (99 cents): This app offers a series of games, broken down by genres such as best actors, picture, music and writing. It also includes such challenges as identifying quotes or tag lines, naming that movie and other trivia. It's actually quite addictive. You keep going through several options for each category until you complete an entire board. The games are timed. (I didn't do so well: Although I ranked No. 1 "locally" with a score of 332, the "global" No. 1 had 10,683.) You can also submit your predictions for the outcome of Sunday's Oscars. The prize for those who predict the most correctly: a $100 iTunes credit.
  • Hollywood Trivia: The Oscar Quiz (99 cents): This game is fairly basic -- multiple-choice questions on who won what. This one really has some challenges. A number of the actors' names are misspelled and you see the same questions on repeat visits -- which is all the more humiliating if you get them wrong again. More questions are to come in later updates, according to text on the app. It also ranks your score with others players.

More after the jump.

  • Awards: Oscar Edition -- a.k.a. And the award goes to... Oscar Edition (99 cents):  Think of it as your phone-a-friend for Hollywood trivia. It lists every winner in every category since 1927, including the nominees for 2008. What's kind of useful is the connections. Say you tap Sean Penn, who is nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance in "Milk." You'll see the movies for which he's won previously and information about his other nominations.
Huge Oscar to make an appearance at an Academy Awards viewing party in New York.
Credit: Brad Barket / Getty Images.

The details also are broken down by year and include the venues. And because we're in an interactive world, you can make your own picks from this year's nominees, submit them and get back how many people agree with you!

  • Oscars history (99 cents): Mickey Rourke, this app just might be for you. Inexplicably listed in the Books category, this app believes in second chances, which is a nice change. (It likes you; it really, really likes you!) If you get an answer wrong, you can indeed make a glorious comeback. You can also create a profile and see your ranking on the leaderboard. And, in a nod to the interactivity, you can submit a trivia question, complete with misleading choices.

And the winner is....

Although a tough decision and all the nominees were worthy, the first annual Shelley Award goes to ... envelope please ... Awards: Oscar Edition!

With its decades-deep data, the app truly perpetuates the whole too-smart-for-your-own-gadget reputation of iPhone and iPod Touch users. Plus, it might just be a cool and handy way to cart your picks to your friend's Oscar party.

-- Michelle Maltais

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