CORVALLIS, Ore. - A new "candle" image for your iPhone or iPad, available for free, recently gained international attention when thousands of people used it to pay tribute to Steve Jobs after his death - but it might also serve to brighten up a birthday party or set the mood for a romantic date.

Developed by Marty Ulrich, an undergraduate student in computer science at Oregon State University, the application has been a big hit. It was popular before the death of Jobs but the interest in it surged after that, with more than 800,000 people having downloaded the candle.

"I was really surprised when I saw this on all of the newscasts, everyone holding the candles as they honored Steve Jobs," Ulrich said. "When we developed this app it was intended to create an ambience, a mood. We had not realized how important it might be for other uses."

Following the death of Jobs, his followers and fans around the world were publicized holding up the candle images on their devices and placing them among flowers and wreaths.

The "Free Candle" application for iPhones is one of the most realistic images available, and includes 10 different options and a "mood lighting" setting. Ulrich originally developed it for Poets Road, a design company in Los Angeles, while he was a student at Cuesta College, before he transferred to OSU.

It's available online at

Ulrich says he plans to make an update to the candle applications and add more candles to the sets, which should be available within a few weeks.

And he hopes the success of this application might earn him a summer internship at Apple - developing new apps for iPhones, of course.

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