White House race spawns abundance of mobile apps

November 2, 2012 by Marianne Barriaux
A supporter takes pictures of US President Barack Obama with her cell phone during a reception in Atlanta, Georgia. The race to the White House has spawned a flurry of mobile applications focusing on the presidential campaign—from the deadly serious to the light-hearted and fun.

The race to the White House has spawned a flurry of mobile applications focusing on the presidential campaign—from the deadly serious to the light-hearted and fun.

Businesses, non-profit organizations and are capitalizing on the fact that nearly half of American adults own a smartphone—and a growing number of these use them to keep up with or get involved in politics.

The Sunlight Foundation, for instance—a non-profit group that seeks to use the Internet to achieve greater government openness and transparency—has launched the mobile app Ad Hawk.

Hold up your smartphone to a television or radio when a political ad is aired, and you can find out who the sponsors are and who put up the money.

Another app called PollTracker—created by Talking Points Memo, a web-based political journalism group—provides polling data from the presidential race from a variety of sources, including Gallup.

Want to verify the truth of remarks made by or his Republican rival ? PolitiFact.com, a Tampa Bay Times project that fact-checks politicians, and interest groups, has just the app for you.

Settle It! factchecks statements by keywords or names, and sets a politician's so-called Truth-O-Meter rating.

For voters who are still undecided—a key focus of both candidates as the presidential race enters its final stages—the "Who should I vote for?" app seeks to provide the answer.

It asks questions about issues such as health care, terrorism or education, and determines which candidate would be best suited to the user according to his or her answers.

News organizations have also launched their own apps. US Presidential 2012 goes a step further by delivering information about candidates from their own sites, blogs and social networks, as well as general .

A recent study by the think tank found that 27 percent of registered voters who own a mobile phone had used it to get information about the White House race, and interact with campaigns and other voters.

VoterMap capitalizes on this trend, allowing users to write comments about the election anonymously, which are then geotagged onto a map. Other users can "like" or "dislike" the entry, and leave their own comments.

But it's not all serious, and some app developers have lightened the atmosphere with games and other quirky initiatives.

Election Game 2012, for example, puts you in the political hot seat, allowing you to manage your own election campaign by choosing where to spend money on political ads, travel or even when to make speeches.

One app developed by text-to-speech provider iSpeech allows users to type or speak a sentence and hear it played back in Obama's voice.

Even the candidates' campaign teams are in on the act. "With Mitt" allows users to take photos emblazoned with various slogans such as "I'm a Mom for Mitt" or "Obama isn't working."

Explore further: Unconscious racial attitudes playing large role in 2012 presidential vote

Related Stories

Obama outpacing Republicans in Internet race

August 15, 2012

US President Barack Obama's campaign team is proving again in 2012 to be more conscious than rival Republicans are of the power of the Internet, particularly Twitter, a study released Wednesday said.

Super PACs revealed with new app

September 5, 2012

When political ads begin to flood television sets across America, many viewers reach for the remote. One recent Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) grad hopes they'll start grabbing their phones, driven not by annoyance or boredom, ...

Recommended for you

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.