Obama Campaign Releases iPhone App for Canvassing

It’s been the science-fiction dream of political operatives for years: an army of volunteers, connected to the Internet as they walk from door to door, looking up names on a device and entering their responses electronically.

President Obama’s campaign appears ready to make it a reality with the release of a new iPhone app that will replace the ubiquitous clipboard for Democratic canvassers.

Screen shot from the Obama campaign's iPhone app.Screen shot from the Obama campaign’s iPhone app.

The app, which is available on Tuesday, will allow supporters of Mr. Obama’s to download a list of names in their neighborhood from the campaign’s central database. No longer will they have to stop by the local campaign headquarters to get started.

And once they knock on a door, the response — positive, negative, on-the-fence — can be wirelessly slung back to the campaign’s computer system instantly.

The campaign is betting that the technology will vastly expand the number of supporters who will beat the pavement for Mr. Obama in the final 100 days before the election in November.

“Our focus remains on helping make grass-roots organizing as easy and accessible as possible for the volunteers and supporters that are the heart and soul of this campaign,” said Stephanie Cutter, the deputy campaign manager for Mr. Obama. “That’s why we designed our new app to help break down the distinction between online and offline organizing.”

Mr. Obama is not the first candidate to have an iPhone app or to use technology to improve the collection of information on supporters. Both political parties have put enormous resources into developing online portals that can collect information, process donations and help organize volunteers.

But prior efforts have not gone as far as the application Mr. Obama’s campaign is releasing on Tuesday.

An iPhone and iPad app released by Mr. Obama’s campaign several months ago provided information about nearby local events and served as a resource for information about Mr. Obama’s positions. Like the new app, the old version heavily promoted social media as a way of distributing Mr. Obama’s message.

Mitt Romney’s campaign released an iPhone app at the end of May. But it serves largely as a photo-sharing tool that allows users to add pro-Romney phrases — like “I’m a mom for Mitt” — to a picture before posting it to Twitter or sharing it on Facebook.

Neither Mr. Obama’s first app nor the one by Mr. Romney provides users access to canvassing lists.

Those lists typically contain the names of voters that the Obama campaign believes are supporters who might need a reminder to go to the polls, or potential supporters who are on the fence and could be convinced to vote for the president.

“Hey [NAME], my name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m a volunteer with Obama for America,” the script in the phone directs the volunteers to say. “How are you today? [ENGAGE IN CONVERSATION]”

The app allows the volunteer to designate a person as one of seven categories, from “Strong Obama” to “Strong Republican” or “Not Voting.”

Volunteers can add notes and e-mail addresses. When they click a button, the app says the finished information will be sent to “VoteBuilder,” the Obama campaign’s central database of supporters.

In the old days, volunteers would pick up paper lists at a local office, returning them to the office at the end of the day. Other volunteers would enter the information collected into a computer. Now, that process will be largely automated.

For those who don’t want to canvass, the app will also provide direct links to voter registration drives, local area phone banks, and — of course — the ability to quickly donate to the campaign.

A spokesman for the campaign said a version of the application for the Android operating system should be available within a matter of days. The iPhone app can be downloaded from iTunes.

Report: Facebook phone to launch next year; new iPhone app delayed

Rumors of a Facebook phone are alive and well, with the latest report claiming the social network giant will have its own handset ready for consumers sometime next year.

Along with a new smartphone, news regarding a new and much faster iPhone app has also come out, with the announcement that the app wont release this month, as we had first heard, but in coming months.

The rumored Facebook phone is not expected to land before mid-2013, according to the report. Though Facebook had hoped to release the phone as early as this year, in the end it gave the phone’s manufacturer, HTC, time to to finish up other products.

ROUNDUP: The freshest Facebook features

The phone, which is expected to run on a modified version of Android, is being developed to aid Facebook in its effort to tackle mobile, which Mark Zuckerberg called Facebook’s biggest challenge earlier this month.

“Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social,” Facebook told Bloomberg in a statement. “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”

But that isn’t all the company is doing to overcome its mobile obstacle. The report also says the Menlo Park, Calif., company has brought along various former Apple employees to work on mobile for Facebook.

Former Apple employees Greg Novick, who helped develop the touch-screen user interface; Tim Omernick and Chris Tremblay, who worked on the device’s software; and Scott Goodson, who helped create the stock-market application, are among those now at Facebook. The social network company also brought in Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris after acquiring their company Push Pop Press. They helped build the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad software.

And along with former Apple employees, the report says Facebook also brought in several key people who had worked on webOS for Palm.

As for the release of the updated iPhone app, the report says Facebook will be coming out with an update that is supposed to speed up the app sometime in the next couple of months, but Facebook apparently won’t stop there The report also says the social media giant will come out with a broader overhaul of the app in 2013.


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How to Create IPhone and IPad Apps With No Programming Skills Revealed

How to create iPhone and iPad apps with no programming skills is now revealed in a web video series. These closely guarded cell phone and app creation secrets are offered for the Apple brand of smartphones and Internet-connected devices. Any individual or business owner can learn to create a popular application quickly with zero experience.

Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) July 27, 2012

How to create iPhone and iPad apps is one of the most popular searches according to Google search metrics in 2012. The consistent growth of smartphone users around the world is also increasing the demand for mobile application developers. For the average person or small business owner, the traditional cost to hire an application developer to program mobile applications required a large financial investment. The company, iPhone Dev Secrets, is exposing the secrets of building iPhone and iPad apps in a new report written exclusively for those with no application programming experience. The information contained in the report is designed to make it effortless for anyone to release an application paid or public domain in 30-days or less.

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Sales of the widely popular Angry Birds app that was released in the fall of 2009 has now surpassed 10 million dollars in revenue for Electronic Arts. The original application creator, Chillingo, was purchased by Electronic Arts in 2010 and the Angry Birds app was globally distributed. As the sale and distribution of apps continue, learning to create custom applications with little to no investment could be a prosperous venture for a business owner or person that wants to learn the app making industry from the ground up. More information about the no experience iPhone and iPad app maker report can be obtained from the company website.

About iPhone Development Secrets

Mike Belkin had no programming experience or other experience with mobile phone technology when he set out in 2011 to join the ranks of top appliation developers. After nearly a year of failure, the creation of iPhone Dev Secrets was born out of pure necessity. This complete web training series reveals to the public for the first time what Mike learned from top app developers that are currently earning millions of dollars annually. This information and no experience required report is designed to help anyone enter the mobile application development market to create a winning app for sale in app stores worldwide.

Mike Belkin
iPhone Dev Secrets
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