2012 is a presidential election year in the United States. Are you sick of the political TV and internet ads yet? With a background in law myself, I’m admittedly a bit politics obsessed whenever signs of November elections start showing up just about anywhere. With the Republican National Convention took place in Florida this week, as well as a few other smaller but still notable political occurrences cropping up (did you know that President Obama held an AMA on Reddit on Wednesday?), it looks like the campaigns are in full-swing. Ready your iOS and Android devices!
If you're keen to keep up with all the political happenings, here are five apps to keep you up to date with the latest campaign news, no matter where you happen to be when it breaks.
CNN / TIME Convention Floor Pass
Offering political news, a continually updated schedule, and breaking news feeds, this app can get you up to speed on what took place at the Republican National Convention this week, as well as what's to come at the Democratic National Convention next week. It offers exclusive commentary, anticipated speech previews, and even a game for those who expect to be present at the convention to see who can find the most different state badges. It's also integrated nicely with social media platforms like Twitter and FourSquare. Best of all, it's completely free.
WP Politics by The Washington Post
An app created specifically for the iPad, WP Politics offers a highly visual experience for keeping up with the 2012 US presidential campaign. It's also got a lot of great free features. The Candidate Tool compares and contrasts where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney stand (or have stood in the past) on major issues, in text and video format. The Fact Checker lets users see what both candidates have publicly stated and then awards one to four "Pinocchios" based on each statement's truthfulness. There's also a polling map, an interactive TV ad map that lets users knows who's sponsoring which ads throughout the nation, and a Campaign Files feature, which serves as an archive of the last 48 hours worth of content, organized by candidate, issue, and content type.
Curious to know who's behind the political ads you see on TV or hear on the radio? Ad Hawk can tell you who is sponsoring each ad for free. Just open the app and let it listen to the ad. Ad Hawk can provide information that's publicly available abut how much money the ad's sponsor received or spent, what states the ad is airing in, and even media reports about a specific candidate. Ad Hawk works by creating an audio footprint of the ad and search a database of ads until it finds a match. It's a quick and simple way to get informed on what you're seeing and hearing in the political arena, all from the comfort of your couch.
Settle It! PolitiFact's Argument Ender
Ever wonder just how true the ads you're seeing on TV actually are? Do you constantly get into debates with friends and family members about political talking points? Here's a quick and easy way to fact-check your arguments. Settle It! lets you look up specific claims from the Pulitizer Prize winning website PolitiFact.com. You can search by candidate name, keywords, or subject matter. Plus, you can share what you find by email, or on Facebook and Twitter.
Lots of people keep up with their political news in an RSS reader. If you want to have a quick and easy way to browse important election stories right from your desktop, WebReader is a great option. It's a sleek looking and easy to use desktop app for Windows PCs that pulls your RSS list from Google Reader so you can view it on your desktop. You can scroll through your favorite feeds without ever having to open a browser. There's even an option to filter your feed results by specific keywords, posting times, and lower and capital letters.
These five apps will help you keep track of the US presidential campaigns, whether you're at home, the office, or on the go. Who will win is currently up in the air, but with these apps at least you'll be better able to make an educated guess!