The Romney presidential campaign's app aspirations got off to a rocky start. Remember "A better Amercia?" And then Mitt's VP, which promised to break the news of Romney's vice presidential pick to the world, got scooped by a good seven hours by more traditional methods.
On Thursday, Romney's smartphone app got a makeover that was more like a complete do-over. Rather than the one-trick pony of the VP app (all it did was promise a notification on the pick, while collecting cell phone information from downloaders), the new app has lots of information.
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About The About section offers text and video to introduce a candidate that has remained something of an enigma even though he's been in public life for a decade. Romney is intensely private, which both supporters and critics have acknowledged gave the Obama campaign an opening to define him to voters. The videos include features on "Growing up" and "Character."
News The News section has three tabs of its own: blog posts (while viewed within the app, come from the main campaign site), videos (primarily the attack ads the campaign has been running), and a feed of the campaign's twitter account.
Issues The Issues section offers details on the Romney-Ryan campaign policies on Afghanistan, Africa, China and East Asia, courts and the Constitution, education, energy, gun rights, health care, human capital, immigration, Iran, Israel, labor, Latin America, Medicare, the Middle East, national defense, regulation, Russia, Social Security, spending, taxes, trade, and values. Many of the items have explanations for what a Romney administration would do differently than Obama's.
Events and Donate The new app has two sections for engagement (not counting the opportunity to connect through Facebook or to create an account, both in settings): Events, sortable by date and by location, allows supporters to RSVP to a campaign rally directly through the app. The donate page offers options from $15 to $5000, but the default is $250.
If the Romney app looks familiar, it should: it's set up quite similarly to the latest Obama app, which was last updated earlier this month, and was first released in July.
Design wise, the two apps look quite similar at first glance: a solid blue bar across the top, white background and a navigation bar with icons along the bottom.
Info The Obama app gathers news and issues, along with information on how to vote and how the administration's policies have impacted the app user's community, into one section called Info. The section includes tabs with blog posts from both the national and local blogs, as well as the local Twitter account feed.
Events, Action, and Donate Obama's app is more focused on user engagement, including a dedicated tab for an already committed supporter to take action for the campaign. It gives options to register voters, volunteer, and canvass for Obama, highlighting the campaign's insistence that voter turnout is key in November's election. The Donate section begins at $10 and runs to $1,000.
Featured The featured tab is more information, hitting at Romney and Ryan, sharing stories of voters helped by Obama policies and other features.