iPhone applications are really starting to piss me off. I’m not talking about the good ones, that are actual client applications for their webservice counterparts (Facebook’s app is a good example) – those are great. I’m talking about the ones that are glorified shortcuts to mobile-formatted websites. (Yes, Bank of America, I am calling you out. What the hell is that about?) A lot of the iPhone apps that big companies have been launching quite frankly suck.
So when I heard about the “Obama ’08″ application, my expectations were very low. I was expecting a mobile version of the website, maybe a streamlined donation interface, and probably some “go vote! go vote now!” nagging.
But the Obama campaign actually used this app to introduce completely new, phone-specific features. The one that blew me away was that the Obama ’08 app tells you who you already know in battleground states by scanning the area codes of the numbers in your contacts list. Then it offers one-touch shortcuts to call them or text them.
It also displays upcoming local events based on your GPS (or tower location) information, some of which are immediately actionable (example: sign waiving today, 1 mile from here!), local campaign contacts, and provides quick access to talking points on major issues. Oh, and the UI is shiny and very consistent with the iPhone UX.
Apparently, it was developed very quickly by a self-organized group of volunteers.
In short, they did it right. Get this app on your phone, see where your disproportionately important friends are, then talk to them about Obama (and make sure they’re registered!)
Check it out: Obama ’08 App for iPhone