Vote 2012 Review

Vote 2012 Review

Nov 2, 2011

I admit, I don’t follow politics nearly as much as I should. I don’t stay on top of events, who’s running or the candidates’ policies. As I hang my head in shame, I confess, I am a bad citizen. Thankfully, there’s an app for that.

Vote 2012 touts itself as “Your 2012 United States election headquarters” app. In short, it tells you who’s running, connects you with their social networking links, their website and other online resources. It even pulls up the latest headlines for you. It brings just about all the information you need into one place and conveniently places it at your fingertips. Sound like something you could use to stay on top of things? Let’s dig in a little deeper.

The first thing that loads is a profile of current United States President Barack Obama. You get a picture of the Commander in Chief set against a blue background denoting his affiliation with the Democratic Party, a number indicating how many Twitter followers he has and a short bio. Below the bio are icons to various social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Google+, and a globe icon with more links to events, a donate page, his home page, links to events and Google News updates. It’s a good-looking, convenient way to gauge the online presence of each candidate.

At the very top of the first screen is a “pulse” icon, which takes you to the most recent stories regarding the 2012 elections, and a scrolling marquee with the latest headline. From there, simply swipe the profile picture to the left and you can see all of the other candidates.

Each candidate is ordered by number of Twitter followers. However, there appears to be a bug that causes the number of followers to drop to zero every time you load a different page in the app. For example, if I go to Herman Cain’s Facebook page, or some other link and then come back, the count drops to zero. A strange bug, something that can be easily addressed in an update, but it’s a mar on the surface of an otherwise well-done app.

Vote 2012 seems like a useful app for gathering information on each candidate quickly and easily, however, the scope is a bit limited. As the elections heat up over the course of the next 12 months, I can see future versions of the app possibly sending out notifications about poll results, showing a coverage map of who’s currently leading in which state or where each candidate is currently campaigning, along with a list of events. Perhaps it could even list stances taken on certain policies by each candidate, campaign promises or debate results. Of course, right now, it doesn’t offer any of that, but in future updates, these are features that could make this app even better than it is. For political news junkies, Vote 2012 might not be powerful enough, but to the casual observer with a passing interest the election, it’s a good starting point to quickly catch up.

Vote 2012 Review Rundown

7
User Interface - Good looking, although rough in places. Very easy to use, swiping is accurate and works the way you expect.
6
Functionality - Seems to work mostly well, aside from the unusual "Twitter follower count" bug I mentioned. Otherwise, there are plenty of features built in allowing you to share stories or click on links for more info.
7
Performance - The app takes a few moments to load, which seems excessive, considering what it does. Again, the "Twitter follower count" bug does seem to indicate problems with the way this app is designed to work. Aside from that, it performs well, doesn't crash and doesn't appear to use up more resources than it needs.
6
Usefulness - As the app is currently, its usefulness depends on what you want to get out of it. If you want a quick, interactive bookmark with a list of who is running with handy links to their online presence, this app will be very useful for you. However, it does seem to have a lifespan of about 1 year. After the 2012 election is over, well, what will it be useful for, then?
6.5
Overall - A well-done app with a singular purpose in mind. Vote 2012 seems like a very limited app, but it does conveniently give you access to a lot of information on each candidate. With a few additional features and a bug fix, I'm sure this app could be even better.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
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