While the Obama campaign has been pretty innovative in its uses of technology, this latest move takes the cake in my opinion. The official iPhone application debuted on Thursday, which is yet another method for the campaign to stay closely connected to its supporters.
The primary feature here seems to be the call a friend functionality. Contacts, taken from the iPhone address book, are sorted by state with the most competitive listed first. For example, my contacts from Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Indiana, and Pennsylvania were listed at the top, while those in Delaware, Hawaii, and New York were listed at the bottom.
No personal data is shared with the campaign — only anonymous call data — and the application will also allow users to keep track of whom they called and their intentions.
The iPhone’s GPS functionality is put to use: users would be able to find a local campaign office in relation to their current location, as well as events in the area. Links to news, video and photos from the trail are also included, as well as talking points on Obama’s positions when talking about the candidate to friends.
An official webpage is available on the Obama website, and it is available through the App Store. Those who don’t have an iPhone should not fret — the WAP page for the campaign offers some of the same features.
I think this application is a great idea. Obama supporters have shown that they are (generally) a more technically sophisticated bunch, using the Internet a great deal to organize, raise money, and disseminate information on the candidate.
What of course remains to be seen is how responsive supporters are to this latest attempt at keeping its supporters involved. The application has apparently only been live on the iTunes App Store since this morning, so its a little early yet to judge.