The Next Web takes a look at the latest batch of election-related iPhone apps following this week’s announcement that the UK General Election is to take place on 6th May.
The official Labour Party [iTunes link] and Conservative Party [iTunes link] apps have been available for a few weeks now, both offering policy details, contact information and integration with social networks, bothreviewed at launch by The Next Web.
Whilst these major parties have still to be joined by the Liberal Democrats, they are now seeing smaller UK political parties join their ranks with the launch of their own apps.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) launched its app [iTunes link] in March and it adopts a similar approach to that already taken by the two main parties. The app includes a history of the party, latest news and policy summaries as well as links through to the party’s YouTube and Flickr feeds.
Financial contributions can be made to the party via text message from within the app, although users must register in order to access the ‘Engage’ menu aimed at party activists. Facebook and Twitter integration is built into the free application.
iPhone apps taking a slightly different approach to the General Election include ‘The Election Quiz 2010 For Dummies’ [iTunes link] from John Wiley and Sons, the publishers behind the ‘For Dummies’ range of books. The app is a promotional device to boost sales of the British Politics for Dummies book, which is available via links to major UK online bookstores from within the app itself.
The app provides background and policy information for all of the major parties, as well as a quiz which, based on your answers to several basic questions across a number of major policy areas, suggests which of the major parties is the most likely to attract your vote.
The questions are fixed and don’t change when you restart the quiz. So whilst the app is a fun promotional freebie, it probably won’t stick around on your phone for long.
iElectUK [iTunes link] is another app launched in the run-up to the General Election. It uses your postcode to grab details of your local constituency, including details of your current MP as well as the current candidates list, with links through to their contact details, websites, etc. Details of all UK constituencies and candidates can be accessed via an A-Z listing.
The app also includes a link through to the ‘About My Vote‘ website, where those eligible UK citizens who are not currently registered to vote can register to do so. This is the same approach being taken by Facebook in a newly announced joint initiative with the Electoral Commission.
Last of the current crop of UK election apps to be reviewed is Tracker 2010 [iTunes link]. The app is a simple polling tool which enables you to register a virtual vote (no more than once per day) for your preferred political party. The app then presents you with the latest results on a local, national and worldwide basis (as non-UK residents can also participate).
A more interesting aspect to the Tracker app is its ability to notify you of ad hoc polls upon upon which you can give your opinion by casting your vote from within the app. However, I closed down the notification alert choosing to go into the app later on, when I was actually unable to access the poll from the app’s rudimentary menu. I anticipate a new release of the Tracker app before too long.
It might not be safe to predict the outcome of the election, but it is a fairly safe bet that more election-based apps will join those reviewed here in the iTunes app store before too long. Keep it with The Next Web for news and reviews.