Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Presidential campaigns launch mobile apps

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TWC News: Presidential campaigns launch mobile apps
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CHARLOTTE - President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are using smartphone apps to campaign. Both camps launched new apps this week.

With smartphones and tablets constantly in the hands of millions across the country, presidential campaigns are now using the devices to their advantage.

"In the middle of the 20th century, campaigning was revolutionized by television. So politicians are constantly trying to come up with ways of communicating with potential voters," said UNC Charlotte political science professor Eric Heberlig.

The Obama for America app will use the phone's location information to provide event schedules and to share how the campaign says Obama's policies affect the user's area.

"This time, the Obama campaign is building on the successes they had last time and the Romney campaign, seeing what Obama did last time, knows that they have to step it up in order to compete," said Heberlig.

Romney's app, called "Mitt's VP" will be used as the outlet to announce his pick for vice president, though no date was given. To get that app, you must enter your name, email, address and zip code.

Experts say that's just the beginning and further proof of how technology is playing a major role in politics.

“This is really a moving target in that the technology is advancing rapidly and campaigns are constantly looking for ways to figure out how to use it best," said Heberlig.

Both apps are free.

The Obama for America app is available on iPhones but not Android devices yet. The Mitt's VP app is available on both iPhones and Android devices.

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