Monday, November 1, 2010

The iPad's First Major Election: Race for 'Best App' By Major News Outlets Too Close to Call

The iPad will be out in force for Election Day tomorrow, the mid-term test of the Obama Administration.

The night before polls open, one clear candidate seems to emerge from a scan of the web and is poised to win the most votes for “best election coverage app.”

ABC News has upgraded its app and will show an interactive map displaying the familiar Red Team vs. the Blue Team. With a half dozen key races, control of the House of Representatives at risk of slipping to the Republicans, and messages of dissatisfaction with the Administration anticipated tomorrow, the map should get a workout throughout the day as Americans vote.

But as with the races for senate and house seats and control of state and local government, this race will be “too close to call” until long after the polling places lock up on Tuesday night or, if needed, Wednesday morning.

Also in the running:

Brian Williams and NBC will be on hand—literally in the hand holding your iPad—for the election with a new app.

CBS is in the running for iPad viewers, too, with its app all ready for election day—and night.  On the CBS News web page when we checked in, a pop-up slides from the bottom of the page announcing the new app.  We could have sworn there was no link to get the app transferring you to the Apple Store when we checked an hour ago, but now there is. there isn't.'s back.  Well, maybe that is a local connection issue.  Or it might be a news footnote that the app was being refined like mad Monday night.

Fox News says its app is ready for the iPad and election day, but its app page in the Apple Store seemed out of date in the early evening on Monday. The graphic there says there are 76 days until the election. Sounds like one of those things that will “come down to the wire” if it gets fixed. (Update.  8:55 pm--It's fixed.)

CNN was an early front runner with a posted video on how Carl Rove's America's Crossroads deployed iPads in Nevada to target voters and collect information in door to door canvassing. If the test in Nevada panned out, CNN says, the group planned to expand it broadly for election day.

But to this Planet iPad observer digging through web sites the day before the vote, it appears as if there is no consensus on what an election day app should look like.  The major players from the media weigh in, only 24 hours before polls close on the East Coast, with apps ranging in quality from "looks good" to "uh-oh."

But by the next presidential election in two years, all the apps issues should be resolved.  And one can dream that perhaps the political issues will be, as well.

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