Apps add spice to the political season

Comedy Central's Indecision Election Companion offers "Snap Shots" and a "Peanut Gallery."
Comedy Central's Indecision Election Companion offers "Snap Shots" and a "Peanut Gallery."
Posted: August 30, 2012

The political conventions put the election season into high gear, so here are some free apps for following the campaigns and candidates from Tampa to Charlotte to the voting booth Nov. 6.

Stitcher Election Center 2012 is an area featured prominently on the Stitcher Smart Radio app for Android and Apple devices. It pulls together political coverage from podcasts and radio and television audio streams.

For the GOP convention, Stitcher is providing the live audio feed from CBS Radio news.

The home screen for the Election Center is topped by two tabs. The first is for links to audio content directly from campaign websites. Tap the candidate's photo to get a list of the available sound bites.

The second tab is labeled "commentators" and leads to a display of icons for sources that include Slate Politics, C-Span, and big network-news operations.

Beneath those home-screen tabs is a list of "Trending Political Topics" that, earlier this week, was topped by "Romney's energy policy," "Bernanke hints at new Fed action," and "Republican National Convention." Tap a category and you see a menu of listening options starting with the most recent mention of the "trending" phrase.

Settle It? PolitiFact's Argument Ender, from Times Publishing Co., is an app meant to supply the last word on disagreements over the truth of campaign claims and political rhetoric.

Enter a key word to help find the contested fact or browse categories under "Trending," "Favorites," or an alphabetical subject list. PolitiFact's "Truth-O-Meter" provides a quick reference on the veracity of any quote, with the meter's range going from true to ridiculously "Pants on Fire" false, along with explanations as warranted.

Quickly share anything you find via links to e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.

The PolitiFact Challenge is a weekly quiz to test the accuracy of your own internal Truth-O-Meter on claims of the day.

Show of Hands, from Tony Bacos, does real-time polling on Android, Apple, and Kindle Fire devices. It includes a "Presidential Election Showdown" that had Mitt Romney slightly ahead of President Obama earlier this week.

There are many other poll questions, such as, "Do you think that people in your income group should pay more taxes?" Eighty-nine percent were saying no. Shocking.

Politico's app has a "2012 Live" feature with regularly updated video and articles from the convention, the presidential campaigns, and congressional races. There are also election maps and delegate-trackers, and a fulsome list of links to regular Politico bloggers and other areas on the Politico website.

Comedy Central's Indecision Election Companion, by Comedy Central for Apple devices, has no videos, but there are "Snap Shots" (photos of the day with funny captions that you can share with social-media pals), a "Caption Challenge" contest, and a "Peanut Gallery" for live blogging and commenting during events.


Contact Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or rkanaley@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ReidKan.

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