Congress and California Updates

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Just in case you don’t follow @ciyp (our Twitter feed), over the past two days we submitted some important updates to Apple for review.  California+ and CaliforniaPro get committee assignments, expanded search, the ability to share links with Facebook and Twitter, and a refreshed database.  Congress+ and CongressPro have already received these updates.  However, today we sent to Apple an update which brings all congressional apps (including Congress) up-to-date as of December 1, 2009.  These include the new members who won special elections and their pictures.

Some users have been a bit confused how to use the new features, so let me briefly explain some of the key features.

Expanded search

Ever wonder which members who went to your college?  Now you can search the short bio sections of the applications to find out.  Simply tap on the “Search” button and type in your school.  It should pull up several names (if you went to a large school) with the banner headline of “Short Biography”.  If you choose something like “Florida”, you’ll get a longer list which will have the words “Members” and “Bio” in gray on the side.  If you’re interested in your school, tap on “Bio” and you’ll see all of the members who have “Florida” listed in their bios.  If you tap on “Members”, you’ll get the members of the Florida delegation.

Share links in Facebook or Twitter

Let’s say you want to share the link to a member’s campaign website.  In the previous versions, you’d have to open the link in Safari and then mail a link from there.  Now you can do that within the application without leaving.  Tap on the arrow at the bottom-right of the page and you can choose to Email the page, post it in Facebook, or on Twitter.  For Facebook and Twitter, you need to have active accounts.  When you tap on Facebook, it asks you for your username and password (we don’t store it, they do) and then you can post it as your status.  For Twitter, you need to exit the app, open the Settings application and enter your credentials.  They’ll be saved so you won’t have to log in again.

Coming soon

We hope you enjoy the new functionality.  As always, we’re open to your suggestions on how to improve the apps.  FYI, right now we’re working on a way to take notes within our Pro applications so groups of government relations pros and/or activists can share information about their conversations and visits with members of Congress and state legislatures.  All information passed to and from the app will be encrypted so it’s secure.

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