(Not So) Lame Duck Update

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As the “Lame Duck” Congress reconvenes for it’s final go-around, Apple is now reviewing our 5.2 versions of Congress in Your Pocket.  We’ve appreciated all of your feedback and suggestions throughout the 111th Congress and wanted to provide for you one last big, free update.

Here are the new and improved features coming soon:

  • New: Sens. Coons, Manchin; Rep. Stutzman
  • New: Election results in bios
  • New: Tap thumbnail for larger photo
  • New: Retina display splash page
  • New: Create notes locally without an account (Pro only)
  • Improved: Mobile search for congressional bills
  • Improved: Facebook and Twitter integration
  • Improved: Information page scrolling
  • Improved: Speed of over-the-air updates
  • Improved: Faster scrolling through lists

Below are are screenshots of two newbies who took office in special elections: Senator Coons and Rep. Stutzman:

 

We can’t tell you how often we’re told, “I can’t see what these people look like in your app — the pictures are too small!”  Point well-taken.  The photos are 100 by 100 pixels, which can look microscopic if you don’t have perfect vision.  The solution?  Tap on the member’s photo and you’ll now be treated (or not) to a larger version of the photo.  This was quite an undertaking.  There are 541 members of Congress (including delegates) and let’s just say that not everyone has a large picture handy.  If you work for a member of Congress and either (1) don’t like the photo or (2) have a larger version, please send it to us and we’ll put it in the next update.

Here is Speaker-designate John Boehner’s photo:

Speaker-designate John Boehner (OH-Republican)

Tap on that and you get this:

We are particularly proud of our redesign work on the Legislation page.  Many of you have asked us to make this easier on the eyes on your mobile device and we have taken that suggestion to heart.  Now, you can search for bills (e.g. H.R. 1) or words/phrases in bills (e.g. health, defense) and you’ll get the latest information from the official THOMAS database (named for Thomas Jefferson).  Here is a screenshot of that page, located in the More section of the apps:

This update will be the final one for the 111th Congress.  The new 112th Congress, which was elected on November 2nd, will be available to current users as an in-app purchase in January.  To reward your loyalty, we are pricing this update at the absolute lowest available to us: 99-cents.  That’s right, for less than a buck, you’ll have all of the new information on the 112th Congress right where you want it — in your pocket. Finally, for those of you who have been patient with us on the iPad version, it will be offered as a Universal App in January. If you already own a version of our congressional apps, you’ll get the iPad version for no additional charge with the 112th in-app purchase.

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2 Responses to “(Not So) Lame Duck Update”

  1. James Klein Says:

    I am an early adaptor of the Congress + and State applications (Ohio). I find them very useful and am taking advantage of your solicitation for feedback. A feature that would be most useful and helpful on the application would be the ability to take notes connected to individual members. We end up having two separate systems because Congress + gives us the basic info but as we interact with offices it would be most helpful to track the contacts right in the application.

    Thanks.

  2. ciyp Says:

    Thank you very much for your comment, James. We appreciate your business and agree with the idea. Currently, the ability to take notes is one of the key distinguishing features of CongressPro, along with getting updates over-the-air for the full congressional session. We are thinking of rolling out that capability over time to the state Pro apps as well.

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