Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

The 113th Congress In-App-Purchase is Live (99¢)

February 5, 2013


We are pleased (relieved) to announce that the 113th Congress is now available to be unlocked in Congress, Congress+, and CongressPro.

The in-app-purchase gives you the benefit of our 541 phone calls to every elected office on Capitol Hill as well as the long hours of programming and additional research that supported it.

The cost?  99¢.  That’s a lot less than what others are charging for printed books that never get updated and are likely already out-of-date.

If you do not see the update in the App Store or if your current app is acting up, delete it, re-download it, and you should see the in-app-purchase offered after the splash screen.  If you have any questions, please email us at 113update [at]

Over the next several months, we will continue to update the apps with new functionality and content.  We will continue to update Congress+ and CongressPro apps with staff, committee, and subcommittee assignments as they become available.

First on the docket from a design perspective, will be a redesigned iPad app for Congress+ and CongressPro users, which will take better advantage of the increased space over iPhones.  Continue to look here for screenshots of the upcoming version.

We hope you enjoy the new information and we look forward to providing for you new content and features over the next two years for paid upgraders.


Ending Our Relationship with LegiStorm

December 3, 2012
LegiStorm Pro costs $595 per year

Access to LegiStorm Pro is $595 per year. Mobile is not offered.

The next update of Congress+ and CongressPro will remove all LegiStorm links. Recently, LegiStorm has gone from a free to a paid model. We support this. In reality, we either pay for products and services or we become the product via advertising. However, we could not come to an agreement where LegiStorm believed mobile users like you were worth continuing to serve.

LegiStorm, ably led by Jock Friedly, has been a long-time partner of Congress in Your Pocket. We’ve sent them web traffic and they have provided a small subset of their information to our users free of additional charges. When we launched the partnership, LegiStorm even promoted our app on their website in conjunction with their information. We felt it was a win for them and a win for you.

After providing him with the application, free of charge, Jock decided to end the relationship between our two companies. His primary reason was price. In my conversation with Jock, the current membership process is that web users are allowed a limited number of page views before they will be asked to sign up for a “free” account. After a few more free page views (you can use them up rather quickly), you are then prompted to sign up for a Pro account, which costs $595 annually for one user.

We believe that is an extraordinary price to pay for most people. Our core belief is that you should not have to pay that kind of money to learn about your member of Congress or contact their staff. We also believe we are serving two different markets. They do not have a mobile component, which we offered to develop with them at our cost to continue to serve our users. We are all in on mobile.

Finally, we offered to them the opportunity to mimic their free-to-paid model within our app. We would allow users to see the same number of page views before being prompted to register, and then the additional pages until being prompted to pay. We offered them this without pay for the referral in addition to the cost of our development.

Jock declined.

I hope this post helps you better understand all that we offered LegiStorm to continue to carry their service within our applications. I feel comfortable that we did all we could but sometimes it isn’t enough. We wish Jock and LegiStorm well. For those of you with the company budget and/or personal means to sign up for their service, please consider it. I am confident that our applications will ably continue to serve the wider market.

We appreciate that opportunity every single day.