President Barack Obama's campaign and Mitt Romney's campaign released new mobile apps today, unveiling two different apps with two different goals.
"There's no telling when Mitt will choose his VP," Romney's website says. "But when he does, be the first to find out with Mitt's VP app."
In 2008, Obama announced his vice presidential pick with a text message, which may have provided the Romney campaign with an example to follow as they seek to gather data about potential supporters, The Huffington Post reported.
The iTunes description says that the app will allow users to get "exclusive notification from the campaign letting you in on the exciting news before the press and just about everyone else (except maybe Ann)."
According to a Mashable review, the information collected by the app includes the user's location, which could possibly be used in the future for targeted messaging.
President Obama's app focuses more on emphasizing turnout, with tools to find volunteer events near the user, a list of voters to talk with and up-to-date information on state voting requirements.
According to a Huffington Post review, the app asks for permission to use a smartphone's GPS data and then shares how Obama's policies have affected the area of the user. It also integrates with the Obama campaign's Dashboard, which allows supporters to make calls and canvass their neighborhoods.
"This app isn't about being flashy — it's about giving you the tools you need to make the biggest possible difference between now and election day," barackobama.com said.
A New York Times report said that the canvassing aspect of the app will allow the response of voters contacted by volunteers — positive, negative or on-the-fence — to be transmitted back to the campaign's computer system.
"The campaign is betting that the technology will vastly expand the number of supporters who will beat the pavement for Mr. Obama in the final 100 days before the election in November," the article stated.