Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_flexi_customcode/tmpl/default.php on line 24

Strict Standards: Non-static method modFlexiCustomCode::parsePHPviaFile() should not be called statically in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_flexi_customcode/tmpl/default.php on line 54

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/noahjames7/public_html/components/com_grid/GridBuilder.php on line 29
Continue reading the main storyVideo

App Smart | Political Trackers

Brigade, Transcript of the U.S. Constitution and Flipboard are three apps that can help users sift through the latest news and commentary about the issues in this election cycle.

By DALLAS JENSEN and KIT EATON on Publish Date October 14, 2015. Photo by Photo Illustration by The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

As the 2016 presidential race begins to accelerate, debate and political opinion are abounding online. Your smartphone can help you control this flood of political news, as well as inform you about important facts.

It’s hard to go online without taking part in some form of social interaction, and even political apps can connect users. Brigade — free on iOS — is an example of this sort of app. Brigade is a social network for discussing and informally voting on political issues like gun control, the environment and health care. The app is nicely designed, making it fairly easy to use, though I occasionally got lost in its menu system.Once you have signed up for a free profile, you can scan Brigade’s archive to find public votes on issues that interest you. Each issue is phrased in a way that users can agree or disagree with it, or choose unsure. Voting tallies are displayed as numbers and graphs. There is also a page where you and other users can write opinions about the issue. Users on this part of the app can, not surprisingly, become highly charged.Brigade users can also submit questions for others to vote on. And because the app is a social network, you can build a network of friends in it, though unfortunately, the app makes it seem a little as if friends are only those other users who agree with your opinions. If nothing else, Brigade is a great way to engage in political debate and gauge what issues people are talking about.When presidential candidates make references to constitutional matters, you may find yourself wanting to brush up on the Constitution. The iOS app Transcript of the United States Constitution, by Clifton Marien, is clear and simple. It contains a full copy of the text, shown in a clear and minimalist design. The text is easy to read and broken down into sections like the preamble, the articles and so on. You simply tap, scroll and read. And it is free.On Android, the free United States Constitution app by RBware not only offers a clean and plain text-based interface in which to read the famous document, but also a few extra features, including similar documents, like Magna Carta. And it has the option to jump to the Wikipedia pages for items in the app or to Google search for relevant websites.The Library of Congress has an official constitution app, free for iOS only, that has a more formal design and includes search features to find relevant sections easily. But several app store reviewers complained that the app was buggy, and I found it took a long time to download the text. Also, the text in the app is dense, making it difficult to read. So I’d recommend skipping this app. While the thousands of pages of analysis and insight can be interesting, it is not easy to use.If you’re seeking an app that consolidates political news, check out Politomix, free on iOS. The app says it scans 40 top political news sources and collects breaking news in one place when you activate it. The main interface lists the most recent news in a scrolling list, complete with thumbnail images, and you tap to read the ones that catch your eye.Politomix uses gestures to make it easy to scan quickly among stories, and if you want to read news from just one particular source, that’s possible, too. The app hasn’t been updated in a while, so sometimes text errors will appear, but overall, it seems to work well.A good alternative is the popular news-aggregating app Flipboard, which can be configured to show political news from many sources. Unlike Politomix, Flipboard is well maintained, so it’s more likely to work well on your device, and it has a more polished interface. Flipboard is free on iOS and Android, and it’s a fabulous tool for stemming the flood of political news arriving in your digital life.And don’t forget the official White House app, which is packed with easy-to-navigate news, briefings and videos from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The app is well designed and free, so check it out on iOS and Android.Politics is divisive, so remember to be open-minded and stay calm when discussing it online. You never know — you might change your mind, or your vote.Quick CallThe independent podcast network Relay FM has released an app to give listeners access to its many different podcasts, which mostly have a technology bent. The app is visually great, and though it doesn’t give you full control of podcasts, lacking features like activating subscriptions, it’s a great way to stream recent podcasts from the network. Relay FM is free.

Read more

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_flexi_customcode/tmpl/default.php on line 24

Strict Standards: Non-static method modFlexiCustomCode::parsePHPviaFile() should not be called statically in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_flexi_customcode/tmpl/default.php on line 54

Find out more by searching for it!

Custom Search

Strict Standards: Non-static method modBtFloaterHelper::fetchHead() should not be called statically in /home/noahjames7/public_html/modules/mod_bt_floater/mod_bt_floater.php on line 21