Real-Time Congress App Now on Androids

Posted July 27, 2010 at 11:19am

Even those who didn’t wait in line all night to snag a new iPhone 4 can now have fingertip access to the legislative branch.

The Sunlight Foundation announced Tuesday that its popular Congress application, which aggregates information about Members, bills and votes, has been fully released for Android phones.

“We felt like we had left Android users out,” said Gabriela Schneider, spokeswoman for the Sunlight Foundation, which earlier this year released the more comprehensive real-time Congress app solely for iPhones. She said that app will stay on iPhones only.

The open-source Android application had previously been available as a beta version, meaning users could download the underlying code and make modifications. As a result, the final version included requested items, such as Members’ Capitol Hill office locations, recent votes and bill co-sponsors.
It can hone in on which district users are in via GPS and provide Representatives’ contact information, voting record, sponsored bills and committee assignments, in addition to their Twitter and YouTube feeds. Users can also search for lawmakers and committees.

The application also includes lists of pending and just-passed bills and nominations.

Schneider said the application, with more than 250,000 Android downloads, will continue to be updated as people make tweaks.

Since it was released in early 2009, Android, a mobile device operating system developed by Google, has been gaining popularity and contending with Apple’s iPhone.