New Representatives means new update

At the moment, CapitolBuddy includes all the legislator info right in the app. It makes load time easier and the build process simpler. But it also means that when something changes in the legislature, you need to download the update from the App Store.

HD157HD76Mike Moon from district 157 and Josh Peters from district 76 were recently sworn in. And as soon as their info was updated on the Missouri House website, I got the info for the app. Now there’s just a few days wait until it is ready for download, while Apple approves it.

Next year, this will change.

In CapitolBuddy 2014, you can expect the legislator info to automatically download and update within the app, no update required on your end.

Of course, the price will also go up in 2014. So try the 2013 version for only $2.99 today.

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CapitolBuddy is live in Missouri!

You can now download version 1.0.1 of Capital Buddy! Find it in the App Store, or by searching for CapitolBuddy on your iPhone. Only $2.99 with just 6 weeks of session left!

Now, allow me to re-introduce it… it is the app everyone who works in the Missouri legislature has been craving, whether you knew it or not. It makes the simplest and most often asked questions easy to answer, right in the palm of your hand.

Where is Rep. Torpey’s office? What’s his phone number?
CapitoBuddy has all the contact info for each senator and representative in an easy to navigate and searchable view. Room number, phone, email, hometown, bio, committees, it’s all there. And it’s updated directly from the house.mo.gov and senate.mo.gov websites.

Who is the staff person for Rep. Anders?
Let’s be honest, most of the time you’re talking to the staff person first, it’d be nice to say hello by name, right?

I just saw Sen. Keaveny in the hall for a quick convo, and I need to take some quick notes!
The notes feature lets you save any text directly to your phone. It’s connected to each legislator individually, and a icon will appear that lets you know whether you shared it yet. All your notes are completely private and stored only on YOUR phone — until you email it yourself or your acquaintances.

Who is on the House Budget Committee? Who’s the chair?
View every committee and its members in another easy to scroll through, and searchable, view. Click on the committee to see members, click on bills to link to the live website of bills in that committee. A gavel icon is shown for the Chairperson, and the star badge is for the Vice-chairperson.

Where is senate district 31?
A high resolution map of the House and Senate districts is available for you to zoom around on and find the district you need to know about. Then, simply go back to the House or Senate lists and search for the right person.

I need to remember to call Sen. Schaefer.
There’s an “unsent notes” icon that you can display for anyone whom you’ve taken notes for, but haven’t shared with yourself. Well that same icon can be used as an indicator of meetings to have, calls to make, emails to send. Use it how you want to use it. Swipe left to make an icon appear and swipe right to make it disappear for any legislator in the list.

Really, it can be used however you need it to be used. I welcome customer feedback to improve functionality and bring you even more useful features and service. Please leave some feedback on the app store or right here on this blog post. Thanks and enjoy!

CapitolBuddy Features

I have withdrawn my code and resubmitted to the App Store with several improvements now. I’d like to go through and provide a full explanation of how I imagined people would use CapitolBuddy and the new features it has.

Again, CapitolBuddy is primarily a trade tool for lobbyists, and other people working in the capitol. Maybe even legislators themselves will find it useful.

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Committee Members View

All State Representatives and Senators are in the app with the following info:

– Full Name
– District
– Office Phone
– Email address
– Hometown
– Staff members
– All committees
– Biographical data (missing on the House — it takes a while to grab it all from the internet)

You can also browse or search by committee in the “committees tab”. When you click on a committee, you’ll see the Chairman and Vice-Chairman highlighted with 146-gavel and 108-badge, respectively. In the view with committee members listed there’s a “Bills” button in the top left hand corner that brings you to the committee’s website where you can find bills assigned to that committee. See the screen to the left.

You’ll notice Democrats and Republicans are color coded for ease of browsing.

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Senate members view with “Unsent Notes”

On the Senate or House lists you can turn on an icon that shows whose notes have been emailed and whose have not. Simply touch “Unsent Notes” and the button will become a blue “Hide” button as shown below. The members with unsent notes will then have a 08-chat on the side.

To remove this icon (i.e. you don’t want to send the newly saved notes, or don’t need to be reminded), simply swipe the right.

Want it back? Swipe to the left.

I imagined some would use the “Unsent Notes” feature as a temporary marker of people to meet with, key legislators, etc.

Taking notes is extremely simple. An alert will pop up when you have saved to let you know it worked. And if you try to leave without saving an alert will ask you if you’re sure.

To navigate to the notes, choose a legislator and their notes are accessible with the top-right button “Notes”.

Send an email of the individual’s notes by clicking the email notes button. A draft will pop up and you just choose the recipient (probably yourself, but it’s left blank to let you choose the recipient). After sending, the note is marked as “Sent” automatically.

That’s about it!

This is version 1.0, and we’re also half way through the session. In 2014 I’ve got some ideas of features to add. But if you think you’ve got a good idea, leave me a comment and let me know.

Features anticipated for 2014:
– RSS news feed from the state websites
– Live audio from House and Senate floors
– Make notes syncable with Evernote