Our phones can be used for many different functionalities. Sometimes we use our phones as an actual phone. Other times we used it as our personal phone book, calculator, watch timer, stopwatch, filing system, etc. Sometimes we need to just chill and play some jackpot games.
But not all applications fall into just the “useful function” category or the “fun and games” category. Sometimes they are a combination of both. Both Biden’s and Trump’s campaign applications fall into this category. Both have their benefits and their disadvantages. So let’s do a comparison of the two to see what the pros and cons of each are.
Official Trump 2020 App
The first thing I noticed is that when I type in the actual title of the application “Official Trump 2020 App” the application is not returned in any of the search results. So I went back to the regular Google search engine and typed in “official trump campaign app” and the page for the app from the official Trump campaign website came up. So I clicked on it, then there was a button to get the app from either Google Play or the App Store (iPhone). The thing that is even weirder is that the second link on the Google results page is for Google Play’s page for this app, and the third link is for the App Store’s page for this app. Weird.
I now went to the Google Play page for this app. Now it says, “This app is incompatible with all of your devices” Huh? The app says that it works for Android 6.0 and above. My tablet has Android 6.0 (old) and my phone is Android 9.0 (just brought it in February). Weird.
These are the features, as listed on the Google Play page:
- Always get the latest news from the campaign
- Register for President Trump’s events
- Be the first to know when President Trump is coming to your area! RSVP, get directions and check-in at official events.
- Register to vote, sign up to volunteer
- Invite friends to join you on the app
- Buy merchandise
Vote Joe, Biden for President
I get the same message about the app is incompatible with your device. So I checked on my actual Samsung Tablet, and now the message says, “The app isn’t available in your country.” I am currently a US Citizen who is living abroad.
I also tried to search for “Joe Biden official campaign app” in Google Play and Biden’s app did not come up either. So all of the search problems I saw in Trump’s app exist in Biden’s app as well. Not good in terms of the quality of Google Play’s search capabilities considering it is the same company as Google Search. But I am not here to review Google, I am here to review this app.
Joe Biden takes a different approach than Trump with his ad.
From their official page:
“The Vote Joe app is an organizing tool that allows you to reach your friends in support of Joe Biden and Democrats down the ballot, and receive updates from the Biden for President Campaign and the Democratic Party. We’ll let you know which of your friends and family members could use that extra touch to help make sure they vote in 2020. You can then text them directly to share campaign updates, ask questions, and mobilize your network to make a difference.”
My thoughts on the two applications
Both apps have low rankings, but then this is politics. Both sides have the other side writing negative reviews (and positive reviews for that matter), so this is one type of app where you cannot really trust the reviews.
Trump’s app is what I would expect an app to be. The only thing that is missing (at least from the description) is to get Trump’s tweets uncensored without having to register for Twitter or having to deal with the comments. Wish Trump would add that feature, but there is a 3rd party app that does provide that (with ads — and we don’t know who is getting the ad money). For all I know, I could be download a Trump tool and the money is going to Biden.
Biden’s app worries me from a software engineering perspective. Biden’s app reads your contact list and returns to you information about everybody in your contact list including which political party they belong to, when was the last time they voted, how often they vote, their address, etc.
The first thing that bothers me with this is the stealing of ballots (which is happening). If a person has not voted in the past and/or is registered as a Republican, they would make an easy target to steal a ballot from fill out the ballot for somebody else (vote stealing). If somebody has not voted in the past (regularly) are they really doing to pay attention to if their ballot did or did not come in the mail?
The second thing that bothers me is social pressure. Obviously, my co-workers have my phone number, because especially with COVID-19, my co-workers need to be able to contact me to discuss business. But the business discussion should not involve political discussion. I should not be concerned with what political parties my co-workers are registered in and they should not be concerned with what political party I am registered in. This falls into the category of private information that should stay out of the workplace.
But with more and more businesses firing employees for something they posted on their private social media account, during their private time, to their private friend’s lists (posts are not public), private life no longer seems to be staying private life. I can easily see somebody who is a die-hard Biden supporter doing a search for anybody that he works with who is registered as a Republican and then try to uncover every single rock and even the slightest infraction (they ate a cookie at their workstation when eating at a workstation is not allowed) in order to get them fired. Or just pressuring them to vote for Biden. “I want to see your ballot filled out voting for Biden if you want that promotion or pay raise or not get put on the next round of furloughed list”.
Sexual harassment is illegal, but yet still occurs in many companies (including offices of politicians). Is it so far fetched that this is a scenario that one could not see happening?
But you say, “Employees have protections with civil rights”. Civil rights job protections cover race, color, religion, sex, and national origin (1967). Now it even covers homosexuals and transgenders. But do you notice what is NOT included in these protections? Political party affiliation. Currently, in the US, there is no law that says it is illegal to fire an employee for being a member of the opposing political party of a hiring manager.
Why wasn’t that included in the original civil rights? Because up until recently, people were protected under the 1st amendment, free speech. But in today’s age, certain people do not support free speech if that free speech is in opposition to their views. They claim it is social justice, hate speech, political correctness speech, and whatever else you want to call it. But the end result is that it gives an employer the power to fire an employee with opposing political views or the power to threaten them with losing their job (or other things) if they don’t vote for a certain person. Biden’s app makes it even easier to do those threats.