The Romney campaign was so very ambitious with its smart phone apps, and so very bad at them. The latest and most epic failure was the so-called Orca app the campaign had built to count people who had voted, which crashed repeatedly throughout Election Day and even when it was working, didn’t really do its job. Politico and Ace of Spades both have in-depth reports on how poorly the thing performed, but regardless of the technical failings, the baffling thing is that they didn’t test it. Politico’s Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns reported: “Among other issues, the system was never beta-tested or checked for functionality without going live before Election Day, two sources said. It went live that morning but was never checked for bugs or efficiencies internally.” With a record of electronic gaffes as bad as the Romney campaign’s that just seems insane.
The campaign really should have known better than to not test. It had already made at least two disastrous attempts at making a killer app that would get all the smart-phone types chattering. First, there was the campaign’s official app, which became a literal gaffe machine when it prominently misspelled America on its welcome screen, promising users “a better Amercia.” Then, of course, there was the vice-presidential choice app, which promised users they would “be the first to find out” when Romney finally tapped his running mate. The app got scooped by about seven hours. Romney can, of course, do whatever he wants now that he’s not campaigning. But we’d humbly suggest he choose a field other than app development.