ElectionCaster's Blogs option rather amusingly lets you choose from Left, Center or Right orientation -- that's political orientation, though that's also the order in which they're physically presented on-screen. Left and Right blogs both include a cross-section of usual suspects, such as Politico, The Dish and Daily Kos on one side; National Review Online, Outside the Beltway and RedState on the other. Only four offerings appear as centrist: CNN PoliticalTicker, Factcheck.org, Hotline On Call and, curiously, Politics Daily, a site that ElectionCaster helpfully shows hasn't been updated in 45 weeks.
The modest length of the blogs list points up ElectionCaster's biggest drawback: You can't add or delete feeds, either to the Blogs or the News. That may not be a concern for political newbies or centrist users, but people with stronger opinions will miss the lack of customization.
Where does that leave ElectionCaster? It's a reasonably useful starter app for politically aware people who want to follow U.S. news and commentary in depth, but aren't passionate enough to feel the need to customize their experience. Whether, in our highly polarized political climate, there is anyone left who fits into that category, I'll leave that to the pundits to decide.
The New York Times Company
Price: Free with a New York Times subscription
OS reviewed: iOS
Other OSes: None (Web version for mobile devices available)
If you want to access most of The New York Times' content online, a subscription -- either for the online service or for the actual paper -- is required. The NYTimes Election 2012 app is no different.
If you don't subscribe, you get access only to the top six election-related news stories. But if you do (I get Sunday-only delivery and that was good enough to gain me entry) this is a dynamite app, a real must-have for political junkies -- and it's especially worth it during an election year in particular.
The biggest problem I had with the app was getting it to download correctly. To make the process most efficient, before you download the Election app, point your iPhone to the main site for The New York Times. Log in and make sure you've connected your online login info to your subscription ID.
Once that's completed, head on over to the iTunes store and download the app.