Native mobile is having a touchstone moment in US politics. Citizens, lobbyists, and lawmakers are accessing news and updates on-demand during their commutes, on their coffee breaks, and as the bookends to their day.

POLITICO, a leading non-partisan political news source, asked Apollo to transition and deprecate two separate iOS legacy apps while replacing them with a new universal app. POLITICO already had an existing code base for the universal app that we took on and delivered to completion.

We optimized the new app for iOS 9, added features, made the app usable for the blind or visually impaired, supported a major CMS migration, automated app testing and provisioning, and we continue to add new features to the app in relation to the 2016 General Election. Launching the new app also entailed an overhaul of their app store and analytics strategy.

The Pre-Launch Sequence

Team Organization

POLITICO's existing staff had created a preliminary code base for the new universal app, but no significant progress had been made towards release. Team Apollo supervised the in-house developers and directed the product to a December 2015 release.


There was no need to redesign the existing POLITICO app. Instead, our team were tasked with designing various features for addition to the app. Since beginning work, the team has advocated for critical design and optimization improvements.


The refresh process had significant bugs and design issues which were frustrating to users. Apollo concluded that the refresh issues were the greatest weakness of the app as designed. We proposed a plan to redesign and optimize the refresh process. We evaluated similar apps such as CNN, USA Today, and Huffington Post to find the best solution for POLITICO's content-rich updates.

QA Roadmap

The POLITICO app needed a refined QA process optimized for frequent updates and an extremely large user base. We automated regression tests and implemented rigorous release testing to ensure there were no issues with the actual processes that real users employ. On iOS we test via TestFlight and with Promo Codes for official releases, and deploy the same tests to the Amazon Device Farm.

Features and Updates

Iowa to the White House

2016 is a big year for political news outlets. After the initial 2015 release, we kept working with POLITICO to bring special features to their mobile app in relation to the 2016 Election. From the Iowa Caucus to the General Election, Apollo helped implement live and relevant content into the POLITICO app.

Urgent Delivery

Urgent news needs urgent delivery. POLITICO's loading times has been an issue in the past, but with our improvements readers can be assured that breaking news will be delivered at a breakneck speed.

Right-to-Left Language Compatible

We fixed language tag attribute issues, preventing app breakage and providing a fully mirrored UI for users who default to right-to-left language settings.

"Peek and Pop"

iOS 9 has a whole host of new innovations, including content preview options, all of which are employed by the new universal app.

Improved Analytics

Tealium tag management gives POLITICO enhanced insight into mobile behaviors and lifecycle calls from one dashboard.

Section 508 Accessibility

The voiceover feature is configured to bypass the header each time, ensuring that visually impaired readers get the content they want right away instead of repeating the header or status bar with each new article.

“I am continually amazed by the large amount of news and videos... This is all great stuff and makes a great companion on my iPhone to Marketwatch.”

-POLITICO iOS App Customer Review