I am delighted to announce the release of a new application for Boxee: “Your MP”. The details and background to this application can be found in my original blog post about it: “An experimental Boxee app to keep track of how your MP votes” and at the time I said that if there was sufficient interest in it I would develop it further and release it. I am really pleased that there was interest and thank you to everybody who took the time to comment, tweet and spread the word about the app, I hope you enjoy it now you can use it! Since the original post I have added a couple of extra features too.
To get the application, select the “Apps” icon on the Boxee home screen, then on the left select “App Library” under “Show me” then scroll to “Your MP” (you can change the sort order to make it easier to find). When you first select the app, before starting it, you might want to click on “Add to my apps” to make it easy to find again. When you first start the app you will be asked for your postcode, there is no need to know the name of the constituency you are in, your local MP will be determined from your postcode. Note that you do not need to enter the post code again the next time you launch the application. If you want to try this application but do not live in the UK, don't worry, I have included some example post codes at the end of this blog post!
The app will then go and find information. This will consists of basic information, their picture (if available) and a list of recent votes. If your MP is very new you may see a message saying “This MP has not voted yet”. If they have though you will see a list of votes that you can scroll through with the up and down buttons on your remote or keyboard. If you press “OK” on your remote or enter on your keyboard the list of votes will be replaced with some information about the vote. Press BACK on your remote or ESC on the keyboard to bring up the list of votes again.
Pressing LEFT on the remote or the keyboard will bring up some extra options including the ability to change the post code you are using. You can change post code as often as you like. If your MP has a website you will see a QR code. The idea of this is that it saves you having to copy the url from the screen and type it in yourself. If you have a suitable bar code scanner on your phone you should be able to walk up to the screen and read the URL that way.
If you find any bugs in the app (after all this is version one!), please log them using Boxee's bug tracker, the direct URL for this app is: http://jira.boxee.tv/browse/APP/component/10512
I would just like to say thank you to people behind TheyWorkForYou.com and The Public Whip for the fantastic work that they do and enabling me to get data from their sites to use in this app. Please visit their sites too as they make a lot of information available that is not in this app. I would also like to thank the staff of Boxee for testing the app and providing lots of facilities and opportunities for developers wanting to work in an Internet on TV context.
Comments are always welcome and I will be really interested to hear how people find the experience of following how their MP votes on their TV.
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats: S11 7EH
David Cameron, Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservatives: OX28 6HJ
Harriet Harman, Leader of the Opposition and Acting Leader of the Labour Party: SE5 8UB
PS A slightly buggy version (my fault) went out on Monday, if you downloaded that version, sorry! The App will automatically update the next time you launch it.