In less than two years, the General Services Administration’s mobile application website has grown from offering 15 apps to 100.
Apps.usa.gov offers citizen-facing apps for use on an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. All apps are free to download and use.
The 100th app added is a smoking cessation app from the National Cancer Institute. The app helps users track cravings, moods, progress toward milestones and smoking triggers, said Jacob Parcell, GSA’s manager of mobile programs, The Federal Drive with Tom Temin. The kinds of apps vary widely, from a guide to the members of Congress to a calorie counter.
“There’s something for everybody,” he said.
Some of the most popular apps are:
Science360 for iPad, an app from the National Science Foundation that provides images and video of breaking news of scientific discoveries.
My TSA, an app from the Transportation Security Administration that provides information on what you can bring into the airport and the real-time operating status for U.S. Airports.
USPS tools, an app that allows you to track packages and find post offices, “very helpful on a Saturday when you’re looking for a last drop,” Parcell said.
When developing a mobile strategy, agencies should consider three things, Parcell said: their mission, their audience and the technology.
GSA does not develop the apps but does encourage agencies and the private sector to look to information on Data.gov, Parcell said. Someone who knows about a federal app not on the list should go to Apps.usa.gov and tell GSA about it, he said.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-8 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.