In a White House blog post
last week, the Obama administration listed 10 "must-have" mobile
applications it's made available on its USA.gov mobile applications
The site, launched in July
as part of a redesign of USA.gov, supports the administration's Open
Government Directive, which aims to improve how the government can use
technology to better engage with its citizens.
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Some of the applications on the list are accessible only on the iPhone,
some only on mobile web browsers, and some available via both.
The applications on the list serve a variety of purposes. Some are
purely informational, such as the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration's iPhone app and WhiteHouse.gov. The former provides
information about current NASA missions, complete with images and
videos, while the latter -- available on both the iPhone and mobile web
-- provides the latest news and blog posts coming out of the White
House, including live streaming of events with President Obama.
There are also applications on the list that facilitate communications
with the federal government. The USA Jobs iPhone app allows people to
search for employment with the federal government, while USA.gov --
available both on the iPhone and the mobile web -- lets people search
federal, state, and local government sites and contact the government by
phone or e-mail.
Travel applications also are listed among White House favorites. Find
Your Embassy, available on the mobile web, helps people locate the
nearest U.S. embassy -- something anyone who's lost a passport while
traveling knows can be an invaluable resource.
Another app -- My TSA -- aims to make a traveler's journey through the
airport smoother by providing the latest information about carry-on and
ID requirements, or the real-time operating status for U.S. airports,
according to the post. The app is available on both the iPhone and
Still other applications on the list provide practical services for
people that don't necessarily include interacting directly with the
government at all. FuelEconomy.gov, for example, allows people to
calculate gas mileage, annual fuel costs, annual petroleum use, and the
carbon footprint of their automobile. The application is available on
the mobile web.
Along the same lines, the Alternative Fuel Locator helps people find
fueling stations for vehicles that run on biodiesel, electricity, E85 or
ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas, propane, or other alternative fuels.
The app -- available on the mobile web -- serves up information from the
U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fueling Station Locator.
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