USA! USA! USA! (.gov) Mike | August 2nd, 2010
It would appear that the efforts of Vivek Kundra our new federal government CIO, are paying off with additional attention to detail, a new user-friendly site, and now an app store of government-issued software for mobile devices!
Launched last month, the redesigned website, USA.gov, has a sporty web 2.0 look, is built on an open source framework (Linux), has a rational and intuitive user interface, and is significantly easier to navigate then the 1990s version previously available.
The site also includes a Mobile Apps store which currently features 18 applications, built by various government agencies. The store includes such peachy software as a UV Index provided by the Environmental Protection Agency which allows users to check current ultra-violet radiation levels by zip code; A Most Wanted app offered by the FBI where you can see today’s best criminals and terrorists in one convenient listing; and a Products Recall app which details the products to avoid, brought to you by the good folks at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and other agencies. The coolest app on offer? My TSA, which allows users to, among other things, check wait times at airport security checkpoints. The wait-times are actually crowdsourced, with users f the app uploading their own wait times via a feature in the app. Nice.
The General Services Administration, which runs the website, says that they expect to introduce several hundred more applications, which will give us access to more of the inner-working of our government, and help us to fill up our iPhone screens with even more little icons for applications that we never use.