"Agency developers looking to jump-start their efforts can find source code for native and web projects from a variety of sources: federal agencies, other governments, and third-parties in the private sector," writes Mike Pulsifer, lead IT specialist for the division of enterprise communications at the Labor Department, in a May 13 blog post.
Digital "go-bags" consisting of mobile applications are just as important as traditional go-bags packed in advance of emergencies and disasters, said National Library of Medicine officials during a webinar April 25.
The large number of respondents that visited or plan to visit government sites via mobile devices presents an opportunity for agencies to grow their mobile presence. "Sites not offering or, at the very least, preparing for mobile experiences now risk falling behind the curve, especially as mobile becomes the primary means of accessing online content by many visitors," writes ForeSee Usability Team Lead Matthew Dull.
The network is expected to support more than 2 million first responders. Initially, it will focus on data applications, the RFI says, but eventually it will offer an alternative to the land-mobile-radio networks common among first responders.
"I do think that apps, app contests, coverage thereof and other related activities can help make people more aware and knowledgeable about problems," said Tom Lee, director of Sunlight Foundation's Sunlight Labs. "Gridlock, in particular, might benefit from more awareness."
David Hale, project manager of Pillbox , a National Library of Medicine open government initiative, said commercial apps available to the public often are "emotionally satisfying as well as useful," and "even if citizens don't expect government apps to be at that same level, honestly, they're still a little disappointed when they don't get it."
"We've built a huge kind of an internal laboratory for vetting" the apps, said Jeff Voas, a NIST computer scientist, at the AFCEA Homeland Security conference in Washington on Feb. 26. The team has learned, for instance, that certain pixel colors deplete battery power more so than others.
Federal agency leaders detailed their efforts to optimize at least two existing customer-facing services for mobile use during a Jan. 24 webinar . The objective is a requirement of the Digital Government Strat egy .
"We do see in the agency space that the closer people are to delivering services, the more innovative they are, the more they really see the value of this," Kostin said. "A lot of the interesting mobile apps...have been coming from smaller bureaus, because they have specific problems they're trying to solve."
Amid a particularly severe and early flu season, the General Services Administration is reminding the public that there are government apps available to help people deal with the flu outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's FluView app helps track flu-like illness activity around the country so users can monitor outbreaks in their local area. Users can view trends over several weeks.