Thursday Mobile Products

Progressive Web Applications, Part 2: Pros, Cons, and Looking Ahead

A few weeks ago, Progressive Web Applications, Part 1: the New Pack Mule of the Internet _introduced PWAs and the technologies behind them. We shared that article to the MobileGov Community of Practice and asked about the pros and cons of this approach to winning mobile moments._ What Are Some Benefits of PWAs? PWAs bring a host of advantages over the traditional native mobile and Web methodologies including:

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Near… FAR… Wherever you are….

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) made history today by releasing the first ever iBook version of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). And while a tome about the complex rules governing the federal government’s purchasing process may not sound like a bestseller, the FAR is essential reading not just for federal contracting officers and federal contractors, but owners of small (and large) businesses, too. “Basically, anyone who does or wants to conduct business with the government reads the FAR,” said Dan Briest, Program Manager of Acquisition.

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Widgets, Mobile Apps, and SMS: Essential Agency Tools for Summer Heat Safety, Hurricane Season, and Emergency Preparedness

According to recent Pew Research Center surveys, 45 percent of American adults have tablets and 68 percent have smartphones. While the majority of smartphone owners use their mobile devices to keep up with breaking news and stay informed about what is happening in their communities, nearly half, 40 percent, also reported using their smartphones to look up government services or information. As is the case each summer, most of the U.

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Three Actions to Take Now to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Summary: The 2016 National Preparedness Report is an important guidepost in our work to build a stronger, more resilient America. Today we released the 2016 National Preparedness Report, an important guidepost in our work to build a stronger, more resilient America. The findings of this year’s report are significant. This vital information is analyzed to gauge the progress that community partners—including all levels of government, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities, and individuals—are making to prepare for a wide array of threats and hazards.

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Check Your Refund Status AND Pay Your Taxes With IRS2Go

This tax season, it’s not just taxpayers expecting a refund who can take advantage of IRS2Go, the IRS’ mobile app, but now taxpayers who owe money are able to make payments through the app. IRS2Go offered for Amazon, Android and iOS is one of the oldest and arguably most popular government apps with over five million downloads on the Android platform alone. Every year IRS reviews user feedback and decides what new features to add.

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Sixty Years of Tradition: Tracking Santa with NORAD

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds;… …wondering when Santa was coming? “Let’s check!” they all said; So they pulled out their smartphones and tracked Santa’s flight, and played the app’s games ’til close to midnight.

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Fascinating Geysers on the NPS Yellowstone Geysers App

Geological phenomena such as steaming mud craters, bubbling mud pools, hot springs and geysers are some of the exhilarating features of a geo-thermal wonderland. Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park falls into this category. If you are planning a visit to Yellowstone, you can download the National Park Service (NPS)’s NPS Yellowstone Geysers free mobile app from iTunes for iOS and Google Play for Android devices. The app is simple to use with a straightforward menu structure.

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Is There a Generic Equivalent to My Brand Name Drug? Find out with FDA OB Express

Have you ever taken your prescription to the pharmacy, the one that you fill regularly, and the pharmacist hands you pills that have a different name and look quite different from what you regularly get? As a chemist by training, I try to curb my initial anxiety by checking out the composition. However, I have always looked for reassurance from the pharmacist that he/she has dispensed an equivalent generic drug at the direction of my doctor.

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Post Office Whenever and Wherever—USPS Mobile® App

Gone are the days when you have to drive miles on a hot and humid afternoon or a cold wintry morning to your local post office to mail your letters, get your stamps or determine how much postage you will need for that package. Technology has become integral to our lives, and now many of these familiar postal services are available at our fingertips on our mobile devices. Categorized under business, the USPS Mobile® app services customers’ postal needs.

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Making Federal Employment Accessible thru DOD’s CAP App

“My Disability is One Part of Who I Am” was the theme of the 70th National Disability Employment Awareness Month this past October. We celebrated the many contributions of our friends and co-workers with disabilities and recognized the diverse skills and talents they bring to our workplace. However, the real question is: how do we create a comfortable work environment that provides equal access and growth opportunities for all? The Department of Defense’s Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) created a free app that is available for download at the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

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Skin & Bones Come Alive with Smithsonian App

The night air is cool and crisp, the autumn leaves are falling, your costume is ready, jack-o-lanterns carved, lights dimmed, candy in the basket—what else do you need to make “All Hallows’ Eve trick or treat” complete? Some eerie music, a spine tingling, blood curdling horror movie? No, no—those are for yesteryears! This Halloween, let’s make the skeletons in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History come alive. Let’s try and capture that vampire bat skeleton that pulls itself off the mount to run away, or watch the horror of an extinct Steller’s sea cow materialize in the flesh.

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Know Your Molluscs with the Terrestrial Mollusc Key

I have to admit my knowledge of slugs and snails was limited to the familiar, slimy creatures in my garden that ate holes in leaves, flowers, vegetables—almost anything, really—and left silvery traces behind. The Terrestrial Mollusc Key mobile app from the Department of Agriculture was a revelation. The app, specifically designed to assist in the identification of adult terrestrial slugs and snails of agricultural importance, includes 33 families and 128 species.

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Learn about the Fight Against Transnational Crime with INTERPOL Washington

INTERPOL Washington—What is it? It’s a movie. It’s the latest spy novel…No, it’s a mobile app from INTERPOL Washington, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice. INTERPOL Washington, the United States National Central Bureau, serves as the designated representative to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) on behalf of the Attorney General. INTERPOL Washington is the official U.S. point of contact in INTERPOL’s worldwide, police-to-police communications and criminal intelligence network.

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National Cancer Institute’s Smokefree Tools

Went a little too far with a bad habit? Do you or someone you love have difficulty putting down the cancer sticks? The National Cancer Institute has developed a triple threat to help kick this issue for good with an app, responsively-designed website and SMS program to help lead the way to a healthier life! The quitSTART app is free and available to everyone, though tailored to teens.

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Track Time and Wages with Labor’s Timesheet App

Believe it or not, even a couple years ago, I was using pen and paper to record and track the hours I worked. It was definitely a chore, reconciling work hours with leave, overtime and any number of other entries, week after week. However, in these times of mobile apps for almost anything, several products are available to capture and track time. While this category is quite crowded, the U.

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Better Air, Better Student Performance: Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools from EPA

Our children spend a lot of time at school. Multiple studies have shown a direct correlation between the learning environment and student behavior. Poorly maintained school facilities with run-down buildings, broken windows, etc., lead to disorderly conduct in students, affect their ability to concentrate and learn, affect teachers, pose health risks, and reduce overall community satisfaction. One environmental factor that can affect the performance and health of students and staff alike is indoor air quality (IAQ).

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Day 100: The Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt

A long time ago in a federal agency building far, far away on F Street… the Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt launched at the DigitalGov Citizen Services Summit in Washington, DC. The campaign goal has not waivered from the initial launch because the USA.gov Mobile Apps Directory remains incomplete. The Directory is the authoritative source for federal mobile Web products, and federal agencies that do not have their apps registered here are losing out on valuable promotional opportunities on USA.

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“Congress Creates the Bill of Rights” from National Archives

Whether it’s the 800-year-old legacy of the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution or the more recent Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, all of these documents are powerful symbols of citizens’ rights and freedom. They articulate the most important rights granted to the citizens of a country, and each has its own history. The Center for Legislative Archives, part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), houses the official records of the U.

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Rebuild Healthy Homes from HUD

We all know it is virtually impossible to prevent natural phenomena such as hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis etc., and we cannot easily avoid these inevitable geological and climatic incidences, as they are typically unpredictable and occur swiftly. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) report, released in March 2015, states that economic losses from disasters are now reaching an average of $250 billion to $300 billion, annually.

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Three New Mobile Apps Honor Fallen Veterans Overseas

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) released three new mobile apps this summer to honor fallen veterans in overseas cemeteries in Belgium, France and Italy. Information about Flanders Field, Meuse-Argonneand Sicily-RomeAmerican Cemeteries are all now accessible via mobile apps for both Android and iOS. ABMC developed these apps in line with their strategy of “providing an inspirational and educational visitor experience through effective outreach and interpretive programs.” Visitors to the cemeteries overseas are able to download these apps prior to travel or via WiFi in the visitor centers.

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NIST Hosts Reference Data Challenge to Create Mobile Apps

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) wants YOU to help them build native apps. NIST launched the Reference Data Challenge to improve the way the agency shares scientific reference data. They want third party developers from around the country to build native apps that aggregate and improve the usability of free NIST datasets and resources. They are offering $45,000 in prize money and are taking submissions until the end of September.

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USDA Puts Hunger on Vacation This Summer

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is helping to put hunger on vacation this summer with their Summer Meal Site Finder, a Web and mobile tool that will provide the location of summer meal sites to ensure low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals while school is out. Having this information in a mobile format is key considering that lower income families are more likely to be mobile only.

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USGS is Asking If You Felt It: Latest Earthquakes

Having experienced everything from little tremors to violent shaking, I know what it is like to live in an earthquake zone. Hiding below a large table or under the sturdy doorframe, and at times with the entire building swaying back and forth—it can be quite frightening and confusing at the same time. Your thoughts are flying at 200 miles an hour, flitting from one to the next, concerned about your and your family’s safety.

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Explore Space with Smithsonian’s Chandra X-Ray App

We continue our celebration of American history and legacy this July 2015 with the New Horizons spacecraft’s dramatic flight past the icy dwarf planet Pluto and its moons—momentous in space exploration. Just think about it—New Horizons, a NASA space probe traveled over 3 billion miles to the ninth and final planet, making America the first and only country that has sent space probes to every planet that makes up our solar system.

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Safe Travels with TravWell

Ahhh… Summer is here at last! It’s time for relaxing vacation! Whether you want to scale the peaks of Mount Everest, scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, ride a camel in the deserts of Mongolia, or shop in Paris—it is time for a travel app. Gone are the days of just booking cheap flights and accommodations. Now there are travel apps for just about anything—planning, packing, pet care, parking, expense tracking, currency conversion, language translation and even optimal light and dark times to help minimize jet lags.

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DAY 50: The Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt!

The Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt is off to the races in both English and Spanish with David Cooper in the lead at 12 #lostapps from the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, Department of Veterans Affairs in a close second with 10, and Elizabeth Perez of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration rounding out the leaderboard at Day 50. Thanks to all who have contributed in locating or updating the Directory including SAMSHA, Broadcasting Board of Governors, United States Coast Guard, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Small Business Administration.

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Celebrating American History with Federal Apps

Summer is here, which means it is time for the biggest holiday of the summer—Fourth of July! Independence Day is a happy time of year: BBQs, picnics, pools, sunshine and fireworks. Of course, the foundation of our celebration is American history, and there are plenty of excellent federal apps focused on this area. The American Battle Monuments Commission maintains 25 overseas military cemeteries that honor the service and sacrifices of U.

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Using Apps for Mental Healthcare

Technology has opened new pathways for delivering health care, including mental health services. The National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), part of the Department of Defense, offers multiple apps that address health care for service members in a variety of ways. At a talk with the MobileGov Community of Practice earlier this year, Dr. David Cooper, a psychologist for T2, said the apps are a way to provide services and make appointments more effective and efficient for patients.

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NOAA’s CrowdMag App: Citizen Science on the Go

The rise in mobile device usage has created a rise in expectations: the public wants new and innovative interactions with all organizations, including government. Incorporating social media in mobile websites and native apps is one way federal agencies have increased public interaction. Six agencies have leveraged native app functionality for crowdsourcing purposes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) leads the way with three public-facing applications that transform ordinary citizens into citizen scientists: Dolphin and Whale 911, Release Mako and CrowdMag.

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When Catastrophe Strikes, Provide Support: SAMHSA’s Disaster Response App

Disasters can strike at anytime, and responders now have another tool in their repertoire to aid survivors. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed the Behavioral Health Disaster Response Mobile App to assist mental health responders with pre-deployment and on-the ground information and resources. SAMHSA has placed their key resource materials in this handy to use app so that responders do not need to keep track of multiple pamphlets and fact sheets.

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New Coast Guard App Streamlines Boating Safety to Maximize Summer Fun

Just in time for the summer season, the U.S. Coast Guard launched a brand new app to give smartphone users easy, on-demand access to critical boating safety information and resources. With this new app, called United States Coast Guard, users can ensure they have proper equipment, check the weather, file a float plan, and so much more. The app also features an emergency assistance button, which calls the closest Coast Guard command center if the phone’s location services are enabled.

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ICE Wields Smartphones in Fight Against Child Exploitation

Armed with a smartphone instead of a badge, ordinary Americans are helping law enforcement officers capture child predators. After exhausting all investigative leads, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents turn to the public for help to locate fugitive child predators through the Operation Predator smartphone app and social media outreach. And it’s working. Since Operation Predator launched for iPhones in September 2013 and Android devices in Oct 2014, the app has assisted in 6 arrests on charges related to child exploitation.

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Start Sleuthing with the Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt

Mobile-friendliness is a must for government. We know there are a number of agencies who have mobile-friendly digital products that we don’t know about, and they deserve their day in the sun. We need your help to find them. So today, at the DigitalGov Citizen Services Summit you will find the MobileGov Community of Practice Expo Table, where we are kicking off the Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt. The mission of the hunt is simple—find the mobile apps or websites not listed on the registry.

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From Startup to Veteran CEO: New BusinessUSA App Has You Covered

BusinessUSA is a centralized, one-stop platform to make it easy for businesses to access services to help them grow and hire. And with the release of a brand new smartphone app for Android and iOS devices, BusinessUSA is fully functional no matter whether you visit by desktop, tablet or smartphone. The BusinessUSA smartphone app consolidates a wide-ranging amount of business information and resources from across the U.S. federal government. The tools in the app are created to help small businesses, as well as more established businesses, navigate regulatory hurdles and gain revenue in a global economy.

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Spoiler Alert: USDA’s FoodKeeper App Helps Americans Avoid Wasting Good Food

Spoiler Alert: Every year, billions of pounds of good food go to waste in the U.S. because Americans are not sure if the food is spoiled. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that retailers and consumers waste 36 pounds of food per person each month. The USDA’s FoodKeeper app helps Americans avoid this problem by offering users valuable storage advice about more than 400 food and beverage items, including various types of baby food, dairy products and eggs, meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and more.

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Mobile-Friendly Park Websites on NPS.gov

Park websites on NPS.gov from A (Acadia) to Z (Zion) are now mobile-friendly. Visitors using phones and tablets to visit national park websites now have a user-friendly experience to enhance their virtual visits. Previously, visitors using mobile devices saw a smaller version of the website scaled to fit the size of their screen. Now, the content will adjust to fit small screens while providing the same functionality available to those visiting the site using a desktop or laptop.

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Checking in on the DoD Mobile Apps Gallery

We’re switching our style up this week in salute to our military friends across the Department of Defense. Faithful readers of DigitalGov know that each Thursday we profile an awesome app from the USA.gov Federal Mobile Apps Directory. This week we’re getting familiar with the DoD Mobile Apps Gallery to highlight some of the great apps available for servicemembers and the general public. First up is a collection of apps from the Air Force, since they’re first on this alphabetical list.

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NCI: Reaching the Public via SMS to Change Behaviors

SMS messages are an excellent way to reach audiences. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) saw SMS messages as an opportunity to reach the public for the implementation of their Mobile Health Behavioral Intervention Programs. NCI has 15 SMS based programs, including HealthyYouTxt, a program designed to help users live a healthier lifestyle, and SmokeFreeTxt, a program designed to help users quit smoking. In this piece, we will talk specifically about the domestic version of the SmokeFreeTxt program, one of their most popular programs.

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New USGS App Helps Save the Piping Plovers!

iPlover is a new app from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for data collection about habitats on coastal beaches and the environment surrounding them. That sounds like a really difficult and important task, but luckily for us, the app is designed for trained and vetted professionals. It is an example of another federal crowdsourcing app, but for experts. The app is actually intended for use by USGS officials and partners and will not function without an approved log-in.

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CareerOneStop’s Newest Online Resources: Targeted to User Needs

When the Employment and Training Administration’s CareerOneStop team embarked on a redesign of the site’s online career, training, and job resources, they didn’t dive right into the technical work. Instead, they embraced a user-centered approach that focused on the user experience (UX). Focusing on UX means taking a step back to learn about users’ core needs and preferences. The team asked real users several questions about the site.

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Booking a Discount Bus Ticket? Check Carrier Safety Records with QCMobile

The new app from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration called “QCMobile” empowers U.S. motorists to make safety their highest priority on the roadways this spring. This is a continued theme in DOT’s mobile strategy, as they have also recently released the SaferRide app. QCMobile (QC stands for “Query Central”) is a free download for anyone interested in reviewing the DOT registration and safety performance information of motor carriers.

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DrugShortages App Accelerates Public Access to Drug Shortage Information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new “DrugShortages” app gives the public access to important—and sometimes critical—drug shortage information easier and faster than ever before. Drugs in short supply can delay or deny needed care for patients. Shortages may also lead health care professionals to rely on alternative drug products, which may be less effective or associated with higher risks than the drug in shortage. The app uses a searchable database to provide real-time information to key stakeholders, including health care practitioners and pharmacists.

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The New FedRAMP.gov Is Here

On Wednesday, March 11, FedRAMP unveiled a redesigned FedRAMP.gov. The new site focuses on user experience that fosters a better understanding of FedRAMP from basic knowledge, to in-depth program requirements and includes the launch of a training program. User experience is at the heart of the website redesign. Using feedback from customer interviews, the new FedRAMP.gov is easily navigable and helps visitors: Understand FedRAMP and its strategic direction Quickly find current templates and other key documents Access educational opportunities and information on FedRAMP events The FedRAMP team addressed these objectives and many others developing the website.

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Explore Iconic Overseas World War II Sites with ABMC Apps

We have not forgotten, we will never forget, the debt of infinite gratitude that we have contracted with those who gave everything for our freedom. Rene Coty, Président de la République Francaise Those are the words of Rene Coty, the president of France from 1954 to 1959, inscribed in the American Battle Monuments Commission’s Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center in France. The Normandy American Cemetery is one of the 25 permanent American military cemeteries in foreign countries that the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) maintains to honor the service, achievements and sacrifices of U.

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Keep a Strong Job Search Game with USA.gov’s Federal Mobile Apps Directory

Scoping the fed scene for the best match to apply your very formidable skillset? Use your smartphone to cast a wider net on your job search with help from the USA.gov Federal Mobile Apps Directory. Federal job hunters are no longer confined to desktop websites, so check out some of the great mobile job search apps and websites listed in the USA.gov directory. If you get hired through one of these apps, my commission is a reasonable 15 percent.

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IRS2Go App Provides Multi-Symptom Relief for Tax Anxiety

The digital equivalent of a cool rag and a spoonful of Pepto Bismol, the Internal Revenue Service updated their IRS2Go app to provide multi-symptom relief for tax anxiety this year. IRS2Go lets taxpayers check on the status of their tax refund and obtain helpful tax information. If you’re e-filing, you can check your refund status within about 24 hours after the IRS confirms receipt of your tax return. If you’re filing paper tax returns, it takes about four weeks to check your refund status due to longer processing times.

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Building Brick by Brick: Ed.gov’s Website Redesign and Mobile Implementation

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither are website redesigns. In line with the piecemeal responsive Web design implementation trend we recently highlighted, the new Ed.gov website redesign happened in three phases. In this case, budget limitations and existing content management systems (CMSs) influenced the decision-making process. “We use three different CMSs,” said Jill James, Web director at the Department of Education. “We timed the phases of our redesigns with technical upgrades that we needed to do anyway.

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Focus on Nutrition with DRI Calculator for Healthcare Professionals App

For those of us who need to get our diet under control—and keep it that way—we surely have noticed the recent explosion of health apps and wearable fitness trackers. No doubt we’ve all thought about buying one of those at $100 to $150 bucks a pop even if we didn’t know for sure exactly what it did. My personal two-week obsession in wristband form came in sporty neon orange and provided me plenty of numbers to keep me busy making sense of it all.

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SaferRide App Could Save Your Life

One death every 52 minutes. That’s how frequently someone died in crashes involving a drunk driver in the U.S. in 2013—10,076 deaths in total. While that number represents a 2.5% reduction in deaths from the previous year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is offering a new mobile app—called SaferRide—to save more lives. Simply put, SaferRide helps people who have been drinking to get a safe ride home.

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Spanish Language Mobile Apps from Gobierno.USA.gov

In mobile app development, if you aren’t making it multilingual, you miss providing anytime, anywhere information and services to important mobile-only audiences. Regular DigitalGov readers know that we’ve touched on Hispanic mobile trends before, including the high rates of mobile usage among Hispanic millennials. Today, we’re highlighting five Spanish language apps from the Spanish Version of the USA.gov Federal Mobile Apps Directory hosted by Gobierno.USA.gov, Aplicaciones Móviles. Multilingual app development is one way federal agencies meet the diverse needs of the U.

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CBP Border Wait Time App a One-Stop Shop for Cross Border Travel

The new Border Wait Time app from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a one stop shop for cross border travelers, displaying estimated wait times and open lane statuses at U.S. land ports of entry. Travelers can also locate ports of entry closest to their location, and then map the best route to the crossing of their choice. For example, the app allows travelers in the Buffalo, New York, area to compare wait times at the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and Lewiston Queenston Bridge and will then direct them to whichever crossing they chose.

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Santa Is 16 Centuries Old: Things I’ve Learned from NORAD Tracks Santa App

NORAD’s Santa Tracker is available for download again! Here are five things I learned from the magical NORAD Tracks Santa app to keep my nieces, nephews and neighborhood children entertained this holiday season, even if I don’t remember how many of them I should buy presents for: Santa’s big night out usually starts in the South Pacific, covers New Zealand and Australia, shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the U.

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Acronyms, Army-isms and Much More: ROTC Handbook App Explains Cadet Life

Have a potential future cadet in the family? Deciding whether the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program is right for you? Already in the program? Study up on the Army ROTC program before you or someone you know steps foot in the classroom in a crisp uniform. Download the ROTC Handbook from the U.S. Army Cadet Command to help learn this new culture—acronyms, Army-isms and all. This app serves a wide audience, including those who are looking to join the program, current cadets and anyone who is interested in cadet life.

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Defense Finance Accounting Services Use HHS Code to Make Mobile-Friendly Tables

Government mobile code developed to help make tables mobile-friendly in one agency has now been used in another agency’s mobile efforts. Last month, Clair Koroma told DigitalGov readers about code that the Department of Health and Human Services had developed to make website tables mobile-friendly and then HHS shared it on the Mobile Code Sharing Catalog. Debra Fiorrito from the Defense Financial Accounting Service and her developer, Todd Posius, have implemented the code on the DFAS.

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Find Fuel During Disasters with Lantern Live App

Who to call? Where to meet? What to pack? How to find fuel? Make sure your personal disaster preparedness plan includes how to quickly find functioning gas stations in your area with help from the Department of Energy’s Lantern Live app. The app crowdsources the ability to find fuel during an emergency through user-generated status reports of local gas stations. It also allows users to check for power outages in the area, and includes useful tips and guidelines for emergency situations.

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Avoid an Awkward Family Thanksgiving with the Federal Apps Mobile Directory

Are you like me? Do you consistently eat too much on Thanksgiving to avoid invasive family conversations that have a high probability of 1) turning awkward and 2) forcing you to abandon a sworn blood oath to never again reveal details of your private life to loved ones? Don’t be like me. It’s your holiday, too, and there’s no need to sit quietly at the table with a full belly and sweating.

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Join the Global Climate Change Conversation with NASA’s Earth Now

Wanna join the global climate change conversation? Arm yourself with real-time facts about Earth’s vital signs from NASA’s Earth Now mobile app. Earth Now is an app that visualizes recent global climate data, including surface air temperature, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and water vapor, as well as gravity and sea level variations. This app not only shows you the current vital signs of the planet, but also explains why each vital sign is important to monitor, and how changes to these signs affect the climate.

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ICE Expands Reach of App Designed to Locate Child Predators

Catching child predators? There’s an app for that, and it’s expanding its reach to Android smartphones. Operation Predator—the first U.S. federal law enforcement app designed to seek the public’s help with identifying and locating fugitive and unknown suspected child predators—is now available for both Android and iOS-based smartphones, and also features built-in Spanish language support. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) launched the initial Operation Predator for Apple products in September 2013.

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Rail Crossing Locator App Now Available on a Second Platform

You don’t need to be a rail buff to want to download the Federal Railroad Administration Rail Crossing Locator app. Parents, outdoor enthusiasts, emergency responders, school officials, motorists and many others will find value in locating area highway-rail crossings. The aim of the app is public safety and the Department of Transportation (DOT) recently added an Android version of the app. The Rail Crossing Locator app uses your current location to display nearby points on a map where a railway line crosses a road or path, as opposed to when a railway line crosses over or under a road via a bridge or tunnel.

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Open and API-Driven Federal Mobile App Registration

Thanks to the power of open data and APIs, federal agencies can now register their mobile native apps and websites on the Federal Mobile Products Registry and have them appear on the USA.gov Federal Mobile Apps Directory (formerly USA.gov Apps Gallery) almost immediately. When we launched the USA.gov Apps Gallery in 2010 there were less than 15 apps. To register an app, an agency would contact us with app info, download screenshots and create a “page” for that app.

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Where’s the Beef? USDA App Serves Up Inspection Information

Want to know where the food you’re eating was produced? Here’s a handy trick before you head out to the grocery store: Download the Meat, Poultry & Egg Product Inspection Directory (MPI Directory) app produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. All containers of meat, poultry and egg products must be labeled with a USDA mark of inspection and establishment number, which is assigned to the plant where the product was produced.

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Bullying: Help Prevent and Protect Anytime, Anywhere, on Any Device

I don’t remember being bullied as a kid, but my younger sister once was. When she was in junior high, a jealous schoolmate who ran in a small tough pack threatened to “beat up” my quiet, mild-mannered sibling at an unspecified time and day during her walk home from school. Sound familiar? Back then (in an era before text messaging and bullying awareness), a well-placed phone call to a high school football player friend of mine who knew said bully made that problem go away.

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No More Beta in Congress.gov’s Responsive Website

Congress.gov ushered in the new fiscal year by removing the beta label from its URL two years after it launched. During this period, the Library of Congress not only extensively tested how the site would display on any device, but in a series of releases and enhancements, completely transformed the ability to find legislative information as the successor to THOMAS. With Congress.gov you can now find information via: A resources section with an A-Z list of hundreds of links related to Congress An improved Advanced Search capability with 30 new fields available to construct increasingly detailed and intricate searches that you can then save.

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Saving the Whales With Just Your Smartphone: West Coast Edition

Saving the whales just got easier for West Coasters with the latest version of the popular Whale Alert app. This free “feel-good” iPhone/iPad app, developed by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and a long list of partners, now enables users on both U.S. coasts to submit reports of whale sightings in real-time that could ultimately alert boaters and vessel captains to slow down and avoid colliding with these majestic creatures.

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CDC App Aids in Prevention of Neonatal Disease

The Centers for Disease Control has added another tool to its suite of mobile applications for healthcare providers and clinicians. The “Prevent Group B Strep” app provides specific, timely guidance to obstetric and neonatal providers to aid in the prevention of perinatal Group B Strep disease. The app’s simple interface delivers, through a series of yes/no questions, recommendations based on programmed algorithms underlying the current guidelines. With this app, healthcare providers and clinicians can:

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#PrepareAthon 2014: Disaster Preparedness in the Palm of Your Hand

If there was one thing we learned on September 11, 2001, it’s that you can never be too prepared for a disaster of any magnitude. September is aptly named** National Preparedness Month** and the government’s #PrepareAthon campaign—led by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)—is under way, culminating in National PrepareAthon! Day, September 30. What better way to show your patriotism this Patriot Day than to commit to be prepared should a disaster should strike your community.

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Census Promotes Mobile Apps Front and Center!

Those cutting edge folks over at Census have raised the bar again! Not only do they have three mobile apps that use their own APIs, but now everyone who visits Census.gov is presented with an overlay promoting America’s Economy, Census PoPQuiz, and dwellr. Clicking on the overlay takes you straight to their mobile products page. Overlay advertising is just one way to promote your mobile products. Your public affairs office is key to ensure you promote to social media and other channels that will alert your users and relevant communities.

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USDA App Helps ID Your Potpourri

Got a thing for dried botanicals? (No, not THOSE … but the stuff of fragrant sachets, decorative wreaths and glass jars filled with heavenly scents?) Before you discard your old potpourri or put some within reach of pets and children, you’ll want to take a look at this new app from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The Dried Botanicals Key app for iOS and Android was designed for professional botanists and plant-enthusiasts alike to quickly identify the variety of dried (scented, bleached or color-dyed) fungi, fruits, seeds and leaves you’re likely to find at your local craft shops and gift stores.

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Paper Prototyping PTSD Coach

The PTSD Coach mobile app from the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides veterans and users with information about PTSD and professional care, along with self-assessment tools and aid in finding support opportunities. The app has been downloaded over 100,000 times in 74 countries around the world, received numerous accolades and has spawned versions in both Australia and Canada. Designed for users that are both in treatment and not, this application is a poster-child for the benefits of user testing and paper prototyping.

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Census PoP Quiz Mobile App Challenges Knowledge of State Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau today released Census PoP Quiz, a new interactive mobile application that challenges users’ knowledge of demographic facts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The new app, which draws from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, aims to raise statistical literacy about the U.S. population. Census PoP Quiz provides an introduction to the statistics that define our growing, changing nation and is a great way for everyone to learn facts about all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the nation in a fun, relevant way.

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Parents Get a Head Start With New Mobile App

As it’s time to return to school, the Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families is helping parents and teachers prepare anytime, anywhere. Head Start Resources, an app available on iOS and Android, is a gateway to tools and resources for those associated with or interested in the program. With the app, users can access: The latest and greatest in Head Start News and updates, The nearest Head Start locations with a map feature that utilizes geolocation, Links to their website via a search function, with resources pertaining to Performance Standards and information about the Head Start Act, and Help by utilizing the “Contact Us” section, featuring a phone number, email, office hours, and an interactive form.

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Safe Swimming This Summer (Can You Say That Four Times Fast?)

You don’t have to try too hard to get people into the water during summer. But swimming the healthy and safe way? Well, everyone could use help on that. Whether you are a swimmer, lifeguard, pool attendant or sun-loving spectator, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Healthy Swimming iPhone/iPad app is for you. With a simple click or two, find the most accurate information about: Where we swim: Pool or ocean?

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How the American Battle Monument Commission Developed its First Mobile App

The job of the American Battle Monument Commission (AMBC) is to manage all overseas cemeteries and memorials from WWI and WWII. There are over 200,000 veterans who are buried or memorialized at these cemeteries. When ABMC began thinking about releasing a native mobile application, they had two primary objectives: 1) The app should be able to serve as a “tour guide” to the millions of visitors who visit the memorials in person.

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FEMA’s Responsive Disaster Assistance Website Helps Survivors Find, Apply for Aid

Hurricane Arthur, the first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, made landfall in North Carolina, July 3, as a Category 2 hurricane. It was no Sandy, but Arthur nevertheless reminds us to be prepared now and always. As we say at NOAA, “It only takes one.” That “one” could be a hurricane or wildfire or any disaster or extreme event. If after a disaster you find yourself with only a mobile device in hand as your most convenient or sole Internet access point, a redesigned FEMA website might come as a small bit of relief.

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Mobile REMM App: New Physicians’ Aid

The Department of Health and Human Service’s Mobile REMM App provides physicians and emergency medical staff with the latest and greatest information concerning radioactive and nuclear emergencies. Available on iOS, Android, and Blackberry platforms, the native application showcases comprehensive information concerning dose estimators and resources to initiate a variety of triages on site without requiring mobile connectivity. After its April update to 2.0.1, users now have access to management algorithms that provide scenario-based flowcharts to help in treatment decision making.

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Have a H(app)y Fourth of July from MobileGov

Washington. You can say a lot of things about this town, but one thing is clear: Fourth of July is our holiday. No one rocks Independence Day quite like we do, thanks to the hardworking people at the National Park Service who manage our National Mall and help stage a blockbuster fireworks celebration there that rivals any around the globe. Coming to “America’s front yard” for the festivities? The NPS National Mall app is a must-download.

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Broadcasting Board of Governors Use “Relay” Tool to Cover the World Cup

World Cup fever, everyone’s got it—even the Broadcasting Board of Governors‘ (BBG) Voice of America has reporters covering the event. For this year’s World Cup, VOA has teamed up with the Office of Digital and Design Innovation (a digital team inside the BBG) to create two new sites: one in English and one in French. These mobile-firsts sites are light-weight, responsive and built to meet the needs of the network’s African audiences, which are increasingly turning to mobile for news and information.

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CDC’s Digital Front Door Goes Responsive

Ask, and you shall receive. That was the strategy behind the new homepage from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new CDC.gov homepage debuted last month with a responsive design that offers a “one-site-fits-all” experience based on feedback from you, the public. Before setting out on their journey of Web redesign, the CDC team sorted through satisfaction survey and traffic data from more than 10,000 users who came to CDC.

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Arlington National Cemetery’s Updated App Brings You Closer to Nation’s Fallen Veterans

While many of us were planning for barbecues or heading to lakes and beaches on the eve of Memorial Day Weekend, the digital team at Arlington National Cemetery was busy doing what they do best: honoring the sacrifices of America’s veterans with the launch of an upgraded mobile app that helps the public to engage with the history of this sacred site and the fallen who rest there. Released in time to mark the Cemetery’s 150 years of military burials, the ANC Explorer 2.

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Mobile Gov Apps for Memorial Day

Memorial Day is Monday and we wanted to let you know about some mobile products available for the holiday. As you’re visiting Arlington National Cemetery, Pointe du Hoc or the National Mall this Memorial Day to pay your respects to our fallen military service members, there are three mobile apps that will provide you with in-depth information about your visit. Arlington National Cemetery’s ANC Explorer mobile app allows the user to locate gravesites, events, or other points of interest; generate front and back photos of a headstone or monument; and receive directions to those locations.

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Defense Finance and Accounting Service Goes Responsive

Let’s face it: Some of us work to live. Some live to work. And all of us look forward to pay day. If you work for the Department of Defense, the Executive Office of the President, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services or the Broadcasting Board of Governors, chances are that you are one of 6.

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CDC’s New App Answers the Question: ‘Can I Eat This?’

I’ll be honest: When I had only heard the name of the new mobile app from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I thought, “Interesting — another dieting app to add to my phone.” So wrong was I. In fact, the only way you’re going to lose weight with this traveler’s app is if you don’t use it. And by “lose weight” I mean involuntary weight loss from retching over a large porcelain bowl—or worse, from being hospitalized for severe dehydration—having contracted food poisoning or a spectacular case of diarrheal disease while traveling abroad.

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‘Operation Predator’ App from ICE Developed to Help Rescue Children, Capture Sexual Predators

It’s disturbing to think about, but essential for all of us to know about: The sexual abuse and exploitation of children. When it comes to rescuing those children and investigating, locating and arresting suspected child predators, “it’s a race against the clock,” says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Acting Director John Sandweg. Luckily there’s a mobile tool to help beat that clock back a bit. Touted as the first of its kind in U.

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Architect of the Capitol’s Guide to National Statuary Hall Collection

The Architect of the Capitol’s new app gives users the ability to view the collection of statues donated by the 50 states in its Guide to the National Statuary Hall Collection of State Statues, available on iOS. Visiting the capitol? The app gives you the location of your state’s statues so you can make sure you have your photo taken with your state’s favorite son or daughter. Want to find out more about the 100 Americans who are included in the collection?

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EPA Mobile Projects Update

Earth Day is next week, so today instead of featuring one mobile product like we do every Thursday, we’re highlighting how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is tackling mobile to help empower citizen environmental decisions. Currently, you can access EPA’s mobile website, a number of EPA apps, and the agency has a dedicated team working on mobile product decisions. Last month, EPA reported on the status of current mobile projects.

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Department of Treasury’s HelpWithMyBank.gov Goes Responsive

As the rapper Notorious B.I.G. aptly noted in his hit song, “Mo Money” brings “Mo Problems.” Especially when you run up against confusing policies or questionable actions by large national banks and financial institutions. Now it’s easier than ever to get your questions answered and troubleshoot your banking issues on-the-go with the mobile-optimized www.HelpWithMyBank.gov from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The site, which has been formatted into responsive design, serves a variety of screen types—from smartphones to tablets to laptops and desktop monitors.

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The Official U.S. Navy App: Powered by API

As a “warfighting-ready force,” the U.S. Navy can bring it wherever and whenever it’s needed around the globe. Now this armed force is bringing it—the latest news, video, photos, multimedia, special events and more—to sailors and their families through a slick new app that effortlessly crosses borders and software platforms. The official U.S. Navy app curates content from a variety of Navy assets and offers users a mobile experience that includes:

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Launches New, Mobile Friendly Website

There’s a LOT going on at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and you don’t want to miss it: Seizures of illegal drug and counterfeit cash. Arrests of human smugglers. Even the interception of imported “pests” (most recently, a new slug found in the Washington area that goes by the name of Pallifera sp) by CBP agriculture specialists. Who knew? Thanks to a mobile-optimized and redesigned www.cbp.gov, now you can get all the latest CBP news, videos, photos, pest interceptions and more—30,000 pieces of content in all, so far—from any smartphone or tablet.

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Get a grip on injury, death rates with new mobile app from CDC

Need to make a pitch for injury prevention? About to give an impromptu public health presentation that can benefit from a few sobering data points about leading causes of death in your state? (Or maybe you just have a keen interest in the macabre while waiting for the bus.) Well, go grab your iPads: The Center for Disease Control’s national Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System or WISQARS has now been packaged into a portable mobile app for iPad users that performs when and where you need it.

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Anytime, Anywhere, Anything: The Effect of Mobile on the Web in 25 Years

In 25 years, imagine a world where anytime, anywhere, any device is just taken for granted. That’s the theme from the responses we got from our Mobile Gov Community of Practice members when we asked them to predict the effect mobile would have on the Web over the next 25 years. While no one claimed to have the exact answer, most members described a future state where the Web was pervasive, not just tied to your computer or smartphone, but interacting with anything and everything.

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Open Payments Apps Help Healthcare Professionals Track Reporting On The Go

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is bringing lots of change to the traditional healthcare landscape as practitioners and healthcare companies gear up for an influx of patient demand. There are also changes to the way healthcare companies and doctors will track and report reimbursements. And not only is the healthcare changing but also are the mobile habits of healthcare practitioners — especially doctors. According to InformationWeek, 86% of physicians and “mid-level” clinicians now use smartphones in their professional activities, up from 78% in 2012.

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Department of Education goes responsive (again) with FSA’s new Financial Aid Toolkit

Money for college? It’s never too early — or too late, for that matter — to start schooling oneself in the possibilities of federal financial aid. Following in the footsteps of their StudentAid.gov website, the digital team at Ed.gov’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) closed out 2013 with the launch of FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov, a “sister” site featuring a flexible, easy-to-access responsive design. What StudentAid.ed.gov is to students, the new FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov is to guidance counselors, “college access professionals,” nonprofit mentors, community organizations, volunteers and others.

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IRS Offers Updated ‘IRS2Go’ App

There’s no way to sugar-coat it. It’s that time again. Tax time. And just in (tax)time, the Internal Revenue Service has updated its handy IRS2Go Mobile App for iPhone/iTouch and Android phones. The 2014 version of the app offers a more elegant and streamlined visual experience — and a few convenient new features including: The Refund Status tab now has a “status tracker” for users to see the status of their tax returns.

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NOAA’s National Ocean Service Goes Responsive

Let’s ponder this for a moment: Maybe you live in South Florida. Maybe the weather is warm, beautiful, sunny. Maybe you’re looking forward to a few days of boating while the rest of the country battles ice storms, snow drifts and various states of emergency. (We can dream, can’t we?) But before you venture out onto that blue paradise, you probably need a few important items to ensure smooth sailing.

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Alternative Fueling Station Locator App from the Department of Energy

So: You decided to purchase a car that takes advantage of more environmentally friendly fuel. Congratulations! Now, you need to find a place to fill the tank that offers more than just regular gas. The new Alternative Fueling Station Locator app from the folks at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is a must-try. The new iPhone app will find and map the 20 closest stations within 30 miles of your location that sell alternative fuels such as natural gas, biodiesel, E85 ethanol, propane and hydrogen.

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Rail Crossing Locator App from DOT

Mobile apps have the power to grant us access to data beyond our expectations, help us get things done easily and quickly, and have some fun, too. But what about apps that can potentially increase our personal and the greater public safety in our neighborhoods and communities? That’s the reason to get behind the Rail Crossing Locator, a mobile app from DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration for iPhone and iPad users.

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FEMA App adds ‘Disaster Reporter’ feature

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is taking the well-known slogan, “See something, say something,”__ to the crowd. Consider it more “See something, submit something.” Harnessing the power of citizen intelligence to understand and respond to disasters, FEMA in late 2013 launched a new feature in its iOS/Android app that crowd-sources photos of disasters and extreme events. “Disaster Reporter” enables people to upload photos of disaster scenes with short captions, which, after a quick vetting process, are then plotted by location on an interactive map.

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Energy.gov goes Responsive

Did this week’s polar vortex wreak havoc on your heating and cooling system? Maybe now you’re in the hunt for a new furnace or looking for more efficient ways to keep warm? Just in time for the epic deep freeze, the team at the Department of Energy has created a much improved web experience for users of their Energy Saver and other popular programs with the launch of a shiny new version of Energy.

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FCC’s Speed Test App

Feeling the need for [more] speed? Well, so is the mobile team at the Federal Communications Commission. As part of the agency’s Measuring Broadband America Program, the FCC is looking to the crowd (that means you!) to help them assess America’s mobile broadband performance on a national scale. Their hope is to use the data they collect anonymously through their new FCC Speed Test app—Android-only for now—to create a detailed picture that could improve both the cellular and WIFI speeds you experience on your mobile device.

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Your Art App Now on Android

Earlier this year the National Gallery of Art released their “Your Art” app on iOS and now they have released an Android version. The Your Art app allows users to explore more than 130 works by artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, and others. Along with the new Android version, the iOS version has been updated to be available in French, English, Mandarin, Russian, Japanese, and Spanish.

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The 2013 NORAD Tracks Santa App

Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus, Right Down iOS/Windows/Android Lane… What started out as a misdirected phone call to NORAD’s predecessor agency in 1955 turned into a much anticipated holiday tradition for kids and adults alike. Fifty-eight years later, NORAD is still tracking the now 1600-year-old Santa’s whereabouts, but this year the agency is offering children and their parents a visually enhanced mobile app on 3 platforms and website (non-mobile) experience to follow along.

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FDA.gov Goes Responsive

It’s late at night. Your child can’t sleep: She has some kind of virus. You reach for a bottle of over-the-counter infant fever reducer you bought recently. But wait, you say to yourself: Didn’t I hear on the news something about a recall? Which brand was that again? Thanks to the digital team at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, you now have access to the latest drug and food product recalls the agency oversees right at your fingertips thanks to their new mobile-friendly FDA.

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U.S. Census Bureau Dwellr App

The pursuit of happiness for many of us might mean a fresh new start and a new place to call home. But where? In such a large and diverse country as ours, the choices can seem endless — and overwhelming. Now, your data friendly U.S. Census Bureau has harnessed the power of its vast trove of demographic, neighborhood-specific and housing information into a new smartphone app on both Google Play and iOS called, aptly, dwellr.

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Surviving Thanksgiving With Your Smartphone

Oh, Thanksgiving! If you need to take a time-out from the dinner table for a little of your own (cyber)space, give these apps a try: Does a holiday with your extended family put your nerves on edge? The Breathe2Relax and TacticalBreather mobile apps are specially designed to help you control physiological responses to stress through the simple yet scientifically proven act of guided deep breathing. Both offer customizable settings. Just lighten up on the onion dip before trying them out.

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Coast Guard HSWL App

Are you active or retired Coast Guard — or related to someone who is? If so, you’ll want to spread the word about the United States Coast Guard’s Health, Safety and Work Life (HSWL) app from USCG’s Office of Work-Life Programs. The app, available for iPhone and Android phones, is a one-stop information portal for many of the support services Coasties and their dependents might need. Among its broad offerings, the app helps users:

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NOAA Release Mako Now on iOS

The NOAA Release Mako App was created for fisherman to report their releases of Shortfin Mako sharks while on the water. In order to offer the tool on another platform, the National Marine Fisheries Service released an iOS version of the app earlier this year. Like the Android version, it uses GPS and allows fisherman to upload photographs of their catches. NOAA says: The app uses a device’s built-in GPS, when available, to fill in exact location coordinates on the shortfin mako live release data form.

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State Department Mobile Site Goes Responsive

The Department of State has updated their mobile website m.state.gov with responsive design. The site auto-detects mobile devices and displays the State mobile site by default. State’s mobile site provides the latest foreign policy information from the State Department. Included are recent stories from the Secretary’s travels, the daily press briefing, country fact sheets, human rights reports, and more. Responsive design is becoming a popular means of creating a single site that can display nicely on a range of device sizes.

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New Outbreaks (but No Zombies) on CDC’s Solve the Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control recently added three new outbreaks to their Solve the Outbreak app. CDC released the app earlier this year to teach users how CDC’s disease detectives save lives everyday. There are now nine outbreaks that players can solve to earn points. Since it’s Halloween, I’ll note that a zombie epidemic is not one of the outbreaks. Most Digital Gov experts might expect some zombies since CDC has a habit of using the living dead as an aid for teaching us about public health awareness.

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Dolphin and Whale Apps from NOAA Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries to help you identify and aid stranded or injured dolphins and whales. The Dolphin & Whale 911 app (Android and iOS) will enhance accurate and timely reporting of stranded marine mammals in the Southeastern U.S. This app will allow you to Report dead, injured or entangled marine mammals by connecting you to the nearest stranding response hotline, so that trained responders and veterinarians can treat the animal (App only works in Southeastern US- stay tuned for expansion to additional geographic areas).

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Mobile Products from HUD

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has two apps that can help citizens learn about their housing rights, locate housing counselors and file housing discrimination complaints. The HUD Counselor Locator App allows smartphone and tablet users to locate housing counselors in their own area who can help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure and obtain more favorable modifications. home buyers determine if they are ready for homeownership, and connect them with safer and more affordable mortgages.

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Constitution App from the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress recently released The U.S. Constitution: Analysis and Interpretation app, an iOS version of the “Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation.” This is a comprehensive analytical legal treatise prepared by attorneys of the Congressional Research Service at the direction of the United States Senate and issued as Senate Document No. 112-9. The new app and improved web publication makes the nearly 3,000-page “Constitution Annotated” more accessible to more people and enable updates of new case analysis three or four times each year.

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National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators App

The National Science Foundation’s National Science Board has developed Science and Engineering Indicators for iPad. The application provides full content of the Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI) 2012 report –the latest edition available. From NSF, The biennial SEI report is a comprehensive source of high-quality, quantitative data on the U.S. and international science and technology enterprise. SEI is essential for policymakers, researchers, journalists, or anyone in search of high-quality, policy-neutral data, trends, and analysis on the U.

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Mobile Products for National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and there are a number of government mobile products to help you prepare for emergencies. FEMA‘s mobile app contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster, a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations (one-stop centers where disaster survivors can access key relief services) and Shelters, general ways the public can get involved before and after a disaster, and the FEMA blog.

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SSI Mobile Wage Reporting

Following up on their mobile website, the Social Security Administration recently released the SSI Mobile Wage Reporting app for Android and iOS devices. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits also are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits. The app allows SSI recipients and their families to report their monthly wages to Social Security from their finger tips.

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How’s My Waterway?: A Mobile Optimized Site from the EPA

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has upgraded its ‘How’s My Waterway?’ website into a responsive design website, meaning it is available on any screen size: desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Now anytime, anywhere, the public will be able to check the condition of their local waterways. The site uses geolocation to determine the closest waterways to the user. Then, using the EPA’s database of “State water quality monitoring reports provided under the Clean Water Act,” the site provides information on the local waterways’ pollution status (unpolluted vs polluted), type (including acidity, PCBs, pesticides, etc.

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NASA Space Place Prime App

In May, NASA released the Space Place Prime app for both iPhone and iPad. This app’s target audience is not only kids, but for teachers, parents, and all space enthusiasts. Based on NASA’s website, The Space Place, this app presents some of the most recent and best offerings of NASA: Timely educational and easy-to-read articles from the website Daily updates of NASA space and Earth-from-space images and the latest, informative videos and articles Interface is a slidable, looping grid of images with icons indicating whether they represent an image, a video, or an article Alternatively, a list mode and a carousel mode present images, videos, and articles sorted separately Content is updated daily and favorites can be tagged and permanently saved You can check out other fun apps like Space Place Prime on the USA.

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Military OneSource

Members of the military and their families now have access to Military OneSource on the go with the new Department of Defense mobile website Military OneSource. This app features: Articles and resources pertaining to military personnel with topics including: Moving, Spouse Education, and Career Opportunities Monthly highlights of the latest news and information effecting the military community Listing of articles supporting the monthly topic, such as Month of the Military Child Social media hub which includes access to available podcasts and the ability to register for future webinars Guidance on accessing non-medical counseling services to using our installation locator to find local programs and services, You can view other mobile products like Military OneSource on the USA.

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HUD Office of Inspector General Responsive Design Website

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has developed a responsive design website for the HUD Office of Inspector General. The website provides: news, the latest reports and publications, locations to field offices, and more. Whether you are using a smart phone, tablet, or other mobile device, the screen automatically adjusts to your device’s screen size making it very user friendly and easy to navigate. The site, developed in Drupal, provides all the essentials needed to quickly direct the user to where it is they wish to go, without limiting the content.

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NOAA’s Whale Alert – Ship Strike Reduction for Right Whales App

Mariners now have an anytime, anywhere resource to aid in the reduction of ship and right whale collisions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in collaboration with other groups in both the private and public sector, has developed an app for the iPhone and iPad which helps to reduce collisions between ships and the endangered right whales. By providing existing NOAA data and information in one easy to access location displayed on NOAA nautical charts, in addition real time GPS position tracking, vessel operators are more easily able to avoid collision with whales.

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To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis Exhibit App

The 2013 JFK Library and Museum exhibit “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis” now has a virtual partner on the iPad. Anytime, anywhere, people will be able to experience this extraordinary moment in history. With “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has made its JFK Library and Museum 2013 exhibit virtual, bringing the app to iPad. This app brings the Cuban Missile Crisis exhibit alive, providing a video series timeline, portraying the events of the historic presidential moments.

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Mobile Gov for Independence Day!

Gearing up for the Fourth? Here are some anytime, anywhere government apps that can help make celebrating the United States easier and more fun. If you’re worried about the weather you can check out the National Weather Service mobile website. If the heat is a concern, the OSHA Heat Index Safety Tool will tell you the heat index of your location and list the precautions you need to take in order to stay safe.

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Medicare.gov Mobile Website

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services redesigned Medicare.gov as a new and improved responsive mobile website for their users (beneficiaries, caregivers and advocates). The users of the Medicare.gov can apply for Medicare services find health plans, doctors, hospitals and nursing homes review Medicare costs, claims, appeals and modify an existing Medicare plan. Medicare.gov users can also access the blog, news and videos sections. The responsive framework of the Medicare.

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NPS Chesapeake Explorer App

The National Park Service (NPS) developed an app for people looking to explore the historic Chesapeake Bay area and travelers now have an anytime, anywhere tool to tell them where they can go and how to get there. The NPS launched the Chesapeake Explorer App last October. This app has over 400 different sites to visit. It helps travelers discover places to experience the beauty and history of the Chesapeake Bay region.

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OPM Alert App

Did that snowstorm (or thunderstorm as the case may be) affect DC feds’ operating status? Now you’ll know even faster with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management‘s newest mobile app OPM Alert. The app features: Real time data on the current operating status for the Federal Government Optional push notifications to alert you whenever status changes occur The ability to review an archive of previous status updates. Don’t know what to do if the Government is closed?

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Energy’s Alternative Fuel Locator Mobile Site

Drivers can find the closest alternative fueling sites anytime, anywhere with the Alternative Fuel Locator. The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has created this mobile website that allows users to locate alternative fueling stations. Using Google map technology and data from the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), the site allows drivers to map the closest biodiesel (B20 and above), electric, ethanol (E85), hydrogen, liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas, or propane fueling sites.

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Social Security’s Mobile Website

The Social Security Administration recently announced their new optimized mobile website which is compatible with Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Windows devices. The mobile website offers a user friendly tabular icon driven navigation, which makes it very easy to find information anytime, anywhere. This mobile website was developed with intelligent back end business processes that assist users with identifying documents needed for a new/replacement Social Security number (SSN) card. Mobile users can also access many of Social Security’s publications in both English and Spanish.

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CDC Mobile Tools

The Center’s for Disease and Control has developed a mobile website and a mobile app so users can access information anytime, anywhere, on any device. The mobile website was developed to allow users to access a subset of CDC’s content on mobile devices. These sections include Health & Safety, Vital Signs and Videos. This mobile website is very user friendly and it was developed using JQuery, HTML and Ajax.

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USPS Mobile App Updates

The U.S. Postal Service Mobile app can help you find a post office, calculate shipping prices and track packages. Since we last featured this app, the USPS has added the ability to schedule pickups and order supplies. Last month, USPS Mobile version 3.8 was released. The new version allows users to see special hours for various USPS locations and has a “Coupons” feature that allows users to scan bar codes on mobile phones.

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Your Art, the National Gallery of Art’s Mobile App

The National Gallery of Art has released a free mobile application about the treasures in the permanent collection. Your Art app, available for iOS, enriches the experience of on-site visitors and expands the Gallery’s reach by bringing its masterpieces to art lovers across the globe. Some of this app’s features include: Audio content, previously accessible only on Gallery-supplied headsets, is now available on personal devices. App users can explore the permanent collection through browsing by artist name, nationality, and theme.

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NASA’s Be A Martian App

Solar System fans, space shuttles are not the only way you can visit a planet! In July 2012, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA developed a mobile app called “NASA Be A Martian”, which allows you to become a Martian citizen on planet Mars. A Martian citizen can explore images, videos and animations on an iOS, Android or Windows mobile device. The images, videos and animations deliver an epic view of the rocky terrestrial planet, known as the Red Planet.

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The SaferCar App

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created a new iOS app that provides real-time vehicle safety information to consumers from NHTSA’s SaferCar.gov site The new SaferCar app gives consumers immediate access to key safety information to help them make informed decisions, with features including: 5-Star Safety Ratings: Consumers considering vehicle purchases can look up crash test ratings and compare them across different makes and models.

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National Park Service Apps

The National Park Service offers 3 mobile apps to create mobile experiences at 3 specific parks available for both the Android and iOS platforms. NPS National Mall App – As cherry blossom visitors give way to the summer travelers, visitors can download the NPS’s National Mall App providing visitors with a handheld map and customizable tour plans based on the length of your visit. Using your device’s geolocation capabilities and camera, the app uses augmented reality to identify the landmarks around you.

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DOSCareers App

The U.S. Department of State has released a mobile app that informs and educates potential foreign service officers about a diplomatic career. The app provides access to more than 500 retired Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) questions that test your knowledge of U.S. government and culture, world history, technology, economics and many other topics. In addition you can find information about the opportunities and experiences of those who have chosen this career, recruitment events and how to contact a Diplomat in Residence near you.

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American Red Cross Tornado App

The American Red Cross Tornado App gets your family and home ready for a tornado. The app, which is available on the Android and iOS platforms, puts everything you need to know to prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand. The app includes an audible siren that goes off when a tornado warning is issued in your area. In addition, it provides:

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NCI QuitPal App

NCI QuitPal is a free smartphone app developed by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to support smokers working to become smoke-free. This interactive app, available on the iOS platform, was developed using proven quit strategies and tools to help change behavior and assist people with giving up smoking. NCI QuitPal’s features include: Set a quit date, financial goals, and reminders Track daily smoking habits with an easy-to-use calendar See graphs tracking money saved and number of packs not smoked Receive health milestones and craving tips to stay motivated Connect with social networks to give milestone updates Create a video diary, and watch personalized video messages from loved ones Access NCI’s Cancer Information Service by toll-free phone line or live chat You can find more mobile products like NCI’s QuitPal on the USA.

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USAID, HHS & DOL Mobile Gov App Challenge Winners

One way federal agencies create Mobile Gov products is through third party development. Some agencies use platforms like Challenge.gov to get the word out to developers and there have been 3 mobile app challenge awards so far this year. Last week the mWomen Design Challenge announced winners. Supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), it asked developers to help redefine mobile user experiences for women in resource-poor settings.

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USDA’s Amber Waves App

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) has developed a tablet app for their Amber Waves magazine which showcases research and analysis on economic and policy issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America. Available as a free download for both Android tablets and Apple’s iPad, the magazine will be updated quarterly on the app. Each issue of Amber Waves provides: Informative articles—indepth Features and brief Findings Engaging infographics and timely data Indicators illustrating the state of the American food and fiber sector, along with U.

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CDC’s Solve the Outbreak App

The Centers for Disease Control has launched a new table app Solve the Outbreak designed to teach users how CDC’s disease detectives save lives everyday. In this interactive, engaging app, you are a disease detective who gets to decide what to do when an outbreak occurs: Do you quarantine the village? Talk to the people who are sick? Ask for more lab results? Using gamification, Solve the Outbreak is a great way to study epidemiology by

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Mobile Gov for Valentine’s Day!

Need a last minute Valentine’s Day gift idea? We’ve put together some last minute anytime, anywhere government Valentine’s ideas for your special someone. Need a card? Send a Valentine’s greeting and a handy health tip (like the one pictured) with CDC’s Mobile Health e-card App! Want to dazzle, but your bank account’s not cooperating? Introduce them to some to the finer things by downloading Smithsonian’s Set in Style app which features jewelry designed for Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor.

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Pointe du Hoc Battle Site Mobile App

The Pointe du Hoc mobile app serves as a tour guide and learning tool for this World War II D-Day landing site in France. The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) developed both Android and iPhone versions, which take advantage of your smartphone’s GPS features to provide a walking tour of the battle site in Normandy and allows you to experience how U.S. Army Rangers scaled the 100 ft. cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, destroyed a critical German battery and took control of the coastal highway, playing a crucial role in the Allied success of D-Day.

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Mobile Gov Resources for 2013!

With mobile use growing exponentially and federal agencies implementing customer-facing mobile services for the Digital Government Strategy, we decided to put together a Mobile Gov resource “cheat sheet” with concepts and information we think will be helpful for agencies implementing Mobile Gov in 2013. Here’s what Mobile Gov implementers need to know! APIs Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have been called the “secret sauce” for digital services. They help open information (content and data) so it can be reused inside and outside of government.

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NORAD Tracks Santa App

_ Mobile Gov Experiences are agency stories about creating anytime, anywhere, any device government services and info. This entry is a story shared by NORAD._ The NORAD Tracks Santa apps provide a countdown to Santa’s Christmas Eve flight, interactive games and live tracking of Santa’s progress on December 24th. Why We Did It The NORAD Tracks Santa program began in 1955 by accident , and the program has evolved into a large volunteer effort that includes military and civilian personnel, as well as national and local companies and organizations.

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Smart Traveler App

_ Mobile Gov Experiences are agency stories about creating anytime, anywhere, any device government services and info. This entry is a story shared by Department of State._ Secretary Clinton often talks about using “21st Century Statecraft” at the State Department. For us in the website office, this equates to using new tools to get information to the American people. Having a Secretary who understands the power of such innovative tools has definitely helped us move forward.

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