Thousands of mobile device apps are available from the Apple and Android mobile markets, both fee & free. The federal government has been making some initial steps to become part of this arena with its own entries designed by its own agencies and partners.
A big push for them to undertake this initiative came directly form the White House. In a major 2012 stategy document that addressed many government information issues. Agencies were instructed to develop mobile applications for the public.
"The general public and our government workforce should be able to access government information and services on demand and on any device. To jump-start the transition to mobile platforms, agencies will be required to mobile-enable at least two priority customer-facing services within the next 12 months. This includes services currently provided offline or optimizing those currently delivered online for mobile platforms. Agencies will also be required to deliver information in new ways that fully harness the power and potential of mobile and web-based technologies... " ( "Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People" ,Section 7 of 10 )
Links to many of these new mobile apps, both clever and hokey, can be found at this web page
Here is a sampling of some of Uncle Sam's new apps :
Given recent unusual weather events, these two apps from the Red Cross may be particularly relevant :
Get your family and home ready for a tornado with the official Tornado App from the American Red Cross. The tornado warning app puts everything you need to know to prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand.
Be ready for severe weather with Hurricane by American Red Cross. Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out
This app from The National Severe Storms Laboratory allows individual citizens to contribute directly to better weather models and prediction.
Two apps on health matters provide both practical guidance and also a chance to be a "Disease Detective"
Accidents happen. The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Get the app and be prepared for what life brings. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid.
When new outbreaks happen, disease detectives are sent in to figure out how they started, before they can spread. With CDC's free iPad app, you get to solve the outbreak and become a disease detective.
Graphics from recent NASA space missions give the app "Comet Quest" a very realisitic feel.
Accumulate as many points as possible during the fixed game period. Earn bonus points by taking a short, optional comet quiz at the end of a game.
Not forgetting the Arts and Literature, here are two educational and enjoyable apps fro both adults and kids.
As part of its mission to present great works of art for all to learn from and enjoy, the National Gallery of Art has released a free mobile application about the treasures in the permanent collection.Audio content, previously accessible only on Gallery-supplied headsets, is now available on personal devices.
A special Kid's Tour is designed to capture the imagination of the younger generation.
The Aesop for Children interactive book is designed to be enjoyed by readers of any age. The book contains over 140 classic fables, accompanied by beautiful illustrations and interactive animations.
Each story has a hand drawn illustration and sometimes animations to go along with a wonderful little story. Of which there is many, as well as a life lesson to sum it all up.