Federal App Store Reaches 100 Titles - InformationWeek

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Federal App Store Reaches 100 Titles

QuitSTART, an application to help people stop smoking, joins apps from the IRS, NASA, U.S. Post Office, and numerous other agencies at app portal.

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An application to help people stop smoking has become the 100th app to be posted to the federal mobile application portal as part of the government's overall push to use mobile technology to improve how it engages with the public.

The General Services Adminstration has posted QuitSTART, a free iPhone app developed by the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, to the mobile apps page of USA.gov, the U.S. government's official Web portal.

The application is aimed at encouraging smokers to give up the habit by helping them track their cravings and moods and monitor their progress as they reach smoke-free milestones, according to the GSA. It also helps them identify the triggers that make them want cigarettes, and lets them upload personalized "pick me ups" and reminders to stay smoke-free during challenging times.

QuitSTART joins apps from a number of other government agencies, including the IRS, NASA, the FBI, and the Environmental Protection Agency that are available for free on the site. The feds launched USA.gov's mobile apps gallery in July 2010 as part of a broader push to take advantage of the ubiquity of smartphones such as iPhones and Android-based devices to find new ways to connect with citizens.

[ Check out the government's apps for business. See Data.gov Delivers Government Apps, Data For Businesses. ]

Apps available on the site range from the informational, such as the White House app that provides news and information from the Oval Office; to the playful, such as the Smithsonian's MEanderthal, which lets people see how they might look as a caveman; to the helpful, such as the IRS2go app that lets people check their income-tax return status on their mobile device.

The federal government in general is making a rapid push to adopt mobility in a range of ways. U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel is working on a mobility strategy to accelerate and standardize this push, and agencies internally are also enacting policies such as allowing personnel to bring their own devices to work to encourage broader use of the technology.

How 10 federal agencies are tapping the power of cloud computing--without compromising security. Also in the new, all-digital InformationWeek Government supplement: To judge the success of the OMB's IT reform efforts, we need concrete numbers on cost savings and returns. Download our Cloud In Action issue of InformationWeek Government now. (Free registration required.)

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