Today, I was reading an article over on the Microsoft Government Blog about apps built exclusively for Microsoft Phone 7. The blog was written by Parul Bhandari, Government Industry Solutions Lead, Worldwide Public Sector. I thought it was an interesting look at some of the apps built for Microsoft mobile devices, and also a look at how much smartphones have impacted our professional and private lives.
Parul states, “According to Forrester Research, one billion consumers will own a smartphone by 2016—that’s roughly one seventh of the world’s population! For government, this represents a massive constituency of citizens who are increasingly accustomed to—and now expect—having access to mobile services served up via their smartphones.”
This statistic to me shows the importance of government to continue to move towards developing mobile applications, mobile friendly websites and continue to work towards providing services on mobile devices. Parul talks briefly about the role Microsoft has played in the developer community, “For several years now, we’ve even held developer competitions to help catalyze mobile app development in government. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out what our developer community has dreamed up for both federal and state and local government from recent competitions. Below are some of my personal favorite government apps that have been developed for Windows Phone 7.”
Parul closes out his post by sharing some apps developed for Microsoft Phone 7. The five apps he identifies is Advanced Mobile 311, United Nations News, Eye on Earth, Love Clean Streets, and World of Politics. All of the apps are really cool examples of citizen engagement in the mobile space.
Note: Unless noted otherwise, the descriptions below are from appsfuze.com, to learn more about each app, simply click the hyperlink.
Advanced Mobile 311
Advanced Mobile 311 is an easy-to-use, cloud-based crowdsourcing solution specifically designed for municipalities and organizations that wish to empower their citizenry or employees to quickly and accurately generate service requests using their personal smart phones. Users can quickly identify the location of an issue on an interactive map, search and select the appropriate service code from the customers' source systems, attach a photograph, and include ad-hoc comments and contact information for follow-up.
United Nations News
United Nations News lets you keep in touch with the latest news from the international community, global events, and initiatives from around the world. The well-traveled global citizen will find this app invaluable in keeping up with what's truly important in today's world.
Eye on Earth (Click to download PDF)
The PDF provides a great overview of this app, which is a really cool use of data. Parul also provides an overview, stating, "Based on data from the European Environment Agency (EEA), Eye on Earth is a mobile app developed for Windows Phone 7 that visualizes environmental data (e.g., air and water quality) in real-time, allowing policy makers to stay more informed about the state of the environment, as well as expanding data access to European citizens, helping them make more informed health decisions based on changing environmental factors."
Love Clean Streets
Parul provided a great overview of the Love Clean Streets app. "This is a fantastic app developed to enable citizens around the world to use their mobile phones to report “grime crime” and other issues to their local authorities. That includes things like graffiti, littering, and potholes. Using the free mobile app, users can submit reports in as little as 40 seconds. Simply take a photo, add a brief description and hit send. Evidence from Lewisham, England, where it all started, shows complaints about graffiti fell by 30 percent within two years of the introduction of the mobile app, and the amount and frequency of graffiti observed in the London borough fell by eight percent. Pretty impressive!"
World of Politics
Parul described this app as, "This app is similar to the United Nations News app, in that it is a news aggregator. It’s one of my favorite sources for political news happening throughout the international community. It draws content using an RSS news feed from websites like BBC, CNN, Reuters and many others."
These are all great apps, and I'd encourage you all to check them out and learn more. What kind of apps do you use on your Microsoft Phone 7? What kind of apps would be beneficial to you and government?
|Every day at Microsoft we are motivated and inspired by how our customers use our software to find creative solutions to business problems, develop breakthrough ideas, and stay connected to what's most important to them. Check out their Microsoft Productivity for Government group on GovLoop as well as the Technology Sub-Community of which they are a council member.