It’s a mobile world – and there better be an app for that – Plus the 7 Gov Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Growing up in the 90s, School House Rock taught me how a bill becomes a law and how the US is a melting pot of cultures. But there is no School House Rock video tell me what civic technology is. And I need one. We get the inside scoop on this emerging phenomenon with the Knight Foundation’s Jon Sotsky.

You can find all of our programs online: DorobekINSIDER.com and GovLoop Insights at http://insights.govloop.com.

But up front: It’s a mobile world – and there better be an app for that

We have all heard — and lived the fact — that it is increasingly a mobile world. And the data show that. But new analysis says that increasingly equates to apps. We mentioned the research from Flurry when it first came out:

The average U.S. consumer increased the amount of time spent on a mobile device to 2 hours and 42 minutes a day, up from 2 hours and 38 minutes in March 2013, according to a report from Flurry. And apps were by far the biggest part of that, commanding 86% of the average mobile user’s time, compared to just 14% on the mobile Web.

But there have been a number of assessments about what it all means:

  • The decline of the mobile web. Tech investor Chris Dixon spurred conversation this week by posting two simple charts: one showed mobile users surpassing desktop users, the other, from Flurry, illustrated how mobile users spend 86% of their time on apps and just 14% on the mobile Web. “This is a worrisome trend for the web. Mobile is the future. What wins mobile, wins the Internet. Right now, apps are winning and the web is losing,” he writes. Dixon fears that a cable TV-like future where a handful of app store owners control what gets built and promoted. [H/T WSJ’s CIO Journal]

  • How Apps Won The Mobile Web: [Tech writer Thomas Claburn writing in InformationWeek] The web might be the dominant platform of our time, but more people than ever prefer to experience it through Google and iOS mobile apps.

The implications for government: Do you have an app for that? It seems merely having a mobile website just isn’t enough.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Hill: GAO: Government overlap costing billions – “The Government Accountability Office highlighted more than two dozen areas where the federal initiatives have too much overlap or other inefficiencies in the report, its fourth in as many years on the subject. Those findings add on to the more than 160 parts of the bureaucracy the GAO urged changes to in the previous reports.”

    1. The GAO report: 2014 Annual Report Additional Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial Benefits

  2. Washington Post: Exclusive | DHS officials broke hiring rules, watchdog alleges – “Top hiring officials at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency broke federal civil service laws when they tried to hire three politically connected but unqualified candidates who were favored by the agency’s then-commissioner, a government watchdog charged Tuesday.”

  3. Washington Post: Secret Service removing supervisor, tightening rules after drinking incidents – “Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has demoted the supervisor of one of the agency’s largest divisions and reassigned nearly two dozen members of its staff, part of a broader cleanup effort in the wake of embarrassing drinking incidents on two recent presidential trips, according to three people familiar with the moves, reports Carol Leonnig.”

  4. GovExec: Republicans, White House Finally Agree on Something: Postal Reform – “A key proponent of overhauling the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday vowed to introduce a new reform bill in the coming weeks, promising to work more closely with the White House in hopes of encouraging more bipartisan support.”

  5. Federal Times: GSA inspector general leaves for private sector – “The General Services Administration’s Inspector General Brian Miller is stepping down to join investigation advisory firm Navigant, according to an April 7 letter Miller wrote to President Obama.”

  6. Washington Post: Windows XP support ends today. But it’s still used by everywhere from governments to ATMs – “After 12 long years, today is D-Day for Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system. Starting today, free support and updates for the software will stop. “

    1. Related: UK’s ComputerWeekly: Government signs £5.5m Microsoft deal to extend Windows XP support – “The government has signed a deal with Microsoft to provide Windows XP support and security updates across the whole UK public sector for 12 months after regular support for the operating system ends on 8 April.”

  7. Federal News Radio: DoD plots third chapter in Better Buying Power initiative – “Nothing is on paper yet, but the Defense Department says it is in the very early stages of creating a “3.0” version of its ongoing Better Buying Power initiative. The newest edition will focus on making sure the military doesn’t fall behind in technological superiority.”

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Tim Howell

I imagine that we will see a blurring of lines between mobile apps and web. The main reason apps have been so popular up to this point is because the power behind running native applications. As the web standards get more sophisticated and support more offline functionality, we will be running apps that are practically all web. It just boils down to how they find and access the services.

It is much faster to spin up web apps than native mobile apps and there is more support for iterative development. We will just see what the app stores do to prevent it because they will have to give up some control.