Revamps, Adds Mobile Apps

The federal government has released a slew of mobile apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, in an effort to close the customer service gap between the public and private sectors.

Getting the most attention is the Product Recalls app, which is available only on Android, and collates recall and safety information from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture. But that’s just one of the new available apps.

  • My TSA is available as an iPhone app and gives real-time status on flight delays, security wait times and other information at U.S. airports. You can also get information on whether items are allowed in carry-on or checked baggage and even tips for the best way to pack and dress to get through security quickly.
  • The White House iPhone app provides the latest tidbits from the official blog and newsroom.
  • The popular Body Mass Index calculator from National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute got the iPhone app treatment, also providing links to resources on the NHLBI site.
  • The FBI’s Most Wanted list provides photos of and information on each of the bad guys, as well as missing children, and gives you the ability to submit tips directly to the feds.
  • NASA’s iPhone app isn’t new, but it would be wrong to omit it. It gathers the best photos, videos and other information from the agency.
  • The U.S. Postal Service iPhone app allows users to track packages, find post offices, look up ZIP codes and other such stuff.
  • A UV Index app is available on both Android and BlackBerry, providing information on both the UV index and air quality.
Most of the sites that provide the information for the apps above also were optimized for mobile viewing Sites optimized for mobile viewing: Alternative Fuel Locator,, (like, but for an international, rather than national audience), EPA, FEMA, Find Your Embassy,, Medline Plus (the NIH), My Food-a-pedia (Dept. of Agriculture), Veterans Affairs.

The site overall is also much zippier and modern-looking, with a dynamic front page and links to the “most popular” items as well as all the government’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). They also provide a way users can suggest sites should link out to as well as logos that can be used to illustrate the site and tips on how best to link in to the site.