Federal agencies started developing apps for iPad and growing number of these apps are widely available for public use. Some of these iPad apps include a field guide to various trees from Smithsonian and an app developed to track awarded contracts under the federal stimulus package. Some of the iPad apps are from NASA and other related federal agencies. At present, there are at least two dozens iPad apps available at the Apple AppStore that are either developed or sponsored by the government. This could be the beginning of another fast growing trend in iPad apps development as the government starts to actively participate in the development process and iPad sponsorship.
Federal agencies are designing a number of apps that can work both on iPads and iPhones like the FEMA app and the Smart Traveler app from the Department of State. Other iPad apps have been developed by private companies while using data from the government. Some of these iPad apps are related in weather and climate tracking from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Another app developer, NIC, also developed a number of apps for iPad that will prepare student drivers in their upcoming state license exams.
The continued growth in iPad app development is imminent because agencies are now starting to create more mobile apps. In previous months, Apple AppStore has seen a noticeable increase in the number of available apps and most of these applications are coming from a several government agencies. Among the most visually convincing government apps for iPad is the highly interactive Marines Magazine with its usual quarterly publications. Touch screen navigation enables iPad users to navigate from one page to another with just a flick of the wrist. Some of the articles are also published with an embedded video which is an additional bonus for those who hate to read a full article. One of the recent issues of Marines Magazine includes an embedded video of a Medal of Honor formal procedure that comes with an article regarding a marine who continually returned in front of the line just to rescue his fallen comrades even after he was wounded doing the act of courage and bravery.
Some of the iPad apps developed by the government have been created in partnership with other organizations. For example, the Smithsonian Institution collaborated with the University of Maryland and the Columbia University to develop Leafsnap. This application is basically a field guide to all American trees. One of the compelling features of this iPad app is the visual recognition technology enabling it to analyze photos of leaves that have been taken using iPad and match them up with the pictures stored in the app’s database.