White House Releases Android App - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


White House Releases Android App

The government's iPhone application also adds a feature that alerts users when President Obama is about to speak and then lets them watch it live on the device.

Obama's Tech Tools
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Obama's Tech Tools
The White House has released a new mobile application for Google's Android platform to complement an iPhone app that's already available.

The move comes a few days after President Obama complained about the lack of "really cool phones" and high-tech gadgets at the White House at a fundraising event when he thought he was out of earshot of reporters.

The White House has had an iPhone application since January 2010 that's been downloaded more than 400,000 times, according to a blog post.

On Wednesday, due to popular demand, Android users now can download an application that has similar features, providing users with alerts directly from the White House and access to behind-the-scenes photos and videos, according to the post. The application also provides users with the latest news from the White House blog and the Briefing Room site.

The administration also has updated the White House iPhone application with a new feature that provides an alert if President Obama is about to speak and then lets people watch it live on the device.

Nearly double the number of visitors to the WhiteHouse.gov site used mobile phones to access the site in the last two months than over the same period last year, according to the post. Some 6.6% of visits to WhiteHouse.gov, which itself is optimized for mobile browsers, came from the iOS or Android operating system in the last two months, versus 3.6% last year.

A new Android application may not be the fancy technology Obama was expecting when he entered the White House, but it's a step in the right direction to support his goals to modernize federal IT and use technology to better engage with the public.

At an event for campaign contributors last Thursday, Obama said he was expecting more from the technology at the White House when he took over as president and has been disappointed, according to a CBS News online report.

"I always thought I was going to have like really cool phones and stuff," he said, according to the news outlet. "We can't get our phones to work." He also said that the White House is "like 30 years behind" in technology, according to CBS News.

U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra echoed Obama's frustration in a statement released earlier this week about the president's comments. "The President is absolutely right," he said. "When we came into office, federal IT was undeniably broken."

However, while Kundra and other IT leaders won't solve the problems "overnight," they are well on their way to "closing the technology gap between private and public sectors," he said.

Federal agencies certainly have ramped up their release of mobile applications for consumer devices since Kundra has been CIO.

On Tuesday the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense teamed up on a mobile app offering veterans help with post traumatic stress disorder, joining the Army, NASA, the FBI, the IRS, and other government agencies in providing mobile applications to bolster public engagement.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Flash Poll