White House comes with new app upgrades

Today everything seems to be revolving around Android and mobile apps, then why should The White House hold back? To stay in tune with smartphone and tablet lovers they have come up with new versions of White House app for iOS and Android as the Democratic National Convention got under way on Tuesday, including apps tailored for tablets.

The version 2.0 now features a better navigation experience compared to previous iterations. A search bar has been added above the app’s various sections, letting users search through WhiteHouse.gov’s archives and a new “save to favorites” option lets you keep track of the best content you come across, be it articles or the recipes from the White House. Other additions include bug fixes, live alerts, and high-resolution photos tailored for the Retina display on Apple’s latest iPad.

Another interesting development is that The White House has announced that its “We the People” online petition system is going open source. The source code will be provided at Github, giving everyone the option to use it for their own purposes as well as mobile developers can add live streams, briefings and the other content available on the White House app to their own mobile creations.The tool is used on whitehouse.gov so that users can post petitions and then gather signatures online, if a petition gets enough support, it will be reviewed by White House staff. Over 99 percent of content is now available to those visiting from a smart phone or tablet, according to a White House blog post.

We the People was originally launched in September of last year, at which point President Obama promised that the technology would eventually be shared openly.

Visits to WhiteHouse.gov from mobile devices have tripled in the past two years, reaching 15.17 percent of overall traffic to the website, according to Welsch, deputy director of online platforms for the Office of Digital Strategy, as reported in Times Of India.

The White House is an active user of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and other services, also the President had been relying heavily on the Internet to power his bid for office during his 2008 campaign.

 As reported early this year, while announcing an initiative to make key government services accessible using smartphones or tablets, Obama said “Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device.”

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