News From Our Blog

If you’re planning a bus trip, the SaferBus iPhone app can check the safety record of the bus service.

Three fourths of fatalities from direct exposure to a chemical or biological agent can be traced back to the first 15 minutes of an event. The Naval Research Laboratory’s CT-Analyst provides instant 3D predictions of agent transport, so first responders can spend more time saving lives.

Learn how the technology works to protect us in a video from NRL.

Government Information from Your Phone: Visit Mobile Apps Gallery

Visit our Mobile Apps Gallery to find government apps and mobile websites.

Here are just a few of the many apps you’ll find:

  • Tornado - If a tornado warning is issued for your location, an alarm will sound, even when the app is closed. (available for iPhone and Android)
  • CDC Mobile App - Get timely health information. (available for iPad and Android)
  • Smart Traveler - Get official country information, travel alerts, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more. (available for iPhone and Android)
  • NCI QuitPal - Use proven strategies to help you stop smoking. (available for iPhone)
  • NPS National Mall - If you’re visiting the National Capital, you can use this app to help you explore cultural and historical sites. (available for iPhone)

You can search for apps by category (Education, Health, Business, etc.) or by platform (Android, Apple, Blackberry, etc.).

Currently, all the apps featured in the gallery are free, though charges from your mobile phone carrier may apply.

Veterans now have their own social networking mobile app to help them find and support one another.

Six Timely Tips for Using Apps with Kids

Do your kids or grandkids use apps on your phone, tablet or e-reader? Of course they do. Many apps are fun, educational and engaging. But before you hand over your mobile device to a youngster, here are six things to know and do:

  1. Try out the apps your kid wants to use so you’re comfortable with the content and the features.
  2. Use the device and app settings to restrict a kid’s ability to download apps, make purchases within an app or access additional material.
  3. Consider turning off your wi-fi and carrier connections using “airplane mode” to disable any interactive features, prevent inadvertent taps and block access to material that you think is inappropriate or just don’t want.
  4. Look for statements about whether the app or anything within the app collects kids’ personal information — and whether they limit sharing, using or retaining the information. If you can’t find those assurances, choose another app.
  5. Check on whether the app connects to social media, gaming platforms or other services that enable sharing photos, video or personal information, or chatting with other players. Then determine whether you can block or limit those connections.
  6. Talk to your kids about the restrictions you set for downloading, purchasing and using apps; tell them what information you’re comfortable sharing through mobile devices, and why.

Want to know more? The FTC has released a new report on mobile apps for kids. Following up on a previous report, the survey found, among other things, that many apps included interactive features, or sent information from the mobile device to ad networks, analytics companies, or other third parties, without disclosing the practices to parents.