Free apps from the US government

Parade provides a list of smartphone applications that are free for download from the United States government. From the Parade list and the online list at USA.gov, two of the useful and interesting options:

Recalls.gov Enter any food, medicine, or product to learn whether it has been the subject of a safety recall. [I’ve wondered how consumers are supposed to know whether an item is recalled or not. An app like this could be very useful.]

My Food-a-Pedia Type in any food to see how many calories it has and which food-pyramid requirements it fulfills. [Sounds like good basic nutrition information.]

I can’t imagine this app will get too much use:

Alternative Fuel Locator Looking for a tankful of bio-diesel? This app will show you the way to the nearest station. [Perhaps not enough bio-diesel users out there.]

And I’m not sure what users will think of these two:

FBI’s Most Wanted Browse a list of the country’s most dangerous fugitives and submit a tip from your phone if you spot one of the criminals. [Could be a way to kill time – or confirm one’s suspicions about the shifty guy on the subway.]

NASA App [Could be really cool – or a bunch of bureaucratic stuff.]

Not owning a smartphone, I haven’t spent any time browsing the application stores to see what is available. But if the government has jumped into the game, it sounds like we are well on our way to having many more apps…

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