White House Invites Developers to Tinker With Its App

/ Source: TechNewsDaily

The White House released new versions of its White House app for iOS and Android today (Sept. 4), including apps tailored for tablets. And in an unprecedented move, it opened its apps to developers to modify for their own use.

The expansion of  mobile apps  is designed to give Americans access to the White House "anytime, anywhere and on any device," Peter Welsch, President Barack Obama's head of digital strategy, wrote on the White House blog. Over the past two years the number of mobile visits to WhiteHouse.gov has tripled, reaching 15.17 percent of total traffic, he said.

Whether you're using an iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Galaxy Tab, you'll be able to  stream live video  of White House events, swipe through high-resolution photos and read the latest releases in the Briefing Room. Today's briefing includes a  transcript from Obama's noontime speech at Norfolk State University, his last stop before the opening of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The president said he will be watching his wife's convention speech tonight from home with his girls and will leave for Charlotte tomorrow. A built-in bookmarker allows you to save content to your favorites and read later.

America has become accustomed to Obama's masterful use of social media, such as the president's  Ask Me Anything  on Reddit. And now mobile developers can get in on the game. With today's release, the  source code  for the mobile apps was posted on Github, a popular site where programmers can develop new programs with one another. That means that mobile developers can add live streams, briefings and the other content available on the White House app to their own mobile creations.

Welsch said his staff plans to continue updating the apps and mobile site in the months ahead and encouraged the public to email or tweet @WHWeb with new ideas. How about this one? Enable landscape viewing on the iPad — unless you are looking at individual photos, which can be viewed both horizontally and vertically, the display remains in the vertical view no matter how you rotate the device.