NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The government may struggle to create jobs, but it has proved to be masterful at creating smartphone apps. Now it’s looking for suggestions from you.
Until Sept. 15, USA.gov is asking readers to recommend ideas for mobile apps that the various government agencies should produce. To give readers an idea of what’s possible, the site includes a link to the dozens of apps that the government has already released, which range from incredibly useful apps like those that locate alternative fuel sources and notify users of recall alerts to the just plain bizarre, like an app from the Smithsonian Institute that shows the user what he or she would look like as a Neanderthal.
Unfortunately, there have been fewer than 100 suggestions to date, which seems low considering this is one great instance where Uncle Sam will listen to you and can quickly do something that may make your everyday life a little bit easier. So MainStreet has a few ideas of our own for apps that the government could create, which we hope will get the conversation started. If you like any of these or have an idea of your own, let us know in the comments and don’t forget to leave your idea here to be officially considered.Food Stamp Map
Food stamp use has exploded since the recession and many Americans are likely struggling to figure out how the program works and how to make the most of it. This is one area where a smartphone app could really come in handy. The government could create a map of all supermarkets and shopping centers that accept food stamps and notify users of the one nearest them. In fact, they could go further still and partner with those stores to promote their best deals so that consumers get the biggest bang for their government-subsidized buck.