State of California Launches iPhone Government Services Locator, Targets Mobile Users on CA.gov Portal

State Technology Update - July 9, 2009

State Chief Information Officer Teri Takai today announced a new application hosted on the CA.gov portal which helps citizens and businesses find and contact government offices on their iPhones. To increase the availability of information and services for Californians on-the-go, the new application provides a directory to selected California government offices and service centers.

"Now more than ever, state government must keep up with the growing demand of mobile Californians who need information, whether it is finding unemployment benefits or where to register a vehicle," said Teri Takai, State Chief Information Officer. "This new application is part of our ongoing effort to improve services, reach the public and make government information more accessible, including through mobile devices."

Mobile users can contact agencies directly by locating an office, calling, or sending email. The locator takes advantage of the iPhone's built-in GPS to automatically detect a user's current location, and identify the closest government office. Users can also search by zip code or city even when network connectivity is not available. The free application provides access to the following offices:

  • Employment Development Department One-Stop Career Centers
  • Department of Motor Vehicles Field Offices
  • Voter Information
  • Public Libraries
  • Victim Witness Assistance Centers
  • Legal Services (Appeal and Habeas Corpus Representation)
  • Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

Several other free iPhone public service applications are featured on the State's mobile site (www.mobile.ca.gov), including:

  • Amber Alert
  • Bay Area Traffic Cam
  • iBART
  • California Traffic Report
  • EcoFinder
  • iStanford
  • LA Traffic Cam

In addition, the State has revamped its mobile website (www.mobile.ca.gov), with improved access for mobile users, including non-iPhone users. The site provides links to mobile-friendly information and services across the state. The site helps users get to mobile information while on-the-go. It includes an agency listing, alerts, important phone numbers, iPhone apps, libraries, news, road and travel, and other mobile-friendly links, including:

  • Amber Alerts by text message
  • Current highway conditions
  • Caltrain, BART, and Amtrak schedules
  • Pay-by-phone parking
  • State agency and Governor news
  • Wi-Fi hot spots
  • eBooks and music downloads

The State portal CA.gov integrates mobile detection technology for web-enabled mobile devices such as PDAs and cell phones. When the site detects a mobile device, it will automatically reformat web pages to suit mobile devices.

The new iPhone app can be download at the Apple iTunes Store, or by visiting the www.mobile.ca.gov website. It was developed through a partnership effort with the State of California and Symsoft Solutions, LLC at no cost.

Last week, the State of California launched a new online data repository on the California State Portal that posts state government data in raw, machine-readable formats, so it can be reused in different ways. The new site allows the public greater access to build custom applications to analyze and display the information. The data includes information on the economy, public health, transportation, environment and more on a single website.

Two weeks ago, the State launched a newly redesigned Web portal, CA.gov, with an improved, interactive design linking to new features, including widgets, social networking Web sites and news and information provided by state agencies, departments, boards and commissions and more.

Governor Schwarzenegger has made it a priority to publish information on the Internet to improve services for Californians and increase government transparency and accountability including:

  • In April, he launched the Reporting Transparency in Government Web site to make publicly available the statement of economic interests, Form 700s and the travel expense claims for the Governor's office senior staff and deputies, agency secretaries, agency undersecretaries and department directors.
  • On June 4, he signed Executive Order S-08-09 and launched a new component to the Web site that will require all state contracts valued at $5,000 or more to be posted online. It will also list both the internal and external audits of state departments and agencies, including information on operations, budget and programs, dating back to January 1, 2008.
  • On June 10, he launched a new feature called "Waste Watchers" on his Web site at www.gov.ca.gov and his Reporting Transparency site. The Waste Watchers site allows state employees and other Californians to go online and report any government waste they may be aware of, either anonymously or by name.
  • In March, the Web site, Recovery.ca.gov was also launched by the Governor earlier this year as a one-stop site to track how Recovery Act funding is coming into and being used in California.
  • Last year, the Governor launched California School Finder which allows parents to easily find and compare schools side-by-side on data such as graduation rates and Academic Performance Index (API) scores, as well as information on student support services and advanced placement courses, in a one-stop easy-to-navigate Web site.

Media Contact: Bill Maile (916) 549-2845