Prime Minister To Get Personalised Government iPad App


Need help running a country? There will soon be an Apple iPad app for that, thanks to British Government programmers

Prime Minister David Cameron is to receive a personalised iPad app to help him stay on top of day-to-day operations of the government.

Cabinet Office developers are currently building the customised iPad app so the Prime Minister can remain abreast of government business, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The app, which reportedly was inspired during a trip to the United States by government advisers. is expected to be ready by March.

Government dashboard

The app will essentially act as a government dashboard, providing the Prime Minister with all the latest information from across Whitehall – including the latest NHS waiting-list figures, crime statistics, unemployment numbers, and a wide variety of other data – at a glance.

It will also include “real time” news information from Google and Twitter, so Cameron can remain abreast of emerging news and other developments.

Cameron has made no secret of his love for Apple products. For example, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph in October 2010, he described how he uses an iMac, iPad and remote speakers to enjoy wireless music in his office.

“I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve got an iMac and I’ve got a speaker remotely linked without a wire which I did myself,” he was quoted as saying. “I have all the music on the iMac. The cool thing is that I now control my iMac from the iPad, to play out through the speaker but I have to admit I had a little bit of help from someone in IT on that.”

Security question

The news that Cameron is to use Apple products for government will come as something of a surprise, considering that GCHQ recommends BlackBerry devices from Research in Motion, because of its in-built security.

Blackberry devices have traditionally been seen as safe and enterprise-friendly, but there have been signs that the iPhone is making inroads into corporate accounts. In November, for example, it was revealed that the BlackBerry had lost its business crown after iPass’ Mobile Workforce Report found that the iPhone and Android had continued to make inroads among enterprise users.

In June 2010, the British government confirmed that ministers and civil servants were not allowed to use iPhones as a work device, according to a written answer to Parliament by health secretary Simon Burns last year.

Despite this lack of government acceptance of Apple products, the Coalition government remains committed to the UK’s technology sector. Cameron has heavily backed the creation of the so-called Silicon Roundabout cluster of digital companies in East London, for example.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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