State of the Union: The Apps Address

February 1st, 2010 |


Joan is a 20-something Dramatic Writing MFA student at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA. She enjoys theatre, reading, writing, circus arts, and cooking. Follow her recipe updates at Balls Out Cooking.

Considering that last week featured the State of the Union address in the United States, I thought it pertinent to discuss a couple of  apps related to the government. For those of you who don’t live in the US of A, don’t worry, there’s something in this article for you as well!

Obama 2009 (free, iTunes Store)

Now the title of this app is a little misleading, considering its focus is not on Obama alone. It does however have the full text of Obama’s Inaugural Address which is the primary reason that I downloaded it. However, it also includes essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, several addresses by Abraham Lincoln, and FDR’s Fireside Chats. You can also download additional titles. Considering our current president is a pretty darn good orator, I was glad to have a copy of his speech at my fingertips.

White House (free, iTunes store)

This application is part of the Obama Administration’s campaign to make the dealings of the executive branch more accessible and transparent to the American public. The app is free and provides quick and easy access to the White House Blog, Podcast Videos, Photos, a “Live” section and a Newsroom section. For someone who wants to stay on top of the current administration, this app puts all that info at your fingertips. The downsides, however, are that I haven’t been able to distinguish if the application is available on other platforms and it doesn’t work on the iPod Touch. So if you have an iPhone, you’re all set. If you don’t, I’d suggest you start peppering the White House website with emails.

World Factbook 2010 ($.99,

This app is a handy way to access a huge amount of information about the government, economy, geography and culture about most of the countries in the world. The data all comes from the CIA’s World Factbook and is updated in the application as often as the CIA updates their database. The app is cleanly presented and completely comprehensive. Additionally, the information is all stored locally on your phone, so you don’t have to have internet access to get at it. At only 99 cents, it’s a steal, especially if you find yourself looking up this information on a regular basis. Once again, the only problem is that it’s only available on the iPhone. If you’re on another phone and simply must have it, I’d once again suggest contacting the developers whom you can reach through this webpage:

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Joan Miller