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Last updated at 10:52 GMT, Thursday, 15 November 2012

Government app

Summary

9 November 2012

Many of us have grown used to using apps or applications on smartphones for little tasks like checking the latest weather, catching up on the news or playing games. But how about running a country?

Reporter:

Mark Gregory

iPad

Can an app help the government do their job?

Listen

Click to hear the report

Report

Clip from Apple advertisment:

“What’s great about the iPhone, is that if you want to check snow conditions on the mountain, there’s an app for that.”

And if you want to govern an island nation of 60m people in the North Atlantic there's an app that can help with that - only so far it's available to only one man - British prime minister David Cameron. The app has been developed by an 18-month-old small company in South London.

It crawls the web and other sources providing live data on the jobs market, housing and other key indicators relevant to government. It also tracks social media sources such as Facebook and Twitter, providing insight on what voters are thinking.

The app is provisionally known as the Number 10 Dashboard, a reference to the address of the prime minister's official residence at 10 Downing Street in London. The plan is to make the app more widely available within government once it is perfected. The prime minister is said to have it loaded on his iPad.

Clip from Apple advertisment:

“Yep, there’s an app for just about anything.”

Listen

CLick here to hear the vocabulary

Vocabulary

app

a small, specialised programme downloaded onto a mobile device

govern

to control and guide the public business of a country or group of people; what a government does

crawls

moves slowly on hands and knees; here it means to search (the web)

housing

the houses or accommodation where people live

indicators

information that helps people understand larger trends or issues

tracks

follows closely

insight

a clear, deep and sometimes sudden understanding of a problem or situation

provisionally

for the present moment but likely to change

loaded

(of software) installed