Granted, the apps are all of a sort and aren't nearly as exciting as the blockbuster "Most Wanted" app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. But eGovernment developing firm NIC popped a few of its apps into Apple's early iPad app selection, and it's an encouraging sign of things to come.
The apps, all free, are pretty basic at the moment: They're all driver's license practice exams, and they've only got five states represented (Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah, Kentucky, and West Virginia). But NIC stresses in their announcement that these apps are far from the end of their sojourn in the App Store (search for "NICUSA" in iTunes to find them). Said CEO Harry Herington:
"As soon as the iPad was unveiled, NIC started building these apps because we recognized how popular this device was going to be. We’re also proud to help five of our state partners lead the industry by offering the first government apps designed specifically for the iPad, and we look forward to introducing many more iPad and iPhone apps for our government partners in the future."
What could be next for governmental apps? There are already unofficial tax apps (very popular at the moment, no surprise), but there are all sorts of forms that could be made cheap and effective on a tablet format like the iPad's. Hey, maybe if the census was an iPad app, I'd have remembered to send it back within the first two weeks of receiving it!
If you find any examples of eGovernment apps that are worth writing about, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with details.