Jo is a digital producer at Pattern. Jo has a background in communication, and has worked as a producer and editor for organisations such as Les Mills International, Tailor, Auckland Libraries and XtraMSN/Telecom. From 2007-2009, Jo was the web editor for Taste and Metro magazines.
Three government apps to try
Last year the Unisys Connected Government Study surveyed 1,000 adults in New Zealand to get insights into Kiwis’ attitudes toward digital government services.
The study, which was also conducted in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, found 64% of Kiwis surveyed prefer to access services online. New Zealand recorded the third highest preference to use mobile apps.
We decided to check out what government mobile apps are currently available in the App Store, and found three, one that we regularly use, and two that have been well received.
1 - Auckland Libraries
The Auckland Libraries (AL) app is free for customers and had a facelift this year. It’s faster when loading core user information compared to previous versions, so don't be fooled by the 2.5 star rating in the App Store.
You can do so much from your phone:
- Search the catalogue and request books, eBooks, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, and game
- Check to see which books are due, and when they’re due Manage renewals and requests (e.g. freeze item if you’re heading overseas, or select any of 55 library branches for pick-ups)
- Browse and check out eBooks and eAudiobooks Find your nearest library across Auckland
- Use your digital library card barcode (very handy when you don't have your physical card)
- Scan an ISBN barcode to see if the item is available within the Auckland Libraries network
- Connect with AL via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email.
2 - Snap Send Solve
Christchurch City Council looks to be in the local government lead with a number of mobile apps in the App Store, including this popular Snap Send Solve app with 4.6 stars by nearly 1,000 reviewers.
The app lets you quickly take photos of problems and send these to council and local authorities. Issues you can report include parking, pavement, abandoned shopping trolleys, damaged roads, potholes, graffiti, litter, broken playground equipment, and noise.
Users say the app is excellent, easy to use and fast when it comes to getting action or a response. A favourite of the app is that it lets you quickly ‘show’ council the problem, instead of having to describe the issue in an email or over the phone.
3 - AT Park
The AT Park app has 3.6 stars by nearly 900 reviewers and positive feedback from this year. This app lets you find and pay for car parks without having to walk up to the physical machines on the street – think how good this is when it’s hailing outside.
AT Park also lets you update and manage your account details online, including setting reminders (e.g. unpaid parking fines), adding multiple vehicles, and having access to all your parking transactions and tax invoices.
This year’s reviewers love the app for its convenience and ease of use, and not having to run back to the machine to top up parking time. You can also stop the parking early (and save money) when you no longer need the park.