Government iPhone app spending revealed

Job Centre and DVLA add-ons cost thousands

Costs of apps for seeking work and changing the wheel of your motor discovered.

Let’s face it, you’re no one unless you’re sitting pretty in the App Store, a sleek new add-on primed to make snazzy use of the iPhone’s killer features. But if you were keen on snaffling a government-backed extra, you might be in for a shock when you find out out just how much these apps are costing you.

A Freedom of Information act request from the BBC has thrown up some impressive figures, showing the government dropped a massive £40,000 on a DVLA app which not only tracks rescue vehicles when you’re broken down but also shows you how to change a wheel in an emergency. Think of it as a really dull version of Jamie Oliver’s specced up App Store chart topper.

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Sadly, the DVLA app is on hold thanks to the swathes of cuts currently taking hold throughout government. However, another pricey add-on, Job Centre Plus, did make it onto the App Store, enjoying 53,000 downloads. Word is, though, that it won’t work with iOS 4.

Best of all, however, is the fact that some apps are subject to national security checks, as they’re being crafted by the Home Office. This is all getting a tad like The Thick of It, but government insiders have said all iPhone app spending has been frozen, meaning we’re unlikely to find out whether the Home Office is really working on a real-time electronically tagged scally tracking device after all.

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