Mashable: 5 Cities Benefiting From Mobile Apps

We live in a mobile world. With new research indicating that smartphone users outnumber basic phone users and 100 million Americans are relying on iPhone, Android or Blackberry to power their day, it?s no surprise that people are yearning to get more done on their phones.

And now, the local government is beginning to heed the call of smarter mobile tools.

City government agencies around the world continue to explore mobile applications to provide services more effectively and to reach citizens in new ways. And it’s not just for civil services; cities are embracing apps to highlight their own civic culture and even promote community action.

Here are 10 cities that offer mobile apps for citizens, tourists or both. Does your city have an app? What do you like about it? Let us know in the comments.

The City of Calgary embarked on a 5-app pilot project to improve civic life, and The City of Calgary Pets app was one of the top recommendations. Using the app, citizens can view adoptable dogs and cats, watch videos, and find key information about licensing and responsible pet ownership. For current pet owners, the app can help you find emergency vet clinics throughout the city.

To date, the City of Calgary Pets app has garnered nearly 10,000 downloads. The City of Calgary Animal and Bylaw Services group attributes an increase in people visiting and contacting city shelters to inquire about dogs and cats available for adoption to use of the app.

According to Jacob George, manager of corporate marketing and communications of the City of Calgary, the Pets app and other apps in their program “”provide yet another channel for the city to communicate in a way that is accessible and convenient for citizens.””

The app is available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices and was developed by Purple Forge, a private sector company that has developed apps for municipalities, federal government agencies, politicians and advocacy organizations.

Another application developed by and for Calgary is the Calgary Road Conditions app. Since its launch three months ago, the app has had more than 15,000 downloads. It was the first City of Calgary mobile app to reach the top of its category, making Calgary the first Canadian municipality to have a top-ranking app on iTunes.

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