Last week, the Public Policy Institute of California issued a report showing that Californians are using their mobile devices to surf the web more than ever. The report says that people who live in the Golden State are now twice as likely to use their cell phones to access the Internet than they were just three years ago. Almost all Californians (93%) have cell phones, and 39 percent of these say they have a smartphone.
Consistent with this trend, California state government has been implementing an aggressive mobile strategy. Last year we launched a mobile portal, and the number of agencies targeting mobile users is growing fast.
Whether you are attempting to find the perfect fishing spot, buy a fishing license, look up the smog history on a used car, or make reservations at the nearest pet-friendly state park, state government has something for everyone.
As part of our mobile strategy, the California Technology Agency has a dedicated mobile app developer, Robert Meza, who spends most of his week training staff at various departments on how to use the newly developed mobile state template. Previously, it took about 2 to 3 days to develop an app. Now that a mobile template has been created, it takes a mere 2 to 3 hours to get a department’s application up and running. The template, which meets all section 508 accessibility standards, is being used by 25 departments so far; however this number is expected to grow to at least 50 by December.
Because it is web-based, the template reaches 100% of the mobile market rather than being developed specifically for the iPhone, Android or Blackberry. Mobile users can also now opt-in to location-based coordinates via GPS. This option allows users to view local field offices, resources, traffic, parks, etc. The portal, Mobile.ca.gov, receives about 1,500 hits per day, with 70% of users accessing CHP live traffic conditions.
Throughout all of the state’s websites, about 300,000 users who visit us online are doing so with a mobile device, according to a sample of statistics from Google Analytics for the last 30 days.
As California leads other states in our online presence, so will our strategy to reach people on the go.