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Tax Dollars at Work: 12 Government Apps

Credit: AUG (Image credit: AUG)

You've already paid for them, so why aren't you using them? The White House Office of New Media has released a list of the best Government Apps available to the general public. Some are just for fun and others could be real life-savers. From space mission updates to the FBI's most wanted, these mobile apps connect users to some of the government's most important data. 

NASA App: This app contains information about current NASA missions and is heavy on images and video.

USA Jobs: The USA Jobs app allows users to search through a database of jobs with the federal government.

White House: The Official White House app delivers the latest news from the blog and newsroom, featured videos and photos, and live video streaming of White House events with President Barack Obama.

Find Your Embassy: Especially handy for those who frequently travel overseas, the ‘Find Your Embassy’ app helps you locate an American embassy wherever you are.

My TSA: Perhaps more useful now than ever…this app gives you all the latest on carry-on limitations, ID requirements, liquid rules, or real-time operating status for U.S. airports.

Alternative Fuel Locator: Find fueling stations for your alternative fuel vehicle with the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fueling Station Locator. This app allows drivers to find the five closest biodiesel, electricity, E85 (ethanol), hydrogen, natural gas, and propane fueling sites. [7 Surprising Uses of Oil] This app is a single stop for finding info at the federal, state, or local government level. Contains information about government websites and government offices' contact information.

Veterans Affairs: Use this app to access services and information for veterans and dependents, including facility locations, information for returning service members, suicide prevention, benefits, and much more.

FBI Most Wanted: This app allows you to quickly identify "Most Wanted" criminals or missing children, and allows you to submit tips to the FBI. This app allows users to calculate gas mileage (MPG), annual fuel costs, annual gas usage, and the carbon footprint information for your car or truck. Whether you're at your child's daycare center or a yard sale, you can type a product's name into your phone and learn immediately whether that product has been recalled because of a safety concern.  You can also see photos of recalled products and learn what to do with recalled products in your homes.

BMI Calculator: One of the most popular tools on the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) website is the BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator. 

Other great apps on the site include: My Food-a-Pedia, which helps count calories and compare foods; Find a Health Center, which helps you locate the nearest federally-funded health-care facility; U.V. Index, which helps you check the U.V. level and air quality in any location; and apps from FEMA, the U.S. Postal Service, the FCC and the EPA. All apps are available at the apps store on the website.

Jeanette Mulvey is the managing editor of BusinessNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience.