A Download Draught
There is no dearth of government apps today but for their adoption to pick up there is a need to port these to popular stores in an accelerated manner.
As they say, it’s often better not to reinvent something that already exists. The poor state of adoption of government apps in the Mobile Seva store validates the saying. The best performing app in the store in terms of downloads is UPOne, which had 17,365 downloads at the time of writing this article, followed by the M-gov App Store app. No other app, of a total of 634 live apps in the store, had crossed even the 10,000 mark in terms of downloads. In fact, all the apps put together had a cumulative download of 340,421 as of date.
This easily contrasts with may general apps in Google Play and Apple App Store that have seen more than a million downloads, which is considered a modest benchmark of success.
When the government announced its Mobile Seva store in December 2013, it was touted as a next big thing. However, the very fact that the apps were not ported for the popular platforms like Android and iOS led to a low visibility for the apps. That is changing now with the government recognizing the value of leveraging existing popular platforms that have seamless ecosystems developed around them.
One pointer to a potential gap in the design and delivery of government apps may be seen in the fact that while the mygov. in website notes 1.21 million registered users for MyGov as well as more than 131,000 submissions across 198 tasks, the linked app on Google Play store shows an installed range of 10,000 to 50,000 only. It would be important for the concerned government agencies to identify the inhibitors and take corrective measures to realize the full potential reach of these apps.