Wake Forest Town Hall has gone mobile.
Well, the LEED-certified building is staying put, but residents can now access the town’s services using their web-enabled smartphones. Yesterday, the town released a powerful and user-friendly app for the iPhone and Android smartphone platforms (sorry Blackberry users).
The app is very easy to download. It can be found in the Apple App Store or the Android App Market by searching for the term “Wake Forest”. The app is free on both platforms. Even easier, just point your QR code-scanning app at the image below and it will direct you to the app download page.
The town teamed with Wake Forest-based Purple Monkey Apps, a company that develops for Apple and Anrdoid platforms.
We tested the app on iOS (and would like Android users to leave reviews in the comments). It is quick and very well organized. There’s a menu on the bottom that scrolls left and right. Click a tab and get a page from the town’s Website. The pages loaded faster on the iPhone via WiFi than they do using a laptop browser (and the pages load fast in that environment, too). The one drawback using the app is that it delivers a greatly reduced version of the town’s full-sized sized Website. Mobile versions of the pages tabbed would be a great upgrade as the app grows in popularity. Don’t let that slow you down, either, because the pages pinch-zoom very neatly, and iPhone users will be used to this function anyway.
The sliding menu on the button allows users to quickly access key pages on the town’s site, such as utility bill payments, youth sports, town news, This Place Matters, and the town calendar.
The real power is the app’s easy interactivity. Need to call a specific department? Use the Contact tab, select the department, and click call. Your phone starts dialing. Need directions to a park? Open the parks tab, click on a pin on the Google Map and get directions. See a problem needs to be fixed? Use the Report It! tab, snap a photo and send it in. The app is also designed to send push notifications to your phone. Miss a notice? Make sure the app is set to deliver messages to the Notification Center on the iPhone and the messages will appear in the pull-down menu.
This app should become popular with residents very quickly. It’s design and ease of use make it a great first-stop for residents when they can’t get to a computer to interact with Town Hall.