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Revealed: Government blows thousands on iPhone apps

Unemployed sir? There's an expensive app for that

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The government spent thousands of pounds on iPhone applications - including one for jobseekers and another to show people how to change a flat tyre.

Despite the recent announcement of a bonfire of vanity websites there are currently six iPhone apps available or in development.

There's one to help people who can't count to monitor their drinking. It cost £10,000 to develop.

The DVLA is creating something called the Motoring Masterclass, which will show the ignorant how to check spark plugs and change flat tyres, costing £40,000.

The Department of Work and Pensions meanwhile has created a dole-bludgers app for unemployed people with either iPhones or Android handsets. That cost £32,775 plus VAT to develop, the BBC discovered via Freedom of Information requests.

The NHS provides quit smoking applications and a Football Fan Fitness Challenge - we assume this is different to the drinking app.

One mystery remains: the Home Office refused to reveal spending, citing entirely invented security concerns. The revelation that Al-Qaeda may be forcing up the price of government mobile software work will strike real fear into the UK population. Either that or your phone already contains a tracking app (the Blunkett?) which is recording your every move.

The Cabinet Office told the Beeb that application development for Apple's Jesus phone was currently on hold.

The government would probably claim that the figures show how cheap mobile apps are compared to websites. Bearing in mind that the Central Office of Information found the government managed to spend £94m to maintain 46 websites for 12 months, plus another £32m on salaries, that is probably true.

Depressing, but true. ®

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