British PM to receive bespoke 'government' iPad app

The UK's prime minister David Cameron is set to receive a 'personalized' government iPad application. Nuclear codes not included, though.

Oh, the fun of running a country. Apparently one can even do it from an iPad.

The Times reported yesterday that the UK's prime minister David Cameron is to receive a 'personalised' iPad application for government business, allowing him to access real-time data from a plethora of public and internal sources.

Amid some initial confusion and scepticism from TechCrunch Europe, other reports suggest sources have confirmed the development of the 'iGovernment' application, as the BBC continues its eternal quest for official confirmation.

(Source: ZDNet)

A recent trip to the U.S. gave advisors the light-bulb moment in which other sources of information -- from Google to Twitter -- could be viewable on the tablet.

Software engineers at the Cabinet Office within Whitehall, the home of the UK government, will create an application to combine confidential reports along with other important data, allowing Cameron to watch as NHS waiting-list figures lengthen, and current unemployment numbers steadily rise.

But it may take up to three months for the boffins to create and develop the application. And if Cameron thinks he can launch nuclear missiles through a virtual giant red button, he can think again.

Unfortunately, iPad's are not secure enough for UK government use, according to a report earlier this year, designating only BlackBerry technology 'safe' enough for semi-secret documents. The U.S. government however is embracing them instead of the BlackBerry, reports earlier this year said.

It is thought that the application will offer a 'dashboard'-style view of government affairs, rather than the replacement of those funky "red boxes" used by British ministers to carry important state and departmental documents in.

But details remain sketchy at this point. A Cabinet Office spokesperson declined to comment on reports.

Should the iPad itself be a personalised device for government affairs and bolstered for the sake of security, or whether it will be a standalone application for the prime minister alone, it is not clear.

Knowing how the British work, it will probably be outsourced to the private sector to be completed over-budget and over a year late. Oh, satire.

It's not the first time a head of state (not that Cameron is, of course) has used an iPad for government business. The Norwegian prime minister 'managed' his country from the Apple tablet when the Icelandic ash cloud crippled European airspace and left him stranded in New York.

I wonder if Cameron will FaceTime the Queen instead of his weekly in-person meeting? Apparently even Her Majesty has jumped on the iPad bandwagon after her grandchildren showed off the tablet.