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Postal Service Mobile App Tracks Packages, Locates Mailboxes

Richard B. Levine/Newscom

This story is part of Nextgov’s Building Better Apps project.

The growth of email has battered the U. S. Postal Service financially but that doesn’t mean USPS is a slouch when it comes to modern technology, Nextgov’s team of private sector app reviewers said.

The Postal Service’s mobile app allows users to find the nearest mailbox or post office, track packages by scanning a barcode and look up ZIP codes. Our reviewers gave the app high marks, noting that the information made sense in a mobile context and the app wasn’t bogged down by software bugs as government apps frequently are.

Our reviewers gave the app 3.8 points out of 5.

It would have garnered 4 or 5 points if it allowed users to store some basic information so they didn’t have to enter new data each time they opened it, said iSpeech chief operating officer Yaron Oren. Matt Thazhmon, founder of PowerInbox, called it the best government app out of nine he’s reviewed so far.

Ted Chan, founder of PracticeQuiz.com, was slightly less bullish. Chan used the app to find the nearest post office and it worked perfectly, he said. But he’s not sure Google Maps wouldn’t have worked just as well.

“This is a classic example of the type of app that is a nice wrapper but most people will still go to the Web for almost everything in it,” Chan said. “I don't really see where this would be a value driver for USPS.  Where is the benefit?”

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