App of the Week: Today’s Document & Patriotic Apps

By Keith Spencer

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, mobile users across the country may be looking for ways to explore what makes the United States a nation others have emulated for decades if not centuries. At NoBo Magazine, we are always looking for ways to explore our history, connect with other citizens, and showcase one of the most influential regions in the American Revolution.

Today’s Document is our app of the week, brought to you by the wonderful historians at the National Archives, as well as five other apps to help Americans honor and celebrate their independence and national heritage.


Today’s Document from the National Archives

The National Archives has released their first mobile application, Today’s Document, which brings users to an interactive gallery where they can explore 365 fascinating items from the holdings of the National Archives. Based on a popular feature from the Archives website, learn about significant events from our history, including documents and photographs that can be searched by keyword or dates. Zoom in on the high-resolution images to get the closest look possible, and read background information and related links for the document. Share your finds with friends on social media, and keep track of the most important documents by simply tapping the favorite star. Available for free, Today’s Document is available in the Android Marketplace and the Apple iTunes Store.


The White House Official App

This app is your direct line to the President and everything that goes on at The White House. Follow the policies and events of President Barack Obama, and get up-to-date information directly from the administration. The crisp, clean interface allows users to access the latest news from their blog and newsroom, featured videos and photos, and live streams out of the White House. The White House Official App is available for free in the Android Marketplace and the Apple iTunes Store.


The Library of Congress Official App

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library and body of knowledge. Take a virtual tour using the app which nearly mirrors the Library of Congress Experience, allowing users to visit award-winning exhibitions that have drawn millions of visitors to the site in Washington DC. From the Main Reading Room to the Great Hall, read documents and view photos from the earlier period of American history to one of the largest Bible collections in the world. The Library and this app has it all, and is a must for all history buffs. The app is available exclusively from the Apple iTunes Store for free.


The United States Army Official App

 The Official Homepage of the United States Army is now available as an app exclusively for the iPhone. Get all the news from, including the latest articles, pictures, and videos. Test your skills with a challenging tile strategy game, learn about ranks, equipment, uniforms, and the Army song, and even download and read Soldiers Magazine. Save stories for offline viewing, and share news with your friends and family via social media connectivity. Of course, the app also allows users to easily find a recruiter should a call to service arise. The US Army App is available in the Apple iTunes Store for free.


National Parks Maps by National Geographic

Inspiring naturalists since 1888, the National Geographic Society has some of the most beautiful and useful apps available for mobile devices today. In honor of Independence Day, we recommend using the National Parks Maps app to get out and explore 20 of the top U.S. National Parks with the best collection of trail maps available for your smartphone. Available exclusively for your favorite Apple device, use this app to plan your next road trip to one of America’s great treasures, our National Park system. For those NoBo residents looking to stay close, use the app as a guide through Maine’s Acadia National Park. Other parks featured include : Arches – Big Bend – Bryce Canyon – Canyonlands – Channel Islands – Death Valley – Glacier – Grand Canyon – Grand Teton – Great Smoky Mountains – Joshua Tree – Mount Rainier – Olympic – Rocky Mountain – Sequoia/Kings Canyon – Shenandoah – Yellowstone – Yosemite – Zion. The app is available for free in the Apple iTunes Store.


NPS National Mall App

After a recent visit to Washington, D.C. this spring, I downloaded the National Park Service app for the National Mall and Memorial Parks sites. Use it to explore the dozens of cultural and historical sites, from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

Get up-to-date information about what is happening at the Mall, use the map and “locate me” to always determine where you are, and follow recommended tours depending time and interests. The app is available for free in both the Android Marketplace and the Apple iTunes Store.


Previous Apps of the Week: Hitting the Campaign Trail

Earlier this year in the heat of the primary season, NoBo editors rounded up the best apps for hitting the campaign trail without ever leaving the palm of your hand. Despite a lack of available mobile applications from the GOP in general, these apps are the best way to keep political junkies and concerned citizens both informed and entertained! Click here to check them out!


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