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Quick Look: FBI Most Wanted

This app should maybe make it into one of those ‘There’s an app for that’ iPhone ads on TV. ‘Need to alert the FBI on a sighting of one of the world’s most infamous terrorists? – There’s an app for that.’ Much more exciting than just reading restaurant reviews or classic books. 🙂

FBI Most Wanted offers to help you ‘find missing children and apprehend the most wanted fugitives from your iPhone’. I don’t know about that apprehend part – I reckon I might leave that bit to the professionals – but the app provides a lot of good data if you want to be ever-vigilant and help the FBI out on these things.

FBI Most Wanted offers a lot of good, compiled content from FBI information feeds, including:

  • Top 10 Fugitives
  • Most Wanted Terrorists
  • Wanted for Murder
  • Wanted for Violent Crimes
  • Wanted for Cyber Crimes
  • Wanted for Crimes Against Children
  • Seeking Info on MIssing Children
  • Breaking News
  • FBI Podcasts

The app is laid out just about identically to most news / newspaper apps – with bottom nav buttons for its main content categories, sub-categories beneath them, and then listings for individual feed items. Most of the information is presented well and fits the screens nicely – and you can use double-tap and pinch gestures to focus in on details.

Individual pages (for wanted persons or missing children) always feature a photo of the fugitive or child – and a lot of good information – including things like details of when a child went missing, and any suspects in the case. Some App Store reviewers have complained about a lack of photos in the app – and there is now a note in the app’s description stating that some of the FBI’s feeds do not provide images in the items listing views (but all individual pages do) – and the developers have asked the agency’s webmasters to consider adding photos to these views as well.

The pages covering fugitives and Wanted persons indicate when someone is considered armed and dangerous, and generally caution you not to take any action yourself if you believe you know something about a case, but rather advise that you should always contact your local FBI office. Which you can do directly from within the app as well. The ‘Contact’ tab gives you a one-tap call button for the FBI’s Washington DC office, and also lets you find your local FBI office by selecting your state, and then nearest city (or find a US embassy or consulate if you’re abroad).

It does not remember your location though. I suppose this is OK, as you may not always be in a single place, but it would be nice to have an option to bookmark locations – like ‘Home’ or ‘Chicago’, for example, if you happen to travel there frequently etc.

One content section that I was surprised to see is the ‘Podcasts’ area. I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising, but I just never pictured the FBI delivering podcasts. There are some podcasts covering historical information on the agency, and an ‘FBI This Week’ section with some interesting content, including a couple this week covering internet scams and some advice on how to avoid them.

The App Store description states that a portion of every sale is donated to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children – which looks like a great organization.

FBI Most Wanted is well done. It does what it says on the box. Any tool we can use to make it easier to track down missing kids(and violent, wanted criminals) is a very good thing, especially now that all of us are so constantly armed with super smart mobile devices. This is a good one I think, as long as it’s used per the cautions listed in it, and we all leave the heavy stuff to the Jack Bauers of the world.

You can find FBI Most Wanted in the App Store now, for $1.99.

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