x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Don't worry, be appy

Smartphone software allows everybody to participate in making our community better.

One of the most frustrating things about life in the big city is when you spot something wrong but you haven't a clue how to make it right.

But if you live in Abu Dhabi and you have a concern or complaint, there's no longer a need to bottle it up; you can express yourself via your mobile phone.

The new CityGuard smartphone app, which comes in Apple, Android and BlackBerry flavours, is an easy way to let the authorities know about problems ranging from uncollected rubbish to traffic snarls. Simply take a picture of the situation and press a few buttons to alert the relevant Government department. Geo-positioning software tells them where to go, and they'll report back to you within 48 hours.

The initiative, which has been undergoing trials for 18 months and has led to successful resolution of more than 80 per cent of the 1,500 complaints received, reminds us how technology has improved our lives, and shows how the Government has embraced the future and is responsive.

More importantly, though, it demonstrates how a community working together can help solve its own problems. By becoming part of the solution, we can all make the capital, and the nation, a better place.