Apple iPad gets USDA stamp of approval, deploys thousands of iPads, says other tablets don’t measure up

“The USDA is working its way through an ambitious iPad deployment that may come to serve as a model for a range of government agencies within the U.S. and around the world,” Ryan Fass reports for Cult of Mac. “The challenge was to develop a simple, intuitive, and effective field survey and data collection system.”

“The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is a division of the USDA that is charged with surveying and reporting agricultural data across the country. NASS operates in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico. With a staff of around 3,000 enumerators NASS conducts thousands of survey each year about agriculture across the country,” Fass reports. “The service has been operating since the mid-1800s and, until the iPad, it conducted surveys and collected data in pretty much the same way that it had back in the 19th century – with paper forms filled out by hand and mailed to various field offices.”

Fass reports, “Pam Hird, a project manager involved with the effort noted that the agency tried a range of tablets beyond the iPad as well as various PCs, none of which fit their needs.
We did test other tablets and PCs. But the iPad was the only one that met all of our requirements. To my knowledge, we were the first federal agency to put iPads into production.

Read more, including why iPad’s intuitiveness is so important, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. My mother, a 69 year old retired teacher came to my house yesterday to ask if I can look at her 9 year old HP laptop running XP that was running like treacle…

    …a quick tour of my iPad and I am taking her to the Apple Store to get one for herself tomorrow.

    The iPad is the perfect Internet device for everyone!

      1. Yeh 9 years old, it wasn’t a bad machine, just the OS was a pile of junk.

        She’s really excited, so much so we will be at the Apple Store 9am tomorrow morning to pick it up. And my mum has NEVER been excited about computer.

        The iPad – it just works.

  2. “to develop a simple, intuitive, and effective field survey and data collection system.”

    google is disappointed.
    I’m sure Google would have LOVED to have developed a “free” data collection android app for the USDA or any other govt. dept like maybe the Census Bureau, the Motor Vehicle dept etc …. they are VERY GOOD at data collection apps … ‘your data is my data’…. lol.

    1. Which is EXACTLY WHY Google didn’t get the job.

      I worked for the US Census in 2009 & 2010. They take unauthorized divulging of information seriously. As seriously as when I worked for a defense contractor and held a SECRET clearance.

          1. Cheers! again Pat,
            How is life under the bridge (or should I say Mom’s basement)?
            When was the last time you bathed your smelly troll self?
            Sad- can’t even get the nuance of how the Picasso reference applies- hint: it doesn’t have to do with Shamscum slavishly copying/stealing Apple’s designs…

  3. As usual, let me add that, technically Verizon’s “4G” LTE remains only a marketing term while their actual technology is only enhanced 3G. We are still waiting for actual/factual, IMT-Advanced compliant, 4G standard technology to hit the world mobile markets. Read all about it!

    4G @Wikipedia

    One thing the bogus marketing distortion of the term ‘4G’ has created is a disincentive to upgrade current fake ‘4G’ systems to the higher standard. Figures! I was hoping we’d see actual/factual 4G standard mobile networks by the end of 2012. Don’t count on it. 😛

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