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Environment Agency releases free flood-warning app for iPhone

Cliff Saran

The Environment Agency is providing iPhone users with a free app that allows them to find out about potential flood risks, but Blackberry and Android users will have to wait a few months before they can access the same service.

CCTV cameras across the country are being used to help manage flood incidents. By working in partnership with local authorities and the police, existing cameras are being used to help the Environment Agency monitor flood situations and improve response.

The Environment Agency says the service will help people, communities and businesses make informed decisions about how to respond to potential flooding. The application also provides users with information on what they should do to help reduce flood risk, for example, how to flood-proof your home.

Craig Woolhouse, Head of Flood Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said: "One in six properties in England and Wales is at flood risk. This new app is part of our growing use of technology to help better prepare communities and businesses for the devastating impacts of floods."

While Apple is the most popular smartphone platform in the UK, large numbers of people use Blackberry, Nokia/Symbian and Android devices.

Canalys estimates that in 2010, Apple accounted for 29% of UK shipments; RIM was 25%; Nokia 21%; and Android 20%.

"Even if you hit all the major platforms, you are still only hitting just over 50% of mobile phones," says Canalys principal analyst Pete Cunningham. In the future he expects apps providers to develop in HTML 5.0 or enable applications to run across platforms.


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