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City to embrace iPhone, develop 311 app

Philadelphia is planning to release a free 311 application for Apple's iPhone that would let users log requests for city services and track them from their phones, Division of Technology chief Allan Frank said.

"Anything you can do with 311 when you call, you'll be able to do on your iPhone, and then some. OK, you can take a picture of, say, the illegal dump with the iPhone, and you can geo-locate it for us with the iPhone. All that fancy stuff," Frank said.

Philadelphia would not be the first city to release such an application, but Frank said Philadelphia's would be among the most sophisticated once it was fully developed.

"The first phase is mostly logging requests and tracking them. The next-generation release is where we do the rocket-science stuff. We want it so you can ask the app a question about the city and it comes back with an answer," Frank said.

He hopes the first edition will be ready next month.

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