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Centrelink “customers” love Apple?

By Chris Mordd Richards - 26 August 2012 33

Apparently there is a huge demand among Centrelink benefit recipients for access to Centrelink from their Apple iPod Touch of iPad, since I got this in my email this morning:

You asked, we listened, the Express Plus iPhone app is now also available on your iPod touch (4th generation) or iPad for you to do your Centrelink business. It’s a simple, fast, mobile way to report your earnings, apply for advance payments and receive reminder messages. The Express Plus app is also currently in development for a range of other platforms to be ready later in the year. To find out more about Express Plus visit the human services website and select students.

Now personally I am on Austudy, and making do with a 6yr old Dell laptop running XP and a Nokia of almost the same age for my music/calendar/etc…. From what I have seen on campus at CIT Reid at least this seems pretty common for most students, certainly don’t seem to remember many toting around iPod Touch or iPads (apart from a couple of the teachers anyway).

Last I checked this isn’t exactly the most common accessory among the unemployed either, I am curious, where is the “huge demand” for access to centrelink services come from that enabling it on the most expensive Tablet / Music Player devices on the market is a priority – wouldn’t enabling in on Android to start with probably be a better time investment considering the average cost of an Android device (cheapest crappiest tablet starting from around $100) vs an Apple iPad (starting price around $500).

What do you think readers? Centrelink catching up with the 21st Century or a complete waste of time and money as usual? Personally I’m of the latter opinion, what a joke – make welfare access available through the most expensive devices on the market, way to go Centrelink!

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
Centrelink “customers” love Apple?
c_c 11:02 pm 26 Aug 12

gooterz said :

Any other platform you wouldnt have a licence fee for the software going to apple.
Apple is in complete control of the app.

It’s a free app, there is no licence fee paid to Apple.

Apple has no control over the app.

Mr Waffle 10:20 pm 26 Aug 12

gooterz said :

The problem with Android users is they have a religious affection for Android products and think that everyone else who doesnt use them just hasnt seen the light.

This works too. Wankers are wankers regardless of platform. Yawn…

gooterz 9:47 pm 26 Aug 12

Any other platform you wouldnt have a licence fee for the software going to apple.

Apple is in complete control of the app.. Its not something a government department should do. Makes it much much much harder to fix or upgrade the software.

If anything it should be a website designed for tablet/ mobile.

Apple are now going to get a % more centrelink customers because of this. Makes you wonder what centrelink get out of it.

The problem with apple users is they have a religious affection for apple products and think that everyone else who doesnt use them just hasnt seen the light. Apple products are inferior and more expensive, so consumers aren’t getting value for money.

Deref 8:00 pm 26 Aug 12

There is absolutely no excuse for these instrumentalities to be supporting any specific brand of IT or operating system. Another appalling example is the e-tax system. These applications can and should be developed to to be platform-agnostic. No excuses.

Grail 6:47 pm 26 Aug 12

Writing an iOS App: build the app, test on three phones, two iPads, release, get somewhere in the order of 1% of the users having issues.

Writing an Android app: build the app, test on two dozen phones, tablets, laptops that think they are tablets, phones that think they are tablets, Froyo, Ice Cream Sandwich, half a dozen vendor modified versions of the same, release, get somewhere in the order of 1% of the users for whom the app works as expected.

Now go to the web site and read all the text about which platforms are supported. Yes, that is right, yet another RiotACT article written by a hysterical chicken little who either failed to read the source material, or a povo Android luser with a chip on their shoulder about Samsung continually failing to follow through with promises of next version upgrades for their handsets.

Primal 6:32 pm 26 Aug 12

Heaven forbid the notion that Centrelink might have aimed for this platform because, oh, I don’t know… maybe they actually did some research and found that a lot of their target audience had access to it, despite one of them not being you?

Just because they’re a gubby agency doesn’t mean everything they do is ill-conceived.

Lissy 5:55 pm 26 Aug 12

Hate to break it to you, but students are not the only people who access Centrelink. There are many families accessing child care benefits, family tax benefits etc. Centrelink are simply giving options to their clients, nothing wrong with that. Go back to your study.

Henry82 5:48 pm 26 Aug 12

The joke is that people are spending their Centrelink money of overpriced electrical devices.

Food stamps anyone?

threepaws 4:56 pm 26 Aug 12

An ignorant and ridiculous post. I am a Centrelink customer because I receive the Child Care Rebate. To be crystal clear – I have a job, and I pay someone to look after my child. The Child Care Rebate is available to anyone who has a child in care because they are working, studying or training.

On behalf of hundreds of thousands of Centrelink customers, kindly mind your own business about what gadgets we own or how we choose to access our services.

PoQ 4:48 pm 26 Aug 12

WiFi and hardware comes out of a different budget allocation to wages for staff. Perhaps Centrelink hopes that the unemployed are sending off resumes to potential employers while waiting in the queue to hand in their dole form?

arescarti42 4:01 pm 26 Aug 12

Now personally I am on Austudy, and making do with a 6yr old Dell laptop running XP and a Nokia of almost the same age for my music/calendar/etc…. From what I have seen on campus at CIT Reid at least this seems pretty common for most students, certainly don’t seem to remember many toting around iPod Touch or iPads (apart from a couple of the teachers anyway).

Interesting, that’s quite different to my observations at the ANU. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an artsy hipster type without an Iphone, Ipad and Macbook in tow.

Last I checked this isn’t exactly the most common accessory among the unemployed either, I am curious, where is the “huge demand” for access to centrelink services come from that enabling it on the most expensive Tablet / Music Player devices on the market is a priority

Assuming that Centrelink customers are poor is a big mistake. Thanks to the glorious middle class welfare state fostered by successive governments as well as a lack of means testing, there are plenty of cashed up people receiving benefits.

c_c 2:41 pm 26 Aug 12

This is a ridiculous post.

The app replicates some of the functions already available through the Centrelink online services website, available on any mobile device and on the hundreds of computers with high speed internet, provided free to you at the tax payer’s expense on campus and in public libraries.

You’re not being deprived of anything, so stop whinging.

The reason most app developers release for iOS first is because it’s the best platform to test a new app on. Less fragmentation, a more assured user experience. There’s also security issues, where Apple does have a stronger lead, hence many banking apps also came out first on iOS.

As for your 6yr old laptop, maybe you should do what Paul Keating suggested and get a job. Earn some cash and buy a new device, like the rest of us do. The folks I know with iPads and smart phones on campus all work, so they can afford those nice things, in addition to paying rent and so on.

deye 2:22 pm 26 Aug 12

Several things, not all centrelink benefits are for the unemployed or students. Some schools,uni’s etc have ipads available for students to use.
It’s conceivable that if you are part time employed you might have access to one through a workplace. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there are some in a public library somewhere for people to use.
Lastly, with the rate apple upgrades the ipads, and the how the fanbase have to upgrade to the latest and greatest there should be a lot of older model ipads floating around that students and unemployed could pick up cheap.

FD10 1:47 pm 26 Aug 12

I see a lot of ANU students with them, funnily enough they’re nearly always in the Law School area.

But you know the youth these days, if it’s a choice between eating for a month or buying an iPad, they’ll buy the iPad and then complain to mummy and daddy they can’t afford to eat, who then bail out their little princes/ses.

Impoverished_Student 1:25 pm 26 Aug 12

The arsehats at the University of Adelaide gave out free iPads to first year Science students last year, whilst neglecting other faculties.

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