Recognizing the increasing popularity of smartphones among government users and everyday citizens, the White House announced Friday, April 2, a mobile version of its Web site optimized for portable devices like BlackBerrys and iPhones.

"The Mobile.WhiteHouse.gov program is just the latest in our effort to make our content available on a broad number of platforms as technology changes how -- and where -- people get their information. And we'll continue to look for new opportunities to develop applications for even more mobile platforms," the administration announced on its official blog.

The portal is also fully functional on the iPad, Apple's newest touchscreen device.

When users of mobile devices visit Whitehouse.gov, they are automatically served the mobile version.

Updating government Web sites so that they are mobile-friendly has been a challenge for governments at all levels. Last year, Government Technology magazine Associate Editor Chad Vander Veen graded the mobile versions of all 50 states' Web portals.

Due to phones' small screens, cumbersome interfaces and differing speeds, these mobile sites, often at a URL such as http://m.sitename.com or http://www.sitename.mobi, typically display fewer and lower-resolution graphics, and feature hyperlinks to only the most pertinent information.