The city has introduced another way for residents to ask questions about city services or report such problems as potholes, broken sidewalks, or missed trash collections. Somerville last Friday announced that it had launched an iPhone app for its 311 Call Center. Established in 2005, the program allows the public to obtain information or report issues directly to the city. Residents who contact the city through the call center are given a tracking number that can be used to monitor the steps taken to rectify the problem. The city’s Constituent Services Department fields the inquiries and reports around the clock. Until now residents could use the program by dialing 311 or by going online to the city’s website. Since January, messages also could be sent through Facebook and Twitter. The launch of the new app gives iPhone users one more option. In addition to text, iPhone users can send photos. “This is going to increase our visibility into what’s happening in Somerville,’’ Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone said in a statement. “Thanks to this app, we’ve got eyes everywhere. If one of our squares needs to be cleaned up, someone’s going to be able to send a picture and we’re going to know that instantly. If our work crews haven’t trimmed a tree like they were supposed to, we’re going to get a picture to prove it.’’ The free app was designed by Intelligov, the company that provides the software for the city’s 311 system. Intelligov is also building a 311 app for Android phones that should be completed before the end of the year.
- John Laidler