Earlier this year in March, The Cambodia Daily reported that the number of mobile subscribers in Cambodia topped 20 million in 2013, surpassing the country’s population by about 5 million. With such staggering figures, one cannot ignore the potential in mobile apps when it comes to translating personal messages to achieve a global impact.
Since humanitarian efforts are something we have always stood for, today we have rounded up our picks for the top seven apps that promote social good. With innovative intentions that are hardly limited by their icon sizes, they are here to make a difference beyond the small silver screens.
If we want to start talking about doing good, then Google is here to show us the way. One Today is a simple effort to allow users to learn a new project/charity/organisation everyday; and when they believe in a certain mission, donate a dollar to the cause. The directions for the app are basically to get inspired, donate simply, and spread the love (users can get their donations matched too). The platform extends out to their website, where projects are featured to show how your dollar goes a long way in aiding people all around the world. Can a dollar provide one HIV test to save two lives? With One Today, it definitely can do more than that.
HTC Power To Give
What if someone told you that the longer you used your phone, the more you contributed to the medical sector? Well, HTC is here to bring that justification to reality. The HTC Power To Give app converts the spare computing power from a smartphone into processing power used by professional projects across the globe. There are one billion smartphones in use today, and they recognise the combined processing power of all these devices can truly revolutionize scientific research, and subsequently make an enormous contribution to humanity.
Just by downloading the app (only available for Android platforms currently), plugging in your phone and connecting to a nearby wifi, your spare computing power will become part of an enormous grid, leading into a combined pulse of processing power. Medical, environmental, scientific and many other projects will benefit from that, and projects that could otherwise take hundreds of years can be executed in a drastically shorter time. Plugging in for the future? Count us in!
Don’t worry Microsoft, no one forgot you. Primarily an app for disaster relief, HelpBridge is here to connect you to your loved ones, and opportunities, to help in a time of disaster. The app provides an accessible way to reach out to tell your family about your situation status, quickly sending emails and texts to co-workers, family, or friends; and even posting emergency messages to Facebook and Twitter accounts. Just create an account, key in all your emergency contact information, and hit send if something happens. The messages can also be customised to include your location.
If you can give help instead, the app also provides information about relief efforts and money can be donated through text-to-give or PayPal, donate goods, or even physical time. Available for Apple, Windows and Android users to either get help or give help; this app should suit everyone on both ends of the spectrum.
Donate A Photo
Let’s take a step back from the big boys, and turn to our favourite household name, Johnson & Johnson. Donate A Photo literally allows you to raise money just by donating your photo, and it is here to make sure that you make a difference. The company has a curated list of trusted causes, and for every photo you share through Donate a Photo, Johnson & Johnson gives $1 USD to the cause you want to help.
The ending money does things like fix up a public park, get medicine for an infant, or help kids play sports safely. Each cause will receive a minimum donation and will appear in the app until its donation period ends or its goal is reached. Photographs can inspire, raise awareness and accumulate up to a cause worthy of your editing time. You can share one photograph a day, and all the content will be shared in the app’s internal gallery. So iPhone and Android users, start snapping!
Too much on your plate? Taking photography up a tasteful notch, Feedie is here to turn your food photography into donations accumulating up to full meals from New York’s The Lunchbox Fund. While the concept is primarily based in the United States, one can easily see the scalable potential behind the moniker. After users download the Feedie app and connect it to their various social media accounts, they just have to visit any one of the participating restaurants under the Feedie cause, get a good #foodporn shot, and let the restaurants make the donations after.
Currently only iPhone users can now share food — beyond photographs and captions — but we can still hope for future inclusion to the 12,002,647 meals already shared through the app. It does look like food and technology make a pretty good blend. The Lunchbox Fund is a non-profit organization that provides daily meals to schoolchildren in South Africa, so your photographs go a long way in thanking the restaurant and spreading the Feedie message.
My Life As A Refugee
Enough small talk, how about stepping into the shoes of a refugee instead? My Life As A Refugee is a mobile game from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and it requires more survival instincts than you would employ in any candy or monkey chasing game.
Based on real-life experiences of families torn apart by conflict or persecution, you play as various characters forced to make life-changing choices to determine their fates. As every minute passes, eight people are forced to flee war, persecution or terror; so now you get a choice to choose your path when your family is threatened. The app features three stories whose characters are separated from their families while fleeing persecution or armed conflict, and these quests are based around true-to-life scenarios. It could be a matter of life or death for both iPhone and Android users, so it’s time to wise up for decisions beyond your own safety.
Tree Planet 2
We saved the greenest app for the last because Tree Planet 2 gives you a whole new experience when dealing with eco efforts. While the entire app is in Korean (and available for both App and Play stores), the interface is simple enough to decipher that a tree raised in the game is a tree raised in real life, in an actual forest.
For last three years, the developers, Tree Planet, have built more than 13 forests worldwide, and planted 340,000 real trees. These forests took important role in each area, by protecting grassland from desertification, improving urban environment, or helping village people in developing countries. However, the problem of funding came up, and the game proved to change their situation. As users grow their trees in the game, various items such as water bottles and fertilizers are required. The company provides these items under sponsoring companies, and the marketing capital is transferred to the seedling growing up for tomorrow. Each forest is managed by international NGOs, and as a whole, they aim to make green the most visible colour on the planet.
In the current market of mobile apps, we know that our list is hardly extensive. If you know any other apps that stand for a worthy cause, we would love to hear from you!