There is an app for everything, from apps to keep track of your health and calorie intake, to ones that’ll help you find love, sell used clothes, or locate the nearest drive-through. The vast majority of the 4.1 million apps available across the Android and Apple stores utilize basic technology to improve some simple aspect of our lives, but every now and then a truly remarkable app is released, one that exploits new technology to create something special.
In this guide we’ll look at some of the very best high-tech apps on the market right now.
Duolingo is a language learning app that employs unique techniques to make learning a new language fun and easy.
Duolingo has over 300 million users and climbing, and a large number of those have used this program to learn a new language. Research suggests that Duolingo is more effective than more commonly used online and offline language programs, and it’s also free. It gamifies the process of learning a new language, encouraging members to practice everyday and to move onto new languages when they have mastered their chosen one.
Not only has Duolingo helped to create more multi-linguists than any other app, but it has also helped to revive dead languages, while boosting the popularity of rare ones. As an example, there are around half a million official speakers of the Welsh language in Wales, with this number dropping year on year. On Duolingo, there are currently over 330,000 students learning Welsh from all over the word, and it’s increasing all the time, which means Duolingo is doing more to stop the decline of this language than Wales!
Ecosia is a search engine that you can use by visiting the Ecosia.com website or by adding the Ecosia app to your browser. It is supported by Microsoft Bing, which means you see the same results that you would see using Bing search and Yahoo, the only difference is that every time you search with Ecosia the money generated through your searches (using paid ads) goes towards planting trees in countries suffering from deforestation.
It’s not quite as simple as “Run a search; plant a tree” though—Ecosia estimate that it takes a user 45 searches on average to cover the cost of planting a tree, but in actual fact it all depends on whether you click the ads or sponsored results.
Still, Ecosia have done a great thing here, turning a basic online function into something that can help to build a better future for all of us. In 2018, Ecosia estimate that they had planted over 30 million trees, restoring an impressive 30,000 hectares of forest.
It’s comforting for the average internet user to know that they are helping to save the world rather than simply making the rich richer.
Givergy take a very simple idea and turn it into something that can change the world. The Givergy app is used by charities to create custom auctions that allow them to sell specific items targeted at specific groups. It also places more power in the hands of the charity and allows them to expand their reach and to ultimately make more money, with the app reportedly generating over $30 million in extra cash for charities last year.
It’s ridiculous to think that there are still companies in the beauty sector that are not cruelty-free and companies in the food sector that use unsustainable palm oil and other problematic ingredients. In most cases they do it because it’s cheap and because they are not being held accountable for their actions, with the average consumer simply not knowing better.
Buycott aims to change that. Users can run a quick scan of an item to get a full ethical history of the company’s operations, telling them whether the company/product meets their own personal standard and if they have any skeletons in their closet. It helps ethical shoppers to make better decisions and this hits big companies where it hurts: their wallets.
How many times have you watched a crisis unfold on TV and wished desperately that there was something you could do to help? With DoSomething, there might be a way.
The DoSomething app provides a summary of current events and shows you ways that you can help the people on the wrong side of those stories, whether they be victims of abuse, natural disasters or the refugee crisis. It gives people a chance to put their money where their mouths are every time they see a negative story unfold and tell themselves, “I wish I could do something to help.”