There are millions of mobile applications available to smartphone users today, and that number will only keep growing as it becomes easier to build and deploy apps. Some apps are for amusement, but others are specifically designed to improve the lives of their users or the world at large.
We asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members the following question about some of the most innovative apps they’ve encountered that were created to help people:
What’s one innovative app you‘ve seen that’s designed to help people, and what can leaders learn from apps like it?
Their best answers are below:
1. Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is an app that provides blind and low-vision people with visual assistance by connecting them with volunteers and company representatives. What leaders can learn from this app is that basic tasks, like picking out the correct can of soup, can be challenging and humbling and that asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. If you don’t have the right answer, someone else will. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
2. Charity Miles
Charity Miles is an app that motivates you
to hit your fitness goals by donating money to your favorite charity. For every mile
run, walk or bike, you
earn money from corporate sponsors that is then donated to the charity of your choice. Leaders should take notice and see how they can combine charity with business in a more innovative approach. – Syed Balkhi
Chummy aims to make the world better by paying it forward. Users can request help for everything from moving furniture to finding a lost pet. This should trigger entrepreneurs to think about achieving socially responsible goals by helping other businesses solve their problems. It may require unique thinking to find solutions that are financially sound and socially conscious. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
The best app I’ve seen recently is Aaptiv. It’s like having a personal trainer without having to pay the high fees. Aaptiv is a fitness app that has thousands of workouts involving activities like running, using the elliptical and strength training. When you start your workout session, the trainer will give you the exercises to perform via audio. I think leaders can learn that fitness can be done whenever, even with busy schedules. – Jean Ginzburg, JeanGinzburg.com
The Pacifica app provides a way for people to deal with daily anxiety and stress. It provides audio lessons to help deal with stress, mood trackers and mindfulness meditations. When work gets too stressful, apps like this can help calm your mind, which is important if you want employees to perform their best. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
6. Speak & Translate
Speak & Translate is an amazing app that allows you to communicate verbally with people who speak different languages. One of my passions is creating connections, and breaking down the boundary of language entirely with an app is absolutely groundbreaking. This app teaches us as leaders that there are no excuses for not making connections. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
7. Voice Access
Voice Access is a new Android accessibility app from Google. It helps people with limited mobility navigate their phones by voice, helping them with opening apps, scrolling, editing text and other common interactions. It’s a well-designed accessibility app, and it should inspire app developers to think about creating user experiences that don’t exclude people with restricted mobility and other disabilities. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting
Samaritan gives you the stories behind some of the homeless people you may see every day and allows you to donate money ($1 or more). These funds go toward needed services and expenses like clothing, groceries or gas. Leaders can learn from it because giving back to the community is the right thing to do. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers
9. Red Stripe
Red Stripe is an app for people with red-green colorblindness. It uses a smartphone camera to identify these colors and highlights them on the screen with stripe patterns. It’s a simple but useful app that shows how, with a little imagination, the built-in capabilities of mobile devices can be used to enhance people‘s lives. – Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.
Budge is an app that
lets you challenge your friends in the name of giving to charity. You can challenge
a friend to things like quitting smoking, losing weight, running 10 miles etc., and whoever loses has to make a donation to charity. Leaders can learn how to make giving to charity a fun team activity with this app. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC