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Future Tech: 

10 free apps making the world a better place

Whether it’s helping you choose the perfect bottle of beer, or seeking medical advice after you’ve drunk one too many – there’s an app to help solve practically any problem you could possibly have. There’s even an app to tell you when you’re spending too much time fiddling about with apps. Yup, there’s no doubt about it, we are truly living in the future.

The sad thing is that for all the variety jumbled up inside the app store, we spend most of our time Instagramming sandwiches or being infuriated by elusive uncrushed candy. That’s absolutely fine, to a point, but if you ever catch yourself wondering if there’s more to life, then we may have just the thing. Below, we’ve dug up 10 of the many apps using technology to make the world a better place.

1. One Today

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The difficulty of using apps to donate to charity is more about an abundance rather than lack of choice. This is where Google’s One Today comes in, inspiring you with a different, non-profit project to fund each day, and enabling you to easilly donate a dollar at the push of a button. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Download the app (Android or iOS)

2. Reverse the Odds

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As we wrote last week, Reverse the Odds is a smartphone game from Cancer Research that allows us to take some of the charity’s enormous workload off their hands. Real-life Cancer data has been coded into a simple smartphone game with 350 levels, so all users have to of is play along to help the Cancer Research team to analyse it.

Download the app (Android or iOS)

3. BarkBuddy 

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The “Tinder for [blank]” approach to app developing shows no signs of letting up, but if you’re going to spend your day swiping left and right on anything it might as well be cute dogs. The pups on BarkBuddy are actually all in need of a good home, so once you get matched up and approved, you might just meet a new pal-for-life.

Download the app (iOS)

4. Feedie

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Can’t resist snapping a photo of each meal before tucking in? Then try it with Feedie, an app which links with restaurants to provide school meals for South African children. So, next time you decide to share your food from one of the restaurants signed-up, there will be somebody in need to gratefully receive it.

Download the app (iOS and Android)

5. Charity Miles

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Donating to charity doesn’t have to be hard work; you can even do it on your morning commute or an after-work jog. With Charity Miles, any time you spend walking, running or cycling will be converted to a charity donation paid by the app’s sponsors, earning up to 25¢ a mile for your chosen non-profit organisation.

Download the app (iOS and Android)

6. iCuckoo charity alarm clock

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Recently you might remember we featured 5 evil alarm clocks designed to shock, bribe and annoy you out of bed. Well, iCuckoo is in a similar vein, only this time pressing the snooze button has altogether friendlier consequences, donating a sum of money to the charity of your choice. Sleeping through your alarm clock has never made you feel this worthy.

Download the app (iOS)

7. BeMyEyes

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While a lot of the apps featured here focus on charity donations, BeMyEyes offers a more tangible and instant helping hand to those in need. By signing up to the app and declaring yourself available, the app puts you on-call to help the visually impaired with day-to-day tasks we take for granted – from reading street signs to checking expiry dates.

Download the app (iOS)

8. Tree Planet 3

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While tree planting might not sound like the most riveting concept for a smartphone game, a victory in Tree Planet 3 actually helps contribute to real life forestation. Developers claim the game’s players have built more than 10 forests worldwide, planting around 240,000 real trees.

Download the app (Android or iTunes)

9. Akili games

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Presented at SXSW this week, Akili is a maker of high quality video games designed to provide ‘electronic medicine’ – helping patients and doctors to treat conditions like autism, depression and ADHD. While not available to download just yet, the games are currently being tested and validated, and the company claims its technology could eventually help its users to fend off mental decline.

Download the apps (Not yet available)

10. HTC Power To Give

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With billions of smartphones sat idly on charge during the average working day, a lot of processing power is not fulfilling its potential. HTC’s Power to Give app aims to reclaims some of that energy, using it to fuel research projects and help solve some of the world’s biggest questions.

Download the app (Android)

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