Happiness, health, and prosperity- on a smart phone?

Happiness, health, and prosperity- on a smart phone?

08.18.2010 by Jess Haswell | 0 Comments
Tags: cardstar, career, career apps, Cellfire, Colleges, Coupon Sherpa, education, education apps,Evergreen, evernote, free apps, Happiness, happiness apps, health, health apps, housing, housing apps, indeed.com, Job Compass, Job Hunting, Job Search, loseit!, MobiQpons, money apps,MyPrepPal, Petersons, prosperity, prosperity apps, smartphone, top apps, trackyourhappiness.org,WebMd, Wikipanion

There are currently over 160,000 apps available on the iphone and android combined, not to mention all of the other smart phones.  What free apps are essential to the basics–happiness, health, education, career, housing and prosperity?


Maximize Your Happiness

There are not many apps on the market yet that claim to help you reach happiness. The closest thing to it is trackyourhappiness.org which allows you to find out what factors in your life are associated with greater happiness.  How it works is that you will be asked to report how you are feeling and what you are doing via text (only on iphone) .  Once you know what truly makes you happy in the form of a happiness report you can then maximize your happiness.



Lose It!

Getting Healthy

There are all sorts of fitness, nutrition and weight loss applications- the best cited was lose it!.  I tried this one out and it is really helpful- making it easy to set weight goals, count calories, measure exercise, track weight and add friends to stay on track.

Staying Healthy

WebMD mobile is the ultimate medical resource on the market.  Allowing you to check out symptoms and treatments, first aid facts, identify pills, and locate health resources near you using your location.  This app is a simplified trip to the doctors, allowing you to identify symptoms and match them with a series of possible conditions.




Finding the Perfect Degree Program

Colleges by Petersons is a fun shakable app that helps you find the perfect school for you based on location, topic of study, and price.  It gives you all of the information you would ever need to know about the school- it even hooks you up with scholarship information.

Getting In

Pulchritudinous adj. Whether you are studying GED, SAT or GRE prep apps are plentiful on the iphone.  Most comprehensive prep programs offer a free lite version as well a more all-encompassing paid options.  MyPrepPal, Kaplan and iGrockit to mention a few.

Going for the 4.0

Who needs a textbook when you have Wikipanion?  This app has really high ratings- because it’s simply a great app.  You can access open source content on any topic imaginable- an essential tool for any class.  Now that you have your textbook situation sorted- you need an innovative notebook app to take and share notes…Evernote.  It allows you to add recordings, pictures and web-clippings to make content rich notes and easily share them with other users.   Now all you have to do is figure out a way to lock all of the information away for your next big exam- no apps to help you with this one yet.



Location Based Job Hunting

There are many apps that make it easy to find a job based on your location- the top two would have to be Job Search by indeed.com and Job Compass.  You have to type in a job title and location- and your search results are placed on a map with more elaborate job descriptions.  These are great tools for the job search- but if you’re not satisfied with these check out the Craigslist Mobile app.



Finding the Perfect Pad

This app will come as no surprise, and it is beneficially beyond finding the perfect apartment- Craigslist Mobile.  It has about as many five star ratings as it does one on the iphone ratings because many complain of its slow load time- I tried it out and didn’t have any load time problems.  I liked the layout of the pictures next to the postings-making it easier than the web to sort through.




Manage and Save

Mint.com dominates the online money management sector- in app world this holds true.  Mint.com mobile helps you find quick fixes in your spending habits that can help you save.  Speaking of saving- there are hundreds of apps that claim to help you do this: Cardstar, a free app that allows you to store your shopping cards which can be scanned at checkout to help you save- and for coupons download Cellfire, Coupon Sherpa or MobiQpons for even more money apps.



I would love to hear about your experiences with these apps or others.  Also stay posted for ‘happiness, health, and prosperity- on the Web’ or check out thebeehive.org


Datawind unveils Akash tablet in NY, the tablet you will be featured on with your Apps to Empower

12.04.2012 by Arthur Grau IV | 0 Comments

Applications for good is proud to support Apps to Empower, a new competition offered by partners from Datawind, UN Foundation and many other partners. All Applications for Good producers who win prizes at Apps to Empower will be loaded on the Akash tablet unveiled in NY. The tablet will be available to the Indian public for 35 dollars.


Get your android apps in gear and enter the contest. You could be featured on 1000s of devices as they go out to India and the rest of the world.

“The Aakash project was initially conceived as a way to squash illiteracy among India’s students, no matter their family’s income. Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri noted today that the country has 361 million children who should be in school, but only 219 million are actually enrolled.”

Enter the contest here.


Unveiling the Akash in New York on November 28

More about the Akash tablet.

Happiness, health and prosperity- from gaming?

Sep 1st, 2010 | by Jess Haswell | 0 Comments

Tags: avantgame, gaming, Happiness, health, jane mcgonigal, nail the interview, prosperity, wii, wiifit,wiifit plus, world of warcraft

How gaming can help you achieve Happiness, Health and Prosperity- this is a collection of the top three gaming applications that are worth checking out…


Games unlock a whole new world of opportunity- within, gamers can achieve more in virtual worlds than they can in reality.  Jane McGonigal, founder of AvantGame gives some great examples of games with meaning, that can arguable empower the user to create their ideal reality through gaming.




This game is a no-brainer- the largest revolution in fitness gaming, the wiifit, just scratches the surface of the gaming potential in this field.  The wiifit is easy to use, interactive, and makes working out and weight loss fun.  The one con, that is sure to decrease in the future when more competitors flood the market, is the cost – which accounts to about $100 for wii fit plus (not including the wii itself and the endless accessories).  Pricey, yes- but worth it.  There are endless stories of people who lost weight with the help of wiifit.




There are only a few games to help you boost your career worth mentioning- one being an interactive game for improving your interview skills, nail the interview.  A quick sign up is required (no strings attached) and the game takes around 15 minutes and includes resume and interview tips along the way.  Imagine what could be- sitting down to your wii for virtual interview practice…


As the growth of virtual goods increases exponentially as we speak- there are certainly many ways to reap the benefits of gaming.  There are two main ways to make money from gaming- first is playing simple games from solitaire to bingo…and winning, and the other is selling virtual goods from online games like World of Warcraft (largely for the gaming pro’s).


What experiences have you had with gaming that have effected your happiness, health or prosperity? Share your public purpose gaming  ideas below…


What motivates you

What motivates you?

Nov 28th, 2010 | by Mark Murphy | 0 Comments
Tags: Daniel Pink, motivation

At the lab, we are discussing plans about an applications contest and have been thinking about how much cash to offer for prizes. As I read works about motivation, open source and Web 2.0 I’m becoming convinced that the value of cash is more as a symbol of recognition. Consider the costs incurred by teams in contests such as the XPrize or the DARPA Grand Challenge for driverless vehicles. Time and expense is always far more than what could be won back.

Daniel Pink talks about this counter-intuitive concept in a brilliantly illustrated presentation called Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.

Code for America


Aug 25th, 2010 | by Mark Murphy | 1 Comment

Tags: gov2.0 appsforamerica

When OSCON was running in our home town of Portland, I had an opportunity to meet the team of CodeForAmerica and hear about their unique plan for matching cities with Web 2.0 talent.

In the first phase, cities compete with each other to obtain the services of a crack development team to create a Web 2.0 application to improve efficiency, transparency and citizen participation. Five cities were chosen for best potential impact. The winning app ideas:

  • Boston: An education platform that uses city data and leverages the Boston’s place in American history
  • Boulder: A one-stop interactive hub for citizens to learn about, help improve, and request county and local services
  • Philadelphia: A web app that engages individuals and enables them to develop groups and networks that support neighborhood services
  • Washington, DC: Replicate the city’s successful Gov 2.0 efforts through an open-source repository of programs, policy information and case studies
  • Seattle: The public safety infrastructure will be complemented by a powerful network of helpful citizens coordinating with the city to keep streets safe

In the second phase, concluding Oct. 10, developers, designers and product managers are being chosen as CodeForAmerica fellows to staff teams of five to address each application. The pay may not be great but the crowd is. With spending ten months with other talented fellows also comes the attention and input of advisors like publisher Tim O’Reilly, author Clay Shirky and Peter Corbett of iStrategy Labs.


In the second phase, concluding Oct. 10, developers, designers and product managers are being chosen as CodeForAmerica fellows to staff teams of five to address each application. The pay may not be great but the crowd is. With spending ten months with other talented fellows also comes the attention and input of advisors like publisher Tim O’Reilly, author Clay Shirky and Peter Corbett of iStrategy Labs.

Prior to the arrival of the fellows at the CfA Institute, the application ideas will be discussed among top leaders in the web industry for critique and improvement. When 11-month program begins at the beginning of 2011, the fellows will find themselves in a start-up like atmosphere in the San Francisco Bay Area, doing training that will not only help them create the applications but prepare them for leadership roles in the future.

CodeForAmerica received a big boost August 24, with a pledge of support from the Knight Foundation. The Foundation’s $250,000 grant, as part of its Technology for Engagement Initiative, funds participation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Boulder, Colorado, in the 2011 program.

Please show your support for development of Gov 2.0 public purpose applications by getting the cool shirt modeled at right by Mitch Kapor. It features a famous quote on government, in binary, by James Madison.

One Comment

  1. Serete says:

    Code for America is good concept especially harnessing the power of developers towards social goals is a noble idea. I do not know if the city government or education institutions are willing to do what it takes to avail the necessary data and build the necessary infrastructure to see the projects through.

Applications for Good is proud to support Apps to Empower

2.10.2012 by Arthur Grau IV | 0 Comments

Tags: Android, apps to empower, froyo, global, un

Launching this month! Deadline April 30, 2013.


We are delighted to serve as an outreach partner for the Global Apps to Empower competition. This contest is asking you, no matter where you are in the world to enter your android app that empowers women in the developing world in the areas of:  leadership & mentorship; jobs &entrepreneurship; education; and conflict resolution.  If you have an app, or are working on one that could serve women, please take a look at the offering. Winners will receive app placement on the new Ubislate tablet, the worlds most affordable android tablet.Read more about how their product is made.

The Global Apps to Empower contest is being produced by a unique and global partnership between: Agnite Education, American Digital University, Applications for Good, BluWorld, Datawind, Equal Access International and the United Nations Office for Partnerships.

From the AppstoEmower.org website, “You are invited to participate in a global phenomenon. As women and girls everywhere gain access to technology, they are using it to improve their lives, families and communities. We believe we can play an active role in this empowerment. We invite you, no matter where you’re from, to share your creative energy and technical expertise. Help us empower young women in leadership and mentorship, jobs and entrepreneurship, education and conflict resolution.”

Get your app on devices everywhere!


Read the full press release here:

Global Apps to Empower Competition Seeks Apps to Educate and Empower Women Everywhere

December 2012

New York, New York

Global Apps to Empower Competition Seeks Apps to Educate and Empower Women Everywhere

Agnite Education, American Digital University, Applications for Good, BluWorld, Datawind, Equal Access International and the United Nations Office for Partnerships are pleased to announce the Global Apps to Empower competition to challenge apps developers to create apps that empower all young women in leadership and mentorship, jobs and entrepreneurship, education and conflict resolution.

Applications that best satisfy the competition criteria will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to have their apps featured on Datawind’s Ubislate educational tablet.

Datawind CEO Suneet Tuli said, “Our goal is to feature apps on our tablets for young women in developing countries who seek to become leaders in their communities; to be mentored by some of the best leaders currently in business and government; to learn how to start businesses; find meaningful work; and gain a practical skill that can improve not only her life but the lives of those in her community.”
“Our challenge is to leverage the power of technology and bridge the digital divide,” UN Secretary General Moon said. “We need to do more to help all children and young people make the most of the opportunities provided by information and communications technology – especially all those who are still unconnected from the digital revolution,” UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon noted.
The competition will be held from now through April 30th, 2013 with the winners announced in July 2013.  An esteemed panel of judges includes, among others:

Hon. Sheila Copps, former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
Geena Davis, Academy Award winner, Hollywood Actress and Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media
Willa Shalit, founder, Rwanda Path to Peace and CEO, Fairwinds Trading
Michaela Walsh, Founder, Women’s World Banking and Founder, Global Student Leadership
Joanne Wilson, well-known angel investor and adviser

Please see www.AppsToEmpower.org at http://www.AppsToEmpower.org for more information on contest rules, a complete list of judges, deadline and submission guidelines.

About Datawind
Datawind produces the Aakash tablet sold to the government of India at $50 and will be distributed at a government-subsidized price of $35 USD. DataWind seeks to partner with educational agencies and NGOs that recognize the urgency to provide low-cost reliable devices that can be used for educational purposes and embedded content.

For further information, please contact:

Marina Ditesheim, Communications Manager
marinad (at)  adu (dot) us (dot) com
Website:  www.AppsToEmpower.org

Three games that will change the world

Three games that will change the world

Aug 25th, 2010 | by Jess Haswell | 3 Comments
Tags: avantgame, evoke, game apps, gaming apps, jane mcgonigal, let the games begin, superstruck!,TED, urgentevoke, world of warcraft, world without oil

Changing the real world through the virtual– games that will change the world…

We spend over three billion hours every week (and growing) playing games- why can’t his time be spent solving the worlds most pressing problems? This is exactly the problem Jane McGonigal, founder of AvantGame,  is expressing in her extremely powerful 2010 TED talk…

Gaming transforms people into ‘super-empowered hopeful individuals’- in the virtual world people can achieve more relationships, status, money etc. than in the real world.  In games like World of Warcraft, there is always a mission to be accomplished and other players to collaborate with.  As the billions of hours spent continues to grow exponentially why can’t gamers time be spent solving real world problems in virtual worlds?

Three games doing just that…

Jane McGonigal’s introduced three games that will change the world.

  1. World Without Oil. In a reality simulated game the world is running out of oil- how do you survive? how does our world survive? This game educates users, on an entirely new level, how to manage their own resources…in real life.
  2. Superstruck! Play the game, invent the future.  Gamers face ‘super-threats’ which represent a slew of economic, social and environmental risks…the only solution- your story, your strategy- your superstruck.
  3. Evoke. A social networking game aimed to empower young people all over the world to develop creative solutions to urgent social problems. Check out the trailer.

It isn’t about these three games…it’s about what will become.  World Without Oil, Superstruck! and Evoke are just beginning to scratch the surface.  What is a game that you have thought of or played that has had an impact on you or the world?

Let the games begin.



  1. Mark Murphy says:

    It’s a very impressive video. If it captures your fascination, you’ll probably find the new book, Fun, Inc. a good read. Along with providing an interesting history of the video games market, it describes ‘addictiveness’ and whether to worry about it. For my part, I’m interested in how to draw casual gamers into information and tools to improve their education and income.

Getting a degree online: e-Classrooms


01.13.2011 by Alley Pezanoski-Browne | 0 Comments

Courtesy of dcJohn (via Flickr)

Have you checked out what’s going on with remote learning lately? Some think they don’t have the time or money for school. But, online universities can be a time- and cost-effective way to get the education one needs.

Virtual classrooms aren’t a new thing, but their growing programs, opportunities and supporters are. Even taking a few online courses in college was a nice break from the usual commute, cost and demands of the classroom. And technology has only improved. Now students can attend online lectures, study groups you name it, and never have to leave home.

Of course, good time management is a must and deadlines must be met for assignments and exams. But there is more freedom to learn at one’s own pace and go to class when it fits the schedule.

Whether one is looking to earn a certificate or degree, there are numerous universities and programs out there to choose from. And most online universities offer scholarship programs and financial aid to help you with tuition too – check their website.

Curious about whether course-specific content and apps — or a financial aid finder — might be a good project for you? Learn more about the top online schools and find out if a university is accredited, here.

Courtesy of HookedUp

The Web: a civic engagement & emergency preparedness tool


Jan 4th, 2011 | by Alley Pezanoski-Browne | 0 Comments

Sometimes it feels like the web is only good for watching crazy viral videos. But the truth is that it can be, and often is, harnessed as a useful civic engagement tool.

Cory Booker, the Mayor of Newark, used Twitter to let citizens know about cleanup efforts after a major blizzard recently hit the city. As the blog Preparedness Today says, “Twitter is a deceptively simple, yet powerful social networking based communications tool”, and officials and individuals are using it to communicate during natural disasters.

In the relief efforts after the disastrous earthquake in Haiti, social media was used to mobilize efforts. The American Red Cross lead a SMS campaign to collect donations, while the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides a widget that you can put on your website that links to resources for Haiti. Check out the Government Gadget Gallery for other widgets from the U.S. government.

The city of San Francisco has open sourced all of the data they’ve collected and made it available for programmers to create useful web applications based on the information. MyPyramid.gov is on Twitter. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has both widgets and a YouTube channel. And the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also has a YouTube page.

City Sourced is a mobile civic engagement tool that allows citizens to report potholes, graffiti, etc. Similarly, Bay Area-based Block Chalk allows you to “use your mobile phone to leave messages in your neighborhood and see what your neighbors are saying. It’s like a bulletin board in your pocket.”

Do you have civic engagement or emergency preparedness tech tools like these in your community?

Courtesy of HookedUp