Most of Google's apps offer ways for us to enhance the quality of our own lives, whether it's through improved communication, managing documents, or just browsing the web through Chrome. One Today, an Android app the company launched over a year ago, turns this around by empowering us to actively help others instead. The core idea here is to donate a dollar a day to a different charity (today's is an adopt an afternoon lesson program through Develop Africa), but there's no reason to stop there.
It's been said that all charitable acts are, at their core, selfish - that while giving your time or money to people who need it is noble in and of itself, the motivation is to make yourself feel better. That doesn't mean that charity is bad, and it's certainly something to be encouraged no matter the circumstance. But understanding human motivation can help drive people to do even more positive things.
Google's charity-minded One Today app launched three months ago, inviting users to give away a dollar a day to a different deserving cause, sort of like a philanthropic version of Woot.com. The initial rollout was very limited, only opening to U.S. residents who had applied for and received an invitation. Now the invitation is no longer necessary: you can download One Today on just about any Android device, so long as you're in the United States.
Google has just launched a new app that brings a charitable side to the Play Store, making it easier than ever to – in Google's words – "do a little. Change a lot."
The basic idea behind the app (which, for now, is limited to the US) is that users can donate $1 at a time to a daily project such as saving cheetahs, bringing clean water to those in need, or providing a roof for school children.
What's better than getting a bargain on cool Android games? Contributing to charity in the process, obviously. The Android Humble Bundle is currently in its fifth incarnation, and invites gamers to choose their own price to support developers and charities like Child's Play and the EFF. The current deal already includes six DRM-free titles, but the good folks behind the Humble Bundle have brought back three games from Humble Bundle 4 for a total of 9 games.
Android gamers, count your blessings: the fourth Humble Bundle has just added a handful of cheap, charity-beneficent games. The standard five games (Splice, Eufloria, Waking Mars, Crayola Physics Deluxe, and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP) are still available, as is the bonus game for paying more than the average name-your-own price. But now, in addition to Machinarium, you'll get Avadon: The Black Fortress, Canabalt, Cogs, Swords & Soldiers HD, and Zen Bound 2 as well.
The principal behind Indie Gala is simple, users can choose how much they want to pay for the game bundle and then decide which charity to donate their money to. The games on offer include:
- Great Little War Game: bringing an unique fusion of cutesy visual style and robust turn-based strategy;
- Cardinal Quest: an arcade-style dungeon crawler;
- Legends of Yore: another old-school dungeon crawler; and
- Smiles HD: a solitaire-like arcade matching game.
Who doesn't like games? Or charity? Or setting your own prices? If you answered "me" to any of these questions, you may take the rest of the article off. The rest of you, get ready for the Humble Bundle For Android 2! The same rules apply to the second round as the first: pay what you want, designate how much should go to charity, get licenses for all available platforms.
The list of games are as follows:
- Swords & Soldiers
- Zen Bound 2
All of these games are brand new to Android and come complete with licenses to play them on Windows, Mac, Linux, and even unlock the games on your Steam account (where available).
Facebook for Android has been notoriously slow to release updates and features in general, and last night's update reaffirmed that the app is nowhere near the top of Facebook's priority list. The Deals feature has been available on iOS since early November of 2010, only reaching Android almost 3 months later. According to the changelog, the Deals functionality is the only addition to the app, so let's take a quick look at how exactly you are going to find said deals.