Category Archives: App of the Week

Newest and helpful apps

ShearShare – App of the Week and Start-Up of the Year

ShearShare Founders Courtney and Tye Caldwell

Business success is about finding the sweet spot where supply meets demand. The right recipe mixing supply and demand creates opportunity. Thats is why ShearShare is the App of the Week and Start Up of the Year.

ShearShare is the brainchild of Courtney and Tye Caldwell. This ingenious couple created an app that allows barbers, beauticians, manicurist and stylist to find a space to work. An empty barber chair or hair station does not make money. But using ShearShare a shop owner can fill that spot and a barber or beautician can have a place to work, on demand.

ShearShare has exploded on the scene in 250 cities and in 11 countries and expanding to another 32 cities. ShearShare plans to be in every state where booth rentals are allowed by June of 2017. ShearShare was named Tech.co Start-Up of the Year for 2016.

One of things that makes this app so powerful is the fact that it solves a problem by using technology to address a changing industry. Stylists were no longer renting space for very long. Many stylist became more transient. This is where supply and demand became genius for this Texas couple.

Tye is the owner of  Salon74 by Tye.  Calls came into his Plano, TX salon from stylists seeking to borrow a seat in his salon for a day or two. These calls came in from local stylists and out of state. A good stylists or barber is hard to find and the good ones have dedicated and loyal clients. But people move. And smart stylists wanted to continue to service their clientele. Let me give you an example; former President Barack Obama flew his barber in from Chicago every two weeks.  Short term rental of salon space was not an industry practice but it was a good idea.

Tye saw the opportunity. “We were still trying to fill our empty salon suites the old way, by having stylists sign long-term contracts,” said Tye. “But we soon realized that we could make some money on our space rather than none. We said ‘let’s try it out, it can’t hurt.’ Then it kept happening over and over again. We were manually matching stylists to salons at first, but at state number 5, we thought there had to be something out there to scale this. There has to be an app for that.”

The result of this action lead to the creation of an app that allows mobile and home beauticians an opportunity to work for their clients in a professional setting while at the same time creating revenue for the shop owner.

ShearShare is available for Android and Apple devices.

 

App of the Week – We The People

 we_the_people_logoAs citizens we can demand our government address our complaints. As a matter of fact that is one of the primary responsibilities of the government. You have the right to petition the government. You have a right to be heard and you have a right to expect a response. Thats is whyWe The Peopleis the App Website of the Week. (With the elections so close we made an exception.)

‘We The People’ is not a new app. Its a website. But the White House has upgraded its online petitions website for an increasingly mobile citizenry.  ‘We the People’ now makes it easier to file and sign a petition from smartphones and tablets. 

According to a White House Press Release the new site lets the citizen view, sign or create a petition in just a few, easy steps. “That means it’s also way simpler for people, no matter their age, location, or level of technical prowess, to participate in petitioning. That’s a critical step in ensuring that ‘We the People’ remains universally accessible.”

Following up on a 2015 White House promise to breathe new life into the system the White house has cleared a backlog of 20 petitions and has created a new target of issuing responses to citizens petitions in 60 days.

‘We The People’ kicked off 2011 to answer to constitutional right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Any citizen can create a petition. If that petition gains the signatures of 100,000 fellow citizens the White House tries to respond.

App of the Week – Register To Vote

register-to-voteThe presidential election is just over a month away. And the bottom line is that the black vote is more important than ever. So “GET YO BLACK ASS OUT AND VOTE!”

Registering to vote should be easy and simple in the world’s greatest democracy. But as black people we know that is not the case and its made that way deliberately. That is why Register To Vote is the App of the Week.

Register To Vote is intended to take some of the hassle out of this process by offering an app that scans your state ID, verifies your information and sends it to the relevant state to get you registered in a few seconds. Three simple steps.

The truth about voting is glaring and racist. As black people you are not wanted in the election process. And its a disgrace that so many of use play right along! America is the technological capital of the world and yet state after state simply refuses to use technology to register and verify voters. So far the registration process has only been simplified for voters in California, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado and Massachusetts the few states with online voter registration.

get-yo

In other states blatant efforts have been made to exclude blacks and other minorities from voting. One North Carolina’s judge described the efforts of GOP legislators to limit black voting by saying, “Although the new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision, they constitute inapt remedies for the problems assertedly justifying them and, in fact, impose cures for problems that did not exist.”

Register to Vote is supported by Actor Samuel L. Jackson who is a staunch advocate of voting rights. 

Register to Vote has one flaw. It is only available for Apple. That means that it will certainly attract younger voters but older voters, those less likely to own an iPhone and less likely to vote, won’t get the app.

But that is no excuse for not voting! Consider how may black people died trying to secure the vote.

The United State Election Assistance Commission has a website that shows you where and how in your state to register to vote. You can also go to Vote.gov.

GET YO BLACK ASS OUT AND VOTE!

 

 

App of the Week – WeConnect

palalinqAddiction is a serious personal problem. Let me correct myself. Addiction is a life or death internal war. Finding help and building a support network is vital to living beyond the addiction. That is why  “WeConnect” is the App of the Week.

WeConnect is an app-based platform that puts support for the recovering addict right in the palm of their  hands. And for the struggling addict that could be a miracle when they need it most.

Addiction in America is a frightening problem. A 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that there are an estimated 23 million Americans, some as young as 12 years old, using illegal drugs. The survey also reported an estimated 22.2 million persons age 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year. For Black people the addiction problem is especially acute. These stats from a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) are tragic.

  • The rate of illegal drug use in the last month among African Americans ages 12 and up in 2014 was 12.4%, compared to the national average of 10.2%.
  • The rate of binge drinking (drinking five or more drinks on a single occasion for men) among African Americans ages 12 and up was 21.6%–compared with the national average of 23%.
  • African Americans ages 12 to 20 in 2014 reported past-month alcohol use at a rate of 17.3%, compared with the national average of 22.8%. Past-month underage binge drinking was 8.5% for African American youth, while the national average was 13.8%.

And in case you haven’t heard there is also a deadly heroin and opioid epidemic sweeping the nation.

WeConnect offers context-sensitive notifications to encourage timely communication within support groups. The apps dashboard view structures the user’s day with activities that are vital to his or her recovery such as prayer or meditation. WeConnect provides ongoing tracking of the recovering addicts progress. This is another vital function as every addict understands the concept of one day at a time.  The app can help track attendance at recovery program meetings. Addicts are master liars. Anyone who has dealt with one knows this. WeConnect tries to cut down on the lies and deception with functions that include using geofencing to determine if the addict really attended a particular meeting and even how long they spent there.

If you know an addict or are one yourself you know the struggle. And you also know some days are worse than others. WeConnect includes an SOS button a user can press to send an immediate and urgent message seeking help and support from pre-selected contacts. 

WeConnect also offers a rewards element built in to the app that allows users  to earn things like coffee coupons and yoga lessons as they advance in their recovery and progress towards a life free of substance abuse.

Currently WeConnect is in beta testing stage but that does not mean if you are an addict you cannot get help from this app. To become an early adapter click here.

App of the Week – mRelief

mReliefWhy, in the richest country on earth, are people still going hungry? According to Feeding America 25 – 40 percent of food grown, processed and transported in the U.S. will never be eaten. This food is often thrown out as leftovers or destroyed because it is simply not pretty enough for the grocery store.  That is why mRelief is the App of the Week.

First of all mRelief is not exactly an app. It is a new web and text messaging tool for low-income families. The service helps low income families to easily locate where and when they can receive free or discounted meals this summer for their children. According to mRelief 22 million children in the U.S. receive free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches during the school year. But during the summer, four out of five of those same children can no longer count on a meal every day. So mRelief helps families not only find where to get free or reduced price meals but also help them locate food banks and determine their eligibility for food and nutrition assistance programs even if you don’t have children.

According to USDA statistics $11 billion in food stamps went unclaimed simply because people who are eligible either didn’t know or didn’t have access to applications. mRelief provides low-income people with the help they need to figure out if they qualify for programs like food stamps and much-needed social services.

mRelief was launched in September 2014 and has helped 30,000 families locate the social services they qualify for. mRelief is looking to the future with plans to help people determine the documents they need as well as submitting those documents.

The mRelief website is fairly straight forward. All the user needs to do is enter their zip code and the type of assistance they need. But the user can also find help with a variety of other needs that include;

  • Cash
  • Child Wellness
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Veterans assistance

Those without access to the internet can text their zip code to 1-844-877-6111. mRelief is currently available in 42 states.

 

App of the Week – Blink Health

BlinkThe greatest travesty of living in America is the cost of health care.  Far too many people simply suffer because that can’t afford to see a doctor or pay for medication.

Even with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) many black people are still uninsured. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts  over half of  all African-Americans, 55 percent,  live in the 23 states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA. The numbers are not much better for other groups. The Urban Institute reports that by comparison, 42 percent of whites, 38 percent of Latinos and 23 percent of Asians live in states that have not expanded to the ACA standards.

Even worse in non-expansion states a disproportionate number of African-Americans fail to qualify even for the narrower Medicaid program in place now. The result is that far too many black people have little or no medical or prescription coverage.

 That is why Blink Health is the App of the Week.

According to Blink Health as much as 30 percent of all medications are left on the pharmacy counter for one simple reason; the patient can’t afford them.

Blink Health co-founder and chief operating officer Matt Chaiken says people wrongly assume that if they have insurance they also have prescription coverage.  “There’s a common misconception in this country. Patients believe that, because they’re covered by insurance, they’re paying the lowest price at the pharmacy counter. This is not the case.”

Blink says it can offer lower prices on more than 15,000 mostly generic medications for less than $10. These price reductions are made possible because of the purchasing power of the combined membership of Blink Health and partner company MedImpact. The list of pharmacy chains that accept Blink Health includes Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Target, and many others

The BlinkHealth app allows the user to enter the name of their medication, dosage and quantity and the app will return a price quote. The user can pay for the prescription online. After the prescription has been paid for the app issues a proof of purchase known as a  “Blink Card” directly to the users phone. The user can then go to the pharmacy with their prescription and show their Blink Card. As long as they have a valid prescription from a physician the prescription will be filled. Nothing is paid at the pharmacy.

BlinkHealth is free and available for both and Apple and Android devices.

App of the Week – EasilyDo Email

easily doWe all know how difficult managing our email can be. Especially when you have tons of mass emails flooding your inbox, or inboxes. Mass emails are the primary tool of marketers, political parties, charities and many other groups trying to get your attention. There is a word for this, its called spam. That is why EasilyDo Email is the App of the Week.

EasilyDo Email for Apple devices takes the effort out of unsubscribing from mass email messages, or spam, you have no interest in. Just tap the menu icon in the top-left corner of the inbox. Under the ‘Assistant’ option sits a tab for ‘Subscriptions.’ There you will see a list of current email subscriptions. Beside each on you will find an ‘x’ box. Just tap the box and kiss mass email bon voyage.

You have the option of changing your mind with the undo option that appears immediately but quickly disappears a few seconds later. Unsubscribed email appears at the bottom of your subscriptions list, grayed out for reference.

Lets face it, we all get those emails and ask ourselves; where did that come from? Or how did they get my email address? The answer is simple, there is a massive email market that buys and sells email addresses by the millions. No matter how many emails you unsubscribe from there is always another list out there.

Easily Do Email claims to be better at searching for messages than Apple’s default Mail iOS app by searching deeper and faster into your email archive. It also offers an ‘Assistant’ feature that  lets you quickly see a listing of all your travel-related email arranged by the next upcoming travel and followed by email related to previous trips.

EasilyDo Email’s ‘Packages,’ ‘Bills & Receipts,’ and ‘Entertainment’ assistants work in similar manner but not exactly the same. The Entertainment assistant provides notifications for all pending or past events, theater tickets, OpenTable reservations, and more, but it does not segment the alerts into past or future sections.

Email is currently only available for Apple  but does not work on iPad. Hey nobody’s perfect!

App of the Week – Earny

earny_LEverybody shops online. Black people especially enjoy the power and convenience of e-commerce. But shopping online has one big drawback and that is buying something only to discover it at a cheaper price later or at another website. That is why Earny is the App of the Week.

Earny allows online shoppers to get a better price by finding the item you purchased at a cheaper price and then getting you a refund for the difference. Yeah, you read that right! Earny will get some money back for you. Not only that but you pretty much don’t have to do a thing.

The app tracks your online purchases and finds your e-receipts by connecting with your email and Amazon accounts to see if you got the best deal. If Earny finds a lower price it will request a refund for you and take a 25 percent cut of the action. The balance will be credited back to your payment card. Yeah, you read that right! Earny automatically tracks your purchases and files for refunds or credits when it beats the price you paid.

Earny is programmed to understand the price match policy of online stores and knows how to file claims without any help from you. Think of it as a robot refund machine.

Earny can track purchases from over 50 stores including such giant retailers as Amazon, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and many others. Is this the bomb or what?

Earny is about to get a lot better according to co-founder Oded Vakrat.  Vakrat plans to provide consumers with the same protections across a variety of services.

“For example, flight tickets, hotels, car insurance, health insurance, phone plans – all those things we will focus on in the future,” he says. “We want Earny to watch your back for every payment you make,” adds Vakrat.

Earny is free and available at Apple and the company is developing an Android version.

App of the Week – Romex

RomexYou hear it and you see it everywhere you look; texting and driving. Yet some people simply don’t get the message that distracted driving is extremely dangerous. It could cost  you or someone else their life. It has already and it will again. That is why Romex MyFix is the app of the week.

The Romex app uses a smartphone’s GPS system to detect the speed the device is moving. If that speed is faster than four miles per hour, it locks the device. Simple yet ingenious.

According to the Center for Disease Control in the U.S. at least 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured everyday in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. The CDC’s definition of distracted driving is  “… driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.”  StopTextsStopWrecks.org reports that 44 States, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.

If Romex detects your phone moving faster than you can walk or run the app disables the screen. This makes it impossible for you to respond to calls, texts, emails, social media, and all the other crap you do on your phone that could get you killed. If you’re a passenger using the Romex app you can set the app to a different mode so that you’re not subjected to a trip without your phone.  But we know that there is a stubborn and stupid driver that will disable the app.

Right now Romex is offering its app to corporations wishing to ensure that their drivers aren’t using their phones while driving the company car. But it expects to release a general version to the public soon.

The Romex app will cost money to download, but could save drivers money on insurance premiums. Romex is currently looking for an insurance partner. According to sales director Steve Arscott, “One good incentive for a young driver to have it on their phone is they would get a rebate on their insurance policy.”

 

App of the Week – CreditWise

credit wiaseWe live in a dangerous time. Because of technology and the Internet at any moment your identity and financial life is on the line. Protecting your assets against hackers and data breaches is paramount. That is why CreditWise is the App of the Week.

In March of this year, CapitalOne became the first U.S. bank to offer free credit monitoring through the CreditWise app.  Based in Virginia, CapitalOne launched the free app after the success of CreditTracker, a free credit tracking tool launched in 2014 exclusively for CapitalOne customers. The success of the app caused the company to offer it to everyone else.

You are probably one of many people who are constantly checking their cellphones. This app gives those people access to a weekly credit score update from TransUnion one of the three major credit monitoring companies in the United States.

A 2015 survey revealed that 26 percent of Americans have never checked their credit report. And 40 percent of millennials have never checked their credit report because they had no idea where to obtain it.

CreditWise gives the user the ability to constantly monitor their credit score and become quickly aware of any changes or shenanigans that may be happening. Reacting quickly to suspicious activity can make a huge difference when it comes to fighting credit fraud or identity theft.

“CreditWise gives users so much more than just a score. It helps them understand what makes up their score, what makes it go up, what makes it go down, and focuses on actions they can take to improve it. With CreditWise, we have our customers’ backs when it comes to their credit health,” says Sarah Strauss, Managing Vice President of U.S. Card at Capital One.

Click here to see a video of how the CreditWise app works.

A 2003 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows Americans a free annual credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies,  Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

CreditWise is free and available for Apple and Android  also on the CapitalOne website.