You can do such a lot with an iPhone. You can manage your finances, learn how to bake a cupcake, buy and sell on eBay, or whittle away the hours playing Angry Birds. And now, with Orange Mobile’s new application, Do Some Good, you can also use your phone to engage in micro-volunteering activities to benefit your community.
There’s no financial commitment or charitable donations involved here; even the app itself is free. You also don’t need to commit a lot of time.Most of the activities are designed to be done in four minutes or less, requiring you to add information to a database, fill in a feedback survey, add locations to a map, or complete a range of other short tasks using your mobile phone. Over the past couple of weeks, for example, I’ve used the applicationto answer a wellbeing survey to help shape the services offered by Samaritans. I’ve added our neighbourhood parks to the Outdoor Play Map, and I’ve taken photos and donated them to an image bank of pictures that charities canuse free-of-charge in their awareness-raising materials.
If the warm fuzzy feeling of doing good isn’t enough for you, the application also allows you to work towards virtual badges and eventually real music rewards through the Orange Rockcorps collective.
Like many others before it, this application is let down by the strength of my mobile internet connection. O2’s poor signaldefinitely makes it more difficult for me to add to maps or submit photos when I’m out and about. However, at home, on a wireless connection, the application is much easier to use.
I was also hoping that new opportunities would be added regularly – but over the past three weeks at least, the potential actions have remained the same. There’s room for improvement in both speed and content, then. But, as I’m writing this on May 11, the users of this application have spent a total of 24 days and 20 hours completing 8952 actions to benefit charities and not-for-profits in the UK.
And I think that’s a pretty good use for the iPhone.