Last Thursday at Google I/O 2017, we announced the winners of this year's Google Play Awards. Grab some popcorn and watch the award ceremony, we think it's just as fun as The Oscars. This year, we included a category to celebrate the achievements of developers who publish outstanding apps that have positive social impact.
In introducing this awards category, we were inspired by the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. With the ability to reach over 1 billion active Android devices around the world, we think that app developers have a tremendous opportunity to impact Zero Hunger (SDG #2), Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG #3) and Quality Education (SDG #4), and many others. Read on to find out more about how this year's winner and finalists and impacting these goals.
Get in touch about your social impact app or game
Our work in supporting developer success in this area on Android and Google Play is just beginning. We would like to encourage Android developers with a focus on social impact to get in touch with us here at Google Play and to tell us about their app or game. It doesn't matter where you are based, what problems you are solving, or which countries you are targeting, we would like to hear your story and maybe we can help you grow faster and improve your app's quality.
Social impact winner & finalists in the 2017 Google Play Awards
The Google Play Award category winner, ShareTheMeal, generates large scale, global awareness for "Zero Hunger" and its users' donations pay for school meals, which are provided by the World Food Programme, in regions around the world experiencing food insecurity. Over 13 million meals have been donated via the app since launch!
This is a running, cycling and walking tracker app with a social impact twist. Charity Miles earns money for charity on your behalf for every mile you move, via its brand fitness exercise sponsors! Users have already donated $2 million to charity by recording over 40 million miles!
Peek Acuity allows anyone with an Android phone to easily measure visual acuity, which is one of the components of vision. It is designed by eye care professionals to be used to help identify people who need further examination by, for example, an optometrist or ophthalmologist. In developing countries, over XM [confirm number with Peek Vision] struggle with vision impairment and many don't have easy access to an eye care professional.
This app lets anyone translate phrases and words from Portuguese for Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) or from English to American Sign Language (ASL). This significantly reduces barriers to communication between the millions of people who depend on Libras or ASL as their lingua franca and others who have not had the opportunity to learn this form of communication.
This is not just a game, it's a quest to help scientists fight dementia! It sounds too good to be true but this really is a game, where simply by having loads of fun chasing creatures around magical seas and swamps, you can help to fight a disease that currently affects 45 million people worldwide. In fact playing SEA HERO QUEST for just 2 minutes will generate the equivalent of 5 hours of lab-based research data.
If you're working on an app or game with a positive social impact, don't forget to get in touch via this form and tick the "Social Impact app" checkbox.