Posts Tagged ‘Android app’
We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for the Charity Times Best Use of Technology award. It’s great to be recognised but also a real honour to be nominated alongside some amazing charities.
A big thanks to all those helped to test and develop the apps. We couldn’t have done it without you!
If you haven’t yet downloaded one of our free mobile volunteering apps for iPhone, Android or Blackberry, you can do so here. If you already use one the apps we would love to hear your feedback – get in touch on twitter
Today’s a big day for the vinspired team – we’re off to the Go-on ND11 conference to officially launch our new vinspired Android app, which we finally released into the Android Marketplace late last night. We’ll also be inviting delegates to help us to test a BlackBerry app we’re hoping to release later this month. Massive thanks to the volunteer testers who helped us get this far.
The app allows young volunteers to:
- Find volunteering
Search the local area by postcode or GPS.
- Record volunteering
Track hours, write a diary, upload and share photos straight from the phone.
- Work towards a vinspired award
Apply for a vinspired awards to formally recognise the skills gained and community impact made through volunteering.
It might seem a bit odd to launch a fancy smartphone app at a digital inclusion conference, but I think it’s vital that we’re offering our online services to young people in this way. The latest figures from OFCOM show that more than half of young people access the internet via smartphones, considerably more than any other European country. As one of our testers, 17-year-old Chantelle, said: ”For me personally I would rather use the app because I use the internet on my phone every day and I am hardly on the computer.”
The great thing about smartphones is that you don’t have to own one to get access to one. With 1 in 10 young people accessing the internet in other places but not at home, and a whole load of library closures in the pipeline, it’s really important that youth workers and volunteer managers can support young people in accessing internet-based services. I was encouraged to talk to Kieran Lyons at Clifton Road Youth Centre about the way he uses the vinspired iPhone app with his young volunteers. He told me it was really convenient as volunteers could just borrow a worker’s phone while they’re out and about to quickly log their hours for their vinspired award applications, or to look for volunteering opportunities. Let’s face it, while there are some amazing online and office-based opportunities, most volunteering still happens away from the computer screen, so I hope these new apps will make life a little bit easier for everyone.
Talking of easy – another great thing about building an app is it really forces you to pin down the essential elements of the service and ignore all the nice-to-haves. You also need to put a big red pen through a lot of copy, because no-one wants to read a lot on a phone screen. And the good thing about that is that you end up with a much simpler, more accessible service which is easier to use and understand. We’ve had feedback that this makes it easier for volunteers with disabilities to use, which is great news. I read somewhere that the internet would be better if people made apps before they made websites and they’re probably right – we’ll definitely take some of the lessons over to the main site.
If you’re an Android user, you can download the app here (and the iPhone app is here if you missed it) – we’d love to hear what you think. If you’re going to ND11, come see us (next to the main stage – we have cake!).
- Find volunteering