Screenshots of the Guide Dogs pup-e-cards app and the Big Issue app
Linda's picture
Posted by Linda

Hey there,

Hot(ish!) off the heels of our first blog about charities and wearable tech we've come back to post number seven in our series of blogs that look at the various charity smartphone apps that are available to download.

The Big Issue

Asks for donations? No
Links to website donate form? No
Responsive giving forms? N/A
Text to donate? No
Has other monetisation? No
Has native iPad version? (N/A - it's an Apple Newstand download now)

When we started writing this blog the Big Issue app was just that - an app. But by some freak coincidence the app just got an update in May 2014. It appears that it changes from a standalone app to becoming accessible from the Apple 'Newstand' app. Once you access it from within Newstand it seems to look pretty much the same as it did before. There isn't much to review, in a sense, as it is pretty much a straight up app that let's you purchase, for £2.49 per copy.

You can also buy a monthly subscription for £9.99 and a yearly subscription for £129.99

We think that this is cheaper than if you buy it from the vendors on the streets but you wonder how it works in terms of the charity using any funds raised through sales to further their work. It doesn't really explain any of that from within the app which we feel could be useful.

What is good is that there are around 1000 copies from the back catalogue you can access, but they don't appear to have digitised everything. The latest issue at the time of writing was #2005 and the oldest one available is #1008.

There's also a search function that doesn't seem to find anything. For example, when you search for 'catwoman' or 'cat woman' no results show even this is cover story. We can't see the point in it having a search button there if it doesn't work, really.

What we feel might also be useful is to get a sample issue to download for free as a taster to see if you like the content. If they did this we feel it might encourage more sales to support their good work.

Guide Dogs - Pup-e-cards

Asks for donations? Yes
Links to website donate form? Yes
Responsive giving forms? No
Text to donate? Yes
Has other monetisation? Yes (link to online gifts shop)
Has native iPad version? Yes

Nice idea for a title Pup-e-cards (Puppy cards)!

This is a nice well built app replete with its own iPad version which works as smoothly as the iPhone version.

Although the app has links to news and donations we will focus on the process of creating a pup-e-card as that's what the main purpose of the app is after all.

One handy feature we will quickly mention is that from within the app you can set up events to trigger reminders for important dates like birthdays, Mother's Day etc., when you may wish to send a pup-e-card to your friend or loved one.

So, here's the steps that the app lists when you select the option to send an e-card.

  1. Choose a frame for your photo
  2. Choose a puppy
  3. Choose a photo of your puppy
  4. Write a message
  5. Send your Pup-e-card

In step 1, where you choose a frame, you can select a Polaroid-style or more categories listed as 'framed', 'paws', 'presents', and 'hearts'. We chose 'hearts' for ours which you can see pictured in the slideshow.

In step 2, and at the time of writing, there are 21 adorable photos of trainee pups that you can put in your frame. We chose The guide dog pup call 'Dotty', as we really liked the photo of her bounding through some lush green grass. Once we selected her it was cool to see there were 3 alternative and equally cute images of her to choose from.

After we chose the photo of Dotty we liked, you can then create a go message to go with your pup-e-card. It's a nice touch that as well as write your own message you can also choose the text colour.

Once you have added you message and chosen the colour you can then send your card using the following options:

  • Send to Facebook friend
  • Tweet on Twitter
  • Email

We decided to tweet ours, which you can see here:

Overall we think this is a really sweet app that makes it easy to send a nice message to your friends or family while at the same time helping to keep awareness of the Guide Dogs charity in peoples' minds.

Here's the other blogs in this series - hope you like them!

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