Overwhelmingly (and not surprisingly), the most downloaded apps are consistently gaming apps. According to numbers gathered by Statista.com, in June 2015 nearly ¼ of all apps downloaded from the Apple App Store were game-based. But there’s a new growing trend. While Flappybird and Candy Crush may continue to dominate, ethical apps are on the rise.

With a world full of people becoming more and more conscious of their social and environmental impact, it only makes sense that some mobile apps are trying to make it easier.  An app like iRecycle is there to help users find recycling locations where they can basically recycle anything imaginable. Through a user-friendly interface you can choose the product you want to recycle and based on your location, the app gives you a name, location, and contact details of all nearest recycling centers.

Even more popular than apps like iRecycle are ethical shopping apps. These apps are helping consumers make informed purchasing decisions. There are apps like Good Guide which allows users to search a product and are then given relevant info on whether the corporation behind that product protects the environment or society at large.

Other apps like Buycott allow users to scan barcodes and get information on the business that made it. You’ll then be given information on that business’ “family tree” and see how it is connected to other businesses to find out if there are any current campaigns against it.

We know quite a bit about ethical apps because we partnered with Glia to bring one to life. Glia uses a user profile and location-based technology to help users find out if a business’ social and political views align with their own.

Ethical apps are all about empowerment. It’s all about helping users make informed decisions or get involved with the causes that matter most to them. Maybe one day you’ll get Facebook invites to join Glia instead of Farmville, but we won’t hold our breath.


CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.