Black History Month 2022 is officially in full swing! Last week we talked about how to show up for Black History Month on Instagram, but this week we’re going to take a look at the intersection of Black History Month and mobile development. This post features a list of mobile apps that have seen a lot of recent success, and the Black app developers behind them. Read on to learn about five apps and their developers who are making waves in the mobile app industry.
Black App Developers Anthony & Janique Edwards
EatOkra launched on Apple and Android in 2017 and has been steadily growing ever since. When Anthony and Janique Edwards moved to Brooklyn in 2016, their apartment was devoid of furniture, including the essential refrigerator. This led them to venture out to their neighborhood eateries immediately upon their arrival. According to the couple, this allowed them to “support local Black businesses and champion the vibrant, cultural voices of their neighborhood, eventually planting the seed for EatOkra.” The EatOkra app is a mobile directory of over 9,500 Black-owned businesses nationwide that users can refer to in order to find the food they’re craving wherever they are.
Janique thought of the way that an app could help them organize their findings in the Brooklyn area and she convinced Anthony, a tech expert, to begin developing the app. As a team, EatOkra is dedicated to providing a digital space for communities and Black business owners to come together for support and growth. You can download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store.
Black App Developer Evan Leaphart
Evan Laphart is the entrepreneur and developer behind the app Kiddie Kredit. Kiddie Kredit is a mobile app designed to begin teaching children about credit at a young age through chore tracking. The app features task customization for different chores and rewards, a scoring system that mimics the FICO credit system for adults, and notifications about score changes, tasks about to expire, and more. Additionally, there is an educational component within the app called Kredit Academy that launched with Kidde Kredit 2.0.
Lapheart launched the app in 2018 and rave reviews from users have helped the app to grow through the years. Although it began specifically as a tool for individual households, it’s now also available for use in schools and camps, with supplemental materials available for the different settings. Kiddie Kredit is available for download on both iOS and Android.
Black App Developers David Alston & Nicco Adams
Partners Alston and Adams met while studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where their mutual love of sneakers brought them together as friends. Adams happily combined his many years of sneaker knowledge with Alston’s tech expertise and together they were able to ideate Kickstroid, an app made for budding and veteran sneakerheads alike. After bringing the app to Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers last year, the team gained valuable insights into machine learning as well as connections with business mentors and seasoned tech experts. This allowed the two to take their idea and develop it into a high-functioning app.
Kickstroid’s strongest feature is its use of machine learning to predict resale prices on popular sneaker drops, personalized sneaker recommendations, and hard data on sneaker culture. Users can follow brands such as Yeezy, Nike, Adidas, Supreme, and many more. The app even includes a “Question of the Day” feature solely for the purpose of connecting users with one another. Adams and Alston say that their goal with the app is to broaden and democratize the sneakerhead community so that every user can benefit from greater access and bond over shared interest. Kickstroid is currently available for download in the App Store.
Black App Developer Kaya Thomas
Mobile app developer Kaya Thomas is doing it all when it comes to apps. She is both an iOS developer for Calm, a popular meditation app, and an independent app developer in the App Store. In 2014, Thomas combined her coding experience and love of literature to create We Read Too, a mobile app directory of books written by and featuring main characters of color.
Geared towards children, the app features hundreds of picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA novels in its directory. It allows users to browse and search the directory, view details about chosen titles, share the book via social media or search it online, and even suggest additional books to be added to the database. The app is currently available for download on the App Store.
Black App Creator James Chapman
James Chapman was once an NBA hopeful from Chattanooga, Tennessee. When that dream failed to come to fruition he rerouted, becoming an active entrepreneur and community builder in his hometown. Eventually his community efforts and a move to Chicago gave him the idea for Plain Sight, an app designed to help its users connect to expand their networks virtually and in-person.
The app curates connections between users in-person or online based on their individual skills, goals, interests, and professions. In an effort to reduce implicit biases, users are allowed to upload an avatar but not a profile picture of themselves. Events and work spaces that use the app are able to view data and activity reports that include information on the profiles that viewed, visited, and made connections while in attendance. Plain Sight is currently available for download on both the App Store and Google Play Store.
If you’ve been sitting on an idea for a new mobile app, hopefully this list of Black app developers whose hard work is paying off inspires you to get out and start building it! If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to reach out. SEM Nexus loves to help app startups develop and market their apps for success!