Skip to main content

Want to help bail people out of jail with spare change? There’s an app for that

appolition bail jail app promo kt
Image used with permission by copyright holder
When is the last time you donated money to charity? When is the last time you donated money specifically to help people who are arrested to post bail? For most people, no matter how charitable, the second of these questions is unlikely to yield any reaction other than “never.” But it probably should. Even though the United States justice system states that a person is innocent until proven guilty, a sizable proportion of the 12 million people arrested each year can’t afford to pay bail — with some spending weeks, months, or occasionally even years behind bars before seeing their day in court.

Well, to paraphrase an iconic Apple commercial, there’s now an app for that. Called Appolition, the idea is that it is linked to a user’s bank account. Whenever they make a payment — either via debit or credit card, or even PayPal — the price is rounded up to the nearest dollar. That spare change is then donated to a grassroots organization called National Bail Out, which provides funds to black Americans who are being held on bail that they cannot afford.

“Appolition is the first technology built to crowdfund bail and has been extremely well received by thousands,” Dr. Kortney Ziegler, co-founder of Appolition, told Digital Trends. “Appolitionists range from community activists, elders who have never used an app before, legislators in the field of bail reform to celebrities who publicly evangelize the product. This wide range of early adopters share one common belief: That the money bail system is unjust and unfair.”

Appolition came into being after Ziegler posted the idea on Twitter in July 2017, describing “an app that converts your daily change into bail money to free black people.” After this, Ziegler and co-founder Tiffany Mikell put up a landing page to solicit support from people interested in helping to bring the product to market. “We eventually partnered with two black founders and worked over four months to conceptualize the branding and develop the functionality of Appolition,” she continued.

The app was launched late last year to great success. Within its first 24 hours, 200 users had signed up to the service. “We are now at seven thousand signups and are collecting thousands in spare change daily to support the efforts of National Bail Out campaign,” Ziegler said. If you want to get involved with a worthwhile social cause, you can sign up now to begin your donations.

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
WhatsApp just upgraded its emoji reactions and I want them now
Close up of WhatsApp icon as seen on a smartphone display. Credits: WhatsApp official.

WhatsApp will now allow users to react to messages with any emoji, in an expansion of its reaction feature that came out last year. It's coming to iOS and Android over the coming weeks, and it brings more personalization to one of the world's most used messaging apps.

Once you get the update, the emoji reactions will work as they do now, with a long press bringing up the basic six options with the incision of a new plus button. Pressing that plus icon will show you the new expanded set of emojis, and you'll be able to add whatever emoji you want. This includes skin tone variations, family types, and more.

Read more
These 5 apps completely changed how I live with my ADHD
Phone with app on screen laying over a notebook with a pen.

I have spent nearly my entire life thinking I was bad at, well, everything. It turns out it was actually ADHD — something I was diagnosed with later in life. I've never learned the necessary coping mechanisms to organize myself and function like others might have in their formative years.

Since then, I've learned that I can structure my thoughts and actions with the help of apps. I won't remember everyday tasks, but the apps do. Together, they provide me with the help I need to function without a second thought.

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more