Sarahah-The App You Hate is Out to Help Women!

We Love to Hate Sarahah

As teenagers some of us perhaps wrote anonymous letters to teachers and classmates either for fun or to convey something which otherwise couldn’t be dared to. As adults these came to be known as whistleblowers who take shelter and pride in anonymity.

Perhaps taking a cue, the new internet sensation – an app called Sarahah (Arabic for honesty) was designed. Launched in February 2017, Sarahah was designed to allow users submit ‘honest’ comments, questions, and critiques to their peers. Though the App tops the charts for app downloads, but it has found more criticism than appreciation.

Sapna Bakshi who works at the reputed Job4Her podium, which helps women get back to work after a sabbatical, says, “I am totally against this app; if not used diligently, this app also has potential to be very risky. People tend to misuse it in a wrong way for bullying others and get into cyber crime. Secondly, this will encourage in ‘wearing a mask’—thus lack of confidence and inefficiency in a person, especially youngsters.”

Brand and Communications professional, Smriti Advani is also not very appreciative of the App. Mother to a one-year-old girl and based in the tech-city Bengaluru, Smriti’s latest social media post goes as follows:

My friend and former colleague from CNN-News18, Megha Mamgain an Executive Producer & Anchor asserts,” For millions of users, social media is a wall they hide behind to fire un-parliamentary words, threats, their frustrations at you. The anonymity the new app Sarahah is claiming to provide is just a boon for trolls as well as criminals. A girl just got a rape threat through the app – I rest my case.”

I do not disagree with these three women and many more who wrote to me in a similar fashion. After all, the reports of the App now facing flak for encouraging trolls to send abusive and threatening messages are pouring in.

Amit Garg Director – Devoir Technologies Pvt Ltd in Chandigarh asserts, “These women have a valid point. Although you can block the messages, the user will still need to read the message first. As such, women and teenagers girls fall easy prey to this kind of online abuse and harassment. So why do we need an App for more?”

So should Sarahah be banned? Was the idea a total disaster?

No, the Idea is a boon for many via two good samaritans. These two women are ‘revolutionising the life of other women’ through Sararah. Yes, you heard it right!

Sararah–The Women Healthline

Meet Pallavi Pareek, Managing Partner, Ensuring Diversity and Inclusivity through Legal Compliance at Ungender.in

And Swarnima Bhattarcharya, founder of Women’s Health Line (WHL) which is promotes informed and healthy conversation around women’s health.

We first come to Swarnima who inspired Pallavi. After seeing a downpour of hate posts on her social media feed, Swarnima decided to put the app to a better use in a country where for most of the women discussing openly about their bodies and related issues is still a distant dream. She thought ‘Why not ask women to send queries they were too shy/afraid/confused to ask anyone publicly?

Swarnima writes to me, “Not only did people love the idea, we received 150+ responses in just 3 days, and it inspired a few sister organisations to do the same. We are answering all queries on our Instagram handle womenshealthline.” The company’s page is flooded with questions ranging from sexuality and menstruation to domestic abuse.

Two users of this idea WHL spoke to me on condition of retaining their anonymity. They happen to be friends’ friend. I list one of them here, a mother whose happy tears could be felt on phone. Mrs Abholkar (name changed) a 50-year-old home-manager from Mumbai told me,” I was facing issues with my gay son. My family just doesn’t let me talk or discuss with anyone for the fear of repute. Connecting to WHL through Sararah has pulled me out of depression and given a big hope for my son. God bless the founder.”

Whether health issues or other, Swarnima informs these queries are answered by WHL consultants who are counselors and medical professionals. WHL claims to be currently the only platform in the country that exclusively deals with Women’s Health issues by exploring through various forms of media and experts. And with Sararah being put to an amazing use…they have clearly changed the game for women!

Sarahah–The Women Helpline

Pallavi Pareek, founder of  Ungender.in went a step ahead of Swarnima. I let her explain in her own words, “Few years ago we launched @AskPallavi using social media and it was very helpful to invite questions. But we noticed that people were still hesitant in framing the questions right or concerned specially with their name being visible to everyone. Eventually people started messaging us privately. With “Sarahah” we are looking forward to transparency of reality for the state of sexual harassment laws while the identity of the individual remains hidden.

Pallavi adds, “We have launched an anonymous query profile for people who have any question with respect to sexual harassment laws, incidents, remedies, authorities, wayouts, and more. If you ahem a query, Leave them here—> sexualharassmentatworkplace.Sarahah.com

I happened to discuss this with Amit Garg of Devoir Technologies Pvt Ltd again. He jumps at it, ” Wow! This effort will go a long way to help women.” Looking at his young techie wife Aditi who also beams at this idea, Amit adds,” Such message through Sarahah will go a long way in revolutionising the life of the women as a constructive feedback will help them pave a better way ahead of them. All this effort needs is a good journalism about it (please pen a story he requests) and ample positive marketing on various social media sites.”

Thus to help you connect to more such websites, who are saving both women and Sarahah from disgrace, we at Techthirsty.com are providing you a few links below:

Women’s Health LineUngenderThe AWARE Foundation

Mahima Sharma, Columnist TechThirsty
The author is former News Editor with CNN-News18 and ANI-Reuters

Do write to us at editorial@techthirsty.com or Tweet to us at @Techthirsty.

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Apple iPhone 5 And Apple iPad 4 Unimaginative: Is CEO Tim Cook To Be Blamed?

These sure are tough times for Apple, and it’s only looking to get worse. First it was the less than expected performance of the iPad 4 and iPhone 5 in Q4, and now it’s a lawsuit filed by a rebellious investor just before it held its annual shareholder conference. And to make matters worse, the CEO Tim Cook has decided to criticize the lawsuit by calling it a “silly slideshow”. Wonder how the investor’s going to take that.

Cook stated the above during an interview at a Goldman Sachs technology conference yesterday. He also shared his opinion on other issues related to Apple, including whether Apple’s power to innovate is going down, the ongoing expansion of its stores, as well as the shareholder dispute.

However, Cook stayed cool throughout the uncomfortable questions he was subjected to and didn’t reveal any unease caused due to the dip in Apple’s stock prices or increasing dissatisfaction among its shareholders. What did come through, however, was Cook’s passion for Apple, especially since he is known more for his subdued and modest nature.

During the interview, Cook talked about how innovation is deeply embedded within the company’s culture, and continues to drive its employees to make the best products in the world. In Cook’s words, “It’s as strong as ever. It’s in the values and DNA of the company. I feel fantastic about it. There’s not a better place for innovation”.

However, when asked about the issue pertaining to David Einhorn and how he made a public request for Apple to issue a special class of stock to its shareholders, Cook reacted strongly. Einhorn and some more shareholders want Apple to use the $120 billion cash it has shown in its balance sheet, in addition to issuing the special class of stock. He has also filed a lawsuit to block Apple’s proposition of requiring a shareholder vote before issuing such a stock.

Cook stated that Apple’s pro-shareholder attitude should be evident to the investors and the company doesn’t plan to launch a campaign to get this proposition passed. Apple intends to file a response to the lawsuit by today and the case will be heard in a New York District Court next week.… Read the rest

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Temple Run Gives Us Adrenaline Rush: Second Edition Goes Like Lightning To Hit 20 Million Downloads

 

Gaming enterprise Imangi has released the second edition of its ever popular game, Temple Run and has managed to clinch the top spot with its latest release. So what makes the game click? One finds out…

It has been a wondrous time for Imangi Studios which has reveled in the success of its ever popular game, Temple Run which recently had the release of its second edition. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the game has raced away to the top spot. Within four days of release in its iOS version, the game has gathered a whopping 20 million downloads.

Temple Run 2 follows the key plot where the central character, a wandering explorer steals an idol from an ancient temple and unfurls a conundrum of demons, chaos and random events. The gamer controls the character through his fingers maneuvering him out of the temple and escaping the situations through a run – the Temple Run. The character can jump, duck or turn as per the directives and gather coins on the way which can be redeemed for various bonuses. The latest version of the game features more vibrant graphics and new settings including more types of hurdles as well. The power ups and achievements have also undergone upgrades making it a must play this season. Besides the series of devilish monkeys which were part of the earlier version, the latest edition also employs a huge monster monkey as well who is out for your blood. To make up for a more interesting gameplay, the developers have also introduced additional features such as rope swings as well.

Imangi Studios has kept itself abreast with innovation and even introduced a special edition, Temple Run Brave in collaboration with Disney. The version featured locations and characters from the Disney-Pixar movie, Brave.

And yes, if you are an Android user, the game has been launched on it as well. One can just browse across the Google Play Store to get the latest version of the game. The game is dominating the charts and raced to the top spot on the App Store charts as the ‘top free app’ for a duration of 12 hours after its debut. The game has packed a lot of features including improved graphics and a dash load of new scenarios which make it a good pick.

The first edition of the game has registered over 170 million gamers since its launch and with current trends, the sequel is expected to surpass it. While the first version had a good time difference of over seven months between its iOS and Android version, the latest game has released both its versions within a single week – a fact seconded by game co-founder Keith Shepherd who admitted that the team is ‘happy to have the launch much closer together’ than ‘on the original’. He also hopes ‘to grow and expand the game’ in the coming times.… Read the rest

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Prior to The Launch of iPhone 5, YouTube Launched Its Own iOS App

Just as all eyes are set on the release of the next-gen iPhone 5 by Apple, YouTube, which will no longer be a default app in the iPhone’s iOS 6, has already got a replacement.

YouTube, now owned by Google recently launched a new version of its own iPhone app, which is made with some notable changes and significant upgrades.

Users can easily install the upgraded version from the Apple App Store. Here is the link: http://itunes.apple.com/app/youtube/id544007664

It was revealed in August that a license between Apple and Google to preload the YouTube app in iOS had expired, which means that the famous video app, which had been a staple since the first iPhone, would no longer be a part of the package when the new iPhone hits the shelves.

YouTube, however, announced that the firm would release its own app for Apple products and came out with the new YouTube app for iOS.

With this upgraded iOS version, users will be able to play thousands of videos easily on their phone devices.

For YouTube, breaking up with Apple got good development for the firm. The new app the firm revamped now offers recommendations for YouTube users based on their past viewing habits. This feature can be a boost for the firm, which is always on the lookout to offer the best user experience.

This app also offers easier access to subscribed channels, which means users can easily follow someone on a regular basis.

And even if YouTube doesn’t offer recommendations, the upgraded app offers easier navigation and also includes a subject-based search guide that lets users look up videos based on interests such as music, pets and animals or sports.

Now sharing videos on Google, Twitter, Facebook and e-mail becomes much easier. The app also lets users save YouTube URLs to the clipboard.

YouTube says that this iOS app will work on iPad as well but has also announced that the firm is working on to develop a more tablet-specific app soon.

One of the most significant changes that cannot go unnoticed is that the new YouTube app comes with advertising.

With advertising, YouTube gets a way to monetize its mobile presence. And this is believed to be a success as the site gets around 1 billion mobile views per day.

Apple, however, is also launching its own version of maps in the next-gen operating system. The much-awaited iPhone 5 is slated for release today.… Read the rest

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Siri Going to Get Better With Apple iOS 6…

Apple’s next mobile operating system, iOS 6 will have a better version of Siri- the voice-assistant and will work on iPad and Facebook with over 200 new features. There is another feature that was added including the introduction of Passbook in iOS 6, which is believed to speed up the expansion of digital gift cards.

The helpful app, Passbook is really great to keep a track on loyalty cards, boarding passes, event tickets, coupons, movie tickets and much more into a single virtual home.

While most of the talk in mobile payments spins around banks, credit card companies, phone suppliers and web-centric or social web companies, keys to the acceptance will be initiated in pairing of consumer and merchant benefits linked with digital gifts.

The value of the traditional gift card is being expanded with the chance to deliver a gift card to a mobile device directly and make it work from the phone.

A solution for gifting is now regularly pulled as promotional or incentives tools. Various mobile applications launched in recent years have influenced a digital gift card.

Groupon came out with “Now!”, Wrapp’s gifts, Viggle’s rewards and Shopkick’s “kicks”. All these cards rely on the digital delivery of a promotional card that can be redeemed at a merchant’s point of sale.

Letting a promotional card to continue from the iPhone’s Passbook gives users an appealing experience.

With plethora of digital gift cards in flow, eGift Cards may be a gateway to full mobile payments. But in order to make it work, there are few things that iOS developers must know to deliver digital gift cards and pass them in to Apple’s Passbook:

Apple should leverage the functionality of what a consumer expects such as checking a balance or reloading a gift card, which requires a connection to the merchant’s gift card processing platform.

The presentation of a digital card requires a merchant’s consent. Apple can’t count on being able to make it look any way they wish.

There are many consumer protection laws that the firm needs to be aware of, especially the need to plainly communicate terms and conditions.

In case the card needs to work from more than an iPhone, Apple should think of SMS delivery, email delivery and changing look and feel of the card based on the device the card is being viewed from.

Giving many opportunities, an operational version of a mobile wallet may one day lead to consumers parting with their physical wallets soon!

Source: Venturebeat.com… Read the rest

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Change Your Pics Into Fun Arts Using BeFunky App!

Shaking a stick and becoming gorgeous was something we have seen in all fairy tales. And now with BeFunky app, shaking a stick can give you many more effects than what princess got in stories.

Don’t we all just love to add funky and cool pics on our profiles, which would surely get us maximum likes and comments! Yes, we all do.

Try out BeFunky app, using which you can have some serious fun with your pictures. Get creative with this photo art feature app, which is absolutely free of cost!

Best described as a Photoshop, BeFunky has a plethora of photo editing effects that can let you have some fun with your personal photos.

Launched in the US market, BeFunky is available for download on Android and iOS devices.

This free photo-editing tool has all effects, frames, tricks, and anything else you could think of, of doing with your pictures.

Tekin Tatar, founder and CEO of BeFunky said that the app is in direct competition with already established apps such as Hipstamatic and Instagram. He further added that the advanced smart enhancement and photo correction algorithms make this application different from its rivals.

This Turkish startup is best known for its high-quality special effects. On BeFunky, you can choose from a variety of artsy frames, borders, and top it off with a retro finish.

Try out its Old Photo and Gritty HDR, which are fun to use. Not only this, you can also make subtle or extreme variations to brightness, hues and tones.

Explore and have fun with this application, paint your hair green or red or even blue!

Once you are done with all touches and styles, share your picture on Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr or Twitter.

Well, there is also BeFunky’s website, where you can upload your photo. You can visit the site at http://www.befunky.com/

BeFunky also has a gallery, which is a database of thousands of edited photos. Click on it, comment, rate, or even share the pics! Here is the link to the gallery: http://www.befunky.com/explore/

An innovative and exciting kid on the block, BeFunky hopes to mark its entry into the US market. The app comes in many languages. It has soared to 5 million active monthly users and 500,000 daily users that create 50 million photos each month.

So have you used your creativity and tried out BeFunky effects? Isn’t it fun and easy to use? No worries if you haven’t, install it today itself and get started!… Read the rest

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Apple Rejects Drones+, Calls It Objectionable!

Apple Inc. recently rejected Drones+ app from its App Store. Drone+ is a controversial iPhone app, which sends out an alert to users when someone is killed in a US drone strike.

A tracker application, made for military drones, Drone+ was developed by Josh Begley, a New York-based developer. This rejection marks the third time that app has been turned down.

Apple has its own policies for applications, which determines as to which would be available to users for download and which won’t.

On being asked about rejection, Begley commented that he has no idea as to why the app should be rejected as it just combines news that’s already out and posted somewhere else.

Throwing light on the matter, Tom Neumayr, Apple spokesperson said that the app was turned down as it was messing up with Apple’s standards and its App Store guideline with objectionable content within apps.

Aimed to create awareness about US drone activity, Begley said Drone+ program focuses on a narrow subset of news that could be found elsewhere. He also said that he’s thinking of trying the app on the Android system.… Read the rest

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Shopper: Grocery Shopper, Kitchen Assistant, and Deal Finder – All Rolled Into One!

Ever had one of those days when you’ve been all over the place and get back home at the end of a long, tiring day only to know that you’re out of essential supplies to make yourself a nice dinner? Well, those days are now in the past and never coming back, all thanks to the new Shopper app, which is probably one of the most useful household apps you could ever come across for your smartphone. Feed in your shopping list and watch as Shopper cross checks available deals to find you the best discounts on your groceries.

But the magic of Shopper doesn’t just end there – it’s just getting started. Before you dismiss it as yet another app that lets you make shopping lists, you have to check out the Recipes feature in the app. Enter your recipes, share them with friends and family and even get new recipes from others, and Shopper will even tell you what all ingredients you fall short of, so you can pick them up and get started with your experiments in the kitchen.

Highly customizable, using Shopper you can organize your numerous lists as per various categories or even as per the stores. Shopper uses barcode scanning features to give you nutritional information about the food products you pick up, looks for the best available deals and saver offers on products, and even keeps you updated about the latest FDA/USDA alerts and recalls, making sure that you buy only what is assuredly safe.

Share your shopping list with your family so that they can update with anything else that they might require, ensuring that you avoid making multiple trips to the store too. Oh, and before I forget to mention, this app is available for iPhones, Android, and Blackberry devices. So go ahead, become a better planner and let your smartphone even maintain an inventory of your kitchen requirements, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.… Read the rest

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How A Classic App- iPeriod Keep Your Period and Pregnancy Worries At Bay!

Recently I got a panic call from a friend. She had missed her periods.  I listened to her paranoid voice for a while and had a sudden urge of asking her the most common question. “When did you last sleep with him? But I stopped. I didn’t want to intervene her intimate space. I fought the feeling of asking her about the contraceptive solution she is using, mostly because I didn’t want to worry her with a set of alarming questions. So, I pulled out my arsenal of apps and scurried through them in my will to find the app called iPeriod- which for years has kept a tab of my menstrual cycle and has helped me kept me aware of my ovulating days.

I asked her about the date of her last periods and quickly added the first and last date of periods. The  app gave me an interesting and colorful calendar view in which I added a few more details about the flow levels (Light, Medium, Heavy) and about the nasty cramps (none, mild, severe).

The calendar showed me her period days in peachy pink shades and her fertile days in lime green shade suggestive of ovulation. I took a deep breath and finally shot the question at her. “Did you sleep with him in these days (her fertile days)?”

She took her time to recollect the date and to my relief the date was well ahead of her ovulating period. I put her at ease and told her to give her periods some time, assuring her that they will come.  I disconnected the call and a smile bore on my face looking at the comprehensive and detailed period calculator of iPeriod.

iPeriod did not only unburdened my friend of all the mental baggage , but for years now, it has kept my hubby and me at peace. I have set the app in my email alerts so that it constantly reminds me of my expected period date; is it on time or getting delayed. I have also set the length of my luteal phase with the help of user friendly calendar icons and have added a number of cycles to calculate the average.

For some the iPeriod calendar view may not work but I actually keep my sunny side up when looking at  the things in life. For me the gay and vivid calendar works hands down as it provides a lot of information at a glance.

iPeriod is a great way of knowing what is going on in your body and as a women it is a must have in your bag and in your phone.… Read the rest

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The Updated Facebook App: So Much Easier to Stay Connected on the Move!

Yes, we’ve all been there, and done that – Facebook on our smartphones isn’t something new, some might say. And to be honest, I was with each of you skeptical folks on this one. As much as I love my smartphone and how easy it makes browsing and e-mailing on the move, I wasn’t quite satisfied with its Facebook app and used to prefer checking Facebook only when I was online through a PC. But I recently got a chance to check out the new and improved Facebook app for the iOS, and let me tell you, I was certainly not disappointed.

The updated Facebook app for iPhones is specifically optimized to work on Apple’s devices and is far more responsive and works almost twice as fast as the older versions. At first look though, you may not be able to see much of the change, as the UI remains pretty much the same, with just a few extra additions like a banner for “New Stories” and improved photo viewing experience. But the real change is in the code – what previously was coded in HTML5 has now been coded entirely with Apple’s iOS SDK, making it extremely customized and exclusive, and hence offering much better performance.

It sure must have been a lot of work, but the results are something we are all extremely grateful for. Unlike the previous updates to the app, this one has completely revamped the code of the Facebook app to make it so much edgier and faster to use. In addition, Facebook on mobiles is moving in a more social direction with Facebook’s Messenger and Camera add-on apps. With the Camera app, sharing photos and creating albums becomes a one-step process. The latest version of the Camera app even has its own news tab that gives you exclusive notifications about photos and even lets you “Like” comments received.

But one of the best features of the Facebook for mobiles has got to be the Messenger app that lets me chat with my online friends, no matter where I am. This just makes it more likely for me to bump into those friends who rarely ever come online on Facebook and get an update or two from them, right from my mobile. The coolest thing about the Facebook Messenger app is that it works just like the Chat feature on the Facebook link on your PC. When you go offline because you lose your connection or log out, any messages sent to you come up in your inbox as messages. This is especially important given our mobile networks do inevitably let us down when we are traveling, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose our conversations.

So now, that I have the whole gamut of Facebooks apps installed, my phone has just made me so much more social – be it Places, sharing photos using Camera, catching up with friends using Messenger, or just plain old Facebooking, I get to do it on the move, and I get to do it real fast.… Read the rest

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