Our 5 favorite iPhone and Android apps from Black developers

As we wrap up the celebration of Black History Month 2023, it remains important to recognize and appreciate the contributions black people have made in various fields, including the technology and smartphone apps we use every day. From social media platforms to productivity tools, black developers and other people of color have worked hard to create apps that are innovative, useful, and just plain fun.

Here, we focus on five useful apps developed by black people that you should check out. These iPhone and Android apps range from those that help you discover and support black-owned businesses to those that provide emergency legal assistance to those that curate and highlight news and entertainment sources from black creators.

We read too


We Read Too is an app that provides a directory of books written by authors of color. The app was created by developer Kaya Thomas in response to the lack of diversity in children’s and young adult literature she experienced as a teenager. Debuting in 2014, the app launched with the goal of making it easier for young people to find books that reflect their experiences and identities.

“I would go to the library and bookstores and book fairs at school and see a very specific set of books,” Thomas said in an interview with Apple. “When I got to high school, I started to get really frustrated wondering why there weren’t any books I was exposed to that had black characters or were by black authors. I started doing my own research and realized that these books existed — they just weren’t on the bestseller lists or displayed in the library or bookstore.”

If you download We Read Too, you’ll find that it includes a wide range of books in different genres and categories, from picture books to young adult novels. The app’s interface allows users to search for books by author, title or category and includes descriptions and reviews for each book. There is also support for integrated Black-owned bookstores, allowing users to find stores where they can buy the book of their choice.

Download We Read Too (iPhone)

Legal equalizer

Legal equalizer
Legal equalizer

Legal Equalizer is an app created by Mbye Njie in an effort to combat racial discrimination by law enforcement. The app is built to allow users to assert their rights during conflicts with the police. Njie developed it in 2014 after police arrested him for the third time in a month and mistook him for another man with a warrant for his arrest.

After that experience, he developed the app and a company of the same name to follow it. With the app, users gain access to vital information and tools for documenting any interactions with law enforcement, such as recording audio and video, sending an SOS message to designated contacts, and accessing legal resources. The app may also provide users with access to an attorney through a video conferencing feature. Legal Equalizer can also help with meetings with immigration officers.

Download Legal Equalizer (iPhone)

Download Legal Equalizer (Android)


ReDawn for iOS.

ReDawn is an app that is a bit more sober in conception compared to most on this list. It was developed by Sopha Ongele, a student at Fordham University at the time, and aims to help victims of sexual assault and harassment recover from it. It does this through a digital assistant, Dawn, who can answer support or reporting questions without judgment. Dawn can also redirect people to hotlines for more immediate help if necessary, including crisis centers and 911.

ReDawn has a Map feature for quick access to health and crisis centers in your area, as well as a report feature that lets you record incidents for up-to-date confirmation if you want to follow up with the police further.

Download ReDawn (iPhone)

Eat Okra

Eat okra.
Eat Okra

Tired of McDonald’s and Popeye’s? There’s an app for that too, and it’s not Grubhub. EatOkra is a popular cross-platform app that helps people find black-owned restaurants and food delivery businesses in their areas. It was created by a Brooklyn couple — Anthony and Janique Edwards — after searching to find food they would appreciate in their neighborhood. Now, the app has built a strong reputation as a way to not only support black-owned businesses, but also to diversify its users’ dining experiences.

EatOkra allows users to search for black-owned restaurants and food businesses either by location or by type of cuisine. When you open the app, you have the option to choose from a wide list of businesses — as well as add your own. At the time of writing, EatOkra supports more than 9,500 listings in the US. The app also has partnerships with Uber Eats, Apple, Pepsi and more, according to the EatOkra website. If you’re hungry and looking for black-owned food, this is a pretty solid choice.

Download EatOkra (iPhone)

Download EatOkra (Android)

Black – News + Culture

Black -- News + Culture

Black – News + Culture is a news app developed by MIT graduate Adam Taylor in an effort to create a safe space for black people. It would focus on telling stories that weren’t the typical stories of crime or deprivation, but focused on uplifting news that would boost mental well-being.

Black highlights sources such as The Root, Atlanta Black Star, BET, Essence, HuffPost Black Voices and more. In addition to its selection of sources, the app uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to curate stories that would be of interest to its audience.

“My company, Langston LLC, uses machine learning and language processing technologies to monitor the emotional tone of articles and aggregate content about people who identify as Black,” Taylor said in an interview with Essence, a media company information aimed at black women. .

Download Black (iPhone)

Editors’ recommendations

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