On Your iPhone, an App for Everything—Except Donating

Apple makes it hard for users to give to charity
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2010 8:39 AM CST
iPhone Won't Allow In-App Donations to Charity; Apple Barely Explains Odd Giving Policy
You can't (easily) donate to a charity on this.   (Photo: Physio-Control, Inc.)

Need directions to the store, a recipe for dinner, the latest tweets from all your friends, or a silly game to while away the hours? There’s an app for (all of) that. But one thing you can’t do on your iPhone is make charitable donations—at least, not directly from an application. Currently, Apple will only allow apps to direct users to a separate web page from which they can donate by laboriously typing in their credit card info—which cuts down on the number of people who actually give—and nonprofit workers aren’t happy.

In August, PayPal added a feature to its app that allowed easy, one-click donations, but by October Apple had asked the company to discontinue it, with little explanation. Some theorize Apple doesn’t want extra responsibilities like vetting charities; HuffPo notes that the 30% cut Apple usually takes from its App Store transactions—"not be an acceptable amount of money to collect from charitable donations"—could be muddying things as well. But even so, "there are many other tech companies besides Apple that aren't grinches," one consultant tells the Huffington Post. She plans to switch to a different smartphone that supports in-app donations—like Google's Android or the Windows 7 phone—and she’s suggesting her 367,000 Twitter followers do the same. Click for more on Apple’s giving problem.
(Read more Apple stories.)

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