How to request apps and commonly asked questions

When you need an app that the phone doesn't have, you can propose one! We generally add several each week.

"How do I submit an app?"
In the Caregiver portal, under the "Apps" tab, there is a button that says "Request an App".


"How does Pinwheel evaluate apps?"

  1. Content Review – We evaluate the app against our healthy app criteria. Then we check for workarounds to sexual content like GIF keyboards, image searches, or in-app browsers when you tap a link. It's done by manual testing and isn't foolproof, but we seem to catch most of the workarounds!
  2. Technical Review – We download the app to a Pinwheel phone. Most Android apps work on Pinwheel, but some do not. The reason why is a long technical explanation that boils down to firmware, multiple APK files, and device-management policies. It's hard to predict.
  3. Distribute to Customers – If an app passes both reviews, then we have to add it to all phones. It's a 37-step process (kidding! It's actually a 53-step process! Not kidding). So that's why we only release a few each week.

"I would love updates on the apps I requested!"
You're in luck! We keep a regularly updated and thorough list of our apps and their spots in the process here.


"I need X, but I'm not sure what app does that safest!"
If you need a type of app but aren't sure exactly which, go ahead and research on the Google Play store! For example, it took us quite some time to find a notetaking app with no ads, but almost no time to find a music player that has zero ads and doesn't connect to the Internet (it's almost like someone built the app wishing Pinwheel existed).

Feb 19, 2021

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