When I first got my iPhone 4 in the mail I thought, “Steve Jobs, you’ve really out-done yourself this time.” My excitement for this new piece of technology only lasted until my first phone bill.

I will admit, I am a late adapter. When my phone bill went from under $40 a month to over $100 a month I thought there had been a mistake. The sad reality is, as technology becomes more present and advanced, it is nearly impossible to avoid getting the latest gadgets and updates and paying a lot for them.

The companies I highlight in this column have recognized the expense of owning a smartphone and have created a business model to help consumers make a little money while helping other businesses increase reach. Let me explain:


The Gigwalk App creates a mobile workforce where users can post “Gigs” or tasks they need done and pay individuals to complete these tasks. Tasks can range from verifying a road sign to testing wireless signals. The payment amount is decided by the party that posts the gig to Gigwalk.

This App has a strong iTunes rating with 375 reviews, 266 of which were 4+ stars, reviewers deem it a fun and easy way to make some side cash. Some of the lower reviewers mentioned difficulties with getting approved to use the app and the fact that it is not in their location. The current cities that offer Gigwalk are the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago, South Florida, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Seattle.


AirRun is another mobile app that pays users for completing different tasks. The app divides users in two groups: there are seekers, or individuals who need a goods or services delivered to them and runners, those willing to complete the task for a tip. Personally, this app weirds me out, I would not feel comfortable disclosing my address to a stranger. Here is an interesting video created to explain the app:

Judging from the iTunes reviews, this app is still trying to work some kinks. It also seems like they need to develop their pitch a little more considering some youtube commenters brought up the same safety concerns I have.

We Reward App

The We Reward App differs from the first two because it follows more of a foursquare model turning checkins or completed tasks into opportunities to earn points. Each business or task has its own page where a user must take a picture of themselves in that location or doing the task (i.e using a product) to earn a certain amount of points.

When users earn 1,000 points they can cash them in for $10 through Paypal. This app benefits businessess through product and local marketing. This App has been along for the longest of the three and also has the largest amount of reviews on iTunes with 3051 ratings. The current version has 216 ratings with 197 of reviewers posting 4+ stars. This app also appears to be the least invasive, letting you score points on your own time as opposed to “working” for someone else.

Some other notables offering similar services include:

  • Task Rabbit: an app that mimics AirRun by offering consumers the ability to run other people’s errands, and pays them for it.
  • Field Agent: another app that pays you for completing tasks posted by businesses. This app has a high reviewer rating on the iTunes page.
  • Check Points: this app lets you earn points by scanning barcodes on featured products. You are rewarded in iTunes and Amazon.com gift cards as well as airline miles and more. This app has a very high user rating on iTunes and is worth you checking it out.
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  • materfamilias

    we don’t all have an iPhone. It’s getting slightly irritating that every time I come upon an article about ‘smartphones’, the writer really means ‘iPhone’. I love my android, and think it might even be a little smarter than most of my friends’ iPhones, and the platform is giving the iPhone some major competition, so why not mention a more diverse range of apps in the future, rather than just whatever is on iTunes?

    • Marina

      Hi there @254f3996eab5fb1652d9999045984cea:disqus ,

      You are right, it does seem like many apps written about are directed towards iPhones. I refrained from titling this article to be more iPhone specific because the We Reward App and the Check Points App are both offered and multiple devices including the Android Market. I definitely should’ve specified that in the article.

      Thank you for reading and I will look into writing something that highlights a more diverse market next time. 

  • Paul

    Some Gigwalks requires you go inside a business and snap a panoramic photo. Some business owners don’t like this, and ask Gigwalkers to leave.

  • Sun W. Kim

    Paul – I think part of it will depend on how you negotiate the situation with the owner… and sometimes owners are just untrusting jerks. It does make you think about how you should approach a GigWalk because you don’t want to be taking outside photos if the inside photo is never going to happen.