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Apps. Who doesn’t use them? Whether it’s for the weather, lightening your skin before posting that selfie up on Instagram, or keeping up-to-date with the activities of your favourite politician, there’s an app for nearly everything imaginable these days.

So what if we told you you could get paid in cash just for downloading apps? Because that’s exactly what cash rewards app Showbox (available on Google Play) is promising.

Image Credit: Google Play

The Singapore-based platform went into beta in February last year, and has since launched worldwide as of January this year.

How Showbox Works

To kick off the process of earning cash, you will have to download apps through Showbox, of course. But that’s not the only way. Users can also choose to test out apps and give app developers feedback; this will earn you points which you accumulate with each app downloaded/tested.

Image Credit: Google Play

You can also choose to up the number of points you have in your account by activating a feature called Lockscreen. Doing so will display the latest products and offers available on your homescreen each time you wake your phone. Alternatively, refer Showbox to your friends and for every 2 points they earn in the month after they register with Showbox, you’ll receive 1 in return.

At the end of each week, you’ll receive your cash payout from Showbox via PayPal. Of course, this happens only if you choose to exchange your points for cash. A visit to the Rewards Centre within the app reveals various other perks you can use your points for: top up your phone credit, donate to charity, or even receive shopping vouchers and air miles.

Image Credit: Google Play

Speaking with founder John Zhou, he reveals that despite the numerous rewards available to users, the most popular option remains the cash out one, which allows you to transfer the money to your PayPal account or top up your mobile phone credit. This is not particularly surprising; no one’s going to say no to some spare cash on hand.

The Appeal Of Showbox

John shares that the idea for Showbox came about as he saw the need for a platform where smartphone users and app developers could mutually benefit one another. And Showbox is the platform that he believes will do that: users get to discover apps that interest them (and get paid to do so!), while developers enjoy direct access to a pool of smartphone users, boosting their download numbers and therefore their Google ranking.

I’ll admit that I was sceptical about the benefits an app developer would gain when I first heard about the way Showbox worked. After all, what’s to stop a user from deleting apps immediately after getting their points?

To my surprise, however, John explained that app developers don’t actually mind if users download their apps without trying them out. Their main goal is to get as many downloads as possible in the shortest amount of time — this improves their search rankings on Google, and is something that Showbox aims to help them accomplish. Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 11.16.05 am

And the numbers speak for themselves: in the 8 months since its release globally, Showbox has been downloaded a million times, with 250,000 monthly active users on board. John also shares that they’re planning to populate the platform with more content in the future, such as game and app reviews.

Verdict: 4/5

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Showbox, of course, is not without its flaws, though I would consider them minor compared to the perks that users stand to receive. Complaints about missing points aside, it would do Showbox well to get more partners on board (they currently have over 20). This would give users more options when it comes to exchanging their points for rewards, and shouldn’t be a difficult task, seeing as they do have the numbers to appeal to potential partners. A prettier interface wouldn’t hurt either: the current one, while simple and effective, is pretty basic.

That said, Showbox is overall an app that many will find easy to get behind. The promise of spare cash is hard to decline, and you don’t even have to use the apps you download to get rewarded. Just be sure to have the space to do it.

Showbox is only available on the Google Play Store

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