Nelson Mandela Apps: An Icon's Footprints Across The Digital Landscape

It's difficult to say good-bye to a man as formidable as Nelson Mandela. TV, Radio and the blogosphere have been flooded with updates, and I suspect this will continue for some time. Living in the digital age, as mankind moves forward, it's apparent that we will all be memorialized when the time comes with what we leave behind on the Internet.

Traces of our lives will be found in bits, bytes, status updates, LiKES, tweets, pins - even our Klout scores will provide a small snapshot of us engaging with the technology of the times.

In the case of the father figure affectionately known as "Madiba," his footprints across the Webare vast.

However, fortunately for us, software developers over the course of the last  decade have fittingly paid tribute to the man in a way that's only been done for a handful of other leaders. They've chosen to immortalize him in software applications.

Online, there are now a growing number. A Google search for “Mandela” indicates over 250 different such apps for Google Play alone. Here are 11 of the more notable ones developed for Android devices, iPhones, iPads and Windows devices.

1- Nelson Mandela - Google Play

This free app designed by n-frames Technologies Ltd. includes a bio, photos, videos and quotes - and not only do you get them in one place, you can share all your favorites with your friends and followers on your social networks.

2- Nelson Mandela Square - Google Play

This app is more geographic in concept pertaining to Nelson Mandela Square located in the renowned South African location of Sandton City. The 1000sqm Square serves as a stage for a host of local and international events where over one million local and international visitors per month visit. The app breaks down categories such as stores, deals, gift ideas, banks, parking and dining to provide users with quick access to their specific interests.

3- Nelson-Mandela - Microsoft Windows

Published by Zulu Worrier Apps, this app provides users with a Nelson Mandela Quiz pertaining to some of his most memorable quotes and iconic photos.

4- History Timeline - Microsoft Windows

With this free app from Microsoft Windows you'll find a    comprehensive timeline of events honoring the former South African President and Anti-Apartheid leader.

5- Honor Nelson Mandela - iTunes

Released on August 16, 2013, this app allows you to virtually light a digital candle and leave a message for Nelson Mandela. Obviously published before his death, the thoughts and prayers left her take a more heartfelt meaning now that he's gone. While this app is free, a more robust version (Pro) is priced at $.99.

6- Nelson Mandela Quiz - Google Play

This app comes with an initial 50 questions covering the life and times of the well-known South African statesman, but an additional 50 questions can be added subsequently for free. The app also enables users to try their hand at creating their own set of quiz questions in a text editor. You can share your quiz and scores with friends and even add quizzes collaboratively.

7- Mandela - History - iTunes

Mandela-History previously priced at $4.19 for the iPhone and $3.99 for the iPad, due to Mandela's death this past week it's available for free, thanks to the developers, App4Deals. This app is a fun and educational tool for people of all ages where you can review Mandela's life arc, from apartheid to the presidency of South Africa vis a vis 10 animated tableaux! Four games, both educational and fun, help the younger reader retain the major elements of Mandela's life story.

8- Mandela's Family - Window Phone

Not a lot is known about Mandela's extended family. This free app will enlighten you to the relationships and the stories that pertain to Mandela's three wives, children and grand-children.



9- Nelson Mandela R.I.P. - Google Play

This free app designed by Electric Entertain following his death on December 5, 2013 is described as the "unofficial app" where "you'll find everything about Nelson Mandela." It includes functionality that allows you to chat with friends, in addition to videos and news reports.

10- Nelson Mandela Smart TV App

In partnership with the Samsung, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory produced an Android application that displays content from the current Nelson Mandela Foundation website, filtered by an API developed by Cytrus. It features an interactive timeline using social sharing, images, videos and historical highlights. The News section keeps the user up-to-date with the latest information from The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory with additional filtering options.

11- Wild About Madiba - iTunes

Priced at $1.99, with this app you can travel throughout South Africa in the footprints of the legend.  This app covers all important tourist attractions spanning his lifetime and all the poignant events that occurred. From the rural villages of his birth and childhood, to his first home in Vilikazi Street, Soweto, the hide-out at Lillieslief in Rivonia, his capture and finally his incarceration on Robben Island.

Apps not part of the Mandela Commercialism...

Since most of these apps are free, they do not lend themselves to the controversy over the recent commercialism of Nelson Mandela's name. In June 2004, at the age of 85, and five years after stepping down as South Africa's president, Nelson Mandela announced he was "retiring from retirement," to spend more time with family and friends. However recent studies have shown that the South African national hero is the second most well-known brand in the world, just behind Coca Cola.

Loved by everyone, the former leader is bankable, and controlling the commercialization of his image is an everyday struggle.