Tech hasn’t always been female-friendly – but a new wave of apps is changing that. From contraception to workouts, here are the ones Guardian writers swear by

Back in 2014, Apple released HealthKit, an app that let people keep track of a vast array of health and fitness data – everything from blood alcohol levels and sodium intake to body temperature. What you couldn’t track, however, was your period. Not one person at Apple had stopped to think a period tracker might be useful. And that’s because Apple, like most tech companies, is dominated by myopic men.

Four years later, female engineers are still very much a minority in Silicon Valley. However, progress is slowly being made and the future of tech is looking decidedly more female-friendly. Take the dating app Bumble, for example, which was started by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd and has been designed with a women-centric interface. When two users of the opposite sex match on Bumble, the woman must send the first message, bucking the convention that men make the first move. Focusing on women has paid off; Bumble had a stellar 2017 and is valued at more than $1bn ($710m). And Bumble is just one of a growing number of apps designed with women in mind. From pedicure-scheduling to confidence-boosting to pill-planning, when it comes to a female need, there’s now often an app for that. Here, Guardian writers recommend some of their favourites. Arwa Mahdawi

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