Saturday, September 26, 2015

Can't miss apps for expat wives

Earlier this year, I presented you some mobile applications that may become handy to a newbie in Philadelphia, and more specifically to the expat wives like us. Take a look at my updated list of some new apps. Let us know if it useful or if you've discovered some that might be useful to other expats.

When I came to Philly more than a year ago there was a lot to discover and to adapt to. New measurements, new currency, also new TV channels, new pubs and restaurants for the night life. Luckily, we live in the 21st century and the process of discovering my new life was a lot easier thanks to new technology, the apps in particular!

"Feel like a tourist while strolling around the city"

CityMaps to go - you can download a map of Philadelphia, search locations in different categories (Hotels, Entertainment, Shopping, Sightseeing, etc.) and save your favorite places.
Philadelphia Map and Walks - offers interesting sightseeing tours and suggestions for walks around the city

"How can I get there?"

Septa - this is a Philadelphia public transport company application so if you use public transport or trains, you may need check the alerts or the next bus arrival frequently. Actually it has also a map within where you can see your bus approaching the bus stop. It is very funny.
Uber - a good and comfortable alternative to the cabs. The difference is that you create your account, put in your credit card details, then you call a cab and pay just in one click. A must-have.
Lyft - Uber's competitor here in Philly. Particularly interesting for the weekdays discounts.
To move out of Philadelphia, let's say to go to New York or Washington, I use either Megabus or Greyhound mobile apps. The first one is more comfortable since you do not need a printed ticket. The second one is usually cheaper.

"How can I save some money?"

RetailMeNot - basically a coupon app. For me, the US is also a country of discounts, sales, special offers and coupons. Check this app and you will hardly ever pay a full price when shopping.
Amazon local - I really started to like and use this app recently. For example, I got two tickets to the Barnes Foundation, without having to schedule my visit, at a very competitive price. You may find other services as well, such as restaurants, massages, etc.

"I have no idea want this phrasal verb mean..."

English dictionary is vital in any expat wife's smartphone! I personally use: - monolingual English dictionary which also includes Thesaurus dictionary of synonym
Wordreference - very useful bilingual dictionary
Urban Dictionary - sooner or later you will also have to learn something about the urban slang. This app can be of some help.

"Oh my god, those Fahrenheits!"

You may either use a calculator, but you will have to know the conversion ratios, or you may use your brain... I use converter apps:
Units Plus - for all physical quantities
Size Converter - for clothes and shoes sizes. Shopping will become a lot easier without having to try three different sizes of the same pants :)

"Where can I find a yoga studio...or maybe a massage?"

Mindbody Connect - a very useful app for the workout and wellness services in town. You may search the nearest yoga center on the map as well as create your own list of favorite places for the workout or spa. The upcoming courses of your favorite location will then appear in a calendar-like style.

"Let's dine out tonight!"

There are really many apps for restaurant reviews. The most comprehensive is Yelp, including not only restaurants and venues but also other services in town such as nail spas or hairdresser's. Personally, I could not go without Yelp anymore :)
Opentable - very useful for fast and one-click booking. The app shows the schedule availability of the place so you can even select the time that best works for you.

"Or let's dine in !"

Postmates - This is one of my favorite recently discovered apps. It is an app for the delivery BUT you can have delivered almost everything: from pizza, sushi, burgers to Starbuck coffee or clothes and even medicines! You basically wouldn't need to go out of the house (just kidding).

"What's the weather like today?"

Apart from default weather apps you already have in your phone, you may like Accuweather or Weatherunderground.

These are just some apps I personally think may be very useful to expat wives as they were and still are useful to me. Feel free to review them and share with us your favorite apps. The technology is evolving and so we are !
Have fun exploring.