Wednesday, 5 January 2011

5 (more) essential apps for expats

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a good break over the Christmas and New Year period.

Previously on Expat Explorer, we blogged about 5 essential apps for expats, which was one of the most read posts of 2010. We thought a follow up of 5 more essential apps for expats would be a nice way to start the year.


There are a plethora of apps out there that make it easy to remain connected with friends and family back at home. Take Viber for example. Viber is an iPhone application that lets you make free phone calls to other iPhone users who also have the app installed. This means international calls to other Viber users using 3G or Wi-Fi is completely free!

Having tested the app, we were surprised at how clear the sound quality is. A great app for saving costs when calling internationally over a Wi-Fi connection. Check out this video for more details on how the app works.


Connecting with loved ones back at home couldn’t be easier with WhatsApp. WhatsApp is an app which allows you to send messages, photos and videos to any smartphone without having to pay for the cost of a SMS or MMS. Ideal for sending quick messages to friends and family back at home without needing to wait for a suitable time to call or email.


Another nifty app we’ve come across for expats is iMetro. With iMetro, expats can access nearly 90 metro cities around the world including Paris, Berlin, London and Beijing. The maps are nice and easy to read and because you don’t need an internet connection to access the maps it’s very handy when you’re underground with no reception.


Geocaching is an app that makes exploring your new city fun! Geocaching allows expats the chance to find nearby treasures using your smartphone’s GPS tracker. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your finds and experiences online. It’s a great way for expats to familiarise themselves in their new environment as well as discover hidden gems.

Google Earth

Similar to Geocaching, Google Earth is ideal for new or current expats looking to find out more about their new environment. Free to download, the app allows you to view different locations from around the world as well as to find out additional information about various geographical features.

Google Earth is also helpful for those who have arrived in their new country. The app can provide information about various places of interest as well as finding nearby places and local amenities.


  1. Great list, thanks for the updates. Mashable also made a list with some cool apps for avoiding international faux-pas.

  2. Great spot John! Thanks for sharing. Very useful to have all these apps available that make life a little bit easier.

  3. Hi,
    This is a member of the Viber Development Team! :)
    Thanks for putting Viber on your list. we are very happy that so many people worldwide are interested in our application.

    I would just like to add that Viber will soon be available also on other devices, and not only iPhone. the next one is Android, and it will happen in February-March. Viber will also allow to send Text Messages very soon!

    If you have any question about Viber - please feel free to ask.

    Thank you, and Happy New Year!
    the Viber Team.


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