When I first moved to Shanghai, I wrote about how my iPhone 4S was my best friend. Three years and multiple updates later, I still use my 4S to navigate wild Shanghai. While I’ve been here, I have found 12 apps that have made my life in Shanghai SO much easier. Before moving to Shanghai, I highly recommend downloading these apps.
Why I love it: Moving to a new country is MUCH easier if you can find someone else who has similar hobbies, passions, and experiences. The Shanghai Bloggers App connects readers to bloggers who share similar interests by providing links to blogs, and provides blog updates without having to dig through the blogosphere. I highly suggest using it to find some interesting blogs.
Why I love it: Bon App does a great job of answering the questions “Where should we go to eat?”, “Have you eaten there?”, and “What’s good there?” This dining social media contains restaurant listings with reviews by ordinary folks. It has restaurant recommendations based on your ratings; directions to the venues, and a new “meet” feature that lets foodies meet up with like-minded individuals.
Why I love it: I have used and loved Smart Shanghai for the entire time we’ve lived here. The app contains the addresses of 95% of the locations I have visited, and some great pointers for those who are new to Shanghai. I frequently depend on the cab cards. It is a must have for anyone in Shanghai.
Why I love it: Nothing is worse than standing in the rain waiting for a cab. Instead of soaking, stay inside and order an Uber. Many of their drivers speak English, the cars are clean, and People’s Ubers are cheaper than cabs. Keep an eye on your emails for special discounts.
Why I love it: If you plan on using the Metro in Shanghai, this is your app. This super easy app will help you navigate the Metro. Even if you don’t plan on using the Metro on a regular basis, download this app. You will need it one day.
Why I love it: Youku is the Chinese equivalent of You Tube. If your VPN is down, check out some of the latest and greatest Western and Eastern TV shows on this app. You can also watch your fill of cute puppy videos.
Price: Free with in app purchases
Why I love it: Pleco is a great Chinese/English dictionary that actually uses words in context. I highly recommend purchasing the OCR and Flash Card plugins. They are a huge help for studying Mandarin!
Why I love it: The Fields App allows you to grocery shop on the go!
Price: Free with in app purchases
Why I love it: After you get your account, you can make free calls to the US. This is SUPER handy for when you need to call the US.
Price: Free, with in app purchases
Why I love it: If you plan on communicating with friends and colleagues in China, you will more than likely use WeChat. WeChat is really handy for text messaging, social networking, and even video chatting. The translate feature makes it really easy to communicate with non English speakers. It’s a must have if you plan on living in China.
Why I love it: While it’s not perfect, Google Translate helps me translate text messages. It’s important to know that you will need a VPN to use in Mainland China.
Why I love it: Many days I have wondered if I was sick, or if the Shanghai Air Quality was horrible. I trust this app because it uses data from the US Embassy.
I know there are many more apps that are out there, but these are a start. Fellow Shanghai expats, which apps can’t you live without? Please share below!!