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Apps for Expats – 12 of our Favourites

March 21, 2013

*Update – September 23rd 2015*

The CurrencyFair Mobile App is now available!

Designed for people on the move, the new CurrencyFair app makes sending money abroad refreshingly easy. Available on the App Store and Google Play.

Using the CurrencyFair app on the beach

Original article:

Apps for Expats – 12 of our Favourites

It’s amazing how your phone can begin to feel like a home away from home. You run your life out of it. Your details are in it, your contacts and music and media. You might blog from it or use it for business. And if you’re an expat or a frequent traveller, you might already use your phone for travel.

Skype is an obvious pick to save on phone bills, but there are countless other apps for Android and iPhones to help make living between two places that much easier (and cheaper!).

Here we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite mobile apps:



There’s no need to envy the Blackberry users their free messaging: WhatsApp is a free messaging app which works across iPhone, Android, Windows and Nokia phones.

Skype is an obvious choice for dodging heavy phone bills calling people at home, but the more recent introduction of Skype Wifi is similarly practical, allowing you to use Skype credit to browse the internet from anywhere.

Getting caught between wifi spots in unfamiliar locations can be a nightmare- there’s only so many Starbucks coffees one can buy to avail of their free internet! The Free Wi-Fi finder app (available for Android and iPhone) conveniently scans your location for wifi spots. You can also search areas up ahead and pre-load maps on your phone for when you’re out and about with no connection.

Fans claim that Viber gives Skype a run for its money. Here’s why: Available across most every platform, there’s no need to register, as your phone number doubles up as your ID. The app scans your contacts to let you know who’s already using Viber too, and it accepts incoming calls without needing to have to app already open.

Travel Planning

Along with Kayak, Tripit is regarded as the best app for gathering up crucial info for trips abroad. If you’re a frequent air traveller, the app allows you to check in online, share your itinerary, research and store travel plans and create a cloud-based master itinerary.

Tripit also works alongside another app, FlightTrack Pro, which comes highly recommended despite its cost of €8.99. FlightTrack lists information for over 1,400 airlines and 3,000 airports worldwide – you can add push flight alerts, view maps of terminals and use it in off-line mode during the flight to plan for when you land.

A radical upgrade to the standard compass, Orient offers realtime directions to your favorite destinations, going by your phone’s built-in GPS. Viewed either as a black display compass with arrows pointing to places and showing their distance away, or in AR mode with notes added onto what your camera shows, Orient is a simple and elegantly-designed solution for city exploring.



HiConverter is more than just a currency converter. It covers any and every kind of unit conversion alongside fuel consumption conversion, temperature conversion, a tip calculator.. even foreign shoe sizes can be converted with this app!

Expensify is suited to business travel, making expense reports that little bit less tiresome with the ability to make notes, photograph receipts and file them by date, add email receipts to your records and import expenses from your credit card.

And for worst case scenarios…

Anyone who’s had a medical emergency away from home will know how difficult it is to locate a hospital or doctor with limited local knowledge. mPassport Health is a subscription-based service for frequent travelers with health insurance. It allows you to locate GPs and hospitals worldwide, find out medication names abroad, translate medical phrases and make appointments in English.

Find Clinic, a free alternative for iPhone, also allows speedy department search for specific health emergencies, an appointment reminder and the ability to instantly direct you to the nearest hospital with a car navigation system.

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