If you’re an expat who’s just moved to the UK, you’ve probably found that the British do things a little differently here. For a start, Brits like to moan about the weather, and we’re incapable of indulging in a Jaffa Cake without bringing up the debate of whether it is a biscuit or a cake. While there isn’t an app to solve this particular point of contention, there are a wealth of apps that will help expats adjust to life in the UK more easily. We’ve pulled together a list of some of the best apps to help you navigate your first few months here – they may even be helpful for the rest of your stay. From finding out train times to ordering a take-away, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best apps for living abroad in the UK.
Uber is one of the best apps you can have on your mobile phone. Available on iOS and Android, Uber is a peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery, and transportation app.
All you have to do is input your location and where you want to go and the app will find a safe, secure and registered taxi driver to pick you up. You don’t have to worry about having any cash on you as the app is linked to your UK bank account. You’ll have a record of all of your rides, and receipts are sent straight to your email address, which is great if you need to expense some of your journeys. Be aware, though, that when Uber drivers are in high demand, they implement a surcharge which means your ride will be a little more expensive.
Uber also offer a food delivery service, where you can order from your favourite eateries and restaurants through the app, and have them deliver the food straight to your door for a small fee.
If you’ve just moved over to the UK and English is not your native language, then Google Translate will help you learn new phrases in an instant. Whether you want to make sure you’re ordering a double gin and tonic at your new local (we know the priorities here), or you need to ask for directions quickly, Google’s free service instantly translates words, phrases, and web pages from over 100 languages to English.
Available on iOS and Android, this innovative app allows you to translate between languages by typing a phrase in your native language. Don’t worry if you don’t have any data or internet connection – Google Translate can translate 59 languages when you have no Internet access, and their intuitive application also features instant camera translation for 38 languages. You can also save phrases.
There’s nothing like indulging in a delicious takeaway in the comfort of your own home whilst wearing your PJs, and Just Eat can make this happen. Just Eat is an online food order and delivery service app, that lets you try out and test all the delicious take-away food outlets local to you. Whether you fancy a spicy Indian, tasty Chinese or quintessentially British fish and chips, you can choose your favourite dish and have it delivered straight to your front door.
Being away from home and the ones you love can be quite hard if you’re living abroad, but you can see your loved ones at a touch of the button with Google Duo. Google Duo is a video chat mobile app developed by Google, and works on Android and iOS operating systems. Of course, the person you’re trying to call for a video chat will also have to have the app!
The train is a great way to get around the UK and visit the most popular tourist stops, and Trainline is a live digital rail platform app where you can buy train tickets and check the departure and arrival times of trains at all railway stations across the UK. If you’re not comfortable with driving around the UK and want to avoid the 23 toll bridges littered across Britain, then the Trainline is the way forward! It’s available on iOS, Windows Phone and Android platforms.
Dashlane is a great app for expats living in the UK, and people native to the UK. This multi-platform password manager and digital wallet is available on Android and iOS. What makes this app so great is that you can create, encrypt and store passwords and personal information in the app’s storage vault, which can be used to auto-fill forms and automatically log-in to your favourite websites.
If you’re moving to the UK and English isn’t your first language, you may want to spend some time getting to know the most common phrases and learning a little bit of English. The ever-popular Duolingo is an expat app that helps you to engage in some fun exercises such as word jumbles and listen and repeat, helping you get to grips with a new language. It’s a great way to hone your foreign language grammar and vocabulary skills. This freemium language-learning app is available on iOS and Android.
Everyone gets ill, and there’s nothing worse than getting sick and not knowing where to go for help. Every expat in the UK should have Doctoralia. This app enables you to search for health professionals and centres by name, city and postcode in seven languages for healthcare services in 14 countries. Get the help you need, as quickly as possible!
Aside from the aforementioned apps, it’s also likely that you’ll need to transfer money from your native country to your new home. That’s where Clear Treasury comes in; we combine our foreign exchange expertise with a proactive approach to be our clients eyes and ears in the market, therefore removing the stress of international money transfers for our clients. If you are a private individual looking to make move funds to or from the UK and the rest of the world, we’re here to help.