These APPS will be essential for your lifestyle
As a digital nomad or freelancer, your life is on the go. Useful mobile apps are game changers. Here are the ones I use the most often and some new favorites. (Many of the websites listed in the next section also have apps.)
Google Maps – Let’s be honest, it’s simply not possible to live without it! I use it for directions literally every day. Sometimes I use Apple Maps app but in more remote destinations Google Maps is more reliable. Free for iOS and Android. (Also see the Misc. section about caching your maps abroad)
Google Translate – Google translate has saved me on multiple occasions. Once, I had an entire conversation with a Chinese taxi driver using Google Translate. It’s not always accurate but you can usually get the message across and truthfully, your conversation partner will be as relieved as you to have way to communicate. The best part of this app is that it’s free and supports 90 languages. PRO TIP: The camera feature is amazeballz—hold the camera over a sign or menu and it translates it instantly. Free for iOS and Android.
Speedtest – Argh, you know what’s the worst part of being a digital nomad? When you order coffee and a sandwich at a café with the intent of mooching off their free Wi-Fi all day and the signal is either unbearably slow or not working. Speedtest allows you to check the Wi-Fi speeds before committing to your accommodation or coffee shop. Hands down worth the 60-seconds it takes to download it. Free for iOS and Android.
Duet Display – Want two screens? Duet Display turns your iPad into a second monitor via USB. Particularly for designers, the second screen is key. I love the extra space. $15.99 for the iOS app, works with Mac and Windows. (Check out our other gadget recommendations in the Miscellaneous section, too.)
Uber – Uber is amazing. It has disrupted the marketplace for taxi service in a good way. I am an absolute addict! With Uber, you can request a ride with one tap, it arrives in minutes, costs less than a normal taxi, and is charged directly to your credit card. The app provides a picture of the driver, his license plate number and a geo-locator of where he is at all times, so it’s super safe. Plus, you get to rate them on their service and cleanliness of the vehicle, so they are typically very friendly and on their best behavior. I’ve used it all over the US and in Paris and they have expanded all over the world. PRO TIP: They get to rate you too, so don’t be a jerk or vomit in their car. One bad rating and you’ll be hard pressed to get another ride. Sign up here or use the promo code (uberricr4) to get your first ride up to $20 free. Free for iOS and Android.
Lyft – Lyft is a similar service to Uber. Since it is the second player in the market place, it is a little cheaper than Uber even. Most drivers in the US drive for both Uber and Lyft to maximize the number of rides they get, so between the two it’s the same, really. Outside of the US, however, Lyft’s market penetration is significantly less. PRO TIP: It definitely pays to have both Apps on your phone in case there is a long wait for a ride with one of the providers. This is particularly relevant after the pubs close, getting picked up from the airport and returning from a music festival. You can get $25 off your first 5 rides on Lyft using promo code https://www.lyft.com/promo-coupon-code-free-rides
Overcast – To combat playlist fatigue on your favorite music station, you’ll likely turn to podcasts. I did, particularly on long transits between destinations. My absolute favorite podcast app EVER is Overcast. Get it, it’s free for iOS.