Useful Apps for Living in Shanghai

Useful Apps for Living in Shanghai
By Cynthia Lopez , eChinacities.com

There are a plethora of smartphone apps on the App store and Google Play but what are the right apps for travelling and living in Shanghai. Well, thankfully, we’ve got this covered! We’ve tried out a few useful apps for living in Shanghai and aggregated a list of the best Shanghai specific apps as well as some more general ones that will all help to make your Shanghai life a lot more convenient.


Source: Jon Skilling

Travel and Transport

1) Explore Shanghai Metro map
Taking the subway in Shanghai is almost unavoidable. The best way to be prepared for your subway trip is by downloading Explore Shanghai Metro. The best thing about this app is that is has a route planner. Another great feature is the “tips” tab, under each subway station. The “tips” tab is loaded with a bunch of different tips on what to do in the area around the station, or what is located at certain exits.  

Price: $1.99 on the App Store; Free on Google Play
Available on: Android and iPhone

2) Card checker: Shanghai Public Transportation balance
Don’t know what the balance on your metro card is? Well, download the Card Checker app and you’ll be set. But there is a downfall; if you recently used your card then the amount shown on the app won’t be accurate. You’ll have to wait a few days for it to show the exact amount. Nonetheless, it’s free and if you haven’t used your metro card in a while the balance shown should be exact.

Price: Free
Available on: iPhone

3) Uber
There are times in the city when you really can’t get a cab. On those rainy days or long nights out, you’ll be thankful you downloaded the Uber app. Based in San Francisco with service in dozens of cities all over the world; Uber is a luxury taxi ordering service, and new to Shanghai. However, it is worth remembering that luxury also means pricey: expect 60 RMB for a 15-20 minute cab ride. Luckily the company usually offers free rides to first time customers, so make sure to search the web for promotional codes. Also, in order to activate this app on your phone you must link it to your credit card or PayPal account.

Price: Free
Available on: Android and iPhone

Finding your way around

1) Hi Shanghai
Hi Shanghai is probably the number one most useful app for living in Shanghai. This app has almost everything; addresses for various clubs, pubs, malls and tourist sites, an interactive map, subway information and more. The coolest feature on this app is the taxi card, which is perfect for those of us who don’t speak Chinese. Just flip your phone horizontally and the taxi card will appear with the address in Chinese.

Price: Free
Available on: Android and Apple

2) Shanghai Stuff
Shanghai Stuff is great for figuring out where to go out in the city. There are listings for bars and restaurants, a subway map, blogs and a detailed page of events that are going on in Shanghai. Check out this app if you’re on the go and looking for a place to party.

Price: Free
Available on: Android and iPhone

3) Grata
Grata is absolutely amazing! It’s like having your personal assistant right at your fingertips. If you need assistance on anything in Shanghai then just ask the helpful people at Grata. They connect directly to hotel concierges, travel agents or tour guides. An essential for any tourists heading into the metropolis.

Price: Free
Available on: Android and iPhone

Learning Chinese

1) TrainChinese
If you’re learning Chinese then TrainChinese is the app for you. It’s one of the most comprehensive Chinese dictionaries. You can search for words in pinyin and add the tone marks or search for words by writing out the Chinese character. The app also comes with example sentences for each word you search. This app is by Molatra and on Google Play it’s called Chinese Dictionary + Flashcards.

Price: Free
Available on: Android and iPhone

2) ChinesePod
ChinesePod is a great app for busy people who want to learn Chinese. The app comes with thousands of entertaining podcast lessons, along with written dialogues and vocabulary material for each lesson. There are various subscriptions methods, from a $14 monthly subscription to a $249 once off fee. Each lesson can be downloaded onto your phone and heard later. This app is great for those moments when you are stuck on the subway, commuting to work. And instead of wasting that precious time you could just put on those headphones and start learning Chinese.

Price: $14 per month or $249 once off fee; Subscription is needed
Available on: Android and iPhone

3) iTranslate
If you just want to translate a simple word to get your point across then download iTranslate. It’s simple, fast and can translate in 71 different languages, perfect for traveling in and outside of China.

Price: Free
Available on: Android and iPhone

Money & Health

1) Free Currency Converter
Free Currency Converter is the easiest and most up-to-date currency app out there. Whether you’re in Shanghai or Bangkok, this app will convert currency with ease.

Price: Free
Available on: iPhone

2) China Air Quality Index
We all know the air in Shanghai can be dreadful. FreshIdeas Studio has come up with this easy-to-use app to let you know when it’s time to put on the pollution mask. It has both the US Consulate and Chinese government’s AQI. You can choose different cities in China and you also get alerts when the air goes above a certain level. On Android this app is only in Chinese.

Price: Free
Available on: Android and iPhone

3) Moves
Do you walk a lot in this city? Or maybe you’re an avid runner? Well, make sure to download Moves. It’s a really cool app that tracks everywhere you go on an interactive map. The app follows all your moves throughout the day, marks them on a map, records whether you walked, ran or took some form of transportation and jots down how many steps or miles you took. Pretty cool, right?

Price: $2.99 on App Store; Free on Google Play
Available on: Android and iPhone

Socializing

1) WeChat
Everyone in China has WeChat. So if you’re one of the few that doesn’t, get it. With WeChat you can send photos, post photos on your WeChat page, send text and voice messages and start groups chats; all via your Wi-Fi connection or internet data plan. You’ll no longer need to pay those pesky text messages fees.

Price: Free
Available on: Android and iPhone

2) WhatsApp Messenger
If you’re wanting to connect with people outside of China or just looking for another convenient way to message people, try WhatsApp. It has all the cool perks and features that WeChat has, but it’s currently what the rest of the world is using (well many of them, anyway).

Price: Free
Available on: Android and iPhone

3) Instagram
Instagram has been around for a while, however, recently it has become increasingly popular. As expats or tourists in Shanghai, we take pictures of our everyday life to show our family members and friends. Instagram is a great way of storing some of the best photos you take while travelling abroad. And even if it’s not the best photo you’ve ever taken, instagram has filters to make every photo look great.

Price: Free
Available on: Android and iPhone

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Keywords: useful apps for living in Shanghai Smartphone apps in Shanghai

1 Comments

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1

FrauDiana
comment|44102|266683

add WAYGO, super useful app!!!!

Feb 22, 2014 11:52 Report Abuse