Singapore Expat: Most essential apps to download when you reach the country

Moving to a new city can be fun, exciting and daunting in equal parts. But it helps to know that technology has your back. When we moved here late 2017, we relied heavily on apps and websites to make ourselves feel at home.

If you’ve just moved to Singapore or are just passing through, I guarantee this list right here is gonna be a lifesaver. My husband and I use all these apps on a regular basis, so rest assured these are reviewed and well-loved. This is one of two apps based stories.

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This list includes only the Most Basic and Most Essential apps you will need on arriving in the country. No smartphone in Singapore ought to exist without these all-holy apps. Our second list of Must-Have apps which you can pick and choose depending on your preference.

* this info is relevant as of March 2018. I hope the future me will update the app list! 

Never Get Lost with CityMapper
There’s no use relying on Google Maps in Singapore. What you really really need is CityMapper. Yes, there are other apps to help find your way around like MyTransport and Bus@SG, and I’ve tried them all. But CityMapper comes out on top as a clear winner.

It detects where you are, punch in where you want to go and CityMapper will list out all the possible routes and means of transportation to get there – from bus stops, bus numbers, MRT stations nearby to the exact transit time, which exit to take at the MRT and various heat safe routes. It even notifies you just before your bus stop and tells you which part of the train is emptier. I can’t get over this app!

CityMapper also has a fully functional website which lets you do the same thing.

Con: If I need to walk from the MRT or bus stop, CityMapper shows me the map and directions. Only this bit can get wonky sometimes. Sometimes I’ve got not-so-accurate (longer) routes. To fix it, I usually jump to Google Maps to crosscheck.

Free Internet with Wireless@SGx
Singapore has tons of places that provide free, public access internet to everyone. It’s fast, safe and always functional. Data by telecom providers is rather expensive, so you’re gonna want to download this little app for free internet.

Wireless@SG is is a wireless broadband programme developed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. If you’re passing by the country, download Wireless@SG where you have to input your number everytime you want to use free public access internet.

If you’re here for a longer time or moving here as an expat, download Wireless@SGx. If you have a local number, you only have to register once and it automatically connects to free public access internet when you’re in range.

Find a flat with 99.co & PropertyGuru
Ah, the dread of the house hunt. Housing hunting can be fun and tiring. If you’re moving here, finding a nice place to live is probably numero uno on your checklist. Apart from FB groups, 99.co and PropertyGuru are the most popular platforms to find rentals. Almost always, the posts are uploaded by agents – which means you might have to pay them one month’s rent as a fee. But sometimes you’ll find homeowners listing their flats too. Both these apps let you call and message the person who uploaded the listing and coordinate conveniently.

Honestly, I’m not sure which of the two platform helped us find our home because we were really really active on both of them. We got lucky because our listing was posted by the homeowner himself, so we didn’t have to pay an agent fee. We just paid the deposit along with the first month’s rent.

There are several new and upcoming websites/apps like hmlet and roommates, but I haven’t really used them. So cannot vouch for them just yet.

Call a cab with Grab & Uber ComfortDelGro
Singapore is small and has one of the most connected, smooth transport systems. If you want to get somewhere quick or don’t prefer using public transport or are being lazy on a rainy day, then Grab or Comfort Uber your way around.
Be nice and use my reference codes that let both of us get free rides. 
Referral Code for Grab: GRABMA7GNP20
Psst: Your Uber app is pretty useless in Singapore. Uber and Grab have joined forces and as of May 2018, Uber has left the building

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Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. All views and reviews are mine. 

 

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