Must-have Mobile Apps for a Smooth Stay in India

17-Aug-20

Preparing for India

If you own a smartphone and have a good internet connection, exploring India's vast nation is a smooth, rewarding experience. Mobile applications come to great use and assistance while traveling around the country. From taking a walk around the locality to watching a film over the weekend, these apps ensure you face little to no hindrance. All the information and assistance you need is just a tap away. 


Moving to any new country comes with its challenges. Similarly, living in India and getting things done could require some help. These apps come to your rescue to make your life stress-free.


Communication 

Even though English is widely spoken in many parts of the country, a large part of the population communicates primarily in local languages. Not knowing the tongue could land you in confusing situations. Assistants at the grocery shop, or a local you befriend on the way, may not always be able to converse smoothly in the language you speak. Google Translate makes the whole process a lot easier! It allows for a peripheral passage of communication in regional Indian languages to bridge any lingual gaps. This app comes in handy, especially while traveling to remote sections of the country.


Travel 

Lost your way in an unknown street? Unable to find your way back home? Looking for the quickest route to a new restaurant? Google Maps Navigation is essential when it comes to traveling anywhere in this world, including India. From running errands to going on a road trip, this app will act as your guide. It’s easy to use, effective and provides you with accurate information and live updates. Google Maps can be downloaded on both Android and iOS smartphones. With the help of this app, you can find any route between two points on a map, alternative directions, and estimates of traffic that you might delay your journey. 


Transport

Having a smartphone and internet connectivity is the best companion for traveling around the country. Transportation apps not only allow you to book your tickets online but also read reviews from trusted sources.

For Domestic Transport (via bus)

Cabs can prove to be expensive when it comes to domestic travel, and long queues at the bus station can be quite tiresome. But don’t let that quieten your inner explorer, because redBus is here to help! It is an app that gives you an extensive list of buses, prices, timings, and services around major tourist-friendly destinations. With transparent pricing and reliable operators, redBus is an app that will most definitely save you a lot of time and money.

For Domestic Transport (via train) 

India, which is integrally connected by trains, is known to have the 3rd largest railway network globally. This makes for an inexpensive mode of transportation within the country, and geographical accessibility is also very convenient and feasible. However, railway bookings can be quite tricky, especially for non-locals. IRCTC Rail Connect makes the railway booking system extremely easy and hassle-free. With the app, you can check schedules, book tickets, and get timely updates on your booking status. 

For Domestic Transport (via Air, Road, Rail) 

Wouldn’t it make life easier if you got access to a consolidated list of travel forms, from flights to trains? Now wouldn’t it be even better if with that you also get details on accommodation facilities? MakeMyTrip is one of the most popular and trusted travel booking applications/websites in India. It lets you browse through flights, trains, buses, cabs, villas, and hotels. Other applications such as GoIbibo, Cleartrip, and EaseMyTrip have a user-friendly interface with timely assistance for all your queries, allowing you to plan your whole trip, from start to finish!

For Local Transport 

In most Indian cities, buses, taxis, and rickshaws are a great way to get around the town. However, local trains and cabs/taxis are abundantly available in major metropolitan cities. There are many city-specific applications like M-indicatorDelhi Metro Rail (DMRC), for local trains or metro trains. Hiring a local taxi can pose a serious issue if you are not accustomed to the local language. Ola and Uber are highly trusted apps that allow you to reserve private cabs and rickshaws on both individual and shareable basis. Available in most cities, they offer reasonable discounts, comfortable rides, and quick bookings.

 

Payment

The Government of India has always encouraged and promoted the use of digital payment in the country. As they convey this strong message through the campaign ‘Digital India, ' the country moves towards being paperless and digitally empowered. Most local shops have adopted a cashless system, and even retailers have started using online modes of payment. These payment apps and mobile wallets do not charge any kind of service fee or processing fee; thus, they can be utilised by the customer.


With digital payment being the preferred mode of transaction in many stores, Google Pay or G-Pay makes tap-to-pay purchases through mobile phones quite easy. This application can also be used to make bill payments, book events, and send money to users in your contact list. Google Pay also gives you scratch cards with most transactions, to try your luck and win some rewards! So go ahead, switch to the cashless route for simple, quick payments. PayTMPhonePeFreechargeand RazorPay are systems built by a converged payment solution company that allows all modes of payment, from credit to debit, and has a UPI feature. The application accepts payments in the form of almost 100 currencies from around the world.


Health

With the ongoing pandemic, the government has taken every measure possible to ensure each citizen's well-being. To combat the coronavirus pandemic, they have also developed a mandatory app for all smartphone users. This app is used to track COVID-19 cases. The Aarogya Setu mobile application warns users if they have come in direct or indirect contact with any infected people. The app acquires data from different locations and projects the information. It also features a list of helpline numbers and tweets from the Indian Ministry of Health. This app enables users to conduct a self-assessment survey, helping the government and medical officials to track medical help requirements.



Online Meetings

With the world changing at a fast pace with booming technology, meetings too have become virtual. Online sessions essentially allow the user to attend them, no matter where they are, provided they have a compatible electronic gadget and internet connectivity. With an HD conferencing feature, Zoom is an online meeting application that allows users to conduct meetings while streaming videos online and sharing audio files, images, and text during the session. The app also allows users to choose a background theme from the gallery. These virtual meets can accommodate a maximum of twenty-five participants. 


Google has two of its services in the video conferencing market- Google Hangouts and Google Meet. The former is used for a relatively smaller group of people, merely to interact through video. Google Meet, on the other hand, is an upgraded version of Google Hangouts. It has features similar to Zoom, which allows scheduling meetings, calendar syncing, and can accommodate up to 100 participants. The most popular and widely used online meeting service is provided by Skype. The application has features like a virtual whiteboard and a capacity of up to 250 participants. 


Events and Entertainment

India is culturally driven by cinema and art. It’s hard to track which major event is happening where and at what time. Every city has plenty of gigs lined up every month and features new releases every week. BookMyShow and Paytm Insider give you an elaborate and detailed selection of events that would be taking place, and let you book your seats instantly! Another great feature of these apps is, they will never let you miss out on your dose of entertainment with their ‘Remind Me’ feature.

  

Accommodation

Finding a safe, reliable, budget-friendly accommodation can take a long time and a lot of effort. Why bother going through this much trouble, when a more effective job can be done with an app? Oyo Rooms lets you book budget, as well as luxury hotels, with a few simple steps. Available in most metropolitans, it also offers cab booking services directly from the app. The accommodation staff ensures proper hygiene and cleanliness of the rooms. Airbnb is another highly preferred app, mainly by international travelers while staying in India. This app allows you to enjoy a comfortable stay at properties owned or rented out by locals.

 

Food

Food is always on our minds, but there are days when all we want to do is lay back and order in from our favourite restaurants. Zomato and Swiggy allow you to choose from a wide range of restaurants in your city. They provide you with lists based on cuisine and budget preferences. Once you’ve made your pick, they’ll deliver it to you! There is also a community of expert food bloggers and enthusiasts who list down their top picks, giving credibility to the restaurants and the food delivery services. 

UberEats has a three-step mantra through which users purchase food - browse, order, and track. With options like live tracking and multiple payment methods, this food delivery venture is becoming quite popular. 


News

To keep yourself updated while having a hectic day, or for those who don’t have time to grab a newspaper, Inshorts is the app. The app selects the best and latest trending news from national and international sources and presents it in less than 60 words. This keeps you updated and aware! The Hindu and The Indian Express are some trusted Indian English newspapers with an extremely simple UI and require comparatively lower internet connectivity than other apps. It allows you to browse through the news, based on your interest and category-wise. These newspapers and their apps are highly recommended for their high-quality, journalistic writing. If you want to access videos, photos, and news articles, FirstPost allows its users to personalize news topics. The app even allows the reader to save articles and blogs for offline reading.


Music

India is known for its Bollywood music and its regional melodies. With affordable data packs and smartphones, online music streaming has gained popularity. The rise of technology has made music collections available at your fingertips, right from retro Bollywood tracks, to new originals.

Amazon Prime Music allows listeners to enjoy an extensive range of International and Indian music without ad interruptions. This app showcases a library of Bollywood and local content available, in tune with every individual's musical taste and preferences. For those of you who enjoy regional music, Gaana and JioSaavn are must-have music streaming apps that curate playlists based on the user’s preferences. Wynk Music takes up less data while streaming and offers an extensive collection of podcasts.

 

These apps will have your back, with just a few taps. They’re here to help you experience a trip filled with enjoyment. These applications cost no money to download and are essential to ensure your stay here is a convenient one. So when you’re packing your bags and are all set to make India your new home, don’t forget to add these apps to your ‘must-have’ list!

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