Sunday, January 04, 2015

5 Apps Making My Life Easier in China

One major difference between the first time I moved abroad and this time around is having a smartphone.  Admittedly, I was a bit slow to jump on the smartphone bandwagon and only got one at the beginning of 2014.  My main reason to finally cave was because working at a tech company, my colleagues would laugh mercilessly at my old school Sony Ericsson, but I also wanted a new compact digital camera.  I figured I'd just get a phone with a great camera, which is why I decided to get *gasp* the Nokia Lumia 1020, a Windows Phone.

Since getting here to Shanghai, I've really come to appreciate having a Windows Phone because the native apps aren't blocked here.  Frankly, I don't get how Android works in China since the majority of Google services are blocked; even Gmail has been blocked via protocol (supposedly it's working again, but I haven't gotten any emails from my Gmail account on my phone for days).  Some may argue that there aren't any good WP apps available out there and everything is being developed for iOS and Android.  This may be true, but by doing some research and following sites like Windows Central, I've found some great apps that have helped me greatly here in China.  Here are five apps that have made adjusting to life here much easier.  (Note that I'm not including photo apps here because although they're great to have, these apps are really about adjusting to life here in China.)