Ah, smartphone apps, those overused, under-appreciated little guardians that help us navigate our way through this world! Whether it’s learning something new, deciding what to eat, keeping up to date with current affairs or figuring out how to get somewhere, it’s crazy to think we ever survived without them. As a foreigner in Japan apps are our saviors, helping us decipher languages and customs or giving us insight into the world we never even knew about. But with the abundance of choices out there, isn’t it hard to decide what is really worthy of the prime real estate that is out home screen?
Last year, we offered a list of our 7 Free Apps to Make Life Easier in Japan, but it’s time to revisit our stance. Here are our latest five picks!
1. Master The Lingo: Duolingo
It feels like it’s been a long time coming but the Japanese version of Duolingo is finally here! Now available on both Android and iOS, the language-learning app, which boasts 170 million users and over 20 different language courses, added Japanese to their repertoire in May this year. As people start to ditch the textbooks in exchange for easy to use and super fun ‘game-ified’ apps for learning or maintaining their language knowledge, Duolingo has become one of the best ways to keep up-to date while on the run. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or someone who’s been living here for years, the app can adjust to your level, and given its segmented mini-topics is the perfect way to brush up while waiting for the train.