Whether you’ve just moved to the UK or your relocation is old news, the chances are a little technology has helped you with the process of moving abroad. You might therefore be wondering, ‘Gee, if only I knew more about the best apps for migrants. I’d download them straight away!’
Well, you’re in luck. Be it social media apps for staying in touch with family or Google Maps to help you find your bearings, we believe apps are a godsend when you’re in a new country. But which ones are the best? And which ones do you really need?
Here’s our round-up of the best apps for migrants living in the UK.
Finding your digs
If you haven’t yet found your digs, SpareRoom makes it easy to find your perfect accommodation fast. Ideal for those looking to rent a flat, studio or house share (hello new friends!), it makes it easy to search by location and budget. You’ll be in your new happy place in no time.
Already found somewhere to rent, but hope to buy one day? Rightmove is worth a download. You can search houses anywhere and everywhere by everything from budget to bedrooms. There’s also an option to search for places to rent too (in case your Spare Room mission was unsuccessful).
Deliveroo is a godsend for anybody who’s recently moved house. Haven’t had time to do the food shopping? Deliveroo will deliver your favourite food from your favourite restaurant in minutes. Can’t find your cutlery? Simply select the option to add cutlery and it’ll come with your order.
Granted, the likes of Deliveroo and similar apps like Just Eat and Uber Eats aren’t exactly sustainable if you’re on a budget. With delivery fees, driver tips and service charges added on, the costs can soon mount up. But on those first few nights, as you settle into your new home, it’ll feel like a saviour. It also makes for a great treat when you’re planning a Friday or Saturday night in.
Getting your bearings
Settling into a new place can be daunting enough. But many UK’s cities are rather ancient, meaning there’s often not an easy grid system to navigate. However, Citymapper will keep you on track, giving you all the relevant information about the UK’s major public transport networks and how to get wherever you’re going. Happy days.
So if you’re in a rush to make a meeting or see friends, you can easily view the route via the app and get your bearings. Plus, you’ll find out whether it’s quicker to walk, cycle, car share or take the bus. The app isn’t available in all cities yet, unfortunately, but it does currently cover London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Bristol, Cardiff, Nottingham and Liverpool.
Looking for work
Whether you’re job hunting or already employed, LinkedIn is an essential download. The professional networking app allows you to create a profile for free and connect to other colleagues and professionals at the touch of a button.
It also features an instant messaging system so that you can reach out to people about potential opportunities. Or even just to catch up and say hello. Once you’ve uploaded your CV, potential recruiters will be able to consider you for roles. So make sure to sell yourself. To keep your profile relevant and shareable, aim to be interactive at least 2-3 times a week. This could be as simple as liking somebody else’s post or writing an article about your area of expertise. Who knows? It could go viral.
We couldn’t point you in the direction of the best apps for migrants and not recommend our own. Free to download and easy to use, the TransferGo app is available on iOS and Android and allows you to send money fast and on the go.
In just a few taps, you can send money from A to B. And our super-fast transfers mean your money will arrive in 30 minutes or less—perfect if you’ve forgotten Grandma’s birthday or it’s slipped your mind to pay a bill! From the moment you send your transfer, we’ll keep you updated on where your money is.
One of the biggest shocks experienced by migrants in the UK is the costs. Yes, the UK can be pricey. But price comparison apps like ShopSavvy allow you to scan bar code and check the prices at over 60,000 retailers instantly. As a result, you can make sure you’re always getting the best deal.
If you’re really wanting to curb your spending, apps like Plum are great for setting yourself saving goals (and sticking to them!). It works as a helpful friend, with the chatbot digital assistant analysing your spending and giving you a nudge when you’re overdoing it. And if your financial situations change, you can alter the setting to make Plum a little less (or more) strict.
There’s nothing like walking around a new city and taking it all in. And if you’d like a bit of a soundtrack for walking to, Spotify is your friend. Giving you access to millions of songs and podcasts, Spotify lets you discover new music and create tailor-made playlists to suit your mood.
And if podcasts are more your thing, you’ll want to make sure your Acast download is up to date. Featuring podcasts on every subject from comedy to current affairs, it’s a must-have if you’re looking for some conversational company. Plus, no matter what you choose to listen to, you’re guaranteed to learn something new.
If you’re new to the UK, there’s a high chance you’re keen to meet new people. But with current situations meaning many of us are working from home (and social distancing), this can be a little tricky sometimes. And so… this is where apps once again come to your rescue.
Apps like Bumble BFF, Meetup and Peanut (specifically aimed at new mums) have normalised the idea of making friends online. And rightly so. After all, many of us have been using apps to find dates and fall in love for years now. Why shouldn’t we use them to forge new friendships? Our point, exactly. Naturally, there’s a bit of digital chit chat first before you meet face to face so it won’t feel like a total blind friendship date when you do eventually meet up. That’s if you want to, of course.