Sunday, June 26, 2016

Top 7 Smartphone Apps for Tourists in Nicaragua

Your smartphone is probably already filled up with apps that you use on a daily basis such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc... which are great when traveling to Nicaragua as you can come across new ideas and places to visit, however we have listed below the top 7 must have apps that you should download before your trip to Nicaragua, and the reason why.


1.  Waze
This app is important if you are renting or driving your own car.  You will need an internet signal while on the road, which Movistar or Claro offers this service.  Once you get 3G or LTE on your phone, using Waze while driving will not only show you where you are going in real time, but will also show all of the upcoming police stops and other various disturbances ahead.  It is great to know where the traffic police are at all times.  If you pass police that are not marked on Waze, you can add it to receive points and help fellow Waze travelers.  The Waze app is big from Managua to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua and almost all of the police stops are accurate.  No more getting pulled over and getting traffic tickets for crossing someone on a solid line :)


2. Duolingo
This app is probably the fastest and easiest way to learn Spanish.  It is free to use, and starts off with the basics.  It has a crazy algorithm that remembers the words or phrases you get wrong and introduces them to you with other words or phrases until you understand 100%.  You can learn any language easily, so do not stop at Spanish, try to learn French, German or any of the 23 languages set up on Duolingo.


3. WhatsApp
This app, you already most likely have.  If not, download it, it's great to text or call people over the internet, so you do not have to pay absurd long distance rates.  If you meet someone, you can get their local phone number into your phone, then simply talk to them through Whats App instead of sending them text messages which also cost money.


4. Google Translate
The Google Translate App is great to look up words you hear or see or even during conversations.  You can type in the word and it translates it for you, or even speaks it out load.  Another cool thing is that it has a built in visual translation function, which means that you can point your camera at a sign for example and it will translate the sign for you, try it out!


5. XE Currency
This app is great when you want to convert the dollar from your home currency to the Nicaraguan Cordoba or vice versa.  Simply pick your currency units.  For example, if you are at a restaurant and the bill comes to 950 cordobas, and you need to quickly see how much that is in US dollars, simply type it in and it will show you that it equals $33.36 USD.  However the restaurant you are at will most likely have a different exchange rate, but it will give you a ballpark figure.


6. Google Maps

Google Maps is great if you are in Managua and need to find directions to an address.  Simply type it in, and it will show you the location, as well as your current location if you are connected to the internet and GPS.  It can also give you the directions to get to your destination, however it's easier just to drive towards your destination as you can see your location in real time, as well as your destination.


7. Prey
This is a must have app if you care about your Smartphone.  You can also install it on your computer.  How it works is that if you lose or someone steals your phone,  once they connect it to the internet, you will get alerts, such as their exact location, and photos of them taken from your Smartphone.  You will have to login to your account on another persons phone, but you can track down their location, once you are in the proximity, you can signal an alarm, which your phone that was lost or stolen will start beeping and you can see where it is.

So if you are traveling to Nicaragua, download all of these above apps to make your life easier.

If we are missing any apps, please add them in the comments below: