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The best apps for expats in Costa Rica

Hello,

We invite you to share information regarding some of the apps that have helped to facilitate your move abroad in Costa Rica. This will help expats-to-be who are making the move as well.

Which apps did you use while preparing your move to Costa Rica?

What apps do you use the most for your everyday life in Costa Rica: whether it's for transport, managing finances, general information, learning the language of your host country, leisure activities, etc.?

How does this technology help you in your everyday life as an expat?

Which apps would you recommend to expatriates in Costa Rica and why?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Without doubt, WAZE is the best app for Costa Rica.   I have been living here for three years.  The first two years, the only place I saw with any street names was downtown San Jose.  Recently I have noticed a few more areas are putting up street signs.   But one must still drive to the newly signed pueblo o barrio in the first place.  If one does not know how to get to say, Carirai, one must still use waze to get there

Had I not known about Waze, I would never have been able to go anywhere via my car, because trying to follow directions of go to the corner where you see x building and turn right, is ludicrous if one is not already generally familiar with a particular area.

SpanishDict is another good translating app.  Between it and Google translate app, one can figure out most situations or meanings of particular words or phrases.  Google app is a little better at translating speech versus written english to spanish.

Magic App is an amazing deal.  For $10 per year, one can make or receive long distance calls from the US without further charge and very good clarity. 

Finally Whatsapp is quickly becoming the standard texting, calling app for many ticos and gringos.

I agree with recommending whatsapp. I use it to talk to my friends in the USA, Australia etc. In fact it's interesting: calling my friend in Australia via the whatsapp app gives me better quality than calling my friends in Florida. Go figure.

Waze I will have to try again. Tried it once and it ate my battery like crazy, made my phone hot.

Magic App is okay BUT it won't let you turn it off, it keeps turning itself back on, at least it does on my phone. I want it on only on occasion when I need to use it but it insists on opening itself and I see no way to stop it from doing that. So I uninstalled it. On my tablet I CAN turn it off and on. The magic jack that is used on a computer or laptop works pretty well if you have a good internet connection. I use that instead of the app.

One app I really like is Weather Underground. Costa Rica has micro-climates so no regular weather service is going to help you if you live out in a remote area in a "pocket" of different weather than the nearest large city. Weather Underground is made up of people with weather stations so you might find a weather station in your area. Even this is not super accurate because the one weather station in my area is still about 5 miles away from where I am. But it's similar enough that it predicts the rains pretty well, if not the winds.  Overeall it is about 80% accurate or semi-accurate so it's totally worth using.

Skype of course is great. However it does require a good internet connection, as does whatsapp. If the connection is decent Skype is quite good and I use the skype-to-mobile to call people I know in the USA who don't have the Skype app or who don't even have a smart phone. (You can also use skype-to-mobile to call land lines.)

Those are the main apps I use that specifically are useful in Costa Rica.

The only app that I use in San José is WAZE, it's quite useful because the traffic jam in san Jo´se is horrible! This app avoid the traffic jam in the town, as much as possible to avoid it! Many times is impossible.
I invite you to use it, it's really really useful. Enjoy your driving :)

Milopoza :

The only app that I use in San José is WAZE, it's quite useful because the traffic jam in san Jo´se is horrible! This app avoid the traffic jam in the town, as much as possible to avoid it! Many times is impossible.
I invite you to use it, it's really really useful. Enjoy your driving :)

"Enjoy your driving". LOL. In San Jose I think that is impossible!
I refuse to drive there. I will only take the bus and taxis. Last time I drove there I nearly had a nervous break down due to the traffic and crazy drivers.

it was a joke  jajaja we need to practice meditation while drive in San José

Waze everywhere even for just figuring out how much time to allow.
XE for currency exchange
WhatsApp for any kind of communication needs
Facebook for keeping up with local happenings

Buy and tank and drive without stress however they do eat a lot of gas.:)

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