Apt Apps for Surviving Moscow

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Brian McCormack

The smartphone has become the all-purpose tool of the 21st century. It wakes, entertains, improves productivity, navigates and finally sings you to sleep. It can also greatly simplify your life in Moscow. Here’s how:

Getting Around Moscow

By Car or Walking – The Yandex Navigator App is also a must install. Its maps are detailed; and its search function will find that nearest ATM, bar, restaurant or even banya. My only complaint is its assumption that I will be driving to the next destination, so its use as a navigator is limited. Google’s Maps App is useful for comparison purposes, so I have both though mainly use Yandex.

Yandex Navigator App – And, IOS, E, R, @

Google Maps – And, IOS, E, R, @

By Metro – The Yandex Metro App is a life saver. It contains a detailed layout of the Moscow Metro, search by station, and estimates your journey and arrival time. It automatically updates as new stations are completed.

Yandex Metro – IOS, And, R, E

By Autobus, Minibus ( Маршрутные такси) – The Yandex Transport App covers trams, buses and private minivans. These transportation alternates complement and provide a nice change to the metro and driving. Yandex is working on an enhancement which should provide real time updates on that late tram, though that feature wasn’t working when this article was written.

Yandex Transport App – And, IOS, R, @

 

By Taxi – Like many places in the world, Moscow is undergoing a ‘taxi revolution’, where a number of companies and their apps are engaged in hand to hand combat for your business. A continual debate among expats is whether to use Uber, Yandex taxi, or another service. Unfortunately, most of these services are only available in Moscow or St. Petersburg. I’m an ‘Uber Man’ at this moment, but that could change tomorrow.

Uber App – And, IOS, @, R, E

Yandex Taxi App – And, IOS, @, R, E

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Coping with the Local Lingo

My Russian language skills seem to vary from day to day, so I always need a backup. On the translation side, I rely on Google’s Translate App and Sloved’s Deluxe English to Russian talking dictionary. Google’s app allows for the copying and pasting of any text or typing of word or phrase. The Google Translate App’s drawback is that it requires Internet connectivity, which is where Sloved’s dictionary shines. It has a huge dictionary which is available offline. It also has the capability to tag words for later review. Both Apps provide spoken translation to assist in those difficult Russian pronunciations.

English – Russian Slovoed Deluxe talking dictionary – IOS, And, R, E, $

Google translate App – IOS, And, R, E, @

Learning the Local Lingo

The various app stores are filled with apps for Russian language instruction, and everyone has their own favourites and learning methods. I have the found the following Russian language teaching Apps to be helpful. Everyone hates conjugating verbs, but it is a necessity, and LearnBots is a simple and straightforward method for learning them. Russian grammar requires lots of work, and the simple Russia Test App has three levels of grammar tests. In addition it has its own flashcards and a number of vocabulary lists complied by other users. It also nags when you haven’t taken a test in a few days. Lastly, I enjoy Pivot: Quotes of the Greatest, which is a quirky app for Russian speakers learning English. It features famous English language quotes with an appropriate Russian translation. My Russian friends love to quote Russian proverbs to me, and I like to surprise them by quoting a famous English proverb back to them in Russian. The next time a Russian friend says, “Доверяй, но проверяй.” You can answer, “Да, Дурак легко расстается с деньгами.”

LearnBots App- IOS, And, R, E, $

Russia Test App – IOS, And, R, E

Pivot: Quotes of the Greatest – IOS

Out and About in Moscow

Everyone has their personal favourite apps to assist them in various aspects of Moscow social life and I am no different. My oldest son loves going to the movies, and I have a hard time escaping from watching the latest kid’s movies; especially when their ads are everywhere. Therefore, Yandex’s Кинофиша movie finder is a lifesaver. I have had so many bad restaurant experiences in Moscow that I use Tripadvisors’ Offline City Guides for Moscow whenever I am in an unknown part of town. Sure it is mostly for tourists, but western tourists are generally accurate when it comes to service and food. Lastly, as a runner I have become more conscious about Moscow’s air quality and always review the Moscow’s air pollution rating before a run on AICN’s Asia Air Quality App.

Yandex’s Кинофиша – And, R, @

Tripadvisors Offline City Guides
for Moscow – And, IOS, E

AICN’s Asia Air Quality App – And, E, @