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These are the essential smartphone apps for living in Germany

We asked our readers which one app they find indispensable for life in Germany. Here are the top 10.

These are the essential smartphone apps for living in Germany
A man in Berlin uses DB Navigator to buy a ticket on his smartphone. Photo: DPA

Accu

This summer has brought a range of weather – from torrential rain to humid heat – and often in the same afternoon. “Weather is everywhere here. If you are not prepared, you suffer,” said Pavan in Duisberg. 

Not only does the convenient app break down daily temperatures, it also gives minute-by-minute hyperlocal forecasts of when a storm will hit – giving you enough time to seek cover.

DB Navigator 

Despite a push to increase the number of on-time trains in Germany, Deutsche Bahn gets a bad rap for being late. At least Germany’s railways have an app to notify passengers if their train is on time, and book transport tickets in the meantime. Unlike most other German public transport apps, there’s also an option to use it in English. 

Lieferando

Photo: DPA

Deliveroo closed its doors in Germany earlier in August, giving Lieferando (formerly Lieferheld) a monopoly on the home delivery market in Germany. That said, our readers praised its quick service and broad selection of food, especially after-hours when stores are closed. 

“It’s the easiest app to order food at home when the market closes at 8 p.m. and you are lazy and hungry,” said Panshul in Munich. 

Offi

From the tram system across much of east Germany, to the double-decker busses in some cities in the west, public transport systems vary widely around Germany.

This can be quite confusing if you’re in a new city or looking to travel to one. This is where readers said Offi comes in handy: not only does it help you get from point A to point B, but offers alternative connections if yours is running late or if you’ve missed it. 

“This is the best app for public transport. Not only is it essential in Germany but in other cities or countries as well, though Germany is best covered,” said Chenbo in Dresden. 

Dict.cc

There are a lot of online German dictionaries, but readers such as Silviu from Munich preferred dict.cc as it provides example phrases for the selected word. It also translates from a wide variety of languages, from English to Finnish, and includes many colloquialism expressions left out of other dictionaries. 

Schnäppchenfuchs

Whether you’re on the search for a new laptop or pair of skis, this comprehensive online coupon app was recommended by Local readers and bargain hunters. “It’s a very useful app to find good online shopping deals,” said Yuvaraj in Stuttgart.

Idealo Shopping

Other readers recommended this shopping companion app, which helps locate the best deals and tells you if you’re getting ripped off or not. “You can check the prices of various articles and even scan a barcode to see if you are getting a good deal,” said Emil in Hanover. 

WhatsApp

A family chat about dinner on WhatsApp's group messaging function. Photo: DPA

The messaging app has been and continues to be a core way Germans communicate, whether through individual chats or catered groups. “I use it to manage communications with different groups: family abroad, colleagues, my food group, my book club, and my yoga class,” said Ming near Frankfurt. 

Google Translate

Many readers pointed to Deepl as the best online translator, even giving the option to select a different word when you aren’t satisfied with the the current version. However, as Deepl doesn’t yet have an app, some readers pointed to “the next best” thing: Google Translate, which also has some savvy features such as automatic text translation and the ability to translate text offline. 

Tinder

Whether you’re on the look out for love or just making new contacts in a foreign city, readers recommended this dating app. “I haven’t found anything serious, but made some friends and a connection who led me to a job,” said Emily in Berlin. 

But if you’re not a fan of continually swiping left or right, there are other apps with a large base of both German and international users like okcupid, Happn, and Bumble, which is also marketed as a friendship and networking app if you prefer searching for your next job rather than date.

And of course The Local's app

You can get all the news, features and information on Germany direct to your mobile phone by downloading our app, which is available for both Apple and Android phones. It just takes a few seconds.

The Local's app is available for Apple iOS and Android phones and gives you quick and easy access to The Local Germany news site.

What App users say?

“Nice app, loving it.”

“My favourite source of news.”

“The Local should be your daily morning read”.

“The best app to get updated on European news.”

Download the apps HERE.

 

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LIVING IN GERMANY

REVEALED: The most commonly asked questions about Germans and Germany

Ever wondered what the world is asking about Germany and the Germans? We looked at Google’s most searched results to find out – and help clear some of these queries up.

Oktoberfest
Hasan Salihamidzic, the sports director of FC Bayern, arrives with his wife at Oktoberfest in full traditional dress. Photo: picture alliance/dpa |

According to popular searches, Germany is the go-to place for good coffee and bread (although only if you like the hard kind) and the place to avoid if what you’re looking for is good food, good internet connection and low taxes. Of course, this is subjective; some people will travel long stretches to get a fresh, hot pretzel or a juicy Bratwurst, while others will take a hard pass.

When it comes to the question on the bad Internet – there is some truth to this. Germany is known for being behind other rich nations when it comes to connectivity. And from personal experience, the internet connection can seem a little medieval. The incoming German coalition government has, however, vowed to improve internet connectivity as part of their plans to modernise the country.

There are also frequent questions on learning the German language, and people pointing out that it is hard and complicated. This is probably due to the long compound words and its extensive grammar rules, however, as both English and German are Germanic languages with similar words in common, it’s not impossible to learn as an English-speaker.

Here’s a look at some of those questions…

Why is German called Deutsch? Whereas ‘German’ comes from the Latin, ‘Deutsch’ instead derives itself from the Indo-European root “þeudō”, meaning “people”. This slowly became “Deutsch” as we know it today. It can be a bit confusing to English-speakers, who are right to think it sounds a little more like “Dutch”, however the two languages do have the same roots which may explain it.

And why is Germany so boring? Again, probably a generalisation, especially given that Germany has a landmass of over 350,000 km² with areas ranging from high rise, industrial cities to traditional old town villages and even mountain ranges, so you’re sure to find a place that doesn’t bore you to tears.

Perhaps it is a question that comes from the stereotype that Germans are obsessed with being strict about rules, organised and analytical. Or that they have no sense of humour – all of these things being not the most exciting traits. 

Either way, from my experience I can confirm that, even though there is truth to German society enjoying order and rules, the vast majority of people are not boring, and I’m sure if you come to Germany you’ll meet many interesting, funny and exciting people. 

READ ALSO: 12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Germany

When it comes to the German weather, most people assume a cold and cloudy climate, however this isn’t entirely true. While the autumn and winter, especially in the north, come with grey skies and sub-zero temperatures, Germany can have some beautiful summers, with temperatures frequently rising above 30C in some places.

Unsurprisingly, the power and wealth of the German nation is mentioned – Germany is the largest economy in Europe after all, with a GDP of 3.8 trillion dollars. This could be due to strong industry sectors in the country, including vehicle constructions (I was a little surprised to find no questions posed on German cars), chemical and electrical industry and engineering. There are also many strong economic cities in Germany, most notably Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg.

READ ALSO: Eight unique words and phrases that tell us something about Germany

Smart and tall?

Why are Germans so tall? They are indeed taller than many other nations, with the average German measuring a good 172.87cm (or 5 feet 8.06 inches), however this may be a question better posed to the Dutch, who make up the tallest people in the world.

Why are Germans so smart? While this is again a generalisation – as individuals have different levels of intelligence in all countries – this question may stem from Germany’s free higher education system or their seemingly efficient work ethic. Plus there does seem to be some scientific research behind this question, with a study done in 2006 finding that Germans had the highest IQ in Europe.

So, while many of the questions posed about Germany and Germans on Google stem from stereotypes, we can confirm that some aren’t entirely made up. If you’re looking to debunk some frequently asked questions about France and the French, check out this article by our sister site HERE.

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