Rubab's blog

The world of smartphones and PC from my angle

Survival in Germany via Android

I have finally settled down in Deutschland for my Masters studies. I live in a small town of Kassel called Witzenhausen which is famous as “The City of Cherries”, whereas the literal meaning of Witzenhausen is “The Houses of Jokes”, although I couldn’t find anything hilarious about it.

Anyways, I was trying to say that for someone who came from Pakistan (a developing Asian country), the whole European experience is quite astonishing. I mean, I do have watched all these high techs on TV and in movies too but having to watch and endure them live is a pretty different thing. Even though I come from Karachi (the city of lights and the 3rd largest city of the world), I feel like a small village girl in a huge advanced world.

It is quite challenging for a person to survive alone in a completely new world, especially for a not-so-smart girl like me. But you eventually manage to learn from making different strategies and of course by doing many idiotic things with a tinge of awkwardness! It’s nice that people forgive you by understanding that you’re a foreigner or else it’s pretty humiliating if you ask me.

Good that I wasn’t entirely alone; my Android smartphone accompanied me on my every step. I got lost with it several times, I found my myself and natürlich my respective destinations with it. Have got so many awesomely cool as well as embarrassing memories. It came to me that I should share my experience, how different Android apps helped me and still helps me to survive in Germany.

1. DB Navigator

It is one of the important apps that are must have in case you’re in Germany and too naive to ride a bicycle either because you don’t know the directions or because you don’t know how to ride a bicycle. And it’s not possible to go to farther locations just by walking. The buses, trains, trams, straßebahns etc. are very helpful but not to forget, quite costly as well; being a student saves a lot of cash.

This app basically tells the timings of the vehicles along with the details about their start point, direction, the stops that come in between, each platform etc.

Note: This app requires Internet access.

2. Google Maps

The most important survival kit equipment needed is the Maps app by Google, when you think you’re lost or when you want to go somewhere on foot but have no idea how you’ll get there or how long will it take to get there. It’s a life saver, I can assure you that! I am so bad at finding different locations by myself and also at learning directions and pathways. This app has never let me down.

Note: This app requires Internet access and GPS.

3. Google Translate

In Germany, a lot of people don’t speak English. Also, the default language everywhere is Deutsch whether it’s a Markt, Bahnhof or any other place or a thing. If you haven’t learned any German then you will suffer a lot. This is why the translating app for Google can aid you in a lot of situations.

Note: This app requires Internet access.


A German – English and English – German dictionary comes in handy a lot of times and is the best Deutsch dictionary so far in my experience. You can download the offline data once and won’t need to connect to Internet unless you need to hear the pronunciations of words.

Note: This app requires Internet access at the first time and also for listening audio.

5. K-9 Mail and Gmail

It’s really important to check your emails frequently. Therefore, I always have K-9 Mail and Gmail apps installed in my phone.

Note: These apps require Internet access.

6. Springpad

The best note-taking app for my requirements especially for making check lists and tasks-to-do. I love how it looks; the developers have been working hard on improving the UI together with functionality.

Note: For synchronizing your data with the desktop apps, Internet access is required.

7. Viber and WhatsApp Messenger

To do International calls and messages, it gets too expensive when one does by using Mobile network. Therefore, both WhatsApp and Viber lets me to be in touch with my friends and family. With Viber you can also do voice calls but on condition that the other device’s OS also supports that.

Note: These apps require Internet access, valid Mobile number and to be installed on both the devices.

Apart from these apps, there are several useful apps that are available in the Google Play Store for downloading. Also, a lot of pre-installed apps on the Android devices are of course of great help.


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This entry was posted on April 28, 2013 by in Android and tagged , , , , , , .
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