Much like the rest of the world, Indonesians have their heads buried in their smartphones. Whether they're updating their Facebook pages or posting photos on Instagram, Indonesia is currently three times above the global average for internet usage. As the country reputed to be one of the fastest growing online nations (it's only behind India, UAE and Saudi Arabia for social media usage, for example), it is only appropriate that Indonesia also has a number of amazing apps designed to make life easier.
What Uber is to taxis is what Gojek is to ojeks (motorbike taxis) - only much, much better. Uber does exist here, but it's a lot less popular and there are a few reasons why. Gojek is not only cheaper and faster, but it also offers cars should you prefer one. However, while ordering transport is Gojek's primary reason for existence, the real draw here is that you can order masseuses, beauticians, cleaners, food, drink and more directly to your door using this wonderful app. Indonesian efficiency at its best, I would say!
Upon arrival to the country, it's likely that when you're given your new Indonesian SIM card, your carrier will be Telkomsel. Their app allows you to see how many minutes and text messages you have left as well as data. You can even top-up your phone and purchase various packages that appeal to you by using this interactive, simple app. Pro tip: data in Indonesia is incredibly cheap, so you can online-call home as often as you want without any worries!
The finest app for travelling around Indonesia, Traveloka was created in the country and has the best access to top domestic travel deals including flights, hotels and train tickets. Fancy figuring out the cheapest way to get to Bali or Lombok to surf and tan? Traveloka has you covered. What about planning a trip to Kalimantan to see the famous orangutans? No worries, Traveloka will help. It's one of Indonesia's most popular travel apps for a reason.
Forget Google maps, which probably couldn't tell you where the nearest warteg (casual street food eatery) is, and instead remember Waze, Indonesia's top app for navigating your way around the country. Jam-packed with local businesses, Waze also gives you up to date police warnings, hazard cautions and current traffic information. In fact, you can even update your friends on your ETA if they're already at the bar or beach-club by using this app.
Not used as much by Indonesians as it is by us, the native teachers, XE Currency is great for the first few weeks when you're trying to understand just how much you're paying for something. Is a jacket that costs 800,000 Indonesian rupiah expensive? Well, that's about $50. A plate of nasi goreng for 20,000 rupiah? That's an estimated 5p in GBP – a bargain! XE Currency is the perfect app for changing the Indonesian currency to your home currency and vice-versa, and for letting you easily understand how much an item costs. The exchange rates are updated frequently and of course, give or take a few hundred (or thousand!) rupiah just in case!
Of course there are hundreds of apps available to download which will help you get settled in Indonesia, but these are just a few of the most notable ones. There's an app out there for everyone, whether or not you're a film goer (if so, Movreak is for you, whereby you can see what films are on in cinemas, book tickets and check seat availability), a bargain hunter (Grivy is yours, an app which allows you to bid on available deals such as beauty treatments and concert tickets), or something else, you are absolutely spoilt for choice. See all these and more teaching in Indonesia.