Monday, July 2, 2012

Best Malta Apps (+ they're free!)

Who knew there were so many apps for a country with a population of just +/- 400,000?

Here you'll find an ever-changing list of iPhone apps (in no particular order) that we think are useful or interesting for tourists and residents of Malta and Gozo. Most of these apps are also available for Android phones.



The official Malta & Gozo tourism app by the Malta Tourism Authority. This app includes lists of activities and things to do (with hours and contact information), information about language courses, and all of the standard travel info - ATMs, climate, customs, getting there, etc. It's a great app for first time visitors and new expats. Available in English, French, Italian, and German.




The official Malta & Gozo culture guide by the Malta Tourism Authority. This app allows you to locate tourist sights on a very useful offline map (no Wifi or data usage required!) It also includes opening hours, admission costs, contact information, public transport information, and relevant podcasts where applicable. You could easily use this app to plan a whole vacation and self-guided tour through the islands. It's fantastic! Available in English, French, and Italian.



A list of Maltese businesses, sorted by category and name, with contact information. Handy for finding shops on the go.








A map of Malta pinned with free Wi-fi areas. So useful!









Displays the ferry you missed, the next ferry due to leave, and the one after that (in both directions). This app could only be improved by showing real time information (we're looking at you, Gozo Channel Company...)




BOV Mobile

The Bank of Valletta's mobile banking app (the first in Malta!) has us thinking we should switch banks... This app allows you to transfer money to friends using their mobile numbers, view account balances, pay bills, and transfer between accounts. Read more here.





Melita Netbox HD Control

This app allows you to control your Melita netbox from your phone. It functions just like a regular remote control, with cool features like shaking your phone back and forth to mute your TV. You do need Wifi for the app to work, but it is still quite useful to chronic remote control losers like us. Read more here.






 Google Translate

This app allows you to translate from Maltese to English, or English to Maltese. You can also translate from oral to written text. Wifi or data connection required.


This app includes information (schedules and costs) about cruises and Jeep safaris provided by the Captain Morgan Cruises company. App users benefit from specials and coupons when you 'check in' (kids free, free underwater safari, free city sightseeing day ticket, etc). Particularly useful for residents of Malta is the Sliema to Valletta ferry service schedule provided in this app.



Portughes Dry Cleaners

Schedule dry cleaning pick ups, use the interactive collection schedule, see opening hours for outlets, find cleaning symbols for easy reference, and get dry cleaning prices on this useful app. We've used it to schedule dry cleaning collection (via SMS) and it works like a charm.
okmalta Classifieds

Buy and sell used goods in Malta from the palm of your hand through okmalta classifieds. okmalta.com is a useful 'homepage' service that aggregates links and advertisements for local businesses and services in one place. This app makes okmalta's classifieds available to mobile users. You can also publish classified ads through the app, and attach photos from your phone.


MALTA (Maltaondmove) 

An app that shows you what's around you - the nearest speed camera, free Wifi, supermarket, pharmacy, taxi company, beach, church, museum, you name it - all measured to the nearest metre. Web sites and phone numbers are also provided for companies where applicable. Read more here.





Yes, the Maltese Ministry of Finance released their 2012 budget in app form!








This new app includes a map of all of the churches in Malta, and their mass times, provided by the Archdiocese in Malta. Read more here.




Every summer tourists arrive in droves to see some of the world's top DJs and musicians perform at Malta's clubs. This app notifies you of upcoming Sunglasses at Night events in Malta. You can also browse photos and video of past events (like last year's Fat Boy Slim concert and Popeye Village party). Requires a Wifi or data connection.

While not an app, you can read the Times of Malta on your mobile by bookmarking this mobile version of their site (on your iPhone - add it to your home screen).




Other private Maltese companies with free iPhone apps include:

Hugo's Malta (Restaurants & Clubs)
The Villa Malta (Restaurant)
Nautica Malta (Boat Charters)

While we were pleasantly surprised with the quantity of Malta-related apps available, we've still got a running wish list (developers - hop to it!)

We would love to see an Arriva app (with a new web site, perhaps an app is on the way?), a Restaurants Malta app, apps for the restaurants owned by Kitchen Concepts (some of our favourites on the island), a Malta Post app, a local taxi app, and an events in Malta app....we could go on!

In our experience, Malta 'map apps' (and there are many!) aren't particularly useful. They normally fail to indicate the name of every street (or provide it in only English or only Maltese), the direction of the street, etc. Working with a combination of Google Maps, Apple Maps, and Tom Tom we are able to navigate the islands, but not without some errors. The accuracy of GPS in Malta is touch and go for us, while in North America and Continental Europe we never have this problem. We use iPhones purchased from Apple Canada, so perhaps on other devices GPS performs better.

Does GPS work well on your smart phone in Malta? Did we miss any of your favourite Malta apps on this list? What kinds of (non-existent) Malta-related apps would you find useful? Tell us!

- Mike & Jess

8 comments :

  1. I wish someone would make a post like this RE: Norway/Stavanger as I could really use it right now! I recently bought the Collins Norwegian Dictionary app (I used the French one in Gabon and it was amazing) but the Norwegian isn't nearly as comprehensive.

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    1. Hi Jay! Good to hear from you, I hope you're settling in to your new home okay. Do you plan to learn Norwegian? Is not knowing Norwegian a barrier in day to day life?

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    2. Hi Jess! Loving Norway - a complete breath of fresh air!

      Joe and I both hope to take Norwegian classes once we get settled - I'm a bit nervous about it as the sounds are so difficult for me to pronounce (I do much better with the romance languages.) Almost everyone here speaks English so that isn't a problem although all packaging is in Norwegian as are websites. (Trying to research cell phone service companies online when all of the websites are in Norwegian is really difficult!) In any case, I'd like to know main phrases as I think it's important to make some sort of an effort to 'fit in.'

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    3. Interesting! I agree - we are hoping to fit Maltese lessons into our schedule one of these days :)

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  2. I still need to hop on the iPhone bandwagon. They are still just SO expensive in SA and come with very limited internet bundles - blackberry on the other hand has unlimited internet usage with a contract. I'm dying to get one though - as soon as I have the extra moolah I will be switching phones asap :)

    xxx
    Jenna

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    1. iPhones are realllly expensive in Malta too, but we just use general pay as you go plans. iPhones definitely aren't the most common phone in Malta though, a lot of people use Blackberrys and Androids. I think it's only in North America that practically every person has one :)

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    2. I had to buy mine outright, ie. not through a plan and I live in constant fear that I will break it as they are so expensive. I do love it though!

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  3. Try Nokia's Here maps or Nokia Drive if you have it on iphone. It works flawlessly and has constantly updated maps.

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