Must Have Apps for Life in Jakarta

We are leaving Jakarta to go back home to the U.S. in just 61 days. Yes, exactly two months from today we will be boarding a plane home and leave our life here in Indonesia. I have mixed feelings about it all. Some days I’m excited about going home, like when I’m stuck in traffic for two hours just go to 15 kilometers or when I can’t communicate because of the language barrier. I want to go home to the U.S. when the waitress won’t use common sense with our United MileagePlus credit card and just put the card with the chip in the machine and run it. Yup, just too difficult for them to comprehend that the MasterCard logo is on the back of the card, instead of the front, so it’s just easier to say we can’t use this. Sorry for that rant, but it is pretty annoying.


There are loads of things I am going to miss about Jakarta for sure, but I’ll talk about those in another post. But I wanted to share a few apps that have made life in Jakarta just a little bit easier. Yes, some of these I am going to miss a lot too! If you are moving to Jakarta anytime soon make sure you have these in an easy access folder.


Google Translate

One of those things that may seem like a total no-brainer, but we forget it’s there. Over the past few years, Google Translate added things like picture translation, and the ability to download languages for offline use. I think any country you go to that has a different language than your own this is a must. But this comes in handy, especially the first few months when you’re still learning the language.



Ever go to the fridge and realize you need milk? How about start baking a cake but need eggs? Or want to cook dinner tonight but don’t want to go to the grocery store? Then HappyFresh is what you need. Like this week. I have been sick, and all I wanted was some homemade chicken noodle soup but did not want to spend two hours in traffic going to the store. So all I had to do was just jump on the app, pick my store, select my items and they are delivered to my house within an hour.



So before HappyFresh, there was GoJek. Here in Jakarta, if you want to get somewhere fast, you take an ojek which is a motorbike taxi. GoJek started as an app so you could order an ojek to get from one place to another, but now it has evolved into so much more! Now you can order an ojek, a car, food delivered from local restaurants, groceries, send your child’s swim trunks to school when they forget them, have someone come and give you a massage or a blowout at home, even come and clean your house. The have put all your needs into one app. It’s amazing!


Uber or Grab

Most expats here have drivers, but your driver isn’t necessarily on the clock 24-7, and you never know when you just can’t get ahold of them cause they are praying or napping so you should always have a backup plan. We haven’t had a driver while we have been here, so we started off with taxis and then once Uber came we switched to them. Uber has since upgraded, and now you can get Uber motorbikes too. GrabCar is the same concept except they work with taxis too. The best part of Uber is they take credit cards. You will see why that’s a big deal for me in the next one.



Taxis are the norm here. There are two big taxi services here, BlueBird and Express Taxi. They are both dependable, but BlueBird is a lot nicer and has their higher end service SilverBird. If you’re every in a pinch and Uber isn’t your thing, BlueBird is the way to go. This past year they added the feature to pay with your credit card too which is very nice since not all taxi drivers seem to have small bills for change, therefore, giving themselves pretty big tips.


Google Maps

Most people would think that this is a no brainer. But really, it is a must have in Jakarta. The traffic here can be great going one route and totally change within just a few minutes.  This app is crucial so you can adjust your route to your destination if need be.


Unit Converter

Okay, so this may not be necessary for everyone. But if you are from the U.S., this is a must. Comes in handy when you have to convert kilometers to miles, Celsius to Farenheight, kilograms to pounds, centimeters to inches. Yup…converting from the standard system to the metric system is not always easy. Interesting right? The standard system is the least used system in the world, but yet you would think the name would imply that it’s the standard. Anyhow, it’s important to have a good unit converter.

I’m sure there are a ton more apps, but these are my most used apps. I’d love to hear what apps you use to make your life just a little easier too.

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