Although Iran seems to be cut off from the outside world by the sanctions and political situation, it remains a dynamically developing country. A huge part of Iranian population is formed by young people who use smartphones on everyday basis. However, due to filtering restrictions and lack of English knowledge, most Iranians just can`t use some popular smartphone apps. That`s why the demand in quality, authentic apps that would satisfy Iranians` needs is rapidly rising. In this article I`m going to introduce best Android apps made in Iran and designed by Iranian developers which I believe, will help you understand Iranian culture and Iranians much better. So, let`s take a glimpse on Iranians` everyday life!
Note: These apps may not be the most popular apps used in Iran, however, what was important for me while choosing them is the original idea and authenticity.
99.4% of Iranians are Muslims. So, it`s totally natural that the need in good religious apps is high here. Bad-e Saba is one the most popular ones – it was installed more than 8 million times. Its features include three calendars (Muslim, Iranian and Gregorian) and calendar converter, Qibla compass and prayer time. What`s more, you can set it to play azan (Muslim call to prayer commonly performed in mosques) and count the prayers you`ve missed during the day.
Surprisingly, Iranians are as religious as they are superstitious. They (and especially women) eagerly interpret their night dreams, tell fortunes using Quran and, of course, poems of Iranian 14th-century poet Hafez. The app I recommend has a pretty nice interface with traditional Iranian patterns. Beside the poem itself, Fal-e Hafez provides the interpretation of the poem because it can be a tough task even for Iranians. And finally, you can share the result with your friends.
Simpay is a handy app to pay for everything you need using only your smartphone. Using Simpay you can plan your leisure time buying tickets for cinema or theater, plan you vacation buying plane/ train/ bus tickets, handle your household expenses by paying water, gas or electricity bills, as well as pay for your Internet and phone. Moreover, this Android app gives an opportunity to check for car fines which can be quite handy, taking into account how Iranians drive! Finally, paying via Simpay, users can collect points to then use them to pay for something else.
Playing a game which reflects the real life is much more fun, don`t you think? And of course, in Iran there are several games which will let you take a glimpse on everyday life in Iran. My favorite bunch of truly Iranian games are Hey, Taxi!, Motori and Vaneti. Any tourist who`ve visited Iran would agree that the most shocking and notorious thing about Iran is how people drive here. To get a rough picture of what it is like, you can play any of these games: people walking right in the middle of the street, hilarious and so true-to-life comments of drivers and passengers, honking horns and the whole atmosphere of an average Iranian city – it`s all there! The difference between the games is that in Hey Taxi! you`ll drive a taxi cab, in Motori – a motorbike, and in Vaneti – a good old Paykan pickup truck.
A traditional Iranian meal, and mostly breakfast, just can`t be imagined without freshly baked bread which is sold in bakeries all over the city. However, providing fresh bread definitely needs strong will. Going out in the morning before breakfast, standing in line to get fresh bread is not the most pleasant duty. Two years ago several Iranian developers came up with the idea of an app that will save people (and maybe themselves) from this duty. Boghche delivers bread of your choice (barbari or sangak) at the time of your choice with as much as 2 500 Tumans which makes it really worthy especially if you order bread for a big family. Boghche is available for both Android and iOS.
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If you decide to give a try to any of these apps, I`d recommend you to use CafeBazaar which is an Iranian version of Google Play as it offers a larger number of Iranian apps. CafeBazaar will let you find and install the most popular Iranian apps as well as famous world-known apps adapted for Iranians (i.e.translated into Farsi).
If you are curious to find out more about Iranian startups and achievements in technology, don`t miss Elecomp technology fair which is usually held in July at Tehran International Fairground.
Would you give any of these apps a try? Or maybe there are Iranian apps which you`ve found interesting? Are there any apps which are used only in your country and would show part of your culture? Don`t hesitate to share you thoughts in comments below!