Apple

5 Apps to Experience What Life Is Like in Different Places Around the World

Is the daily grind leaving you uninspired and disconnected from the world? What you need is a break from your familiar routine. There’s so much more to explore beyond the neighborhood, town, or city you live in. And all you need to to start exploring is your smartphone.

Let’s check out the different smartphone apps that give you a glimpse into people’s lives on the other side of the world, so you can feel connected to different people and places again.

1. Radio Garden Live

Instead of listening to the voices of the same old DJs, the usual local gossip, and another rundown of this week’s musical charts, it’s time to refresh your ears. With Radio Garden Live, you can tune into thousands of radio stations live across the world.

From Argentina to Singapore, simply use Radio Garden Live’s search tool to find a country’s radio station, or select stations from the playlists curated by the Radio Garden team. Use Radio Garden Live to enjoy songs that are charting in other countries, experience radio broadcasts delivered in foreign languages, and hear about local jokes and slang.

What you’re listening to live is the same as what that country’s locals are listening to while they go about their lives. So, close your eyes and immerse yourself in foreign culture through radio. What’s familiar in the daily lives of people elsewhere can become a whole new experience for you.

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Download: Radio Garden Live for Android | iOS (Free, premium version available)

2. Google Arts & Culture

With your looming workload, the weekends are often a brief window of time when you find you’re too tired to travel anywhere. But there’s another way to awaken your curiosity and revisit the wonder of world-famous artworks and historical artifacts. This is because the Google Arts & Culture app lets you explore history and art museums as though you’re actually there.

Using the Street View feature, the app lets you step into places like the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the Acropolis Museum in Athens. Step through the doors and walk down corridors in these museums, virtually. It’s an incredibly immersive experience, without the added stress of crowds or impatient companions ushering you on to the next exhibit.

If you spot a piece of artwork that piques your interest, simply head to the museum’s collection section for a brief article on it and a high-quality digital image. You can zoom into oil paintings and sketches to admire the minute details for however long you want, with no one to judge you for it.

Download: Google Arts & Culture for Android | iOS (Free)

3. Google Earth

The Google Earth app enables you to go nearly everywhere on the planet. From the romantic streets of Venice to the metropolitan city of Tokyo, you can explore almost the entire world through your smartphone.

Many people’s first stop is to check out their home and neighborhood from a bird’s-eye view. To do so, drop the yellow man icon onto land to dive into Street View. You can go abroad by virtually teleporting to major cities. Again, in Street View, you can discover notable landmarks and architecture with just a few taps.

You’re not limited to urban areas, either. Check out great hiking trails such as the Cleveland Way National Trail, the route at Monte Romanella, and more. Along the way, witness scenery you might otherwise never get to witness.

Although what you see on Google Earth aren’t real-time, live images, the app experience is mind-blowing in itself. It’s almost like an infinite open-world game. Only this time, you’re getting a full walkthrough of the real world you live in.

Download: Google Earth for Android | iOS (Free)

4. Police Scanner Radio & Fire

Stay up to date on happenings and emergencies in your area with this Police Scanner app. The audio here is mostly from Broadcastify, a large online source for live audio streams on public safety and the like.

You can choose the type of audio streams you want to listen to. The categories include air traffic, marine, railroad, and public safety. As these are audio from law enforcement agencies and fire departments, it’s an intriguing experience because you will feel as though you’re listening in on a walkie-talkie.

You can also browse scanners across the globe. This means that you can hear alerts from Indiana even if you lived in Bristol, or alerts in Texas if you resided in Queensland. Get insights into different incidents around the world, taking place every day, that you weren’t likely to hear about on the mainstream news.

Download: Police Scanner Radio & Fire for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)

5. Clubhouse

There are many social media apps to find like-minded people to chat with from around the world. What makes Clubhouse different is its lively atmosphere.

In online chatrooms, the dialogue between both parties is often quiet because you’re conversing via text. You can only express emotions using emojis, punctuation, GIFs, or by making memes on your iPhone. But in Clubhouse, everyone communicates by speaking. As you exchange ideas, you can hear the another person’s accent, tone of voice, and even their laughter.

From holistic pet health, to language learning, to niche hobbies, there is a huge variety of clubs you can join to swap stories and connect with people who have the same interests as you. If you’re not ready to participate actively yet, you can still find something you’re curious about and play discussions previously held by others.

Due to the wide variety of topics and occasional use of expletives as part of friendly conversation, it should be noted that Clubhouse is more suitable for those who are college-age and above.

Download: Clubhouse for Android | iOS (Free)

Reconnect With People and Places via Your iPhone

Whether it’s exploring famous tourist sites, hiking up mountains and looking down at the hills below, or listening to the real voices of people on the other side of the world, we hope these iPhone apps can evoke the feeling of reconnecting with people and places for you. Break out of your boredom and isolation by getting a glimpse into what life is like for different people, in different places.



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