Must-have Apps for Dhakaites
As smartphones get more popular throughout our country, app stores are being flooded with Bangladeshi apps. Now, all apps are not created equal. Quality and usefulness varies. Here are some android apps that could come in really handy if you are a Dhaka resident:
GO! TRAFFIC (BETA)
Size: 24 MB
The one great constant of Dhaka is the awful traffic situation. GO! Traffic, even at its beta stage, can help you assess that situation and plan your journey.
Using the intuitive interface, pick your starting point and end destination. The app will show you the route, real-time traffic situation throughout the road and estimated journey time. You can also be a Good Samaritan, and provide traffic updates for other users of the app.
The app requires location service and LOTS of data, but does its job well.
Size: 18 MB
The greatest pastime of the Dhaka youth is eating. Bhojnama helps you pick the place. Select a location and nearby restaurants pop up. You can see reviews, menu,prices, make reservations and get directions on how to get there.
The database is not complete, and location based search is limited (nobody includes MY location, sigh). Nevertheless, the app is good for skipping a lot of deliberation and address searching. An excellent user interface also helps matters, thankfully.
Size: 4 MB
The VAT checking frenzy has been causing quite a stir on social media, recently. Turns out, the large amounts of VAT we (rather unwillingly) pay in most middle and upper-tier food places, often do not find their way to the government.
You can be part of the change. When paying the bill at any restaurant (or any registered business), ask for their BIN (Business Identification Number). Put it in the app and you can check if the VAT money is going to the government. If not, you can even lodge complaints to the proper channels through the app.
The app also contains a blog of VAT related news and a useful FAQ section.
CNG FARE CALCULATOR
Size: 18 MB
With the recent enforcement of meter usage for CNG fare, the possibility of meter tampering and other wrongdoings taking place cannot be neglected. This app can help you avoid them.
Select a start and end point on the map.The app will show the distance plus projected trip duration, and provide a rough fare estimate. You can make the figure more accurate by inputting waiting time.
If your actual fare varies wildly from the estimation, or the driver simply refuses to go by meter fare, you can complain through the app.
BANGLADESH EMERGENCY SERVICES
Size: 6 MB
Life is fragile, and perilous. This is probably truer if you live in Dhaka.
If you do find yourself in some emergency, this app will provide contact info and address of nearby government hospitals, police stations and fire stations.
Keep this app in your phone, just in case. Who knows, it might end up saving a life someday.
*Note: App sizes may vary due to updates.
Novo Manzoor is an athlete. He surfs the web all day. You can reach him at: [email protected]