The Philippines has one of the growing mobile penetration rates in Southeast Asia. According toStatista, in 2017, only about 40 percent of Filipinos used a mobile device, usually a smartphone, actively. However, by 2020, it rose to over 60 percent. Five years after, it could already reach 77 percent of the population.
While Filipinos prefer to engage on social media or use these devices for online learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many also download apps. Of the millions in both Google Play Store and Apple Store, a few are noteworthy enough to make one’s life better, easier, and more enriched.
Here are four apps worth downloading:
Labor remains one of the biggest resources the Philippines exports. The 2017 data by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed that the world has at least 2.3 million Filipinosworkinga variety of jobs, from being domestic workers to managing companies.
That’s not all they do, however. They also support both the country’s economy and their families back home. In 2018, their remittances accounted for 11 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). Meanwhile, from April to September 2019, these overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sent a total remittance of $211.9 billion. In an article published by the RemitFinder wherein it listed the top 10 countries with highest received remittances in 2020, the Philippines lands 4th in the list.
Before, sending money could be a chore, forming long queues, filling out forms, and paying high fees. Today, both the recipients and the sender can download apps likeXoomMoney Transfer, which work with centers like LBC.
OFWscan send money to the Philippines to any LBC branch and its partner sites in the country, and the recipient may receive the cash through the app. They can also choose to collect the funds they received viaXoomin their local LBC.
How bad is Philippine traffic? That of Manila is thesecond-worst among over 400 global cities surveyed, according to the 2019 Traffic Index report byTomTom. The congestion level here is up to 71 percent, on average, which meant that Filipinos spent at least an additional 70 minutes going nowhere.
In non-highways, the congestion level reached 70 percent, but in highways, where vehicles should have been free-flowing, the percentage was even worse at 73 percent.
Unless someone invents the flying car or Filipinos can afford a helicopter ride theyneeded to get to work, they had to bear with the insane traffic. But if they wanted some breather, they can downloadWaze.
Wazeis an app that allows its users to contribute traffic reports, so information is often in real-time. When running, drivers and commuters can get data like closed routes, heavy traffic, and even road accidents. This way, they can plan their detours fast.
This platform can also complementSakay.ph, which harnesses the power of Google Maps to show various routes to get commuters from points A and B. Besidesjeepneys, it can show travel options for those who like to take ferries, P2P buses, and UV express, to name a few.
Despite having one of the slowest Internet speeds in Asia, the Philippines is still the social media capital of the world, based on the latestHootsuite andWe Are Social report in 2021. In 2020, Filipinos spent an average of four hours and 15 minutes on social media every day. That’s almost 30 minutes more time on Facebook,TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram than in 2018.
Spending this much time on social media is one’s prerogative. But when it gets out of hand, it can interfere with work and life. For those who like to curb their possibly growing addiction, they can downloadAppBlock.
This platform is easy to use: users can add the sites they wish to block on their mobile devices, set the time they are inaccessible, and hopefully stay focused on work and other activities.
Although many Filipinos are of normal weight, the rate of obesity in the country is also gradually increasing, according to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Studies showed that about 30percentof 9,000 adults could already be classified as either obese or overweight.
Carrying excess pounds is not ideal, especially in a country where chronic diseases like heart disorders and diabetes are prevalent, healthcare is expensive, and the pandemic is still around. Fortunately, a locally made app can help Filipinos manage their weight at home.
Enter Rebel, a fitness app developed byErwanHeussaffand friends. Available for free, it includes a wide range of exercises for all types of fitness enthusiasts. It also offers recipes and other self-care tips. For starters, Filipinos can follow the 30-day fitness program now.
Even the most expensive mobile device cannot install all applications, so Filipinos may need to be choosy. If they want platforms that spell convenience and better life, they can begin with these.