8 Essential Apps for Immigrants Living in Australia

Last updated on March 7th, 2024 at 01:59 pm

If you’re relocating to Australia, or have already made the big move Down Under, chances are you’ll have a lot going on right now. But, while settling into a new life in a new country can certainly be a busy and occasionally confusing time, the good news is that there are plenty of apps that can help make your transition that much smoother. Let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer.

App name: Moovit

Why?: Quickly guides you through major Australian cities

Whether you’ve settled in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, or another major city or town in Australia, Moovit is an invaluable transport app to have on your phone. Using real-time data, it integrates all the public transportation options in one place, so you can quickly map out the quickest route to where you want to go.

From the Sydney Metro to Melbourne’s Yarra Trams to the Transperth network, all the major transportation systems are covered by Moovit. You’ll also be provided with critical alerts to delays and service disruptions, and get step-by-step directions that adapt to your exact location. Live GPS data will keep you updated on when the next relevant service will arrive, so you won’t have to wonder how long you’ll be waiting for the next leg of our journey.

App name: Flatmates

Why?: Makes it easy to browse for rooms or people to live with

Whether you’re still planning the move to Australia and are looking for a place to live, or are already in the country and need to change location, Flatmates could be the app for you. One of the most popular property search tools Down Under, it lets you put up your own personal profile, complete with photos and a description of your hobbies and interests, so people looking for flatmates can reach out to you.

Alternatively, you can simply use the app to browse houses and apartments that have rooms available in your chosen town or city. You can filter by accommodation type – from studios and homestays to entire properties – and by price and amenities. Well-designed with a sleek and highly user-friendly interface, Flatmates makes the whole process considerably more manageable.

App name: Remitly

Why?: An easy, secure way to provide for your loved ones back home

While working or studying in Australia, you may need to provide financial support to loved ones in your home country. If so, you’ll probably want a remittance route that’s easy to use and competitively priced. Remitly ticks these boxes and more. The company is already used by over five million people across the globe, and the Remitly app makes it very simple to transfer money to friends or family members with just a few taps.

Depending on where your recipient is based, you may have a range of transfer options – from sending directly to their bank account to potentially having the cash delivered to their door. With a transparent fee structure, great exchange rates, and fraud monitoring that operates around the clock, Remitly is a quick, cost-effective, and reliable alternative to using banks and land-based outlets to make international bank transfers.

send money with Remitly

App name: Facebook Messenger

Why?: It’s the most popular instant messaging service in Australia

While apps like WhatsApp and Telegram may be the go-to ways to text friends, colleagues, and family members in many countries around the world, it’s Facebook Messenger that is top of the pile in Australia. An Australian survey conducted by Statista in 2021 found that 85% of respondents cited Messenger as their most-used app, well ahead of nearest rival WhatsApp.

So, to fit into the local community and keep in touch with new friends and acquaintances in Australia, having Messenger on your phone is pretty much essential. The good news is it happens to be an excellent app, with the ability to connect to Instagram friends through Messenger, make messages disappear after they’re read, Snapchat-style, and apply all kinds of fun themes too.

App name: myGovID

Why?: A quick way to prove your identity in Australia

Living in Australia, you can access government services such as the taxation office and Australian JobSearch by creating a myGov account. In order to securely access your myGov account, you can use the digital identity app, myGovID. Setting this up is fairly straightforward.

First, you download the app. Then, enter details like your name and date of birth to achieve what’s called Basic identity strength. To boost your identity strength to the higher levels of Standard and Strong, you’ll need to scan documents like your visa, and provide face verification through the camera on your mobile device. Once you’ve set up myGovID, you’ll be able to use the app to enter your myGov account, apply for your tax file number (TFN), and access the government’s online business services.

App name: Stan

Why?: Lets you enjoy countless TV shows and films

Stan is a top streaming service in Australia, giving you on-the-go access to top TV shows and movies. The app is regularly updated, so there are always new things to browse and discover – from the latest must-watch shows that everyone is talking about, to classic films you may not have seen for decades.

There’s a 30-day free trial you can sign up for, and even if you do decide to stay on and pay the monthly charge, as of this writing there’s no contract that will lock you in for a minimum term. You can binge-watch your top picks in crystal-clear HD and 4K, and there’s even the option to add a sport package to the plan, giving you access to everything from rugby games to the Champions League.

App name: Australian banking apps

Why?: Allows you to manage your money anytime, anywhere

Opening a bank account in Australia can be a real help when you’re getting settled into your new life in the country. If and when you do it, it’s a great idea to download the bank’s app, if one is available. The top banks in Australia, such as CommBank, ING, ANZ, and Westpac all offer a sleek, polished app which you can access whenever you need to.

With a banking app, you’ll be able to quickly check your balance, make payments, and chart what you’ve received. You can also set up recurring payments to take care of bills, as well as use tools to track and manage your spending, set goals, and more. The specific services available will vary, which is why it’s a good idea to compare the apps from different banks before creating an account.

App name: Menulog

Why?: An app that can solve your hunger in no time

Food delivery services have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, and one of the top names in Australia is Menulog. The company was actually founded in Australia – Sydney, to be precise – and now connects millions of customers to over 30,000 restaurants and takeaways across the country.

So, whether you’re in the mood for a burger, a pizza, a Thai curry, or perhaps some Greek barbecue, you can check out the options on Menulog and have the food delivered straight to you. The app itself is intuitive, letting you browse different categories of cuisine, and you’ll also be given an estimated time for delivery so you can get the cutlery out in eager anticipation.

More about useful apps for immigrants: 8 Essential Apps for Immigrants Living in France