Apps with Russian Origins Posted by Jenya on Jun 4, 2014 in Culture, language
If you have a smartphone, and statistics show that 22% of the world’s population does (1), then you likely have downloaded an app or two or ten. What you may be surprised to know is that some of the most successful apps were created by people from Russia or countries that used to be a part of the former Soviet Union. Just to let you know how big apps are these days, in May of 2013 Apple reached 50 billion app downloads (2). While there are thousands of apps created by Russian people, I will focus on three that I enjoy.
Since many of you already can read and write the Cyrillic alphabet, you may find AlterGeo exciting; you may even enjoy it if you are still learning. AlterGeo is a social networking app that can “make your city more friendly and visiting places even more interesting and fun,” according to its description on iTunes. You can share places you’ve been, what you liked about them and what you didn’t, get discounts to places your friends have visited, and so on. AlterGeo is similar to Foursquare and was created to challenge it (3). It has been downloaded more than one million times. For those learning Russian, it could also serve as a great tool to help you along your way.
Cut The Rope is one of the most downloaded apps of all time, being downloaded more than 400 million times according to iTunes. The goal is to feed the cute little monster, Om Nom, candy by “cutting the rope.” Colorful creativity combines with physics to make this little game addicting at times when you don’t have too many minutes to kill. Created by the Russian game studio ZeptoLab, CTR is giving Angry Birds a real run for its money. You can check out a nice, but slightly older, review of the app below.
WhatsApp has been in an instant messaging system subscription service that has been in the news lately. Why? It was just purchased by Facebook for $19 billion (4). WhatsApp allows you to send videos, chat, send audio media messages, and even you to share your location. Over 90 million users are taking advantage of WhatsApp’s free platform to send text messages and share photos. Two of the best features, in my opinion, are that the app is free and doesn’t include in-app advertising. You simply use the app for one year and then you can purchase it. Jan Koum, a former welfare recipient who immigrated to the US with his family as a teen, and his team really had faith in their product when they created it. They understood that people didn’t like to keep being bombarded with ads to purchase other products, they simply wanted to communicate and share with people – for free (4).
As I stated earlier, there are many more apps I could have included, and much more I could say about these three apps; however, I hope you will check them out for yourselves. Also, I would love to hear about Russian apps you are currently using, what you like, and what you don’t.
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