Malaysia is a really interesting place to be if you like technology. If you have spent some time in Kuala Lumpur you would know exactly what I mean. Sky trains, air-conditioned sky bridges, giant malls, futuristic buildings and even e-scooters stationed all around the city. In a big city, people move fast. They have things to do and places to be and just don't have time to waste. This is why people rely on technology. Technology can help automate tasks, and help people get things they need right away without having to travel far, make appointments or wait in lines.
In Malaysia, Android dominated the smart phone market with iOS trailing behind. Even though iOS accounts for a much smaller percentage of people than Android, that percentage still accounts for a lot of people. I mean as of 2022, there are just over 30 million people living in Malaysia and 30 percent of that is 9 million people. So when building out technologies app developers always need to build for both platforms to reach the full population. So let's take a look at some of the most useful apps there are for living in Malaysia.
I'm sure this needs no explanation. Whatsapp is used pretty much all around the world and is the dominant chat app in many countries. Whatsapp is an application that allows you to text and call for free. This is achieved by using the internet instead of traditional methods. You can share anything over text, including photos, files, voice notes and videos. There are are some useful features like group chats.
In Malaysia Whatsapp is used by everyone as their way of communicating with one another. So it's almost a requirement to use Whatsapp if you plan to communicate with anyone. Businesses have also started using Whatsapp to communicate with their clients and customers allowing you to get faster and more convenient service.
Grab is the super app of South East Asia. Whether you live in Thailand, Singapore or Malaysia, Grab is everywhere. The Grab app doesn't just have 1 feature, it has multiple, hence why it's called a super app. It started as a taxi hailing service and now you can still call a taxi if you need to get from point A to B, but you can also order food from your favorite restaurant and groceries from most super markets. The best of all is that your order wouldn't even take more than an hour in most cases. You can also use Grab to send packages and now they have even added a financial section where they aim to become a digital bank.
Although you can use Grab to order food, Foodpanda is a great alternative. What most Malaysians will tell you is that Foodpanda actually has a better selection of restaurants than Grab and sometimes when you can't get a delivery driver on Grab you can always turn to the 'Panda' app. Restaurants on Foodpanda are open throughout the night. Foodpanda also covers grocery delivery so you can order any necessities without leaving your front door.
This app become popular not because of how useful and fun it is, but more because it's been a government requirement to use this during the covid-19 pandemic. MySejahtra is an app that keeps track of your vaccination status and risk status. It also supports lots of additional functionalities such as digital vaccination certificates, vaccination bookings, and also allows people to apply for travel passes. The app is basically a scanner that you will have to use to scan QR codes to enter buildings, malls, and shops. This will check you in at that specific location and if anyone else was in the same location as you and reported that they are covid positive, you would get a notification that you are a close contact and should get tested and isolate.
When you think of Air Asia you might think of an airline and if you love traveling and affordable ticket prices this is an app you will need. Air Asia is based out of Kuala Lumpur, so Malaysia a great travel hub to explore the rest of Asia. You can use the Air Asia app to browse and purchase flights as well as to check in to those flights and view your electronic boarding passes.
Recently Air Asia has started expanding their business so you can also use the app to call a Taxi. The service is cheaper than Grab, but there are not yet as many drivers so it's not as convenient to use yet. They also started to venture into fintech and offer a service called BigPay, which is a multi-currency account, perfect for traveling and getting the most out of currency conversion rates.
Wise started as international money transfer service allowing people to send money to other countries with low fees, much lower than traditional banks using SWIFT transfers. They also complete the transfers much faster. Now they have launched a digital banking service as well allowing people to open an account and store their money in multiple currencies. More than that you will also get banking details for certain currencies that you can use to receive money transfers from. As of now the currencies that offer banking details are USD, GBP, SGD, MYR, EURO, AUD, NZD and they are expanding the service even more.
With a Wise borderless account you will receive a physical ATM debit card as well as the option to create virtual cards that you can use online or link to Apple Pay and Google Pay. With these cards you can set limits, block certain kinds of transactions, freeze your card and more. Having a Wise account is a great option if you live in Malaysia, especially if you travel often or receive international transfers.
Hotlink is part of Maxis, which is a network provider in Malaysia. Hotlink is one of the best sim cards to have in Malaysia because of it's reach, speeds and affordable packages. With Hotlink you can subscribe to high speed unlimited internet passes at very affordable rates.
With the Hotlink mobile app you can view your account balance, top up, buy data bundles and also see the best promotions and earn rewards. Using the app, is by far the easiest way to manage your mobile data in Malaysia so make sure to give it a download.
Shopee is probably one of the most popular apps in Malaysia. It's the e-commerce app where you can buy anything you need. Bags, shoes, phones, computes and more. It's really easy to use and the app always has really interesting promotions. By using the app you will be able to purchase something in a few clicks and get it sent right over to your address in a few days. You can order from local sellers as well as international ones, especially from China. Shopee now even has it's own wallet, allowing you to pay more easily. They have Shopee Mall, which is only lists products that have been verified to be original so be sure to use that if you want don't want to purchase any fake items. Although all products have reviews so you can see what others have said about it before you decide. Shopee also has a supermarket section where you can order any food and grocery items you need.
Many people might rely on Google Maps for directions, but in Malaysia, Waze is the way to go. It's maps are more accurate and just like in any big city, traffic jams are not the best especially in places like Kuala Lumpur, JB and Penang. Wave is community focused and allows people to share information about the route real time as they are driving. This way you will know exactly when and where a traffic jam is and be able to look for alternative routes. People also report if there is a roadblock or accident nearby so people can know what lies ahead. Sometimes when driving things are slow and we don't know why, well with Waze, you'll know what's happening ahead.
Touch ‘n Go is an eWallet that is used in Malaysia. It's commonly used for tolls but can also be used in places where you see a QR code with it's logo on for cashless payments. You can topup your wallet and view your balance. They also currently offer a card that can be used for certain things alongside the wallet. Alongside your banking app, you can also try out Touch 'n Go, Grab Pay or Boost, depending on which one is more practical to the things you do or places you go.