Must-have apps for NRIs in the UK

Living and working abroad as a non-resident Indian (NRI) can be tough. Being distanced from the family and adjusting to life in the UK are challenges. Fortunately there are some very effective apps that can make life easier and enjoyable.


WhatsApp is a free messaging and communications system owned by Facebook. With more than 2 billion users and 1.6 billion monthly users it is one of the most popular communications platforms globally. WhatsApp users send over 65 billion messages daily. It continues to be the fastest growing app in its category. This wholesome app combines calling, text messaging, file sending, and other features. It also features video calling, which is a proven cure for homesickness for many NRIs. Given its global appeal WhatsApp is a way to keep in touch with friends and family not only from India, but from all over.


Learning a new language can be tough and tedious. Duolingo makes it easy and fun. This free app is helping thousands of NRIs improve their English to perfection. Moreover Duolingo has a global reach. The app offers more than 30 languages.

Since its creation in 2009 Duolingo has grown to 25 million monthly users. It has been downloaded over 100 million times. The popularity of the app comes from how it makes lessons fun and engaging. Duolingo users complete 7 billion lessons every month. Many schools now recognize Duolingo experience points as valid academic credits.

Ria Money Transfer App

The Ria app is indispensable for NRIs who regularly send international money transfers as remittances to their home countries. Ria specializes in online remittances, as well as remittances sent via its vast international network of agents. Ria has continuously grown to become one of the largest cross-border money transfer services in the world. The Ria Money Transfer App is a relatively new addition to the organization’s wide range of products. The app gives remittance senders instant access to Ria’s network of more than 400,000 agent locations in over 160 countries. The free app is available from Google Play and Apple Store. Since its launch the Ria Money Transfer App has been downloaded more than 500,000 times.

The app offers several advantages over other remittance channels. It is faster than initiating a transfer from a web browser. It is convenient for migrants who send international remittances with regularity. The app lets users instantly check exchange rates and fees before sending. It has enhanced security and personalization features which are best in industry. Funds sent via Ria are often credited into recipients’ accounts in as little as 15 minutes.


Most supermarkets and stores are imposing restrictions on physical shopping. It is anyway safer to shop online. An app to shop for essentials such as food and grocery is valuable. Founded in 2000, Ocado proclaims itself to be ‘the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer’. It grows exponentially with each passing year. Its sales in 2020 have grown by 27% over the previous year. Between April and August Ocado earned revenues of GBP 587 million. The Guardian said that Ocado is worth twice as much as its 2 main competitors, Sainsburys and Morrisons combined. Despite a small market share Ocado is a leader in the grocery home delivery business. It earns annual revenues to the tune of GBP 1.8 billion.

Ocado’s one-hour delivery windows let customers know exactly when their deliveries would arrive. Low delivery fees and a wide selection of products are other reasons for the brand’s runaway popularity.

Just Eat

This is a global provider of takeaway home delivery services. Just Eat operates in the UK, Ireland, and 11 other geographies. In 2018 the group’s annual revenue was close to GBP 800 million. Just Eat is an aggregator which partners with more than 105,000 restaurants and serves 26 million active users. It processes 220 million orders annually. Reasons to choose Just Eat include the wide selection of restaurants, quick delivery times, and affordable prices.

Sleep Cycle

Despite working from home, life in the UK can be busy. Getting that early start right is a challenge for some. The Sleep Cycle app can help. It is designed to help users wake up feeling more refreshed. It does so by monitoring behaviour and movements during sleep. The app uses this data to wake you up when you’re sleeping at your lightest. You’ll be less tired when you wake up, and ready to start the day full of energy.

The app comes in free and paid versions. It has been downloaded over 5 million times and has 3 million monthly active users. With over 72,000 ratings the app got an average score of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

NHS COVID-19 Contact Tracing App

Created by the NHS, the official contact tracing app is currently in wide use. It tracks where users have been and who they have been in contact with. If any of the app users is diagnosed with COVID-19, everyone whom they have been in contact with is notified. The app is free to download and completely private. It has been downloaded over 10 million times.

About the author:

Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to smarttravel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.