Siri at your service, inshallah! Best iPhone apps for the Arab world

Published October 6th, 2013 - 14:53 GMT

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anghami & almidan
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Image 1 of 8: iEntertain: Any self-respecting smartphone will ensure that it is packed with distractions. Anghami helps you listen, download & share music. "Old Cartoons" lets you watch all the cartoons you enjoyed as a child. If you want to learn as you enjoy, "Al Midan" gives info on all topics to help you win that next trivia quiz.

Ampere Currency
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Image 1 of 8: Finance: Money might not buy you love. But by Jove, can we afford to obsess over it! "Currency Exchange" converts 151 currencies. It gives the price of gold, silver & platinum. "Expenses Ampere" helps you track expenses by category & calculate what your salary is spent on. iGot 99 problems but money ain't one!

Birdy Nam Nam & Hazard Middle East
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Image 1 of 8: iGames: Disengage from the world with Birdy Nam Nam, Lebanon’s answer to Angry Birds. Scrab It, a word scramble game got 160,000 downloads in its first week. Also Lebanese, Pou, the Tamagotchi game is too cute for words. Hazard Middle East lets you make your teams and save the world from nuclear war (you’ll still die from car bombs).

iquran
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Image 1 of 8: iProductivity: Struggling to keep up with your duties? Muslim Watch reminds you of prayer times (it doesn’t pray for you.) iQuran has verses for you on the go. Hijri lets you sort dates by the Islamic calendar. Mumtaz translates from Arabic and back. Bel Arabi converts your phone’s bad handwriting into beautiful Arabic calligraphy.

adults only
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Image 1 of 8: Health & Lifestyle: "Total Diet" has healthy recipes. "Massage" teaches you masseur tricks. "Pregnancy Follow-up" is a great resource for expecting moms. For couples wanting to get there, "Sex Positions" has over 70 poses. "X-Rated Movies" offers adult HD movies.

Middle East Issues
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Image 1 of 8: iNews: Confused whether that tank coming at you belongs to friend or foe? Middle East Issues imparts local knowledge on categories like Oil & Energy, Terrorism, Religion & Sectarianism. "UAE Newspapers" provides a comprehensive list of the UAE’s top rags. BBC & Al Jazeera have great Arabic apps that are essential for your phone.

chef ramzi & manal alalem
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Image 1 of 8: iFood: Eat to live or live to eat? Live to cook! "Chef Ramsay's Recipes" features Lebanese food from a Top Chef. "Arabic Kitchen" has over 1000 Mideastern recipes. "Manal’s Kitchen" has video recipes from this famous TV chef. Tip 'n Tag helps you find places for that late night Chinese or crepe.

Baream Arabic Alphabet Games
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Image 1 of 8: iEducation: The child is the father (and mother) of man (and woman). So let’s get them educated. Use "Learn the English Language" or "Muslim Kids", "Al Quran Al Kareem" & "Supplications Free" which help children learn the holy book in a fun way. Baream Arabic Alphabet Games for Arab Kids helps kids memorize their Alif Ba Ta! (ABC!)

There’s one thing growing faster than Nancy Ajram’s popularity in the Middle East - and that’s the sale of smartphones.

According to a recent Global Intelligence Report, smartphones are the most desired devices among the 18-34 year age group in the Middle East (sorry argilehs). In addition, more than half a billion people in the region are expected to use a mobile phone sometime this year. That’s a lot of people.

And what do people use their mobile phones for? Apps. We use our smartphones constantly to navigate our cities, take photos of our family members and check our email. (Some of us even use our smartphones to make phone calls. #oldschool)

The app economy is valued at $53 billion dollars today and is expected to grow to $143 billion dollars by 2015. The Middle East is one of the fastest growing app markets in the world. Today, there are an estimated 86,000 app developers making apps to help people sing, laugh, educate, play and cry (OK, probably not cry).

But just what are the best apps in the Middle East? Well, we all like to tweet, we all like to post random thoughts on Facebook. And we all like to throw birds at pigs (they had no business stealing the eggs of those once “not so angry” birds!)

However, apps are like food - the best kinds are the ones that are  specific to our region.

 

And some Arabs have not let slide that only the father of the iPhone no less, Steve Jobs, had paternal roots -- with a Syrian Dad. And it would seem that the apple did not fall far from the olive tree in terms of Arabic enthusiasm for the Jobs line of applications.

So which are the best apps in the Middle East? We did a little digging in the App Store and came up with a few. Are there apps that are specific to the Middle East that you use and are not covered in our slideshow?

If so, tell us in the comments.

 

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