If you intend to travel to Iran and spend good and a lot of time with the people of the country, let me tell you the applications that you will need in order to do it.
No, I will not be a bore talking about applications like Couchsurfing, but about few of them that the Iranians use daily and that you should be aware of and download them ALREADY!
1 – VPN
The first was obvious, right? Maybe it will not help you to contact at the moment with locals but to do it once you have left their locality.
As you well know, Iran applies a great censorship to many of the social networks and pages that are not liked by the government. But that does not prevent you or anyone else from using them, thanks to a VPN. This is an application that channels traffic through it to a computer that is located outside the country, so you will have access to any website you want. You will be surprised to see that although it is illegal, everyone in Iran has Instagram and Facebook.
You can read which pages and applications are blocked, how to get online step by step and a few curiosities about the irony that even if it is fobidden some members of the government have social networks accounts, here at .
2 – Telegram
Okay, you’ve met someone great and want to keep in touch. You ask: Do you have WhatsApp? And he answers: No way man, here we use Telegram!
Telegram, in case you do not know it, is a mobile messaging client like WhatsApp but much safer. It was released in 2013 and although in the Western world did not have much success, in Iran it is the one that everyone use.
Even thought, seeing that the vast majority of tourists they meet use WhatsApp, more and more Iranians have installed both applications.
3 – ShareIt
In the town’s square you spend some time talking and talking to very nice people and you want to capture that moment to never forget them. One of them does a selfie in which all of you come out very handsome and you also would like to have it, so you ask them to send it to you and they say: Okay, open ShareIt!
In Iran there is a passion for ShareIt. This is an application to transfer files between mobile phones that are nearby. Like have done always Bluetooth, basically, with the great difference that it is much faster and that it can transfer files also from iPhones, which with Bluetooth you can not because Apple took it away.
So if you want to send files (songs, documents, photos, videos, …) at the moment with people of the country or you have both Android and you can do it for Bluetooth or you will need ShareIt.
4 – Aparat
You got along so well with the people of the selfie that one of them tells you that he wants to invite you to his house, because he wants you to meet his mother, the grandmother and the aunt of the a far away town who is spending a few days at home. You accept and suddenly you find yourself in a house full of carpets, sitting on the floor in one of them drinking tea surrounded by his family. They show you local music and different videos like the typical kel bandari, which you try to reproduce without success. Suddenly you realize, that YouTube is a bit weird, isn’t it?
Elementary my dear Watson. YouTube, like so many other Internet services, are blocked in Iran and although everyone uses VPNs constantly, it is normal for them to end up using one from the country … well, Aparat is the Iranian YouTube.
It has app for both Android and iPhone, and also web version. And the best of all, you do not need to type with the Persian alphabet to use its search engine!
Extra – Divar
This last one I do not think you will use too much but I found it particular to find it on all the phones of the locals that I knew. Divar is basically the equivalent of Wallapop in Iran.
If you want to buy anything cheap second hand in your area, or if you cross the country on a bike and before you leave you want to sell it, for example, this application will come in handy!
Anyway, that’s all. Although in your trip through Iran you will use many more applications, I have basically focused on those that will make you keep in touch or have more memories of what I think is by far the best part in the country: its people.
Do you consider that there is any missing? Did you also use all these applications during your trip to Iran? Write something down here and let me know!