The Best Russian iPhone Apps

I’ve had my iPhone for almost a year now, and I’m constantly amazed at the quality and diversity of applications. So, I thought it was about time to review some of the best Russian iPhone apps I could find.

Below you’ll find metro maps for the traveller, language software from flashcards to dictionaries, games (including Tetris, of course) and more.

I intend to keep this page regularly updated with the best new Russian iPhone applications, so if you know of any that I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments below.

Moscow Metro ($4.99)

Moscow Metro iPhone AppThe Moscow Metro is such a beautiful place, but it’s massive and it can be an absolute nightmare to navigate – particularly if you’re new to Russia’s capital city.

The Moscow Metro App is a very simple iPhone application that provides you with an attractive bilingual map of the metro. As a bonus, it also allows you to search for the station you’re looking for – definitely useful, as the metro is so complex that sometimes it’s hard to find your way around even on the best of maps.

iMetro ($4.99)

iphone russian metro mapsIf you’re planning to go further afield than Moscow, though, you might find that iMetro is better suited to your needs.

iMetro has metro maps for more than 28 cities – 8 in Russia alone (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhni Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Samara, Ekaterinburg, Kazan and Volgograd). It also has maps for 9 other former Soviet cities (Minsk, Kiev, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Krivoi Rog, Baku, Terevan, Tbilisi and Tashkent), and 10 more global cities (including my very own London).

As far as I can see, iMetro is the only iPhone app to cover all the Russian and post-Soviet metros, which makes it perfect for the Russian train geek.

Deluxe English-Russian and Russian-English dictionary ($24.99)

iPhone Russian English DictionaryWhen I was studying in Russia back in 2002, I went through 3 dictionaries. I flipped frantically through them so often they simply fell apart. And that was only when I was in class – a decent dictionary was too heavy to carry around for day to day use. I would have killed for a mobile dictionary, something the size of a packet of cigarettes that I could carry around with me all day.

SlovoEd’s English-Russian and Russian English Dictionary for the iPhone contains everything you’d expect from a dictionary. In addition to the standard words and their translations, you also get usage samples, synonyms, antonyms and references. In addition, because the dictionary is powered by the Oxford University Press database, you know you’re going to be getting a quality set of translations.

The Deluxe Version has more than 75,000 entries, so if you think you’ll use it a lot, it’s probably worth paying the slightly higher price of $24.99. But, two cut down versions are also available which might be more use to the Russian language beginner – one with 50,000 words for $14.99 and another with just 20,000 words for $9.99.

Russian Flip ($5.99)

iPhone Russian Flashcards AppOne of the areas in which the iPhone really excels is in its ability to replace flashcards.

I don’t know about you, but I remember spending hours putting together flashcards when I was learning Russian. I’d slowly write each word out in Russian and it’s English translation on the back, then I’d repeat the process over hundreds of cards. By the end of my stay, I was the proud owner of a massive box of cards – so big that I could only really use the flash cards my room.

Russian Flip solves that problem by creating Russian iphone flashcards. It has about 5,000 words, so is really suitable for the beginner or intermediate learner of Russian. As well as presenting you with random cards, it’s been programmed to show you the words you are weakest at more often, so you don’t waste time going over and over words you already know well.

And, if you ever run out of words, or need to learn some particularly technical words, Russian Flip allows you to add your own custom words.

Russian Flip comes in two versions – the standard version comes in at $5.99 and will be fine for most people. The deluxe version, known simply as ‘Russian’ for some reason, also contains audio, and will set you back $8.99.

Tetris ($4.99)

Tetris iPhone gameThere’s no way that any self-respecting roundup of Russian iPhone applications can be complete without mentioning Tetris, the Russian (well, Soviet really) game that rule them all.

iPhone Tetris makes good use of the touchscreen – a simple tap to either the left or right of a falling brick will cause it to rotate, while moving your finger either left or right across the screen will cause the falling block to move to (surprise!) the left or right. It’s an odd experience for old-school gamers like myself, brought up on playing tetris with a keyboard or a controller, but now I’ve got the hang of it, I’m as pitifully addicted to Tetris as I ever was.

Tank Ace 1944 ($0.99)

iPhone Tank Ace AppTank Ace 1944 is an iPhone app for the miltary enthusiasts among us who like to shoot stuff using their big guns. If you’re a Russophile, take control of a T34 and advance on Berlin. On the other hand, if you’re a Russophobe, take control of a German Tiger tank, and advance on Moscow instead. Your choice.

As a bonus, if you get bored of shooting other tanks, you can also shoot what is described as a “destroyable 3D landscape”.

Tank Ace is one of the few iPhone games that you can try before you buy, with a simple demo that you can play over the internet.

Russian News ($0.99)

Russian News for the iPhoneRussian News is the ultimate iPhone App for news junkies like me. It pulls Russian language news feeds from Russian News sites including the BBC Russian site, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Argumenty i Fakty and more.

Alternatively, if you want to read your Russian News in English, you could use a customised version of Google News for the iPhone, or simply view my own Russian News Online webpage, which works fine on the iPhone 🙂

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8 Responses

  1. Leopolis says:

    “If youÂ’re a Russophile, take control of a T34 and advance on Berlin. On the other hand, if youÂ’re a Russophobe, take control of a German Tiger tank, and advance on Moscow instead. ”

    … or if you are a Pole, watch the Germans and the Russians both destroy your country.

    Leopolis´s last blog post..Ukraine Measuring Stations

  2. Jesse says:

    I really like the Russian Flip app – especially when I’m just riding the metro or waiting around. I would also point out that with Stanza, you can get virtually all great Russian literary works on your iPhone for free.

    Jesse´s last blog post..Obama and Clinton to Moscow by Spring? Or Kremlin Zakazukha?

  3. Natalie says:

    Just out of curiosity, how’s the battery life on your iPhone compared to when it was new? I got mine in May 2008 and recently it has been needing to be charged more frequently.

  4. ????? says:

    Actually, my iphone’s battery life is still perfect. About 2 days.

  5. ????? says:

    O,yes!iPhone Apps good)

  6. Andy says:

    @Natalie

    From what I can tell, my iPhone battery seems to last roughly as long as it did when I bought it back in March 08.

    If you’re having problems, it’s probably worth getting it checked out by Apple, as I assume you’d still be within warranty. And, who knows, maybe you’ll get a brand new replacement iPhone…

  7. Natalie says:

    Andy,

    Thanks for your response… I think I will call Apple about it–I mean, it can’t hurt. And that certainly would be nice if I could get a brand new phone for free 🙂

  1. January 27, 2009

    […] Light reviews “the best Russian iPhone apps.” Posted by Veronica Khokhlova  Print version […]