Over recent months there have been an increasing number of iPhone apps that have been released in the Thai language. Which is obviously great for local people. Some of the apps are even bilingual which opens them up to a wider market. However, a pet peeve of mine at the moment are the companies producing two different apps; one in Thai and then another in English. They then market these at different prices. The Thai version is either free or a nominal price of 99 Cents. The English language version is then priced at something like $2.99. I don’t mind helping them pay off their big budget needed to hire a translator, but sometimes the English (or should we say Google translation) is so bad that it is unreadable. I won’t name any at this time, but I do want to point out that the True Move app Thailand Guide (Thai Version) is FREE but the Thailand Guide (English Version) is a whopping $9.99. I haven’t bought it so I cannot tell you if the translation is good or not.
Recently there have been a few interesting looking iPhone apps that should prove of interest to foreign tourists coming to Thailand for a holiday or expats who live here. The two that I downloaded this week are M-Culture produced by the Ministry of Culture and iTourist Police Thailand released by Sub-Division 5 of Tourist Police Division. I have been playing with the first one for a few days now and it is quite interesting as it gives a lot of information about Thai culture and relevant tourist sites. There is even a map (though inaccurate at times) which helps you pinpoint these cultural sites if you want to go and visit. A great idea for not only promoting Thai culture but also tourism at the same time. The second app that I downloaded today was iTourist Police Thailand which is supposed to help both local and foreign tourists. This again uses GPS and maps to tell you where your nearest police stations are as well as hospitals. In addition it tries to list, maybe a bit too ambitiously, local hotels, restaurants and gas stations. Obviously not very comprehensive at the moment. Fair enough, you might say, as they are both new apps. But, the thing is, it is such a wasted opportunity as both of these apps have only been released in the Thai language. How many foreign tourists, or even expats, can read Thai?