The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, if you’re nasty) are set to open this Friday. Some of you brave souls may be traveling to Brazil to partake in the spectacle that a piece in The New York Times has dubbed a “catastrophe.” Fear not! Since this is 2016, you have a mobile device on your person and it will save your life*. Trust us, we’ve rounded up the 7 mobile apps you’ll definitely need to survive the 2016 Olympics.
1. Speak the Language!
As soon as you land in Brazil, you’ll need an app to help you communicate using the local language. Sure, 99% of the population speaks Portuguese, but let’s face it: you’re an American tourist so the only thing you’ll be speaking is louder English accompanied by a series of wild gesticulating. Nay, the language you’ll want to speak is Real easy, as in the Brazilian Real, which as of this writing is 3 to 1 US dollar. And since Brazil’s economy is “going through one of the longest and deepest economic contractions in recorded history,” according to Goldman Sachs, money talks big time.
TransferWise Money Transfer is the perfect app to help you explore the city and/or pay off any ransom demands (which happened to a New Zealand jiu-jitsu fighter on June 24th). This is a good app to put on your family’s smartphones as well; preferably those who care about your well-being.
2. Befriend the Locals!
When in Rio, you’ll want to take in the local culture and enjoy the rich history of a proud people. One great way to enter the good graces of the locals is to help them stay safe from a corrupt and racist police force that killed 644 people in 2015.
Simply download the Nos por Nos app (translation: Us by Us) and record any police violence you will definitely come across. A tourist guide explains this app’s neat features thusly:
It’s a self-defense tool for people to report violence, assaults and killings, particularly by the police. They can send videos, texts, record witness statements and post pictures, and these will be forwarded to human right bodies like Amnesty International, government public security organizations and the media that can take official action.”
The locals will thank you! The police, not so much!
3. Repel Zika-carrying Mosquitoes!
Are you pregnant? Do you ever want to be? Keep the Zika mosquitoes at bay with a free “sonic repeller” app! Haha, just kidding! No high-frequency emitting app has ever been proven to work, so don’t even bother. Try actual bug repellent and maybe these stylish Zika-proof suits the South Koreans will be sporting.
But don’t just whine about the problem of a potential plague on humanity that is currently spreading state-side, be part of the solution! The Break Zika app is great to have on your phone if you have any spare time between watching the actual fun events (sorry Golf and Trampoline). Take pictures of standing pools of water! Take a symptoms test! Report your positive-for-Zika status and become a statistic!
4. Drink Safe Water!
Well, we can’t fool you again: there’s no app that can test water quality, so don’t bother running the tap over your smartphone. Instead, pick up a water testing kit or thirty, and try to only drink Coca-Cola, the official soft drink of the Olympics since 1928.
Or better yet, find the closest bar via BarChick and stay “hydrated” with local beer. Sure you can help out the country by installing something like mWater Surveyor to map out clean water sources, but you’re already doing your part with the Zika thing! You deserve a break. And a beer.
5. See the Olympics!
Sure, yes, get the official Rio 2016 Olympics app. Why not? You can follow the torch and stuff.
6. Get More Attractive!
The odds of you hooking up with an Olympian is pretty low, unless you settle for the Bronze-winners. Improve your odds of winning the affection of a beautiful local with the power of dance! Samba, that is, which is the king of the dance-types in Brazil.
I Dance Samba will teach you, intellectually, everything you need to know to wow that local in that nightclub you’re awkwardly standing in. You couldn’t learn a lick of Portuguese, but we’re sure you can learn the steps to get your Samba-ing like a pro by watching video clips and reading text descriptions of how to sway your hips correctly!
7. Don’t Poop Yourself!
You’re going to get diarrhea. You know it. We know it. The athletes know it. Maybe you can use an app like the CDC’s Can I Eat This? app to try and avoid it, but it’ll get you before long. It’s as sure as Russia’s doping allegations.
So download Toilet Finder now, before you travel, and get proficient at using it quickly with trembling hands. It just might be the difference between having an amazing Brazilian trip, and never being able to set foot in South America again.
Go for the gold!
*It probably won’t.