Friday, 25 December 2015

The Best Finnish App for Christmas

This time last year, I was celebrating Christmas in Lapland, having an amazing time that included a sauna on a frozen lake, a hot-tub under the stars and the Northern Lights on Christmas Eve.

That trip was also the first time I heard about one of the most useful Finnish phone apps.

This app is designed to help you locate the nearest place to buy... BOOZE. In a country where the state has a monopoly on selling anything stronger than beer or cider, this is indeed an important service.

The app has it all: the distance to the nearest Alko shop(s) from the present location; a compass indicating the direction (remember you might find yourself in need while riding a snowmobile off-road); and even how much time you have to get there before the shop(s) close!

Aside from being hugely impressed with the ingenuity of the app, I found the name rather amusing. It is not called something obvious like AlkoFinder or AlkoLocator (or their Finnish equivalents), it is called simply: Alkoon, meaning “towards Alko”. For some reason, in my non-native speaker’s head, this conjures up a images like desperately thirsty pirates shouting “Alko ahoy!” or Buzz Lightyear declaring “to Alko and beyond”. But essentially, it’s a perfect name for what Finns expect of it: “just take me to the booze”.

Best of all though, as a Finn pointed out to me, since Alko shops are typically located near supermarkets, Alkoon is a great app to help you find civilization in general. In other words, if you ever decide to venture into the Finnish wilderness, make sure you have your Alkoon app with you. It could be a life-saver!

Alkoon @ the AppStore
Alkoon @ GooglePlay

1 comment:

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