With the pandemic, safety is in social distancing. Yet, people are meant to be social, and isolating for extended periods of time doesn’t come easy to them. So, how can you stay connected to your loved ones during these stressful times? Technology provides the answers here- with so many apps available, it’s only reasonable to assume there is something out there for staying digitally close to your friends.
So here they are! The 10 best recommendations (not in order) for apps to help you stay connected during the pandemic.
“Organizations have found that using applications like Skype to stay in touch with employees and collaborate has been particularly beneficial. Houseparty is a less formal version of group video that operates in a similar method. Whereas other applications allow you to call a contact, Houseparty allows you to simply drop by. Instantly video chats with a friend who is online or join a video conference already in progress with your peers. Even when the pandemic separates us, Houseparty employs video conversations, quizzes, and activities to bring people together. It's quickly becoming one of the most popular apps available.”
Tanya Zhang, Co-founder of Nimble Made
“Bunch is a video chatting software that lets you view your friends' faces while playing mobile games together. The app can accommodate up to eight players, so add your friends and choose your favorite game. As you're playing Fortnite or Minecraft, or when you're laying down the final tile in Words with Friends, you may talk trash. There are also more casual games to assist you escape your isolation zone, such as quizzes and charades.”
Dusan Stanar, Founder & CEO of VSS Monitoring
“Discord has supplanted numerous in-game chat interfaces and even outclassed industry heavyweights like Steam in terms of gaming-related communication. While it is mostly focused on audio and excels at it, video is also available. With several tabs, groups, and channels, less tech-savvy users may find the UI bewildering.”
Tony Kelly, CEO at CameraGroove
“Skype allows you to communicate messages, photographs, and videos to other Skype accounts when you create an account. You can also make phone calls to non-Skype connections, such as landline lines, however, there is a charge for this service. Use Skype on your computer or download the app for iOS or Android.”
Sasha Quail, Business Development Manager of Claims UK
“You might be thinking that staying in for the day is a bust. But as it turns out, there are many fantastic ways to stay connected with loved ones from home! My favorite one is Whatsapp. Whatsapp is a great way to stay connected with friends and loved ones. You can message, call, or video chat with basically anyone in the world as long as you have access to an internet connection! However, when making voice calls on WhatsApp, keep in mind that it will use your cellular data if you don't connect to Wi-Fi first.”
John Webster, Owner Wiringo
“These days, almost everyone has a Gmail account, and anyone with one may begin and join a Google Hangouts video conference. The benefit of Google Hangouts is that your video chat has no time limit. The disadvantage is that the conferencing room can only accommodate ten people. Use Google Hangouts on your PC or download the app for iOS or Android.”
Jeff Cooper, Manager at Messagely
“Marco Polo is essentially a video messaging application that can be described as a mix between Snapchat and FaceTime. What makes it such a fun and useful little communication tool is that it allows users to message their friends by recording a video of themselves. This means that users can often end up making even long monologues if they have a lot to talk about, but what makes this app so special is that your friends can easily choose to respond when they want to or when they have extra time to spare. This makes it different from having to immediately deal with a FaceTime call for example, or unlike Snapchat, you don’t have to worry about video’s being time-limited or threads being erased once you open them. This allows you to go back and rewatch the videos as many times as you want to!
“The Cloze app is very similar to having a personal assistant that helps you effectively manage your professional relationships. It works by pulling information from some of your other apps like Facebook or Instagram and uses that information to create one view of every person, that captures all forms of communication that you have with them, from phone calls, emails, social, texts, etc. Once everything is sorted in place, it helps you prioritize what’s important and even acts as a reminder that tells you who to get back in touch with after a certain amount of time has passed. In short, it is a very convenient app that helps you work out and sort all your relationships through an algorithm that prompts you when it’s time to reach out to your friends and family based on their social media updates and more.
“Garden is very similar to Close in that it acts as your own personal relationship manager and alerts you with reminders on when to reach out to the people you care about most in your life. Basically, you will put together a list of important contacts and decide how often you want to keep in contact with them, leaving the app itself to do the rest of the work. For example, when it comes to dealing with important contacts, you can be reminded as often as you want, be it each week, every two weeks, each month, etc. You will also be able to save notes for each contact to remind yourself about your last conversations, which makes it easier to remember important details and where you last left off.”
Eden Cheng, Founder, WeInvoice
“A great app I’ve used to connect with friends and family during the pandemic: Psych! The app is free, you can easily join as friends & family, and you each play on your own devices. In the game, the questions are catered for each person who is playing and can provide a ton of laughs. We play this game on our phones while chatting virtually using Zoom. We always have a blast, it allows us to play an engaging game virtually, and it’s the perfect way to spend an evening. Psych is a great app to make you feel closer to your friends during the pandemic!”
Andy Michael, Founder of VPN Testing