Tech • apps
7 Best Apps for Staying Connected with Friends in 2020
With the announcement of a second COVID-19 lockdown across the UK, many of us have wondered how we’ll keep in contact with our loved ones a second time around. Paired with the colder weather and darker evenings, we’ll be facing a fairly difficult, housebound reality in the coming weeks.
However, it’s not all bad news!
As we wave goodbye to face-to-face interaction once more we’ll return to, or discover, a number of resources that will help us maintain our most important relationships – ensuring that no one feels alone. To help you get a headstart in doing just that, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of applications that will keep us connected, no matter the situation!
Movie nights have always been a favored pastime for every friendship. More often than not, we’ll fall victim to pressing play on the film and then getting sidetracked with a long-overdue chat but this may seem an out of reach reality today – however, that’s not strictly the case.
The industry-leading streaming platform Netlflix has introduced a feature that will allow users to sync their streaming, no matter where' they are watching from. Alongside this, users can also utilize a live chat feature, meaning those mid-movie conversations needn’t be kept on hold.
Of course, for those of us who don’t have Netflix, there are other options. Rather than rely on a particular technical feature, you’ll simply need to decide what you’ll be watching, what platform you’ll be watching on and organize a time to watch. From there, you can keep up a conversation on the phone or by text.
It may not be the ideal solution, but it will definitely keep you going until we can reunite!
Social media tends to divide opinion. But whether you love it or you hate it, there’s no denying that it has provided a great way to stay connected with our loved ones no matter the time, place or situation. These platforms allow us to keep up to date with the ongoings of our friends and family whilst sitting at a distance. And whilst we’d all prefer this distance to be in the form of a well-deserved holiday, it will work from a second lockdown period just the same.
Perhaps the most universally used social media platform is Facebook. With almost every generation getting to grips with the resource, we can message one another, keep up with the latest life updates and play online games with one another. Whilst it won’t quite match the afternoon catch-ups or midweek dinner dates that we know and love, it will certainly allow us to form some semblance of normality.
If Facebook isn’t quite your taste, then Instagram might prove a better fit. This platform is designed for a more aesthetically pleasing finish – allowing us to stay up to date with all the perfectly captured moments of our loved one’s lives.
Users can also create live streams and speak with their followers directly – so for those with a large number of friends and family, then this could be a good way to get in that face-to-face contact. If you’re looking to branch out from your loved ones, then you’ll also be able to keep up with the lives of others with the platform’s ‘Explore’ feature.
Whilst designed for slightly a younger audience, TikTok has taken the world by storm – and if the first lockdown period demonstrated anything, it’s that the app is a great way to express your creativity and have some fun whilst sticking inside.
So whether you get your family partaking in the latest dance craze or lip-syncing to a reality TV scene, you’re sure to keep the conversation going and spread some well-deserved smiles.
For some of us, the thought of returning to the time of virtual games, quizzes or parties seems like a nightmare – albeit well-intentioned. However, this doesn’t mean that video chatting platforms such as Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts are obsolete.
Rather than spend hours preparing for a fancy dress event or researching for a weekly quiz, we’d recommend simply jumping on Zoom for a casual conversation – because staying connected doesn’t need to be complicated!
A WhatsApp chat is the perfect way to stay connected with your friends, particularly if you’re in a big group. However, it’s unlikely that this is a foreign idea for many which are why we’d suggest popping a theme or idea in place to ensure that some interaction takes place on a daily, weekly or fortnightly basis.
Agree to watch a tv series or film, read a particular book or listen to a podcast. From there, you can have a little debrief situation with your friends and take your mind off of the everyday lockdown struggles. Of course, if you feel like it’s getting more and more difficult to rid yourself of anxiety, then don’t be scared to address it head-on. Send your loved ones a message or reach out to a professional, because no one is saying that lockdown is easy.
6. Words With Friends
As we move into lockdown, it’s safe to say that our lives become a tad more mundane and as a result, we might not have much to speak about. In which case, it could be a good idea to start playing some virtual games, such as Words With Friends, that are designed to connect us with our friends.
This will allow you to keep in contact without explicitly having to say anything. And, of course, games can be fun to play!
If you’re new to the idea and don’t know where' to start then we would recommend the following; QuizUp, House Party, and Words with Friends. Each of these applications caters to different skillsets and you’ll soon find out which works for you and your friends.
It’s safe to say that there is an app designed for pretty much anything, but if we lose, break or damage our devices then we could find ourselves back in the same tricky spot we started in – which is why considering a comprehensive insurance plan must also be on our to-do list.
And of course, there is an abundance of ways to stay connected outside of our digital lives – such as sending care packages, posting sentimental cards or simply speaking from a distance – but on a day-to-day basis, these methods won’t be as accessible. In which case, the above applications could be the starting point we need to stay connected, healthy and happy throughout a second lockdown.