The dreaded Coronavirus has gripped the world since the beginning of this year and it’s all-pervasive. The number of positive cases is only on the rise though the severity and survival rate has improved as medical professionals and the public learn more about treatment and prevention. However, the restrictions and the aftermath of the limitations continue. Social life has come to a standstill with malls, movie halls, restaurants, and other places of social gatherings shut down. People have been directed to stay at home with hardly any interaction with even their neighbors.
At such a time of isolation, it is natural to feel jaded, lonely, and mentally distressed due to health concerns as well as the lack of social activity. The Internet is a huge boon in these times, with many apps to help you stay connected with loved ones and forge new bonds, too. These apps help fill the lack of social connection and bonding. Let’s take a look at the top seven apps that can make your absolutely lonely existence a shade better and help you stay sane.
Paltalk is one of the most popular video-chatting apps in the world today with millions of users. It is an excellent way to stay in touch with old friends and family and also to form new associations. It has exciting features and an interactive interface that makes the chatting experience all the more fun. For instance, it allows users to share and exchange videos, audio, and other files. If you want to share a video of your holiday or a good motivational talk from YouTube, you can easily do so on Paltalk. You can also post YouTube videos and SoundCloud clips in the chat room through their MediaPal feature to make the chatting experience more enjoyable and interactive.
Paltalk also has a great system of rewards and prizes through which you can send a gift to a stranger as an introductory gesture or to engage with an entire chat room. You can also use different stickers to show emotions. Another novel feature of this chatting app is the option of public chat rooms, wherein you can meet a larger group of people and enjoy some healthy discussions. This is especially interesting for those looking for debates, networking opportunities, and information sharing. You can share your views here and also share files in the form of videos and audio.
Zoom has been around for a while now, but has suddenly seen a surge in its usage during this present pandemic. Whether it is online school classes, webinars, business meetings, or simply catching up with family and friends through a video call, Zoom is the go-to app today. It provides chat services using a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform. It has an easy-to-understand interface and allows you to share your screen with about 100 people. This makes it ideal for work meetings.
All you have to do is download the app and use it for free. You can either be the host of the meeting or join an existing meeting by punching in the designated Meeting ID and password. The first 40 minutes of the call is free so it works out to be a cost-effective way to connect with all your family members spread across the globe, too. It has many exciting features like Virtual Backgrounds and Touch Up My Appearance, making the call more personalized.
Zoom also allows you to record meetings, share and annotate on screens, and collaborate on projects. It can be accessed seamlessly across many platforms including Linux, Blackberry, Mac, Windows, iOS and Zoom Rooms. If you are working from home and need to connect with co-workers virtually, this telecommuting app can make your interactions as real as possible.
This tried and tested chatting app is a hybrid instant messaging and voice chat application that lets you connect with anyone across the globe. It is one of the most preferred communication platforms in the world, with millions of users. Skype was the original peer-to-peer VOIP software. Today, it is an excellent platform to stay connected with close family and friends and to host meetings for official purposes.
Skype is great for both personal and business communication and the best part is that it is absolutely free. So, if you have a small business set up and want to communicate with your workers virtually without spending a dime, Skype is one of the best ways to go about it. What’s more, the app is continuously updating its features, thus making it more user friendly. It also allows you to reach those who are not on Skype through a phone call at a modest cost. You can also host video and audio conferences with up to 50 people through Skype, record the calls, and enable subtitles and live captions for easy understanding.
- Quarantine Chat
A novel idea initiated especially for the ongoing pandemic; this newly launched app helps people in quarantine to stay connected. Imagine you are stuck at home due to the government-imposed lockdown and another person is in a similar situation. You get a chance to connect with this complete stranger and share your woes and problems. This serendipitous meeting with a stranger could turn out to be the most desired connection you need in these times of complete isolation. Being in the same situation, you can bond with the stranger over the ongoing pandemic, discuss your likes and dislikes, and who knows? You might find a friend for life!
The best part is that this app is compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems so whatever gadget you prefer, there will be no difficulty in downloading the app. Just ensure that you have the latest version of the app so that it is fast and uses less space on your device. All you need to do is download, sign up, and choose your language preferences. Thereafter, when you feel like connecting with someone, call through the app Dialup instead of your phone and you will be connected with a random person. If that person is busy, you will automatically be connected with someone else and you can start a conversation with them. Don’t worry about privacy and security as all the calls are end-to-end encrypted.
This app takes you back to the MSN messenger days, where about eight people can connect and chat while doing other things. This face-to-face social networking app is a great way to have a virtual party with those you care about the most. It makes video chatting seamless and effortless, alerting you when your friends are ‘in the house’. You can jump right into the conversation and start the party.
Houseparty app stands out from the traditional video chatting apps because it has games that you can play with your friends. Also, it is compatible with iOS, Mac, PC, Android and Google Chrome Extension, so whatever operating system you have, your party scene will not be affected.
To be on this great partying app all you have to do is create an account and connect with people from your contact list who are also on this platform to begin your personal party. While you are online, you can share your screen, muting yourself and turning off the camera, allowing y to do your household chores and yet be a part of the party.
Another exciting feature of the app is Facemail, where you can record audio and videos of your party and send it to those who missed joining the group. The Houseparty app has a split-screen system so that multiple video chatting is easy between many users and has an additional feature of secret chats between participants.
- Netflix Party
Netflix has become the most popular television viewing app. It has a steady stream of short series and movies for all age groups from a variety of genres. It has overtaken the regular cable connection now, with most households having at least one Netflix account. Given the current pandemic, Netflix has extended its services and come up with a new way of watching movies through the Netflix Party app. As the name suggests, it is a virtual party or movie hall experience you can have with your buddies.
Through this app, you can stop, start and pause a Netflix show or movie and watch it with a group of friends and family remotely to give a movie theater experience. It also has a chat bar option where you can discuss the movie while it’s going on, just like you would have if you were sitting together in a theater. Download this fun app to enjoy the cinematic experience as you did before the pandemic era.
Much like NetflixParty, this app is a fun way of watching entertaining and insightful YouTube videos and other content from websites directly with family and friends without the need to be physically together. This social video website allows you to watch videos and other content with different people by creating a room on the website. Once you are registered, you can invite others to join in and you can enjoy a movie, a show, a documentary, or other web videos. The idea is to feel connected and be together even if it is through the virtual medium.
It is simple to use this app. All you have to do is go to their website and register yourself. Then you type in the link of the video or audio that you want to watch in the search bar. The app supports content from YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, and many others. You will find the entire list on the top search bar space itself. Next you create a room and invite your friends and family to view the content you have selected. While watching the video you have the option to pause it and chat with all the people in the room using the built-in chat option to make it an interactive experience. The app has an excellent feature of Room Moderation, where the owner of the room has the right to perform certain actions. Another interesting feature is creating playlists, where you can store your favorite videos and watch it with your friends at a later time. This saves time searching for content to watch when all of you are together. It’s time to have fun and start the social distancing party!
The COVID – 19 pandemic has thrown everyone’s lives askew, leaving us feeling lonely and disconnected from the world around us. Most of us are stuck at home with house chores to complete and no means of recreation. However, thanks to social apps like these, there is a ray of hope and some ability to up the game of social interaction and make it easier to get through these trying times. Try out some of these apps and you are sure to be hooked on them now and when normalcy resumes.