Getting bored during social distancing? Meaningful connections help get you through the day, and without being able to see your friends and family members, things can sure get lonely. Fortunately, software development services around the world have been busy creating solutions for these long, isolating days. You’ll find ways to share games and movies with your friends, attend to your self-care, have virtual parties, and much more.
Houseparty was launched in 2016, but it’s certainly having its moment now. You can video chat with up to eight people at once while also engaging in activities like quizzes and games together. You can link your phone contacts and friends from apps like Facebook to see who among them are already on Houseparty, as well as when they’re online and available to chat. You can also set up private rooms to block uninvited guests from joining in your conversations.
During these difficult and frankly frightening times, it’s important to make time for self-care and tend to your personal needs and mental health. Fortunately, there’s an app for that, aptly called #SelfCare. Essentially, you simply stay in bed. Personalize your room with candles and art, blow bubbles, water your plants, pet a cat, or perform a tarot card reading, all from the comfort of your oasis. There’s no winning or losing — it’s all about feeling better.
Who says you can’t have karaoke nights in quarantine? Thanks to Stingray Karaoke, you and your friends can belt out “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Dancing Queen,” or “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” from the comfort of your own home. Check out pre-made party mixes, from Totally ‘80s to Just for Kids, too. The app offers plenty of free trials so you can see how good it can be.
4. HBO Go/Now
HBO Go and HBO Now are unavoidable alternatives for the lovers of prestige TV shows. You can access them through platforms like Apple, AT&T, Hulu, Roku, Verizon, and others. Series includes shows like The Sopranos, Veep, and The Wire, and documentaries and movies include I Love You, Now Die, The Case Against Adnan Syed, and Crazy, Stupid, Love., among many others.
Similar to Houseparty, Bunch lets you video chat with your friends while playing party games, from trivia to charades to Fortnite. It’s a simple, fun app for connecting with people while social distancing and having something to do aside from just talking and catching up, because let’s face it: there’s not a lot to say to “So, how was your day?” right now.
Are you a budding chef? Whether or not you have experience cooking, Tasty makes the process simple, with step-by-step recipes and videos. Savory Breakfast Crepe Pockets, anyone? How about Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast? Or maybe Shakshuka?
Right now, you can’t share your creations with your friends, but you can certainly sharpen your skills for when you can socialize in person again. Plus, you’ll be able to make everyone jealous when you upload pictures of your latest meals to Instagram.
Watching TV is so much better when you can share your favorite shows with your friends. Thanks to Netflix Party, you can watch shows together, even when you’re at a social distance. The app syncs video playback and allows you to chat with your fellow watchers. The one catch is that right now, you can only watch on Chrome browsers on desktop and laptop computers.
8. Marco Polo
If you can’t talk to your friends and family members in real-time, whether because you have a project to finish, they’re in a different timezone, or your schedules just don’t match up, Marco Polo is the perfect app for you. You can send video messages to anyone else with the app, and they can watch them on their own time. The back-and-forths are much like texting, but you still get to see your loved one’s face.
Whether you’re getting through social distancing by cooking up a storm, playing games with your friends, singing your heart out, or simply FaceTiming with loved ones, there’s an app for you. Who knew there was so much to do from your own home?