When Covid-19 hit, many of us had to adjust our schedules and our lives around it. Gone were the days where we could gather with our masks off without fretting over how many people we could invite to hang out. We were forced to examine what was important in our lives and what was merely peripheral. Priorities shifted around, and accommodations were made for the things we deemed worthy.
Only during such a time were we able to find out just how convenient technology renders our lives. At just a touch of a button, we can call up a friend and speak to them as though they are right opposite us. Many apps help us to meet our need for socialising even as we live in a pandemic season. In this article, I will be sharing some of them with you.
For those who want to play party games while on a call:
1. House Party
Maybe some of your friends don’t enjoy simply being on the phone and talking for talking’s sake; they’d rather be doing something together. In the past, you could all go out for a good bowl of ramen or head out to the arcade, but now you’re all stuck at home. A good solution would be to play party games together! House Party lets you choose between many games with classics such as Uno and Trivia being some of the choices.
Even if you don’t particularly enjoy Uno or think you will be winning a trivia competition any time soon, there are still a bunch of other games that don’t require strategy or brains! The rules are easy to understand so even if your friends have never played them before, you can quickly get them up to speed.
There is also something for everyone. The more artsy ones among us may prefer Quick Draw! while those who are good at singing may want to flaunt their singing prowess.
You can also choose to react to whatever your friends are saying, be it to point out the sheer ridiculousness of what they’re saying or express your approval without saying a word by pressing on or spamming the reactions at the bottom to fill up your screen with them.
For those who want something simpler:
Known for its sleek interface, JusTalk allows you to catch up with your friends through both texting and video calling. The app is simple to navigate and easy on the eyes. You can easily add a new chat and text your friends through there.
The buttons are intuitive due to the cute icons that basically key you in on what screen you’ll end up on if you press on it. For example, the camera icon at the bottom basically hints to you that it will bring you to a screen that will facilitate video calling if you were to press on it. Though not particularly ground-breaking in terms of its design, it is a reliable app to use if you are sick of using Whatsapp and Telegram.
As seen above, the options for video calling allow you to schedule a new meeting, start one right away, and join one. This interface is somewhat reminiscent of Zoom, the popular video calling app that everyone has been using nowadays. If you wish Zoom had a mobile texting function, this app was most likely made for you.
For those who want something more structured:
Discord allows you to text your friends in private conversations or groups. There are also servers that operate like group chats but with added functionality. Different topic conversations go under different text channels, and the same goes for voice channels. You can also lock certain channels to be only accessible to certain people.
The screenshot above demonstrates how a server made for gamers would be used. There are various text channels and voice channels so everyone can join in on the fun and speak to who they wish to. You can not only mute yourself but also silence the call (in case your parents wake up during your midnight gaming session and you have to pretend you’re asleep).
The app also supports app integration which is pretty cool. If you choose to enable Spotify integration for example, everyone will be able to see which song you are listening to at the moment. This helps you stay connected to your friends to see what they’re doing just like social media without having to take time to post.
All in all, virtual communication is prized in these times and we should not take these apps for granted. They help us to strengthen our bonds with our friends even when we are unable to gather physically. While a virtual gathering may not be able to replace the physical intimacy of gathering face-to-face, loneliness can still be kept at bay. Hopefully, this article has given you some further insight into what apps are available in the market for those of us who enjoy hanging out with our friends online!