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Five apps you need to keep socially connected in lockdown

PUBLISHED: 12:37 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06 26 March 2020

How are you keeping connected with friends and family during lockdown?  Picture: YUI MOK/PA WIRE/PA IMAGES

How are you keeping connected with friends and family during lockdown? Picture: YUI MOK/PA WIRE/PA IMAGES

PA Wire/PA Images

With face-to-face socialising prohibited during the coronavirus pandemic, technology has never been more important to keep us connected with friends and family.

Mobile apps and social media have become a huge part of our daily lives and over the next three weeks – or quite possibly much longer – it will be vital in helping us stay in touch.

Whether it’s video-calling a loved one who lives far away, or playing an online game against a grandparent who you can no longer visit, these apps are great ways to avoid loneliness during lockdown.

More: Cascade of kindness needed to battle county’s loneliness during coronavirus lockdown

So get downloading and let us know how you get on.

Houseparty

Houseparty has been growing fast because it allows you to play games with your friends all together – with up to eight people able to video chat at one time.

Essentially, as the name suggests, you can create a virtual house party with a group of friends, by throwing in a few drinks and snacks.

Games include Heads Up, Trivia and Quick Draw and you can also lock your ‘room’ of the party to stop any unwanted guests (or family members) joining and spoiling the fun.

Advertised as a social video app, it’s freely available for both Android and iOS and has been downloaded millions of times since the coronavirus struck the UK.

Netflix Party

If you are missing going to the cinema because of lockdown, well now the cinema can come to you.

Netflix Party is a Google extension which can be downloaded onto your laptop with Chrome, allowing you to synchronize your video playback with friends.

This means you can all watch the same movie together – without actually being together – for long distance movie nights and TV watch parties.

There is also a group chat feature so you can find out what your friends think during your binge-watching sessions – or afterwards if you hate being interrupted.

TikTok

It’s the app that everyone is talking about, especially celebrities, and it’s the perfect escape from the realities of lockdown.

Millions of people shut up in their homes are turning for support and comic relief to each other - via the immensely popular video sharing app.

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Users post videos that can last up to 60 seconds, appearing on phones in fast-paced feeds.

While many TikToks tend to be lighthearted - dancing or lip syncing to trending songs is a common theme - they can also deal with more serious issues.

The likes of Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber, Ariana Grande, Lewis Capaldi, Nick Jonas and loads more famous faces have been sharing hilarious videos on the site.

You can share these videos with friends and even challenge them to a dance off.

It’s definitely an entertaining app to take your mind off the real world.

Zoom

It’s pretty much as easy as facetime and even Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly been using the app for cabinet meetings in lockdown.

The video conferencing app is a great way to stay connected with friends, family, work colleagues – pretty much everyone can get involved.

Just click on a Zoom link in an invitation and it will launch your meeting. If you don’t have the Zoom app installed, it will prompt you to download and install it .

It’s fast and simple, which means that it’s something that even the least tech-savvy among us can handle.

It can also be used on any device, such as laptops, iPads, and mobile phones making it easily accessible.

The Intro App

If you are single and social isolation is really getting in the way of your dating diary, then this app is here to help you out.

The Intro literally schedules your dates for you, so no organisation is required – and instead of having to keep up the awkward small talk, you can get to know them screen-to-screen!

You and your match simply share your availability over the next week and the app schedules a date for you.

Prior to lockdown, it would choose a bar or pub for you to meet at, but now The Intro will schedule a video date for when you’re both free – elevating online dating.

Your video date can last for as long as you want, and The Intro is free to use.

A number of other dating apps have also introduced this feature during lockdown, such as Bumble, Badoo and The League.

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