Since the coronavirus lockdown started, we’ve all been struggling to find ways to occupy our time in quarantine. We’ve been sitting on the couch, maybe even in bed, scrolling aimlessly on social media to fill the void left by social distancing.
Across the board, screen time has gone through the roof. But what else is there to do when we’re stuck inside? You can learn to knit, take up gardening, agonize over your sourdough starter, but after a while, we always go back to our phones.
Last week our friends on the Behind the Internet video series talked about some of their favorite apps and some top trending apps, from work-related, to social networking to general entertainment. In particular, apps that gained popularity in this age of quarantine. Their list is pretty comprehensive. You can watch the whole video here, but to save you some valuable lockdown time, we pulled a shortlist of five essential quarantine apps.
If your weekly Zoom calls with extended family are getting repetitive, Houseparty is here to spice things up. The idea is similar to other group video apps, but with the added bonus of in-app games. You can challenge your fellow callers to a mini version of Pictionary called Quick Draw. Or if you’re a Cards Against Humanity fan, they’ve created their own version called Chips and Guac.
We already know that youtube is great for short-form entertainment videos,but it’s also a great source to learn a new skill. You could look up a video on how to fix that leaking kitchen faucet, or an introduction to DIY birdhouses. You can also listen to your favorite music free of charge, and even purchase obscure seasons of your favorite show.
And of course, the element of mindless escapism from watching a fifth unboxing video in a row, because maybe this time they’ll find the super-rare mystery piece!
If you’re trying to be a little more productive, good for you! Runkeeper uses built-in GPS to track your running path, time, steps, weekly workouts, goals, distance, and other useful features. And if you really keep up with it, you can earn points towards discounts on new workout gear. It’s also easy to connect with friends, which is more important than ever while we’re all social distancing.
If you need to leave the house, Apple’s new COVID-19 tracker helps you monitor the virus in your area or areas you travel to. It can help you determine if your symptoms could be severe, how and where to get testing, and what the current regulations are in your state. It also has information on proper handwashing techniques, physical distancing, and how to keep your immune system running.
And finally, if being cooped up in the house cooped with the current state of the world has you feeling a little anxious, Headspace is a guided meditation app to help you quiet your mind and get your thoughts in order. Currently, they are running a promotion that anyone affected by COVID-19 can access a collection of meditations for free.
So there you have it, five essential apps to keep you connected, entertained, sane, and healthy in this seemingly never-ending quarantine. If you want to watch more of our Behind the Internet videos, we go live once a week! Like us on Facebook to watch new episodes as they air, as well as an archive of our previous episodes.