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Best ways to keep in touch during lockdown

The UK may be on lockdown, and keeping us away from family and friends - but there's no reason why we can't stay connected online. From virtual house parties to online games and quizzes - thanks to a whole host of apps, you can 'hang out' with loved ones wherever they are. And today, Alice Beer is here to show us how they work.

How can you stay connected when staying at home?

With 'non-essential contact' off the cards for the foreseeable future - book groups, social clubs and coffee mornings across the country have come to a halt. But a lack of physical contact doesn't mean socialising needs to end. Technology can help to create some semblance of social connection. There are a number of video-calling platforms you can use to stay in contact such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp, Houseparty & more.

What is Zoom?

This video-service has quickly become one of Apple's most popular free apps and used by hundreds of thousands of people to stay in touch with their loved ones. Zoom allows free one-on-one video meetings for as long as you want for three or more people for up to forty minutes. You can purchase the paid monthly plan that lets you set up video calls for up to 100 participants for 24 hour long chats.

How to use Skype without downloading anything

Skype is another popular video-calling service which can accommodate up to 50 people at a time. The good thing about this is that you can make a video call without downloading the software - you just need a friend or family member who does have it. Ask your friend or family member to send you an invite to a skype video call.

How to video call on an Apple device

If you have an iPhone, iPad or Mac computer, you can video call a friend using 'Face Time'. The app comes pre-installed on all of these devices. However, it only works on Apple devices, so your friend or relative must be using an iPhone, iPad or Mac too.

What is Houseparty?

Houseparty was released in February 2016, and by September that year had been downloaded over 1 million times. The Houseparty app allows friends and families to stay in contact with their loved ones, and to play games together.

Games you can play on Houseparty

Once you have added your friends you can play:

  • Heads Up- From naming celebrities to doing silly accents, Heads Up is a hilarious game where you just have to guess what your friend is trying to describe by using their clues.

  • Quick Draw- This game challenges players to draw a picture of an object or an idea and asks the other player to guess what they are trying to draw.

  • Trivia- This is a quiz game you can play by yourself or with your friends. Trivia will quiz you on everything from general knowledge to entertainment and even has 'finish the lyric rounds'!

How to have fun on any video-calling service

  • Host a quiz- Take turns in creating a quiz, and use a video calling platform to host it!

  • Wine tasting- Everyone orders the same wine from an online retailer and gets it delivered to their houses. They then use a video-calling platform to simultaneously try them and share their thoughts on the wine.

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