Part One: Connect and Relax


It's been a little over a decade since we experienced our last pandemic, and between early 2009 and 2020, the world has changed enormously.

Back then, smartphones were less than two years old and still building momentum. Video calls were still very much the realm of science fiction.

Now there’s one smartphone for almost every two people on the planet, and we enjoy an always-on, 365/24/7, connected, real-time lifestyle. The processing power in your phone now is infinitely greater than that which put the first astronauts on the moon.

And it’s in troubling times like these, that smartphones really find their voice. Those little screens that we take for granted every day become so much more than communications devices.

They’re our window out into the world.

Our classroom, our gym, our pub, our club, our spa, our library, our canteen, our arcade, our office, our canvas, our cinema, our stadium…

So here, direct from your friends at Red Apple Digital, is a week’s worth of handy apps (and the odd website) to help you stay engaged and stimulated during this tough time. We’ll be covering different topics every day, including: connect, relax, entertain, read, play, create, work, learn, cook and move.

Today we start with connect and relax.

Connect


Houseparty - A free group-video chat app for mobile and desktop. Play cards together, watch a Friends repeat in-sync or just have a catch-up.

Marco Polo - This app which brings together texting, social media and video chatting all in one place to help you stay in touch with the people who matter most.

And don’t forget: Zoom, Hangouts, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Signal, Discord and many others.

Relax


Headspace - Headspace has made several of its meditation collections free due to the ongoing crisis, and healthcare workers can also get a full subscription for free. Nice one.

Pause - Daily mindfulness tips and courses developed with a team of mental health professionals.

Wildfulness - This app helps you unwind surrounded by the real sounds of nature, all combined with beautiful illustrations and animations.

Sleep Orbit - Create your own perfect 3D immersive audio soundscape, using ASMR techniques to promote relaxation and better sleep.