Apps To Keep You Company

by Jennifer Bab on March 21, 2020

Let's keep positive and find ways to navigate and stay connected during the stay-at-home orders. We can do this!

Stats show that there have been 222 million downloads in China from Apple’s online store since the beginning of February. Given our recent orders to stay at home and many of us needing to self-isolate . . .we will need to keep busy, healthy, distracted and entertained in ways different than usual. Here are some apps pulled together from a variety of sources that I hope will help.  


Staying In Touch

Zoom - This video conferencing tool is great for so many gatherings, from work meetings to virtual cocktail parties with friends and colleagues and virtual family meals.  You can see and interact with others. One person in the mix opens an account and invites others to join an event (those joining the event need not sign up for anything, they need only to sign into the event).

Google Hangouts - Similar to Zoom, this is another option for virtual gatherings.

House Party - This app requires each participant to have an account. It includes trivia games, drawing activities and other ways for the group to stay entertained. 

Dialup -  A unique QuarantineChat service that connects individuals who are quarantined or in self-isolation following the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re feeling lonely, you can chat with others around the world who are also stuck inside.

Draw Something - Stay connected with friends by playing games that allow you to connect remotely. This popular app facilitates remote connection and is fun and easy. You choose a word to draw for your friends and then watch them try to guess what in the world you’re drawing. It’s a fun back and forth game that’ll make you laugh (and we need more of that now!)


Working From Home 

Slack - If you're now drowning in work emails, work texts, and feeling like there's no centralized place to communicate, move your company or organization onto Slack (or start using it more) for day-to-day communication.

Todoist - If you have a job that makes it possible to work from home, with so many distractions, you’ll want to download an app that can help you stay on top of your productivity. It’s the ultimate to-do list app that will help you stay on task by sending your reminders and monitoring deadlines. 


Arts + Entertainment + Learning

Netflix Party - This is an extension for the Google Chrome web browser that allows you to have a "movie night" with your friends and family from afar.

Musee du Louvre Official - You can access beautiful artworks virtually. Instead of physically going to the Louvre, download the museum’s official app and travel to Paris online. Explore hundreds of artworks and learn about their history as a way to enrich your self-isolation and inspire future travels. Other museums (e.g., Uffizi Gallery in Florence) have apps you can download as well.

Met Opera - Go to the opera in your pajamas! While live performances are canceled for now, you can attend the opera via their nightly opera stream. (Get there early - their bandwidth fills up quickly.)

NYPhilharmonic - Each Thursday at 7:30 p.m. EDT, the New York Philharmonic will post video of a past performance on Facebook. Also, this great orchestra is still available to you through NY Phil Plays On, a collection of free digital content totaling more than 150 hours to date. Visit

Tribeca Film Festival - Every morning at 11am, TFF drops a new online short film that was originally scheduled to be screened at the festival, in a series they're calling "A Film A Day to Keep the Anxiety Away."

Duolingo -  This app helps you learn a new skill or keep up with an already existing one. Duolingo is one of the best apps to download during quarantine or self-isolation as it can not only enrich your mind but allow you to connect with others around the world. This is perfect for adults as well as school aged kids!

Wyzant -- This website/app online tutors in a variety of subjects.  The classes may cost some money but it's an option if you have a specific agenda and want to use this time to brush up on a particular subject with a teacher.


Moving Your Body

Dance Class - Take this master class from Misty Copeland, or this daily virtual class from City Ballet's Ashley Boulder. And keep an eye on Debbie Allen's Instagram for her next IG Live class!

Yoga - You can check out this free online catalogue from Yoga with Adriene.

Workouts - From boot camp to barre to weight training, YMCA 360 offers a catalogue of online workoutsNike Training Club Nike Training Club currently offers 185 free workouts at varying different skill levels. And, the workouts come in all different categories to suit your exercise preferences and goals, such as strength, endurance and even mobility training.



Headspace - During this stressful time, it's more important than ever to keep your mind strong -- journal, meditate or practice gratitude is a great way to keep spirits up. Downloading a mindfulness app can help. An app like Headspace will lead you through guided meditations while others will give you prompts to help you think about all of the things you’re grateful for.

Wim Hof Method - For all of you looking to get control of stress, boost your immunity and slow down any viral infection -- this was recommended to me by a well known doctor now working in the trenches in NYC.  It's certainly no cure or prevention to COVID-19, but to the extent you are feeling helpless and want to do something positive for you and your family -- this could be a decent activity to try out.  Wim Hof is now offering its breathing exercise app for FREE. The science: acute stress stimulates the immune system. Breathing in this way can increase cytokines (such as TNF alpha) that plays a role in controlling viruses (e.g. inhibiting TNF aplfa puts people at risk for developing viral diseases).



Khan Academy - Free math courses, lessons and practice -- all my grade/age. 

Mensa for Kids - Free downloadable lesson plans and activities, as well as online educational games.

Scholastic Learn-at-Home - Free learning journeys organized by grade level!

Math Learning Center - Free math resources, lessons, and programs.

Jerry's Artorama - Free art lessons for kids and adults. Learn how to draw an alien, a zombie, or do a pattern study on St. Basil's Cathedral.



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