Tools to Help You Stay Connected with Your Colleagues

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The ongoing quarantines, lockdowns, and restrictions curtailing people's physical movement and socially distancing them from each other have, more than at any time in the past, emphasized the importance of having access to digital alternatives to traditional ways of connecting and socializing with people.  Had this pandemic taken place three or four decades ago, things could probably have  been worse. Thanks to the digital boom in social networking market, there is now a wide variety of tools and mobile apps that allow individuals to connect with each other no matter how far they are. In fact the abundance of these apps makes it even harder to separate the wheat from the chaff.

In today's post, we are sharing with you a collection of what we believe are some of the best apps you can use to stay in touch with your far-away colleagues, friends, and family members. This list is inspired by Apple's "Stay in Touch with Loved Ones Overseas" collection in the App Store, However we did not include all the apps there and we also added some other apps not featured in that list. For instance, we did not include Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and FaceTime. As for those of you looking for video conferencing tools, we recommend this collection .

7 Good Apps to Keep You Connected with Your Loved Ones Overseas

1- Houseparty
"Houseparty is the face-to-face social network where you can connect with the people you care about most. The app makes connecting face to face effortless, alerting you when your friends are “in the house” and ready to chat so you can jump right into the conversation. The same goes for you opening the app! Your friends will know you’re in the app and ready to chat, so they can join you"

2- WhatsApp
"WhatsApp uses your phone's Internet connection (4G/3G/2G/EDGE or Wi-Fi, as available) to let you message and call friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp to send and receive messages, calls, photos, videos, documents, and Voice Messages."

3- Skype
The popular communication and social networking app allows you to stay in touch with your colleagues and loved ones through voice and video calls and chat. It also allows you to "call landline and mobile phone numbers and send SMS messages anywhere in the world at affordable prices using Skype. Reach non-Skype users or contacts who are not online by choosing Skype Credit or Skype subscriptions."

4- Discord
"Discord is an all-in-one communication app for your communities, gaming, and friends. Chat and have fun in a custom server, where organized text channels and open voice channels make it easy to hop into a game together, plan your next meetup, or just keep in touch throughout the day."

5- Google Duo
Another great app for conducting video calls. Some of its features include: group calling (supports up t0 12 people in a group video call), voice calling, personalized video messages, and many more.

6- Viber
Features provided by Viber include: send free text messages which include various multimedia materials (e.g., photo, video, audo, sticker etc), group chats that supports up to 250 participants, free audio and video calls, and many more

7- Telegram Messenger
This is an instant messaging service that works across different devices. Some of its features include: free; Send unlimited messages, high level of security through integration of encryption technology; group chats that can include up to  200.000 members; share videos, documents and large files; provides a powerful video and photo editing editor, and many more.