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apps for the quarantine blues

March 19, 20203 min read

“Might as well have fun during the apocalypse”

- sum1 wise

1) HouseParty

I’m really loving HouseParty’s UX. Seeing that someone is online is like seeing a little green dot next to their AIM screen name; it’s permission to bother, or perhaps even encouragement to bother. I don’t feel intrusive by clicking ‘Join’, the way I sometimes feel intrusive if I call a friend on the phone.

And suddenly I’m by their side, talking about nothing and ready to play Draw This or Heads Up.

I love the cultural change around video use, the increased comfort level, how people don’t feel pressured to look put-together. Now my friends stream from their bed, with messy hair and a bathrobe and poor lighting. We feel cozy.

Games you can play on HouseParty: Heads Up, Quick Draw, Trivia, and an Apples to Apples knock-off called Chips and Guac

2) WordsWithFriends

A comeback classic; I used to love this scrabble app when I was in school. Now I can spend Quarantine 2020 searching for the perfect Triple Word / Triple Letter ‘Q’ word.

3) Bunch

Bunch is another video chat and gaming app. While House Party offers digital versions of party games like Heads Up, Bunch lets you play classic mobile app games with your friends. So far I’ve played a Flappy Birds knock-off called FlappyLives, and a jumping race game called Mars Dash.

I’m not usually into mobile games, but they’re more fun and addicting when you’re playing with friends.

Games offered: FlappyLives, MarsDash, Pool, DrawParty, Trivia Superhighway, Call of Duty Mobile

4) Zoom

No games, no frills, just the world’s most reliable video app. I’ve tried Hangouts, Skype, and Tandem, and Zoom is far and away the best in terms of reliability and audiovisual quality. Every company in SF is using Zoom for remote meetings, but it’s also a good option to keep in touch with friends and family. Today I hung out with my brother and his wife from a continent away, while I made lunch and they made chickpea cookie dough. Delicious and delightful.

Got any app recs for me? Quarantine 2020 is kind of…boring? I didn’t expect to be bored because I like spending time alone, plus I’ve got a bunch of awesome housemates, plus I’m historically good at keeping myself entertained. But there’s something about knowing that I’m not home by choice that’s driving me nuts. Please send me silly ways to pass the time 😜