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The Best Apps to Download During Self-isolation

Stay connected to the outside world from the comfort of your phone


Social distancing in the Internet era has some of us connected more than ever. You might find yourself glued to your phone; reading important articles and news updates, connecting with family, or reaching out to old friends and loved ones to check in.

But when it’s 1am and you’ve scrolled through the entirety of Instagram or you’ve found yourself 37 comments deep in a Facebook argument between two strangers on the Internet, it might be time to stop and pause for a minute. We’ve been there. 

Before you chuck your phone across the room and raise your clenched fists to the sky, here’s a list of fun, feel-good and informative apps to keep your mind, body and soul active and inspired (after a nice, long Instagram scroll).

Connect with locals from around the world with Dialup’s QuarantineChat, which randomly connects you with a self-isolating stranger in a similar predicament through voice chat (without having to share your phone number). Originally developed to tackle loneliness, the feel-good app has gained popularity among users who are fighting the virus in isolation and people who want to reach out to remind them they're not alone.

You might find your usual grocery items wiped off the shelves, now left to get creative with items you don’t want to (and shouldn’t!) put to waste. Marie Kondo your pantry with Bigoven’s Use Up Leftovers feature. Plug in three ingredients you need to use and the app will pull up hundreds of recipes to inspire you. While you might be stuck at home for now, there’s no stopping you from trying out new cuisines from the comfort of your kitchen.

With the spread of COVID-19, it's important to make sure we’re taking all the necessary steps to protect one and other, sharing verified information and understanding what to do if we’re not feeling well. Apple’s COVID-19 Screening Tool helps you understand the next best steps if you think you are experiencing symptoms or might be exposed to the virus. The app also offers tips on prevention, social distancing and what to expect from test results.

Design Home

Have you got the chops to put together the perfect Plum-worthy home? Release your inner Home Critic on Design Home, an app that allows you to live out your interior design dreams using real high-end furniture and design accessories. Looking for some inspiration? We know just the place.

Stand Up!

As simple as the name suggests, Stand Up! helps you keep track of just how long you’ve been sitting hunched over your work-from-home desk (read: bed). You can set reminders according to your work schedule and snooze during important calls or meetings. With less of an opportunity to walk around and explore new neighbourhoods right now, this is an easy way to get up, move around, and keep that circulation going so you’re fit and healthy when you’re ready to step out again.

Until April 30th, Grokker, a yoga, fitness and meditation app has completely removed its paywall for businesses and individuals. The app provides instructional videos for all fitness levels. Whether you’re looking to keep your team motivated or looking for a goal-based program for better sleep, don’t miss your chance to sign up for free and learn from some of the industry’s best.

While you might already be familiar with video conferencing apps like Zoom and Houseparty, Rave takes the virtual shared video experience one step further, where you can watch Youtube videos and even Netflix together. So you can spend your Friday nights watching movies with friends and keep the popcorn to yourself.

Today might just be the day you can finally tick off that New Years resolution you’ve been rolling over year after year. Duolingo is a language learning app that gamifies the experience, where you can earn points and level up for each successful step. Whether you’re gearing up to impress your waiter in Lisbon or practicing the essentials to get around town in Rome, it’s fun, easy to use and great to feel like you're winning for logging on once a day.  Pro-tip for young parents and grandparents, Duolingo has just launched Duolingo ABC, a free app which allows you to teach kids how to read and write in English featuring more than 300 lessons for homeschooling.

No matter which app you find yourself dabbling with, above all else, stay safe and hang in there. And if you just want to chat about a future trip that you had to put on hold, we’re here to help and you know where to find us.

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