2020 has certainly been a year for the history books. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the way that we live our lives and transformed our everyday routines. Lockdown, quarantine, and social distancing restrictions have also meant that a lot of us are feeling more lonely than ever before. Using apps to stay connected with friends and family even when you’re far apart can have a good impact on your mental health.

In facts, many of us have been reaching out and connecting with our loved ones already through the power of technology. But our top favorite apps to keep you in touch with the ones you love, no matter where they are, might make staying in touch fun, varied and easy. From fun games to personalized video calls, screen sharing and relationship management, these (mostly free) communication apps for iOS and Android are the ones to download.

By the way, discover 10 great ways on how to stay in touch with friends here.

Top iOS and Android apps: Download these 10 apps to help you stay connected with friends

#1 Squad – for hanging out like you’re together in person

Squad is a relatively new app that provides you with the chance to hang out with all of your squad. Users of this app can switch back and forth between screen sharing and video chatting. There is so much that you can do with this app, with the only limit being your imagination. Unlimited text video and screen sharing means that you could watch videos together, share images, or just do your own thing with company.

#2 MyPostcard – for providing a tangible lasting connection

MyPostcard is number 2 on the ranking of apps to help you stay connected

Postcards are a great way to keep in touch with family and friends from all over the world. There is nothing quite like receiving a card from someone we always look forward to hearing from.

The MyPostcard app makes the whole process so much easier. Simply download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play and create your very own messages. You can even upload photographs to personalize your postcard. There is a whole host of pre-written messages to choose from to make sending your thoughts even easier. This is one of the best apps to stay connected with friends and family in the offline world.

#3 Whatsapp – for easy everyday messaging

Whatsapp is one of the most downloaded apps in the world for good reason.  With free calls, texts, and video chat, it is a great way to stay in touch with your long-distance family and friends. Plus, voice notes are perfect for having a conversation or sending a quick message when you do not have time for a proper catch-up. This Facebook-owned instant messaging service works on all smartphones to send encrypted messages over the internet.

#4 Garden – one of the top relationship manger apps to stay connected with friends

It’s not just about how to stay in touch with people, but sometimes also about when to. The app, Garden helps you stay connected with friends by reminding you when to reach out to your loved ones. Simply set up the contacts you want to keep up with and add how often you’d like to be in touch. You can even add notes of what your last conversation was about. It’s like a personal relationship assistant.

#5 Fight List – a way to spend the time with friends

A family feud style game, Fight List is super competitive and an exciting way to stay in contact with friends and family. Basically, in 40 seconds you have to come up with as many words as possible that are associated with the word on the screen to get the highest score. There are thousands of different themes available. You can use Jokers and revelation wands for help, chat with your friends, and play against other real players online.

#6 Snapchat – the app for fun spontaneous sharing

snapchat as one of the apps to stay connected on a yellow background

Snapchat is one of the most popular apps for staying in touch with long-distance family and friends. Download the app, create an account, and easily be able to chat with the people you’re connected with – or make new friends!

Live Stories mean that you can keep everyone updated with your goings-on. But the joy of Snapchat for some people definitely lies with the unique filters, with so many to pick from. You can also choose how long your snaps last for, and get notified if the person you are talking with has taken a screenshot. Snapchat is available on most smartphones, and it is free to download.

#7 House Party – a more adventurous video call

A hand holds a phone with the House Party app for staying connected

Along with Tiger King, bread baking and rainbow painting, House Party was a popular pastime during lockdown. The face to face networking app offers virtual communication with up to eight different people. You can play games like Heads Up! and Quick Draw. You can either go on Private Mode or crash stranger’s / friends parties, with the ability to drop in and out of video chats or ‘rooms’ as you please. It’s a great way to get to know friends of friends!

FYI – it’s received a lot of bad press about being unsafe. But the consensus by most news sites is that the rumours about hacking are untrue and part of a smear campaign.

#8 Zoom – the app for a virtual party

Another app that has been a hit this year is Zoom. During lockdown, this virtual video app has been used for everything. So many of us were using Zoom to learn, work, make music, do workouts together, have group dinners and so much more. Providing clear audio and good quality conversation, this private chat room allows for up to 1000 participants – time for that virtual party!

Sessions are capped at 40 minutes but you can upgrade to premium if you need longer.

#9 Netflix Party – the app to stay connected with friends over a virtual movie night

Netflix Party extension is one of the apps to stay conected

Bringing Netflix and chill (in the strictest sense of the words) to the virtual world, Netflix Party is one of our favorite apps to stay connected. Each person needs an active Netflix account. You will soon be chatting while watching movies or TV shows with your besties. One person needs to download the Google extension from Netflix and then share the link with the others. Whether it is peculiar crime documentaries, period dramas, or reality TV, the chat feature means you can react as you watch!

#10 Words with Friends – the app for a competitive games night

A social multiplayer game with a Scrabble-like twist, Words with Friends is one of the world’s most popular word games, and it is free to download on Google Play or the Apple Store. It is a great way to get competitive with those you love, and the lack of a time penalty means that you can take it at the speed that is best for you both. Both of you will need to download the game and create accounts before adding each other as friends.

How much of your social media interaction is spent editing and posting pictures, or going through those of other people?

Pictures are how we update our loved ones about our day-to-day lives, special events, and everything in between. We snap the food we eat and the places we go. We pose for photos and capture candids, too.

This is a fun, creative way to express ourselves and connect with the world around us. But sometimes, we only wish to share photos with those we love the most instead of having them on display for all to see.

Thankfully, there is an app for that. In fact, there are a bunch to choose from!

Here are ten easy apps to tell someone you are thinking of them while you’re apart.

Easy App #1

Tweekaboo is meant for families who are expecting an addition in the near future.

This is a platform for pregnant women to track the progress of their belly and for new parents to capture all the special moments of their child’s growth. You can take pictures, caption them and make them available for comments.

Such features may sound like any other social media site. But, the catch is you can share everything with a close network of friends and family instead of everyone on your social media pages.

Tweekaboo is for you to share as much as you want with only the people who are closest to you. Instead of updating everyone about every little thing, this is your place to create a more intimate look into your parenting life.

Easy App #2
New Family Project

New Family Project is another app made to maximize sharing your family’s cuteness without exposing everything for the world to see.

This photo-sharing platform is as user-friendly as it gets.

Instead of finding easy apps for everyone to download, only the person who wants to share pictures has to download this app. New Family Project then shares your special moments without the need for multiple people to open multiple accounts.

Plus, this system strips geotagging information for added internet safety.

Easy App #3
Daily Kiddo

If you aren’t new to parenting, you may need a little extra help keeping up with a few kiddos at once. Choose Daily Kiddo to make virtual scrapbooks for each child!

This app allows you to create categories and albums for your photos. You can separate moments per child, a life event one of them is experiencing, or a vacation you all went on together.

Daily Kiddo then lets you send these albums to only the people you want to see them. You can change who you share something with every time you make a new album.

Easy App #4

23Snaps takes all the functions and features of the best easy apps for photo sharing and puts them in one place.

This is where you can create moments and albums of your favorite memories. Open them up for comments or just push them privately to different people in your inner circle.

The recipients can choose to look at these photos through the app on their phone or from a desktop web browser. They can even turn email notifications on so that there is no need for them to use the 23Snaps app.

Such options make photo-sharing easy to adapt to and convenient for many different lifestyles. Not to mention, this is accomplished with your family’s privacy and protection in mind.

Easy App #5

Cluster is among the top easy apps to share your life with different family members and friend groups.

It is essentially a private social media account. The app sends notifications and allows for comments and likes on each album. It also works for notes and videos to be shared.

The catch is every person in your inner circle has to download the app to reap the benefits. But, you can customize who sees what within this network!

Cluster tells you who is able to access which album. It lets you add more people or remove some members as you go, ensuring you only share what you want with who you want.

Easy App #6

There is much fun to be had with apps that let you create and share certain experiences. The fun keeps going when you can make albums available for various contributors to post their moments.

That is the main purpose of Yogile. Yogile earns its spot among the top easy apps for photo sharing because you don’t even need the app!

This system operates from a smartphone download as well as a URL. Users can even add photos via email. Such features allow everyone from your tech-savvy teens and not-so-savvy grandparents to join the fun with the whole family.

Use this app to make sure your best memories travel far and wide for all the people in your inner network to see.

Easy App #7

Troovi is another photo-sharing app that is mainly web-based.

In fact, this is one of the few easy apps that won’t make you – or anyone you share photos with – sign up for an account. All you have to do is upload photos in order to get your custom photo URL.

This link can then be shared for others to add and download the photos within an album. You can keep up to 500 photos in one grouping and upload 100 photos at a time. There are even easy shortcuts available and the option to manage basic guest controls for your album.

With such easy-access and a simple interface, Troovi is the photo-sharing app of choice to check in with all the people you love – no matter their level of technical experience.

Easy App #8

What if you have a family member who can’t help but print every photo you email them? Make the process much easier with KatchUp!

KatchUp is a photo-sharing platform like no other.

It comes with cloud-sharing functions, creative groupings and album possibilities, and an intuitive timeline. It is a little bit of all your favorite social media sites, made to help you create a custom, intimate experience with those you care about most.

The cloud is free to all users so long as you store photos in their original resolutions. Or, access them from a web link and download to your computer.

It’s an extra step, but this means you can open the photo editing software of your choice to get the best aesthetics of your favorite photos. You can also save your editing time by waiting for your artsy friend to upload their take on the recent photos you all took.

The KatchUp possibilities are endless. They make sure you never miss a beat with the people you always want to check in, whether near or far.

Easy App #9

There are tech-savvy users in the family and those who aren’t. Then, there are the ones who can’t seem to agree on which digital device and system work best.

If there is an Android versus Mac type of dynamic in your family or friend group, you need Copy. Copy is an easy app made for practically any software. The interface is beautiful across various platforms and the results are something anyone can appreciate.

In fact, all you have to do to start sharing is drag and drop! This is the most simple form of uploading there is.

No need to search through multiple folders or find the functions on the app’s webpage. Just select, drag, and drop somewhere on the screen and everything you need is right there.

The uploaded photos can then be accessed by anyone with whom you share the unique link with. There is no need for you, or them, to create an account.

If you do wish to make a group of photos public, simply post the link on one of your social accounts or add it to an email.

This means you can make Copy your go-to among all photo easy apps. Share privately to check in with your close network and go public with all the things you can’t help but post for everyone.

Easy App #10
Family eJournal

Although a picture can say a thousand words, sometimes, you may want to share experiences by using your words.

That is the main purpose of using Family eJournal. Maybe you and your family just don’t know what to talk about anymore. It could be that conversations over dinner have dwindled, or that being far apart makes it harder to connect.

Whatever the reason your close connections are feeling some distance, Family eJournal can tighten the gaps.

This is a virtual notebook for multiple people to use. Every time a new person has possession of the Journal, a set of questions pops up for them to fill out.

The individual’s answers become available for everyone in your group to read.

It is a way for them to reflect and share their life without having to call everyone they care for and repeat recent stories. Instead, everything is in one place for all to see.

The answers can even get emailed to make sure all parties involved are keeping up, no matter how good they usually are at working with easy apps.

Discover All the Easy Apps You Need

Whether you are going on vacation, moving across the country, or just haven’t had the chance to reconnect with your friends down the street, you need a new way of approaching how you share things.

Photos can be extremely powerful in bridging gaps and telling detailed stories.

Use them to track your baby’s growth or your solo travel adventures. Download easy apps for your friend group, family, or even for easy sharing with coworkers after events.

Whatever the reason, the benefits are evident and plenty.

But, you need to download these systems first!

Don’t forget to check out some photography tips to try while you take the shots you want to share. Click here to discover how to take the perfect selfie, without the stick!