Here’s a list of apps to use if you are spending time with your family at home. (Image credit: Pixabay)
With stringent travel restrictions in place, ban on mass gatherings, malls, movie theatres, schools and offices being temporarily shut, millions of families are stuck at home due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. No one likes to self-isolate themselves and being trapped at home for weeks but with the virus spreading rapidly, the government is urging the public to stay indoors and take precautions.
Instead of taking unnecessary stress and creating panic, what is most needed is hope, optimism and a little distraction in life. Now you have some free time to spend with family or indulge in activities like meditation, listening to music, reading a book or catching a movie.
We’ve put together a list of our favourite apps that are designed to help you relieve stress and keep you entertained. All of these apps are available on both iOS and Android devices, making them easily available to anyone with a smartphone or a tablet.
Headspace (iOS, Android)
Headspace is perhaps the most popular meditation app on the market. The app is a great medium if you are keen to learn the basics of mindfulness and meditation. Healthspace offers hundreds of sessions on stress, sleep, anxiety, physical health, and personal growth. The app offers a free 10-part foundation course, called Take 10. The app comes with a 7-day trial and costs Rs 159 a month (Rs 899 annually with a 14-day trial). Headspace was developed by a sports scientist turned Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe.
Down Dog (iOS, Android)
Down Dog is a popular app designed for practising yoga at home. With more than 300,000 different configurations, the app generates new sequences according to the level of difficulty and pace of the workout. The good thing about the app is that you can choose the specific area you would like to focus on. The app is free to use but the paid version comes with extra bonus content and added features. Right now, the app is completely free until April 1 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Amazon Audible (iOS, Android, Windows, macOS)
Audible continues to be the best place to listen to audiobooks. With lakhs of tiles from well-known authors and plenty of original content available, Audible will get you hooked to your favourite books and audio shows. No doubt, audiobooks can be expensive to download depending on the title but if you are a Prime subscriber, Amazon is throwing away a 90-day subscription of Audible which includes three audiobooks. Once the trial period ends and if you wish to continue, you need to pay Rs 199 monthly for Audible subscription.
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Amazon Kindle (iOS, Android)
Whether you are a voracious reader or a casual reader, you should at least download the Kindle app on your mobile device. The Kindle app is just perfect to read books on a smartphone, especially on an iPhone. There are plenty of features like X-Ray and Whispersync that make Kindle iOS and Android apps joy to use. In case you already own a Kindle eBook reader, the mobile the app automatically syncs up with all your purchases. Of course, the advantage of downloading books on the Kindle app is the access of millions of free and paid books. And let’s not forget eBooks are slightly cheaper than the physical copy.
Sing - The Social Singing app (iOS, Android)
Sing - The Social Singing app, previously known as Sing! Karaoke, is one of the most popular Karaoke apps. Singers can easily create solo, duet or group singing performances and then share it across all social platforms. You can even sing with friends live with a feature called LiveJam. The app has a large database of Bollywood songs, International songs, Tamil and Malayalam songs. The developer is providing a seven-day free trial for everyone, after which you need to pay over Rs 800 a week.
Apple Music (iOS, Android, Windows and macOS)
Apple Music remains one of the best ways to stream both international hits and regional music on a mobile device. The app is well-designed and the user interface is slick. The biggest draw of Apple Music is the access to the best international music catalogue, and documentaries about a variety of top artists and bands. Apple Music offers over 50 million music songs. The best thing about Apple Music is the Podcast section, which is the best among all the music streaming apps. Another thing many Apple users appreciate about Apple Music is how the music streaming service integrates with Siri and Apple Watch. A subscription starts at Rs 99 a month for individuals. Apple Music isn’t free. However, you can get access to Apple Music for three months.
Netflix (iOS, Android, Windows)
There is no other video streaming app that can compete with Netflix. The streaming service offers an impressive lineup of award-winning shows such as Altered Carbon, Stranger Things, The Crown, Black Mirror, and The Witcher, to name a few. Apart from its original shows and movies such as The Irishman, Netflix is home to many Bollywood movies and regional movies. A subscription to Netflix starts at Rs 199 per month. Alongside Netflix, Amazon Prime Video is another streaming service that offers popular movies and high-quality shows. We would also encourage you to check out Hotstar, which has a ton of Disney+ content such as classic Disney shows and movies.