So, I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that most of us have been banished to the confinement of our sad, boring homes, never to see the light of day again.
Just kidding, this arrangement is mostly temporary—but temporary can feel like forever when you have ploughed your Netflix account dry of every TV series and movie there is, and all you’re left with is uninspiring silence. Therein comes the good news—technology has once again swooped in to save our existence by improving our interconnectedness with one another, or even just to make our quality of life a tad bit better.
To my fellow responsible working adults, I’ve rounded up 8 ultra-useful, free mobile applications to download while you work from the COVID-19-free safety of your homes.
If you’re a social being like me, then, getting issued a Stay Home Notice (SHN) can be an utter downer. I signed up for a good time, not to be locked up away in Rapunzel’s tower. In any case, since we don’t have a choice, the next best thing is to make the most out of this time.
Houseparty is an app that’s dedicated to bringing individuals together and helping the party transcend physical borders. A unique feature of the app is its game function, where it facilitates online games that you and your pals can partake, all while seeing one another face to face. It’s time to take your house party to a virtual level.
Houseparty | Download Here
Aloe there! Unlike many other ‘work-from-home’-worthy apps, Aloe Bud is different in that it reminds you of the importance of self-care amidst all else—what a wholesome, affectionate e-companion to have in a time like this.
Aloe Bud will remind you to hydrate, fuel, breathe, refresh, rest, and move at scheduled intervals—actions that seem so simple yet ones we can easily forget when work overwhelms us. Not only that, the app also has a self-reflection and journaling feature that helps users regularly sort out their emotions.
Download Aloe Bud if you need something to keep you sane while you try to cramp as much work as possible within your four walls—or just read this article by our writer, Leona, it’s pretty much the same thing.
Aloe Bud | Download Here
Instead of having to peel your eyes away from your excel sheet every hour and interrupt your focus, receive your news updates through a medium which you can listen to instead. Curio is the app for audio journalism from the world’s leading newspapers such as The Guardian and Bloomberg, and the best part is that you can plug in and enjoy your hands-free updates while getting busy with chores—extra points for double productivity!
Essentially, think podcasts—but for current affairs. The Curio app also has a library where you can bookmark, download, and queue your selection of audio articles right at your fingertips. The first 10 tracks of your choices are free, but anything beyond that comes with a small price tag.
With a premium Curio account, look forward to unlimited access to thousands of hours of audio, ad-free listening, personalised recommendations, and curated playlists.
Curio | Download Here
The silver lining about being stuck at home with your three screaming children is your ability to turn the situation around and use the time to educate them instead—and I don’t just mean academically. With all the uncertainty, fear, and negativity going around, it seems like a more than opportune chance to teach them how to be considerate, responsible, and just a decent human being altogether.
Enter Family5, a handy app which parents can utilise for journaling, activities, role-playing, goal-setting with their kids—time does not stagnate during quarantine, and neither should personal growth. Packed with content from professional coaches and researchers, parents can look to Family5 as a guide to parenting during a difficult period, while keeping themselves sane.
To all parents out there, ensure that your children emerge from this quarantine period as stronger, more well-mannered citizens.
Family5 | Download Here
Contrary to its name, Slack is an app that is all for productivity and efficiency. Branding itself as a one-stop app for all your business needs, Slack enables users to organise all their messages and files, preview images, read documents, follow channels, and even connect the app itself to other tools that you already use.
Apart from the aforementioned uses, one of the most useful features during this time of COVID-19 would probably be its call function. Gone are your days of poor connectivity and frame lags—taking good quality calls while multitasking is the new normal. Indeed here, you can’t judge a mobile app by its label.
Slack | Download Here
For many Singaporean households, cooking has long been a thing of the past—most of the kitchens I happen to visit are barely touched. Perhaps work leaves you with little time to cook, or maybe, just maybe, you’ve been struggling to tackle the more-than-daunting recipes you can barely comprehend.
What sets Cookpad apart from other recipe-based apps is that it allows hundreds of thousands of users to share and exchange cooking ideas with one another, making it an interactive, communal style platform. When you try someone else’s recipe, you also have the option to share the end result with a ‘Cooksnap’ (a picture sharing function), or in a group or private chat. Maybe it’s about time to finally recreate Grandma Matilda’s Texas Fried Chicken recipe.
Cookpad | Download Here
If your goal in life has always been to have a ripped summer body, climb up five stories without panting, and wield Thor’s hammer—I have just the thing to help you. Except maybe the last one, you’re on your own for that one. But if all systems go, then allow me to interest you in Centr, a fitness companion championed by all-time heartthrob, the Chris Hemsworth himself.
Centr promises users that Chris’ team will be at your perusal, branding themselves as experts for every body and every goal. Apart from workout routines like HIIT, Pilates, boxing, yoga, strength training, and more, Centr also provides value-added services such as meal plans and guided meditation experiences.
As such, I’d like to call Centr an overall wellness app rather than one that’s focuses solely on working out. Go forth, for your Chris Hemsworth-esque body waits on the other side of laziness.
Centr | Download Here
There’s no better way to end off this listicle than with an app that cradles you so gently to sleep, it feels like a warm hug from your device. MellowMe is a sleep application set out to help users relax and drift off into slumber with ease and tranquility, as sleeping should be.
MellowMe features hours of ad-free, high quality and naturally recorded tracks that range from light music to nature sounds, and even white noise—whatever that gets the job done. Steel yourself for a mind massage with the selection of calming sounds on MellowMe. With a low-hanging sun above rolling hills, even just looking at the app’s icon is sure to spark joy.
MellowMe | Download Here