Image for Covid-19: Top tech tools to help bridge the isolation gap

Covid-19: Top tech tools to help bridge the isolation gap

As we grapple with the Covid-19 crisis and adapt to the new ‘normal’, many of us are now more aware of the technology available to help keep things afloat.

Social media has its place and demand for phone calling has gone through the roof, but there’s plenty other top tech options to choose from – and everyone should give them a try.

Technology and the internet has bridged the gap between socialising and being alone, so there’s every reason to make the best of those long stretches inside and lengthy time away from family, friends and colleagues. Everyone is only a few clicks away.

Facetime

Most people will already have this on their iPhone or iPad, but it’s a quick, free and easy way to get in touch, talk and see the other person – and it should already be there. However, you can also use this with someone who has any Apple device.

WhatsApp

Available to download on any smart phone, it’s easy to operate and once you have it, you won’t look back. You can talk, video chat and message to your heart’s content over the internet – and it’s all free.

Skype

Available on most smart phones, tablets and computers, Skype is one of the oldest and most established video chat apps available, this Microsoft tool makes visual contact easy and up to 50 users can join at any one time,

Zoom

Perfect for home working, Zoom is the new buzzword for hosting meetings online and is becoming increasing popular among SMEs which lack wider tech capacity and support. Up to 100 users can join at any one time – though there might be some crowd management required here with a party that big.

Houseparty

Little know a few months ago, this video-calling app has taken the world by storm, particularly among children and teenagers who can also play video games online at the same time. It’s easy to download though there are some emerging security concerns around this one but which have not yet been substantiated.

Google Hangouts Meet

Geared more towards schools and colleges across Northern Ireland, this Google-owned app means users can connect face-to-face with individuals and groups anywhere in the world. It’s easy to use

GoToMeeting

Best for business, this web-based video conferencing tool is fuss-free with a one-click function and is free for no more than three users.

Avaya Team Collaboration

One of the top options for business use, this secure, exciting and easy-to-use platform enables voice, video and group conference but which includes document storage, file-sharing and task management options. It’s also easy to use on your smart phone, which means you can collaborate effectively in this one-stop solution. This one App does it all.

Microsoft Teams

An already established platform for business use but more increasingly known, Microsoft Team was born from Skype and provides multiple users with the opportunity to message, chat online, speak and see one another – all at the same time. It’s part of Office 365 and all the tools – including Word, Excel and PowerPoint – and can be integrated with the cloud.

Get more from the Cloud

Most business will also be reaping the benefits from accessing secure high capacity cloud storage – which means you store your data, files, photographs and videos ‘remotely’ to keep your memory space free. However, Google Drive, Drop Box, One Drive all have free and low cost options which means you can you try it out for free. You can always buy more space if you need it.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced everyone to change their habits, but technology is helping to keep everyone together. If ever there was a time to tap in to its potential, it’s now. These are our recommendations and there’s plenty more information online to help you review the options. Stay connected.

Stay safe.

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