Lockdowns and curfews throughout the world have forced us to rely more on the digital landscape. While remaining indoors where possible, people are turning to apps to be entertained, connected, and productive. Here are six apps that have seen their popularity boom in 2020 due to Covid-19, which are helping us to connect to other people and our own bodies.
For Entertainment – TikTok
If you’re looking to create videos or entertain yourself in lockdown, TikTok has become the way forward. TikTok is a social media app, where users create and share original video content using its simple editing interface. Though the app was released back in 2016, it’s popularity soared after the demise of the bite-size video platform Vine.
Millions of new users have joined TikTok, turning to short video compilations for entertainment during lockdown. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, the app amassed 315 million downloads, the best quarter by any app, ever.
TikTok has about 850 million monthly active users worldwide. The app is predominantly used by millennials and Gen Z, due to its constant, fast-paced stream of creative content.
For Keeping Connected – Zoom
Zoom has taken the digital world by storm. During Covid-19, friends, families, quiz masters, and companies all relied on Zoom to stay connected.
On Zoom you can host worldwide video calls for free for up to 40 minutes at a time. Premium packages can unlock unlimited group chats, so big businesses can stay in touch and share presentations. Webinar and workshop leaders have also turned to Zoom as a platform to host such events.
With several video apps available, such as Skype, FaceTime, and Microsoft Teams, there’s no shortage of ways to stay virtually connected during isolation.
For Mental Wellbeing – Headspace
During lockdown, many people have turned to wellbeing apps. Meditation can reduce the impact of anxiety and depression, and improve overall mental wellbeing. There are many great meditation apps out there, when searching to find the right app, consider what you like and what you need.
Headspace is a great app for beginners, with meditation to target stress, sleep, and mindfulness. The app can be used anywhere, with walking meditation for when you’re on the move, designed to help you train both your mind and body for a happier, healthier life.
Headspace is one of the most popular meditation apps, having been downloaded more than 54 million times around the world, with over 1 million paid subscribers. The app is free to use, but you can unlock its premium features with a paid subscription.
Another option is Calm, which boasts variety in its content. Depending on your subscription, you can be lulled to sleep by celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Harry Styles, or Cillian Murphy, as part of their vast bedtime stories collection. Another app available is Balance, which tracks your journey through easy-to-follow guided meditation and immersive meditation.
For Fitness – Down Dog
With coronavirus restrictions limiting access to the outdoors, as well as indoor exercise facilities, many have taken to home exercises during lockdown. Though YouTube offers a variety of free home workouts, the app Down Dog offers a more personalized experience.
Down Dog is encouraging more people to take up yoga while in lockdown, which can be done from the comfort of your own home. The workouts are completely customizable and the user-friendly app allows you to personalize your session. You can decide the length and style of your workouts, as well as the body parts you want to focus on and the accompanying music.
Down Dog makes exercise at home easier. It is suitable for all levels and the moves are varied – keeping it interesting when everything seems a little repetitive.
For Reading – Amazon Kindle
Research found reading books surged during lockdown this year, having almost doubled. Amazon Kindle is the next best thing, and the most popular app for e-reading, for when physical books may not be accessible.
You don’t need a Kindle in order to access this app, as you can download the app on any Android or iOS device. The app provides a large variety of books, magazines, and newspapers and has a large storage library for over 1000+ eBooks. The app has some really useful functions and also hosts audiobooks.
For Fun – Among Us
Among Us is a multiplayer game, available on PC and mobile. Despite its release in June 2018, Among Us did not emerge as a hit until recently, becoming one of the biggest video games of 2020.
Among Us was downloaded nearly 84 million times on iOS and Android in September of this year. The free and easy game brings kids, adults, and other generations together, virtually connecting groups of friends.
The multiplayer game, which takes place in a space-themed setting, is one of social deduction. Players take on the role of either Crewmate or Imposter. Crewmates must identify and eliminate the Impostors, while the Impostors covertly sabotage and kill off the Crewmates.