Coronavirus (COVID-19): Apps to Help You Fight the Isolation of Lockdown

Mar 25, 2020
By: Marissa Camilli

The tedium of isolation, as we lockdown to protect ourselves and our families, is the one certainty of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic we must all learn to live with.

We are all in this together. It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, the chances are, our experiences will all be pretty much the same at this moment. The coming weeks and months are going to be difficult for everyone. However, if “shelter in place” is the worst thing to impact on our lives during this period, we can be grateful for the lack of drama.

As app developers and marketers, we might not be seen as essential workers at a time of crisis — but could you imagine how much more difficult the tedium of lockdown would have been before the smartphone?

The smartphone brings us together like no other previous technology. It’s got us covered in terms of communication, productivity, entertainment, education, and even health. While we put our plans on hold and maintain a safe distance from our friends, colleagues and loved ones, our smartphones make that remoteness seem more bearable.

IMPORTANT: Don’t assume that everyone’s life has been touched by the smartphone. Older and more vulnerable people may be particularly feeling the burden of isolation at this period of time. Pick up the phone (it’s a native app on all smartphones) and speak to them (often).

So what apps are we relying on to help us through these long days at home? We’ve compiled a list of essential downloads to help you stay connected, productive and fight the boredom.

Essential Apps for Living in Isolation

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, WhatsApp — we’ve all got our favorite social media channels and they’ve never been more important for keeping in touch with our friends, family, colleagues, and wider communities. Social Media is also an incredibly important news source – but be warned, during this time of uncertainty, checking the validity of a source of information is more important than ever. Many people will be sharing information they believe is useful and helpful but unless that information comes directly from a reliable source (and not from a friend of a friend who works in a hospital or is in the military) there is a chance they might be sharing fake news. Keep yourself in the loop by following verified accounts by trusted organizations.

YouTube: As an entertainment channel, you can forget the usual vapid stream of content from YouTubers bragging about their latest online shopping haul or travel exploits. The world of arts and education is finding its feet on a platform that built its reputation on user-generated content. Global superstars like the pop star Chris Martin from the band Cold Play and giants of musical theatre like Andrew Lloyd Webber are taking their talents to YouTube and keeping the masses entertained. For those with more “classical” tastes, the world-famous Royal Opera House in London is streaming free opera and ballet on YouTube for the duration of the crisis. YouTube is also keeping our kids fit. Diet and Fitness guru Joe Wicks welcomed nearly a million children (and probably quite a few parents too) to his first daily exercise class for children finding themselves sent home from school.

Note: In the coming weeks and months, we expect to see a number of previously unknown social media stars rising from obscurity as the world increasingly turns to their smartphones for information and entertainment. If you’ve got something to share — now’s probably the time that you’ve got the time to put your plans for global domination into practice.

Zoom: For many of us regular remote workers, Zoom is already a familiar online meeting place. With so many more people now working from home, we can expect to see millions of other workers to use Zoom’s virtual meeting rooms in the coming weeks. But it’s not just businesses that are benefiting from coming together on Zoom. In recent weeks, orchestras, choirs, and all manner of collaborative groups are coming together on Zoom. Zoom also provides an excellent resource to online educators as it becomes the classroom of choice during these periods of lockdown.

Amazon Prime/Netflix:  Well sometimes, you’ve just got to binge on these old episodes of Friends or finally figure out what all the fuss about Stranger Things was all about.

Amazon Kindle: It’s perhaps ironic, at a time when many of us have the time on our hands to read a good book, we cannot get our hands on a good book. Amazon is currently (quite rightly) prioritizing the delivery of essential items and so the delivery schedule of items like books has been dramatically increased. If you cannot wait upwards or a week (or in some cases beyond a month) to get your hands on the latest best-seller in print, you can always grab an eBook in an instant via Amazon Kindle.

Spotify: If the news on the radio is getting you down, why not filter it out by only streaming what you want to hear. Whether you want to discover new music, stream some old classics or lose yourself in a podcast, Spotify is definitely on the must-have list.

TuneIn Radio: Alternatively, if you cannot enough of the news on your radio, access thousands of radio stations and podcasts via this app. This is a great app if you want to keep up with the news in other areas of the country or around the world.

Zwift: If the thought of sitting around until the virus goes away is driving you mad, you could try getting on your bike. The closure of gyms and the complete lock-downs across entire regions around the world have given indoor cycling apps like Zwift an incredible boost. With the cancellation of major sporting events around the world, amateur riders are being joined in their “pain caves” by a host of professional riders. If the opportunity to race the likes of Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas, seems like an impossible dream — think again.

Becoming a Household Name

All of the above apps are household names. There is a very good chance you heard of them long before the Coronavirus hit the headlines and forced many of us into isolation. But times of crisis are also times of opportunity. If you have an app that solves a problem and makes living in these difficult times slightly less difficult, the team at Digital Turbine can help you find your audience and potentially become that household name. To learn more, contact us today and ask to speak with one of our app marketing experts.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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