With age comes a deeper love and appreciation for family and friends and the time spent in their company. At Broadmoor Court, we strive to keep our residents informed of convenient new ways to keep in touch with their loved ones.
In the past, options were limited to phone calls, letters and prescheduled visits. If a friend or relative lived in a different time zone on the other side of the world, you were out of luck. Fortunately, with the advent of mobile phone technology, several new apps geared toward making long-distance communication possible have been developed in recent years. Here’s a look at some accessible, user-friendly apps that make keeping up with your loved ones easier than ever.
One of the older social apps on the market, Skype offers face-to-face video chatting, phone calls and even instant messaging. This Microsoft-owned app is largely free and available for download on both iPhones and Androids. Its simplicity and good audio quality have earned it a 4-star rating and an Editor’s Choice label in Google’s app store with over a billion downloads to date.
With over 2 billion monthly users worldwide, Facebook is a social networking site that makes it easy to connect and share with family and friends. Founded in February 2004 by a handful of Harvard students, it has since grown to become one of the most well-known, successful social apps to date. While it was originally designed specifically for college students, this changed in 2006 when the company allowed anyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address to create a profile. The app lets you send messages, post status updates and share other types of content such as photos, videos and links.
For many, having a Facebook profile is as commonplace as having an email account. Because of the app’s explosive popularity, several other platforms (such as Instagram) have worked to integrate Facebook. This means you can use your Facebook account to sign in to various other sites and services across the web.
Developed by Meta Platforms, Messenger is an instant messaging app that provides text communication, phone calls and video chatting. Integrated with Facebook’s web-based chat feature, Messenger allows Facebook users to stay in touch with friends and family via both the mobile app and the main website. Surpassing over a billion users by 2017, it’s a reliable way to give and receive updates from loved ones anywhere in the world.
Free and internationally available, WhatsApp lets you share texts, voice memos, images, videos and more at the drop of a hat. On top of that, there’s also a feature that shows you if your message has been viewed yet by the recipient. Phone calls and video chats are free of charge, and the platform is highly accessible and easy to use.
If you’re looking for an app to help you stay close to grandkids in particular, this one may be right up your alley. Snapchat is a multimedia instant messaging app that all the kids are using. With its fairly simplistic structure, the app is straightforward and easy to navigate. Along with text, call and video chat features, you can also “snap” your grandkids a good-morning selfie or a funny video with playful filters. The “my eyes only” folder also offers a password-protected space to save photos and videos that bring a smile to your face.
Another app popular among Millennials and Gen-Z, Instagram is a photo and video sharing social networking app that lets users upload media to their personal profiles in a tiled format. Additionally, the app has developed its own “television” component designed for your entertainment according to your interests; from heartwarming home videos to breaking headlines, Instagram caters to your viewing habits and continually refreshes your “feed” with compelling new videos and trending content.
Available specifically on Apple products, FaceTime is a proprietary video chat app that comes preinstalled on any new iPhone or Mac computer. The app lets you video call (also called FaceTime) anybody in your contacts list who also has an Apple device. With quality audio features and high-resolution images, FaceTime offers the opportunity to have a genuine face-to-face conversation with loved ones, even if they’re halfway across the world.
The newest craze in the world of social media networks, TikTok allows users to watch, create and share amusing 15-second videos. Launched in China in 2016, entertainment content ranges from pranks and stunts to dancing and lifestyle. With already over a billion downloads in less than 5 years, there’s a 99% chance it has become your grandchildren’s favorite social media platform. But not to worry — by following their accounts, you can keep up with all their funny antics and even message them directly!