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5 apps to bridge the family gap

Posted in: Family Last updated: 29 Jun 2012

Gone are the days when we’d rack up huge phone bills from catching up with friends and family for hours on end.

What a difference an App makes

Now that apps are on the scene, there are all sorts of ways we can stay in regular contact with the people we care about, even if they live on the other side of the world. We’ve picked out five of our favourites below.

1. Tweekaboo (iPhone, free)

If you’re put off by the thought of sharing your personal stuff with not-so-close friends, Tweekaboo might just be the answer for you.This app allows you to share photo albums privately with close-knit friends and family rather than publishing them for everyone to see. Tweekaboo is, in essence, an online journal – it allows you to record and share precious moments. Whether it’s a growing baby belly, or your child’s birthday, capture your precious milestones on camera and store them all in one place. You can even jazz up your photos with stickers, anecdotes and filters thanks to its crafty editing feature

2. Whatsapp (iPhone & Android, free)

Whatsapp is probably the most well-known messaging app out there. It works just like online chat. You can set up group conversations, send images and videos, share your location and even record audio notes. The best thing is it’s powered by the internet, so it’s completely free when you’re using Wi-Fi.

3. Google Hangouts (iPhone & Android, free)

Google hangouts has helped to transform the way we communicate with people across the globe. It lets you bring your conversations to life through photos, video chat and voice calls. Whilst it’s similar to skype, it focuses more on video calls with groups of people rather than one-to-one conversations. It’s a little bit like having a party on your porch – if you’re chatting to someone on your porch and a neighbour passes by, they might pop over and join the conversation. So if you’re having a special family get-together and a few of you can’t be there in person, this might be your solution.

4. Luper (iPhone – free, Android – £0.60)

Never neglect your friends again with this simple app. Luper helps you stay in touch with friends and family by keeping tabs on when you last spoke. If you’ve not been in contact with a friend for a while, it will prompt you to strike up a conversation. It works by adding someone to a specific time interval: weekly, monthly, quarterly, every six months or yearly. You’ll then be asked to specify a contact date for that person and decide if you want to call, text or email them. The app will then notify you when that date arrives.

5. Draw Something Free (iPhone & Android, free)

Think Pictionary with some word unscrambling and you end up with Draw Something. It might seem a little odd to include this one on the list but a) It’s sweeping the nation and b) It’s a really fun way to stay in touch with family members. You take it in turns to sketch a picture of a word and the other person has to guess what it is. Its appeal for adults and children means it’s one of only a few apps out there that manages to work for the whole family.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.