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Top 5 Apps to Make Co-Parenting Smoother

These days, there are apps for all kinds of tastes and needs. While some of them are made just for fun, others are immensely helpful. Therefore, the fact that there are some really effective apps specifically for co-parenting is far from surprising. No doubt, these tools won’t magically make communicating with your ex totally easy and stress-free, but they are sure to contribute to healthy and effective co-parenting.

Prior to opting for the best co-parenting app for you, it’s vital to focus on what these tools are designed for. They should:

  • enhance the quality of communication;
  • create the best platform for exchanging information;
  • encourage frequent communication whenever necessary;
  • make interaction a lot smoother and convenient.

Sharing your kid’s schedule, keeping you and your ex posted about the forthcoming events, as well as helping you keep tabs on your mutual expenses — these are some of the major functions of the most effective co-parenting communication apps. If you like the way these perks sound, you should definitely give these tools a try.

Coparently: Add Your Kids & Use 30-Day Free Trial

Coparently tool

Coparently is an app that offers a collection of online tools to make co-parenting as convenient as possible. With Coparently, you and your ex will effectively schedule, communicate, track your shared expenses, store contact details in one secure place, discuss and remind each other of the important dates, as well as other stuff that runs the risk of being forgotten. 

What’s more, via this app, you can let your kid participate in your convos without granting them access to other (more sensitive) features. This is especially handy if you have a teenager whose opinion needs to be heard on a regular basis. Coparently costs $99 per year per parent. You can test-drive it for 30 days for free to see if it suits your needs.

Cozi: Perfect for Stress-Free Co-Parenting

Cozi iOS app

Cozi wasn’t originally designed for co-parenting, but its clean interface and excellent functionality have cemented it as one of the best co-parenting tools. Accessible via iOS and Android, Cozi allows you to set up and share calendars, to-do lists, meal plans, exchange pics and tutorials, as well as shopping and expenses info.

Cozi is free of charge, but it includes in-app purchases and paid upgrades. It even allows you to keep a shared journal of your kiddo’s milestones — such a lovely feature. In other words, if you can communicate with your ex in a friendly manner and no longer secretly want to kill them, Cozi is a great app for the two of you to interact whenever necessary. 

Google Calendar: You Can Use It for Co-Parenting

Google Calendar app

Google Calendar is a great tool to use at work, but did you know that it’s also super convenient for coordinating schedules with your ex? Just set up a calendar and allow your ex to edit it, and you’re done. Google Calendar makes scheduling regular events and setting automatic notifications really easy. To begin using the app, all you need is a Gmail account and your favorite device. Google Calendar is easy to use both on your PC and any mobile device of your preference. 

Our Family Wizard: Created Expressly for Co-Parents

Our Family Wizard app

This tool was designed by a divorced couple to help like-minded co-parents communicate effectively for the sake of their kids. The Our Family Wizard app allows you to create your own separate account and share it with as many users as you need. 

Via this app, you and your ex will manage all stages of your shared parenting agreement in one single space — naturally, without having to see each other in person too often. The ToneMeter feature checks your messages and suggests alternatives for the ones containing negative tone and i.e. potentially argument-provoking. Such a smart idea! 

2Houses: Effective & More Affordable Than Other Tools

2Houses app

This app is used by nearly 200,000 families in more than 160 countries throughout the globe. No wonder it’s that popular: it’s among the best ways to interact with your kid’s other parent when other ways of communication aren’t an option. 2Houses assists you in organizing your schedules, keeping track of the upcoming events and activities, as well as exchanging all the necessary details about your kids, such as school or medical appointments.

The app features a great messaging tool and a handy document storage space available both on your computer and mobile gadgets. 2Houses costs $9.99 per month. The cost is per family, not per parent, which makes the app a lot more affordable compared to its counterparts. Furthermore, you can test it out for free during 14 days prior to deciding if you’re ready for an annual membership plan or not. Super convenient!

Cutting to the Choice: It’s All Up to You 

In a perfect world, co-parenting would be a pleasure cruise, filled with flexibility, patience, understanding, and a never-ending compromise. If that more or less describes your co-parenting experience, then you deserve some kind of a reward — or at least a praise for all the effort you’ve put into the whole thing.

If your co-parenting journey is far from perfection, don’t let this fact discourage you. Keep working on it, but don’t forget to make the most of the available instruments to enhance your communication and scheduling experience. No doubt, divorce is not the best thing that ever happened to you. But your ultimate mission here is to arm yourself with all the necessary tools to move on as quickly and painlessly as possible.

So, have you tried any of the co-parenting apps listed above? If you have, which of them is your top favorite and why? Perhaps, you have some worthy additions to complement our selection? Let us know about them in the comments below. Your feedback is very important. And don’t forget to save out blog in your bookmarks, that is if you want to keep track of the latest tech news and expert app reviews.

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Tips on Using TikTok: the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

TikTok (also known as musical.ly) is a free iPhone and Android-oriented social networking application that lets you browse, film, and post music videos of your lip-synching, singing, dancing, or just talking. Via TikTok, you can jazz up your videos with various filters, soundtracks, and plenty of special effects. Similar to other social networking apps, TikTok provides such features as following, liking, and commenting.  

Having long outperformed Instagram and boasting 1.5 billion total downloads as of today, TikTok is making firm steps towards dominating the app scene. By all means, the best way to get to grips with the app is to produce your own personal or business-related posts. However, if you’ve never used similar platforms before, navigating TikTok can be rather challenging. Does that sound familiar to you? No worries, we’ll help.

So, if you’ve recently downloaded this addictive app and are now looking for a handy guide on using TikTok, you’ve come to the right place. To assist you in conquering TikTok, we’ve boiled the app down to a quick set of tips on how to use it. Enjoy reading this post and don’t forget to bookmark our blog to keep your fingers on the pulse of what’s new on the tech horizon. Chill’N’Chat is where the latest news and top app reviews are posted on a regular basis. 

TikTok iOS app screenshot

Getting Around with TikTok: Your First Steps

Start with installing TikTok. You can register with it instantly via your existing Facebook, Gmail, or Twitter profile, or create a unique login-and-password combo. If you prefer using your phone number to register with TikTok, the app will create an automatic screen name for you. Whenever you want to change that screen name, follow the easy steps described below.

Upon logging in, you will notice the feed of video suggestions right away. First and foremost, tap the Me icon in the bottom right section of your account screen to make the necessary tweaks to your profile. After that, tap the Edit Profile button and complete the usual profile setup procedure: alter your screen name if necessary, upload a profile pic/video and tell the TikTok world more about yourself. 

If you’re up for it, you can link your Instagram or YouTube page to your TikTok page. That’s especially helpful marketing-wise if you’re registering a business account. By default, all TikTok profiles are public, i.e. your profile information is accessible to anyone, along with the videos you upload. To make your profile a bit more to yourself, head to the privacy settings and customize them to your liking. Don’t forget that to enjoy all the perks of TikTok, you’re going to need to get yourself a pair of top-notch headphones. 

Browsing Through Videos & Connecting with Other Users

Now that your account is all ready and polished, you can return to the page with video suggestions and browse through them. Similar to other social media apps, TikTok will send you user and video suggestions. Feel free to watch these videos and start following the users whose content you fancy the most. Once you start following and connecting with other TikTok members, your feed will swiftly adapt to your preferences. 

Upon watching videos on Instagram or Facebook, you can display your reaction to them by liking and sharing them with others. TikTok is exactly the same in this respect. Feel free to take action whenever you’re up for ‘liking’ or commenting on any video that catches your eye — the heart icon, as well as the speech bubble icon, are always at your service. If sharing a video is your intention, tap the corresponding icon, and your sharing settings will launch. 

If you love someone’s video and want to browse through its author’s other creations, swipe left to study their profile. Now, let’s switch to the topic of using the TikTok search feature. Tap the magnifying glass icon to launch the app’s search functionality. Here, you can engage in searching for both users and videos. Below the search bar, you can pillage the most recent popular videos. 

Following People on TikTok: Keep in Touch

If you want to stay in touch with particular TikTok users or have instant access to their latest videos, you can start following them. To do that, tap their profile image icon and a plus sign right above the heart button on their video. Looking for someone specific on TikTok? Make the most of the search bar and the ‘Users’ filter. 

In addition to this, scanning users’ TikCode helps greatly in finding them. This feature is especially handy if you’re a brand aiming to promote your TikTok business account both online and offline. Also, finding someone via their TikCode is super easy when you meet them in person and decide to add them on the go. 

Looking for your own TikCode? Find it by tapping the 4-square icon in the top right part of your screen. If scanning someone else’s TikCode is what you need, head to the search section and tap the square icon near the search bar. Upon launching the scan screen, center the camera over the code you’re scanning, and the process will initiate in mere moments. The user’s profile will launch instantly.  

Uploading Your Video Creations on TikTok: Post Away

So, are you eager to post your first videos on TikTok? We have a few recommendations for you. Start with tapping the plus sign in the bottom section of your profile screen. After the camera launches, you will see a red recording button on the screen. You can either begin recording instantly or upload a song first — just to make your lip-syncing or dancing synchronize perfectly with the music. In either case, adding a soundtrack to your video later is never a problem.

Similar to Snapchat, TikTok gives you the possibility to apply plenty of AR features to your video posts, changing the way you (and your surroundings) look, as well as adding various effects. Some TikTok effects are even created specifically for your cute little pets — just to make them appear even sweeter and funnier in your video creations. To look through the effects available within the app, tap Effects in the below left part of the screen and have a browse. By using the Speed button, you can either record your video in slow-mo or speed it up. 

In the right upper section of your TikTok recording screen, you will find the Beauty icon. Tap it if you want to look your best in your videos and adjust the available settings to your preference. Below the Beauty icon, you will find the selection of numbered Filters. Last but not least, don’t forget to use the TikTok timer. It’s especially helpful, for it helps you create your videos without pressing down the record button non-stop. That’s exactly what assists the app users in creating their signature dancing vids.  

Explore the Nitty-Gritty of Recording TikTok Vids 

Whenever you’re ready, tap and hold the TikTok record button and take action. Keep in mind that even if you’ve recorded just a fraction of the intended video, you can always record the rest of it later to eventually fuse the whole thing together. 

Not very much into holding the record button all the time? The TikTok timer feature will allow you to position your gadget (and yourself in front of it) during the countdown before the automatic recording launches. Yes, it’s that easy and convenient.

Making Final Tweaks & Adding Video Captions 

After you’ve finished recording your TikTok video, feel free to add songs, stickers, and various filters to it, as well as carry out other enhancements to make your content even more engaging. Furthermore, you can even add text on top of your TikTok creation — that’s what we call freedom of choice. When you’re through, tap Next and switch to adding a caption, relevant tags, or references to other users. 

Furthermore, you can adjust privacy settings for the video, switch comments on or off, as well as regulate other users’ reactions. Once you’re done tweaking your video, you can choose to download it to your mobile phone’s gallery. Tap ‘Save to Album’ if that’s what you’d like to do. Alternatively, if you’re not ready to upload your vid yet, tap the Drafts button to get back to it later. 

Extra Tips: Making Video Duets and Participating in Challenges

Found a music video featuring your favorite song? How about joining the person who has created it? Use TikTok to make a duet video with that person. Just tap the Share button next to the video you want to duet with, then tap ‘Duet’, press record and sing along, have a blast dancing, or do whatever your heart desires to your favorite song. If you’re not interested in dueting with anyone, tap the ‘Duet/React Off’ button prior to uploading your video.

Similar to other social networks, on TikTok you will sometimes see videos with challenges. A challenge is when one of the TikTok users encourages you to film yourself engaging in something strange or funny e.g. pouring a bucket of freezing ice-cold water over your head. Of course, you won’t win anything if you participate in the TikTok challenges. However, hashtagging your video challenges might assist you in getting more followers or views. Therefore, it’s a smart promotion move as well.

Experimenting with TikTok: Engage & Entertain

Although now TikTok may seem very new and unfamiliar to you, pretty soon you will get to grips with how it works, for it’s practice that makes perfect. Whether you use TikTok as a platform to increase brand awareness or as a fun time-waster, make sure you engage in lots of experimentation, practice, and exploration. 

As you’re thinking over your first video ideas, find a few more tips on using TikTok below.

  • Enjoy zesting up your TikTok video creations with a variety of special effects available within the app in plenty.
  • Use your favorite songs in your video posts. If you’ve browsed your TikTok feed already, you’ve probably noticed that most videos have sound effects in the background. 
  • Let your sense of humor run wild when creating your TikTok videos. Most people use the app for fun, after all.
  • If you’re promoting a business on TikTok, research on other brands’ profiles, draw inspiration from their posts, implement the best practices, and create your own unique approach.

Feeling a bit more inspired to brush up on your TikTok skills now? Good for you! Always remember that Chill’N’Chat is the place where you will find the latest news about your favorite applications, as well as the best tips and hacks on how to use them. Have questions about TikTok? Ask them in the comment section below. Our experts will get back to you with answers asap.

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The Best Apps to Use Your Phone as a Walkie-Talkie

It’s all been about finally ditching the idea of walkie-talkie. The phones became smaller, then bigger but stronger. The newly emerged etiquette requires texting before calling on the phone since both can be done within the same messenger app. But suddenly it turned out that the idea of the walkie-talkie, with one participant talking at a time, is still required, and probably even less than before.

The first reason for that is obvious. The devices we have are equally good for texting and speaking our messages, but the human part of us finds it easier and quicker to speak than to type. So one-way voice messages are the feature supported in most messengers, and clouds are capable to store centuries of the spoken word.

The second is about ethos again. Most of us have busy days, and duplex communication needs to be scheduled suitable for the two participants. Exchanging voice messages, just the opposite, lets each of the two find the best time to listen and to answer, regardless of what the other is doing at the moment.

It’s so demanded now that even Apple has Internet-based Walkie-Talkie mode built into watchOS 5. As for phones, neither iOS nor Android comes equipped with apps for that from the start. But there are always third-party apps for that. The only inconvenience is that all the participants need to have the app installed. The rest is pure convenience we love this class of devices for. So, here are the best walkie-talkie apps for Android and iOS.

Zello

Zello app screenshot

(Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

So far, it’s the default online walkie-talkie for both private and group communication. Its easy interface and rich features show right as you enter the app. This app is free and available for most platforms (even for Windows Phone, doomed and abandoned).
It’s been around for years; so whatever you want to talk about, you’ll find a channel on this in your language. And if suddenly there isn’t one, you can create your own.

The app is quite flexible in settings. For example, you can adjust the volume for any participant of the chat. That can be useful, because each participant has a unique manner of speaking.

As soon as participants of the chat open the app, they receive the messages from the chats they are in. That guarantees that no message will be lost, even if you open it much later. The service is also capable of sending texts, pictures, and alerts.

Voxer

Voxer app screenshot

(Android, iOS)

Well, though this app looks like a typical messenger of 2010s, inspired by WhatsApp and its likes, it’s still a walkie-talkie, and its features are about as rich as those of Zello. It’s an alternative one, better for private chats or closer groups of friends and colleagues. In the free version, it supports private chats and groups. Public channels are not supported. On the other hand, it offers encryption for all the messages you send and receive.

Its premium tools set includes useful features like instant voice-to-text transcription, quoting earlier messages from chats (including other ones), hands-free manner of usage, and so on. The subscription is $3/mo or $30/yr; quite affordable for business needs.

Two Way

Two Way app screenshot

(Android, iOS)

If you just need the basic functionality of walkie-talkie, that’s the app. No extras like images or texting; app stores are full of conventional messengers for that. It also doesn’t support choosing individual contacts from your list.

But old-school radio enthusiasts will appreciate this due to familiar feelings. Instead of direct voice messages, you select your area (country, region, and so on) and send your messages to everyone within it. All the other Two-Way users will be able to hear you and reply. For private chats there are other ways: instead of speaking to a certain user, you can find an unused channel with Key Pad and transfer there. There are enough channels to have a private talk; strangers may interfere if they suddenly select the same number, but chances are they won’t.

Walkie-talkie — Communication

Walkie-talkie — Communication app screenshot

(iOS)

This app is exactly what it says on the tin. The app, just like the previous one, uses the channel system. When you set up communication with your friends or colleagues, you need to download the app and select the channel to use. On this channel, you can exchange voice messages in walkie-talkie mode. They are sent as soon as recorded.

This simple app doesn’t leave much for you to adjust, except for minor things like the background color. Though, probably, if you don’t need the power of overcrowded Zello, you may opt for this consciously. It’s available for iOS only, so it’s a good addition to the Apple Watch walkie-talkie feature.

Marco Polo

Marco Polo app screenshot

(Android, iOS)

It’s a rather unusual app, because it’s meant for sending video messages in walkie-talkie mode. Of course, it’s a step away from the original idea. But if that’s just what you need, Marco Polo is a perfect option. Positioned as a solution for those who cannot afford syncing their time for communicating, it’s all about video.

Of course, it has Snapchat-like bells and whistles, meant to make videos more emotional. So you can add texts, stickers, and filters. It goes a bit beyond our original topic, still, the app is worth some attention if you prefer one-way communication.

Walkietooth

(Android)

This one is quite unusual too, and it’s not about its video capability only, but about getting close to the real walkie-talkie mode as well. We mean that dependence on the Internet connection immanent for all the apps above. Instead of relying on Wi-Fi or cellular connection only, Walkietooth makes use of any other way of sending data. It can send voice messages via local Wi-Fi networks, via Bluetooth, or via direct device-to-device connection.

With this app you can use your old smartphone as a baby monitor, installing it on both devices and positioning them in different rooms. Its video capabilities will be especially useful here.

This versatility is also useful in the countryside, with no stable Internet connection. For example, it’s great for a motorcycle or bicycle party, with all the members quite close to each other. Of course, it’s a niche solution for certain situations, but if that’s the case with you, it’s worth considering. Alas, it’s an Android prerogative, and there aren’t any analogs as functional on iOS.

Last but Not Least

Except for the last app, all of those above don’t make your smartphones function as real walkie-talkies. It’s a hardware limitation: while real WT’s have their own standalone transmitters and receivers powerful enough to function independently, smartphones are bound to cellular or Wi-Fi networks. Keep that in mind, while planning your usage of these apps.

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Advice on the New Snapchat: Master It in a Snap

It’s happened: the new Snapchat design is here, and it’s final – at least, until the next update. Despite all the hate towards it expressed by users, Snapchat will keep it. And we are to live with it, at least until the next big update (we will hate from the beginning and recollect the current one warmly).

Well, Snapchat has never been intuitive, and its users should never grow old – at least, mentally. Welcome to the anti-aging club, if you plan to use it after all the changes still. And we will help you keep up with all the changes made. Here comes the instruction on the revamped Snapchat.

Registering

Well, if you are interested in the new Snapchat, you must have dealt with the old version, and, probably, you have created an account already, haven’t you? Still, even if not, the first steps are always simple: download the app for your platform, create a profile with your phone and email (they won’t be exposed), make yourself a username and generate a password.  And this is the simplest part of it.
Later it will show you some video instructions. You can return to them. But we recommend you run Snapchat, read the following text, and follow the instruction in the app to see it IRL.

Home Screen Layout

As you launch the app, you will not see the home screen with contact lists and stuff we’re used to. Instead, you’ll be greeted with your own face through the front camera. No mistake: this is the central home screen. There are two more, though:

  • Friends Screen. To see it, swipe right.
  • Discover Screen. To see it, swipe right.

Yes, it’s the same mechanics that is now used in Facebook or Instagram. These apps aren’t so pic-oriented to put the camera first. But still, their developers get inspired by Snapchat… a bit.

To view yourself, tap your profile in the circle in the upper-left corner. The profile menu lets you access settings, scan your contacts to find other Snapchat users, or add new friends. Here you can also look trophies and snap points, but, to tell the truth, so far they give you nothing, so let’s nor focus on them.

Taking Pictures and Videos with Basic Enhancements

To make a snap, tap anywhere on the screen (with the front camera on) to focus, and then tap the button in the bottom to snap. But taking it is just a part of the process: the processing is the main part.

It’s swipe-based again. After you snap a pic, swipe left or right to apply various filters and borders or view them in full-screen preview. Now your pictures are meant to take the entire screen, so the control system is even more gesture-based.

Photo Editing

When you have taken a photo, you’ll see white buttons on its right side. They are responsible for all the effects we love about Snapchat. And now they get even closer than ever. Let’s review them all, from the top down.

  • Text (the T letter). It’s all about texts you add. Tap it, and then enter your text. You’ll be able to select the color and the font for it. But in order to drag it over the pic, you need to close the Text menu. You can also resize and rotate it with simple gestures.
  • Brush. It’s a drawing tool with various brushes, selectable colors, and thickness. Just like you have in Paint or online drawing tools.
  • Stickers. The one we love the most about Snapchat, with its incredible richness in various glamorous fonts, bright colors, and so on.

Heats and glasses, smiling faces and thumbs up, stars and balloons are here too, for you to color up your selfies or photos with friends. It also has the entire list of emoji.

The most popular ones are at the top, including current data – time, temperature (for beaches or mountains, equally impressive), MPH (it’s great for videos, in fact), or location. If you expected to find these among the filters, we understand: that was one of the reasons to protest. But treating them as stickers seems more rational.

There are also Bitmoji stickers available. To generate them, you’ll need a special app, available both for Android and iOS. Then you get your own set of 3D animated emoji, based on your own face. If you decide to change your style, it takes a minute to refresh the set with a new look.

  • URL. Well, just type the URL you want to link to your picture, and it will display.
  • Crop. It’s quite regular: crop the picture to remove unnecessary elements on the edges. It also lets you rotate the picture. You’ve probably seen the same tool in various picture editors.
  • Self-destruction timer. If you want to send this snap privately, it will define how long it will be viewable. After the time viewed expires, the photo gets deleted. The time can be set for up to 10 seconds, or left without the bomb.

As you see, the tools are quite convincing, and (what’s more important) they have what makes Snapchat a thing. The resulting photo can be saved to your gallery, or the vault named Memories (it holds the photos and videos you publish or those you mark). It doesn’t offer anything Gallery doesn’t offer too, though.

Sharing Photos

There are two ways of sharing photo you have made and edited in Snapchat. You can post it to your public story, where it will remain visible for 24 hours, or send directly to certain users. You can also send it to multiple users, selecting them the regular way you do in your OS.

Well, there may be photos shared with you by others, right? To view the incoming snaps, go to your “Friends” page. Now it contains both messages and stories, and that’s another innovation that users didn’t approve. In the earlier version, the stories of your friends could be found in “Discover” section. Mixing your friends with celebrities, it made you the unique feeling of being in. No wonder many users hold on to this experience of closeness to politicians, musicians, actors, bloggers they are subscribed to. It’s like being kicked out of the afterparty.

Communication

Well, it still just tap over your friend’s avatar to start the chat. Find the friend on your list, tap the name – and start the chat. The same way it’s done in any messenger, including, pardonne-moi, Skype.

By the way: there is also voice and video call feature that is accessed via phone and camera icons within the open chat. But Snapchat is not for using in such a plain way. So these features are just a nice-to-have-but-not-crucial option.

Discover

The most social thing about Snapchat is constantly in touch with various celebrities or just recommended (and advertised) people. Discover is the section meant for viewing public profiles. Along with stars, there are local events, recommended and advertised activities, and so on. It looks like the search tab on Instagram. Though a bit messy after the update, it’s still fun to read to spend a spare minute.

That’s why the app needs your location. It shows you the nearest events you might be interested in. But even if you aren’t, you can just watch your friends visit them.

AR Filters

While initially, SnapChat was about self-destructing messages, now its primary feature is AR-based filters. All those dog ears, cat noses, flowers, glasses, masks and backgrounds are compatible with front and rear cameras.

Just open the camera tab, look at yourself on the screen, then swipe horizontally on the screen (trying not to touch buttons) to view various filters in real-time. The filters change every day, and Snapchat has lots of them to avoid being repetitive. The most popular ones, though, come to stay.

Among the most demanded AR filters, one should name the Dog Ears, and, of course, Face Swap. Better than any rivals offer, this filter can swap the two faces in the camera, and they don’t even have to be both human.

Scissors

And here comes (arguably) the most impressive tool in the current version of Snapchat. Scissors is the tool for making stickers out of someone’s pictures. You just need to crop an item out of the pic and transform it into a sticker. It turns out unexpectedly easy, and the quality is surprisingly decent. Then you just need to open the stickers menu and select the scissors tab, and access your stickers.

Support!

If you support Snapchat, its own support team does as well. You can find it as a contact in your friendlist, added by default, and can never remove. With it, you can ask questions or report issues with just a single message. And that’s the case when you can make use of the voice chat.

If you are getting confused about the new interface, and didn’t find the answer here, you can just contact the official support and ask your questions. And, of course, get your answers right when you need them.

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TOP-6 best tools to lock down a kid's device

Thanks to the Internet, we got free access to any information of our interest. However, this is not always good, especially when it comes to children. Their curiosity for everything new and untapped ability for critical thinking can do great damage to their psyche. Therefore, it is obvious that you, as a caring parent, want to block them from harmful content. There are several ways of how to do it. The first approach is the easiest: a lot of modern devices have already had the in-built tool for managing the access of children to the phone. Another way is to use external applications to get more features and blocking options. We will consider both approaches in this blog post. Stay tuned!

Android Screen Pin

Android Screen feature picture

Platform: Android
Price: free

Android Screen Pin is the feature that is included in the modern Android devices. It allows you to lock only certain apps while others remain unlocked. It is very useful when you give a tablet or mobile phone to the toddler to play the games. With Android Screen Pin, you can set a password to Google Play, messages, and phone calls. As a result, a kid can’t accidentally make a call, write a strange message to your colleague, or make the in-app purchases for games. Another useful feature is to lock the apps or the whole device when the children need to do housework or other family tasks.

Where to find:

  • Go to the Settings menu;
  • Find the tab Security or Security & location -> Security, and tap on it;
  • Press Screen lock. If you have already set up a password to lock the screen, the device asks you to enter it;
  • Then, follow the instructions, and do not forget to save the changes.

Although Android Screen Pin is a free in-built tool on Android devices, it is not so much flexible compared to other tools described below. For example, it doesn’t filter the content and must be set up on the child’s device. Also, there is no remote control.

FamilyTime

FamilyTime application screenshots

Platform: Android, iOS
Price: free

FamilyTime provides you with additional features and extended options compared to the Android Screen Pin tool. As there is a third-party app, you need to install FamilyTime on the device before using it. It is completely free, and you can download the application on both iOS and Android platforms on Apple Store or Google Play, respectively.

The app allows you to control the child’s device remotely and securely. Besides this, there are other important features:

  • Limit screen time: you can set up a certain amount of time when your children can use the device. When the limit is over, the phone or tablet blocks automatically, so the kids can access it anymore;
  • Scheduling of the screen time: parents can decide the time their children can access the device and block during, for example, the family time;
  • Internet filters: users can block the websites of a certain category;
  • SafeSearch: turning on this feature, you can provide safe browsing for your children;
  • Application blocker: parents can block different kinds of apps on the device, including social media and games;
  • The tracker of children’s location: it allows you to see the places your children visit. FamilyTime notifies you every time the kid leaves the safe area;
  • Usage monitoring: you can always see what applications your child uses. It also shows you the time of usage;
  • Emergency Alerts: the kid can press the SOS alert, and you will be notified about this immediately;
  • Reports: get the full statistics of what the child uses or what kind of information they browse on the Internet;
  • PickMeUp: the option to share a current location;
  • SafeDrive: if you have a teenager with car and driving license, you can set up the speed limits, and the app automatically notifies you if these limits are exceeded.

Note that with FamilyTime you can add as many children’s devices as you want.

Web Watcher

Web Watcher application screenshots

Platform: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Chrome
Price: free

WebWatcher is a monitoring app for iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and Chrome. The app was developed by Awareness Technologies. Initially, it was used in a counter-terrorism activity for Windows PC, but today its benefits are leveraging by parents from different parts of the world. WebWatcher helps you to become a responsible parent in the digital world. It tracks and records all the children’s activity, starting with text messages and call history and ending with location notifications and photos. Even if your children use different devices, you still can connect all of them from your secure account and manage their activity remotely.

The full list of what you can monitor in your child’s device:

  • SMS and MMS including deleted texts;
  • Screenshots (their number is limited to 1 000. In order to see more, you need to purchase the app);
  • Gallery;
  • History of web browsing;
  • Call logs;
  • The location;
  • Social networks and messengers: TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Viber, Snapchat, Tinder;
  • Application usage.

Note that it can vary depending on the platform. But the basic options are the same on all devices.

Qustodio

Qustodio application screenshots

Platform: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Kindle
Price: free

Qusodio provides you with a simple tool for managing the children's activity on a particular device. It allows you to see how much time your kids use the mobile phone or a tablet, block certain applications, and filter the content.

How it works:

  • First of all, you need to install Qusodio on your device;
  • Then sign up, and tap the “Child’s device” menu item;
  • Follow the provided instructions;
  • Once you finish, the number of websites will be blocked automatically;
  • Now, you can view the child’s activity and daily reports.

The app is completely free to install. But it offers additional in-app purchases and premium subscriptions. The difference is that free plan allows you to monitor only one kid’s device from different parent's devices while the paid plan allows you to monitor as many kid’s devices as you want from the unlimited number of parent’s devices. The app is available in several languages, including English, Spanish, and German.

Net Nanny

Net Nanny application screenshots

Platform: Android, iOS, PC, Apple OS X, Fire OS
Price: free

Net Nanny is one of the most famous feature-packed parental control apps. The initial version was launched almost more than 20 years ago — in 1995. It was just a web browser that filtered IRC and web content, hid profanity, and blocked strange images. The latest version was released in May 2019. Now, it allows you to do much more. But the headline feature remains the same: Net Nanny is a powerful web filter with which you can block the weapons, pornography, and other harmful content for children. Among other options:

  • Monitoring the child’s activity with amazing accuracy;
  • Set up the limits that you can change just in a few taps;
  • Divide the whole Internet content into the categories and block the defined categories;
  • Build white and black lists for websites;
  • Receive daily reports;
  • Get the notifications about flagged words and other undesired content; 
  • Block the applications on your device;
  • Track the current location;
  • Set up different rules for different devices.

Net Nanny received a lot of different rewards and positive feedback from the critics. The application took the first place in TopTenReviews.com in "Internet Filter Software" and fourth in "Parental Control Software" in 2017. If you are looking for the best web content filtering apps, we highly recommend you download and install Net Nanny. Besides, it is completely free.

AppLock

AppLock application screenshots

Platform: Android
Price: free

AppLock by DoMobile Lab is one of the most downloadable lock apps on Google Play. It has more than 100 million installs. Isn't that a reason to become one of its users too? The application works in more than 50 countries and supports 45 languages. AppLock can block the contents of different types. It could be:

  • The social networks or messengers like Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram;
  • Mailboxes: Gmail;
  • Messages: SMS;
  • Contacts;
  • Call log;
  • Settings;
  • Gallery files: images, videos;
  • Other applications installed on your device.

AppLock ensures full security and prevents unauthorized children’s access to blocked apps. You can set up the password, the pattern, or lock with a fingertip. If somebody tries to crack the phone and pick up a password, the application automatically takes a photo of them. AppLock provides you with the great and extended customization options compared to other applications listed below. Users can select the favorite image and set it in the background, create the blocklists, and so on. To make AppLock invisible for children, you can hide the app’s icon in the settings.

Besides the applications locking, the title has the option that allows you to switch on an incognito regime in the browser, as a result, the history of your queries will not be recorded. As you can see, there is an excellent app not only for child protection but also for adults.

Final notes

There are a lot of different locking applications for different platforms and at various prices. But before using them, do not forget about one important thing. As a parent, you always need to remember that you set up the lock on the children’s device on your risk. What you think you mean well may not be understood by the child and become one of the biggest grievances against you. This is especially true for adolescents.

Also, there are a lot of forums and groups where teenagers discuss possible and effective ways to get around parental control. Locking applications is an incredible tool to protect children from harmful content, however, it should only be used in conjunction with accompanying conversations with the child. Try to convey to them as accurately as possible why you are doing this and what goals you are pursuing. Share your experience in the comments below. What apps did you use? What was the reaction of a child?

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New updates for WhatsApp will allow users to hide annoying Status updates forever

The developers of one of the popular Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp announced a new feature that will hide the annoying Status updates forever. For now, it is available for testing only on the beta version 2.19.260 for Android devices. How will it affect users and when to wait for the release of the full version on all platforms? These are the questions that we raise in today's post.

Why are the Status updates so annoying?

A lot of users may, probably, say that they have already had the feature allowing them to hide the WhatsApp stories. So, here is the main pitfall. Do not confuse this with the upcoming feature of hiding muted Status from contacts. Soon we will explain the difference. If you put stories on other social media, you may notice all stories that you muted appeared grey in a separate segment in the bottom. For example, it happens on Snapchat and Instagram. To mute a Story in WhatsApp, you need to press on a three-dot menu sign. Then the application hides it in the Status tab that you can watch any time. For this, just tap on the arrow that expands the muted content.

So, the difference is that the forthcoming WhatsApp update will allow you to hide Stories from the contacts you have already muted. As a result, you do not see any more updates from the users you are not interested in. No gray icons and separate sections — they will just disappear.

When can users test the new feature?

People with their phones picture

A new portion of WhatsApp updates is available on the beta version 2.19.260 for Android devices. To download it, you need first to register and sign in Play Store as a tester, and then go to APK Mirror and download the updated WhatsApp there. But do not be surprised if you have already installed the beta and do not see the new hiding feature available for testing. The developers said it is an A/B test at present. It means that one group of people sees the updates, and another does not. Unfortunately, the developers didn’t give exact dates for the release of the new version of the application on all platforms.

What else to expect in the new WhatsApp?

There are a lot of rumors about new updates for WhatsApp. For example, it is suggested that in the near future, users will be able to use WhatsApp on a PC without connecting their mobile phone to the Internet. Other reports said about the implementation of alignment indicators for emojis, stickers, and texts on Status. But there are just the rumors! Share in the comments below, are you excited with the upcoming opportunity of hiding the stories away?

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Now You Can Delete Multiple Android Messages at Once!

If you have an Android mobile device, you are probably aware of a rather efficient and fast messaging application Android Messages you have installed by default. There are some smartphones with other software, but most of them still are equipped with this one. It allows you to send and receive messages in the form of MMS, SMS, and more. This application is constantly updated without human interference. But if you want, you can download it manually.

When you use Android Messages, you get a long conversation thread, and sometimes there is a reason for deleting some messages from it. The earlier releases of Android did not allow it. But version 4.7 provides you with the option of removing multiple messages at a time without much effort.

Deleting email

Step by step

We are going to tell you what should be done when you want just to delete some multiple messages while leaving the remained part. It is clear that in order to do it, you should have this app installed on your device and updated. Then you should:

  • Open the application and go to a chat thread containing the undesired messages.
  • Find the ones you would like to get rid of and press on a message holding for a short period of time. It will become highlighted.
  • Now tap as many messages as you want to remove.
  • Go to the menu bar which you will find at the top of the screen page and find a trash can icon.
  • Tap on it to delete the selected messages. Well done!

Everything you should know

Android Messages is intended to send SMS, MMS, and chat messages from your mobile device and deliver a range of useful options. But some obviously helpful and required features are still not accessible.

Thus, you have been suggested to delete multiple messages all at once just recently. We would not discuss the issue itself – why such a common feature was a long time coming. Now Android Messages delivers it, and you can benefit from such a convenient and simple option.

Please, leave your comments and share this article with your friends to help them cope with this feature

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Let’s Date Online With the Best Apps of 2019

We believe that everybody agrees that dating sites and applications are very common nowadays. They help people to communicate, meet like-minded persons, and find the one. All the year-round, regardless of a season singles look for their soulmates, and online dating services provide them with an easy and efficient way to expand searching.

In this article, we suggest you consider a range of the most reliable and popular applications for this purpose where you can try your fate. We ground our choice on the experience of a lot of users who used this software to develop their relationships.

The League

The League
If we may say so, this app is elite, and that means you should have values to get access. It will consider a job title, education, and other information before it allows you to join the community. To prove the data, you are to add your Linkedin account. Your application will be processed by turn. The bigger the city, the longer the waiting list is. It can take you some time to enjoy the opportunities provided by this app. In order to prompt the review, you can as well pay.

Of course, you can try this app as it is very popular and delivers additional guarantees of serious approach, but be sure that you will find a lot of nice faces on other dating apps too. So there is no need to worry if you are not supposed to be elite after your application is reviewed.

Bumble

bumble app screenshot
Bumble is developed for women able to initiate conversation. They decide what men they will communicate, judging on the information provided in their profiles. Though a profile here is based on the photos with a little personal data. The men can content with those ladies who show their interest. Guys really have poor control over the dating experience. But, of course, a man can refuse to respond to a message. But if he wants to answer and fails to do it in the next 24 hours after he gets the message, a chance is wasted.

This perfect option – a timer – is very useful, helping to sort out those who do not take the process seriously and at the same time to encourage contacts. You will have to be more active on the application and check out your account every day if you want to succeed. Also, there is a BFF feature allowing you to create friendships and not only to arrange dates. Remember that you cannot be absolutely anonymous here as far as the Facebook account is required for signing in.

Tinder

Tinder app screenshot

This application is perfect both for a serious long-term relationship and casual hookup. We would recommend even to start with it if you are a first-timer in the dating world. Here you will find brief profiles, and that is convenient because you can skim them and decide whether you want to continue. But at the same time lack of information can prevent you from understanding a partner in a proper way. This downside can be compensated by further communication though, again, it is more complicated to spark the interest of a recipient in your initial message. Thus, you will think over its content thoroughly because you know very little about a person.

OkCupid

OkCupid app screenshot

This app can boast of multiple marriages arrangement. Some people prove to meet spouses here. It does not mean that the others on the list are not efficient, but this one shows the most obvious result. Perhaps, this is due to rather deep profiles with a lot of data which can be useful for another person to understand more and make the right choice. The list of questions is really long, but thorough answering is well worth the efforts.

The app is continuously updated, and the recent changes have made it look like Tinder. Now you can do without those endless questions and still match with the users at the first try. You are suggested to swipe and choose the most attractive pictures to start communication. In order to exchange the inboxes, you should match first, and such attitude allows you to be protected from the offensive messages.

Plenty of Fish

POF app screenshot

Plenty of Fish has been available since 2003, allowing everybody to contact a user without subscribing. This way is much simpler, that is why the app is widely known and preferred. Though we would mention that it is not very easy to cope with its functionality because there are plenty of features. At the same time, navigation is comprehensive.

The app is good for those who are on a budget but want to try their fate with dating. Because of the facility of access, you can face such a problem as bots and scams within this application.

Still, you can enjoy a wide variety of options here: search for a candidate using their locations, send and get messages. If you want to find your match easily, turn to Online Personality Assessment, which is free and helpful.

Hinge

Hinge app screenshot

It is possible to sign in here without any restrictions and meet new people from all over the world. The app is connected with Facebook. You are allowed to share the profiles and ask your family and friends for recommendations. As usual, you are to answer a range of questions to help you match, and that is a feature which will be appreciated by those who look for a serious long-term relationship.

Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel app screenshot

This free app sends you suggested matches every day, and that is so cool. This option really helps to match better. Here you will get the more detailed information about a user from his deeper profile compared to other dating apps. Choosing among twelve users, you can mark Priority Like, and Pass.

In general, the app is rather good for those who are not demanding, though you can feel a little bit confused at the beginning due to its wide range of features. If you need, you are suggested to view online tutorials and understand the way you are expected to navigate.
The app will remind you to send a message to the persons you match.

Match

Match app screenshot

Here you should pay for a subscription even if you use a free version of the application, and that fills you with confidence that every member takes communication seriously. Indeed, the paid service does not matter when you want to find a significant other. The free apps are also very efficient and reliable. Still, you can benefit from the paid features if you want to try them.

Happn

Happn app screenshot

This application uses a location when it arranges matches. It is mostly preferred by those who want to meet people living nearby in real life. You should sign up and continue choosing among all available users staying at home. This is a perfect tool for people who do not dare to approach a person in real life and at the same time, do not agree on online dating. The application is well in between. You can look through the candidates secretly until you show your interest to someone. Then the app will show the company a user works in and their job title, and this option will help you to avoid shady communication.

Her

Her app screenshot

Though almost all the mentioned apps do not have anything against LGBTQ, only this one is dedicated to lesbian, queer, and bisexual women. This is a good app with clear motives, but it has bugs, and that is a bit annoying. So it’s up you to decide! Why should you use it if there are so many other alternatives? Still, they are not meant for the mentioned purposes exclusively. Try it and decide whether it is your place. Here you will definitely have some pleasant conversations which can be developed on a date. Anyway, you can go to Tinder or Bumble and enjoy the smooth operation and a wide list of their members.

Clover

Clover app screenshot

This application allows getting a date making just a couple of taps. Mind that the premium package is rather expensive. Unfortunately, there is no PC version, but you get access to the most extensive base of users on your mobile device. Clover insists that there are about 6 million members aged from 18 to 30 years old signed in. Only premium users have a possibility to send messages without restrictions in number. We can say that the app includes the elements of OkCupid and Tinder being rather interesting and safe.

At the End of the Dating Day

If you are looking for an exclusive romantic partner or your other half, we recommend trying the above apps as efficient and safe online tools with plenty of useful features. They are developed exactly for such purposes allowing you to understand a person of your interest. You can use them on the go and enjoy simple interfaces and scientific approaches to matching. It is easy to protect yourself from annoying conversations applying blocking or other options and continue to communicate with those users who are interesting.

We are sure that you will find the most appropriate service for your needs and preferences. Please leave your comments on any app from the above list you have tried.

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Top Communication Apps for Your Company

It is impossible to do your work properly without communication with your colleagues or boss. Whether you are working remotely or at the same office, you need to share files, links, or discuss important questions. Sometimes it is hard to satisfy clients, make an order on time, or even stay focused without proper communication. There are life-savings apps that were made specially to solve these problems.

Can a small chat app improve the whole business?

Communication is the key to anything. It solves problems and stops wars. If you think that it is irrelevant for your work, you are missing an amazing opportunity for improvement. Team members, who do not need to run up and down the stairs, wasting their time on coming to your office and back just to discuss something will appreciate these apps.

It takes less time to ask a question or receive an answer. It means that all the questions that colleagues saved for the next time they meet will be asked and nothing will be lost. All team members will receive access to important information at the same time. Some of the apps have project management features other suit client communication better, and so on.

These apps help the team to stay focused on their common goal. This way you will receive better results. Productivity will be increased, and the workers will feel as part of a team. Even remote workers can easily reach the office and share the team spirit.

Top apps for communication at work

While we all know numerous chatting apps, not all of them are suitable for business. The perfect communication app for work must contain several features and meet quite a lot of requirements. It must be easy to navigate and understand.

Slack

Slack application screenshots

Price: varies from free up to $15 for a month.

Slack is positioned as a working creative hub for sharing ideas and taking decisions. The center of Slack is the chat between all colleagues. Some users prefer to compare it to Trello by its organization. Still, this is not like Trello at all. This app will be appreciated by anyone who used Hipchat before it was discontinued. All the conversations can be organized into channels, and it actually solves the problem with email chains. It is much easier to find the conversation thread you need if you know where to look and what to look for.

Every member of the chat can join or leave it anytime, write messages or easily find the old ones. You can make a call, share files, and arrange video conferences in Slack. It is compatible with Google Drive, Dropbox, and probably  even your company’s unique software. You may keep all the important data in the storage, so all members of the project could use it.

Main attractions:

  • Channels are well organized and easy to join or leave.
  • Video and audio calls between colleagues are extremely easy to arrange.
  • File sharing option. Slack is compatible with other platforms.

Basecamp

Basecamp application screenshots

Price: $99 a month.

Basecamp app was made for clients oriented companies. You may arrange communication through the app in various ways like Campfire, chatroom, or message boards. If you want to talk directly to your team mate, send the private message or email.

The new feature that lacks in many other apps is that you can actually include your clients into the conversations. Basically, your clients will receive updates on the project and will be able to discuss their questions with you. You can show charts, to-do lists, reports, etc. There is storage for your needs and project calendar to remind you of the deadlines. Actually, the whole working process is simplified. You don’t need to arrange meetings with your clients or call them. They can always visit the app and check what has been done and what you are currently working on.

Main attractions:

  • Close interactions with clients through the app.
  • Charts and reports, and other ways to show the progress to both team members and clients.
  • Various options for communication between each other: chats, conferences, etc.

Zoom

Zoom application screenshots

Price: various from free and up to $199.50 for a month.

There are group video chats for everyone who prefers to see each other during the conversation, instead of typing messages. You can either organize one-on-one private chat or invite up to 100 people to join. This is a nice way to provide conference and include all your remote employees. Face-to-face conversations can significantly increase productivity. There will be less misunderstanding between each other. And this app is widely used for online international conferences.

Zoom app also allows you to share your screen with others, so everyone will be able to see your presentation. The best thing is that you can always join the chat from the tablet or smartphone. To join the conference you will have to make a phone call. You can share even your phone screen if you need. And if you want you may record the conference for other users or for yourself.

Main attractions:

  • Recording the conference and keeping it in the storage.
  • You can join the conference on your phone.
  • Video conferences private or up to 100 people.

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 application screenshots

Price: varies from free up to $199 for a month.

Bitrix24 app was created to help people to communicate with each other. Besides, it provides you with all tools for team members and task management. You can create separate workgroups that will have their own assignments and in the evening call everyone for the common meeting in a chat room or video conference. You may send emails, create events in the calendar and discuss current tasks with employees.

There are task boards for a better convenience and file sharing option. If you use a time tracking system, this app helps with it too. Similar to Basecamp, Bitrix24 offers you to bring your clients into the chat. You don’t have to pay for the app if you don’t want extra services. This app is lightweight and easy to use. You may place any amount of information and share it with your colleagues.

Main attractions:

  • Video conferences or chats between colleagues.
  • Direct and active collaboration with clients.
  • Team management and time tracking system.

Sameroom

Sameroom application screenshots

Price: varies from free up to $5 000 for a month.

This app offers a single communication way for different platforms users. You don’t have to change the platform you are accustomed to.  If you are used to chatting through one app, Sameroom will simply connect you with your colleagues who apply another app.

Besides, you can always unite all your various accounts on one platform. To make it clear, you are able to connect different channels of Slack in one, so the team or clients will have access to everything. Sameroom does not need any extra skills, as it was made super user-friendly.

Main attractions:

  • Over 20 various apps can integrate with the Sameroom.
  • You and other employees may still use your favorite platforms.
  • Different conversations may be united on the same platform.

Asana

Asana application screenshots

Price: varies from free up to $23.99 for a month and user fees.

Asana is an app that is mainly used for project management. Meanwhile, it has all the features for communication inside the team. You can chat with your colleagues one-on-one or call for the group meeting. There are project boards that are useful for keeping updated on the progress, so your colleagues will see it.

Make an assignment in the app and share it with your colleagues. You can post your comments or ask questions there. Notifications will be sent to the employees that take part in the project. Forget about misunderstanding and irrelevant remarks.

Main attractions:

  • You are able to make notes in the assignments directly.
  • Project boards show the current progress to employees.
  • You are able to choose when you want to see notifications.

Wrike

Wrike application screenshots

Price: variуs from free up to $24.8 for a user per month.

Wrike is a management app that helps to provide communication among employees, create projects on time and organize the work structure. Colleagues can receive messages from each other in their workspace. It helps to avoid confusing situations, searching through various tasks and projects. This way, you are able to see the message and immediately respond to it.

Unlike many other apps, Wrike allows you to attach comments to videos, and images as well. This way your notes will be seen on time. All the progress of the whole team is seen in the app. You may share the workflows, ask questions, make updates. You don’t need to actually ask everyone about their tasks and how everything goes. You will see everything yourself.

Main attractions:

  • Updates on the status of the project.
  • You can add notes to videos and photos.
  • Sends messages and chats directly to the workspace to avoid confusion.

Do you actually need any of these apps?

The answer is so obvious that you don’t even have to ask. Modern market has numerous requirements that involve fast and productive communication between co-workers. At the same time, more companies nowadays prefer to hire remote workers who always need to be updated on the current situation with projects. Apps like Slack or Wrike are in trend nowadays, while other amazing apps that were mentioned here are still unknown.

Don’t miss the opportunity to try all of these apps until you find something worthy of your attention. Each of them has different specifics which will be more or less suitable for your work. Build a strong bond between team members and keep the progress visible for everyone.

The list of communication apps here is not complete. You may use some other apps as well. If you do, tell us about them and why do you like them. And if you are familiar with one of the apps mentioned above, please share your honest opinion here, in the comments.

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Creating an Account in IMO App without a Phone Number

IMO app is similar to WhatsApp messaging app that will make your text messaging daily routine easier. The app allows you not only to exchange messages but also to make video or audio calls. All your respondents need is IMO app installed on their phone.

How does IMO work?

IMO app screenshot

The IMO app needs your phone number to verify the user account. Verification can be done both by phone and by text. No matter which way you choose, you are going to need a SIM card.

The only obvious question is what to do when you don’t want to provide the number. The good news is you don’t actually need to give your phone number to strangers anymore. There are not one but a few ways of skipping this verification by number. And we are going to discuss all of them here.

Follow our step-by-step instructions mentioned below and don’t forget to write down your impressions. Before we start! Pay attention that you can download the app for free from the official Google Play Store. If you have already downloaded it and passed the verification but want to remove your phone number, reset the app. Delete the app completely from your phone. Now download it again. It is completely free, so you don’t need to pay for anything.

Using TextNow for account verification

TextNow app screenshot

  • Download the third-party app TextNow to verify your account. Open it;
  • Create a phone number by using special instruction that appears on your screen;
  • Now you can write down the phone number you have created or note it down by tapping on 3 lines at the corner of the screen;
  • Open IMO and sign up this phone number. Verify your account and start using the app.

Landline number for IMO verification

  • Go to the IMO app on your phone;
  • Now you may choose your country and the landline number;
  • The button Next appears, tap on it;
  • The first thing app will do is try to send SMS on your phone, but since it is a landline, and it can’t receive messages, the app will simply call you for a verification;
  • Note down the code you will be told during the call;
  • Go to IMO app and type down the code you received. That’s all. Verification is completed successfully.

After you complete setup

When you verified your number, you can start using the app. Use it to call your family and friends or just chat with them. If you have already tried the app, share your honest opinion with us in the comments. Whether you like using it or not, share your experience with us. There is only one condition! Be polite to other people, even if your opinions are different.

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Top Apps for Staying Close When Apart

There’s little pleasure to be forced apart, even temporarily. But today’s technology works wonders, and, to make your departure easier, you can easily connect via the web that took over the world. Here are the best apps we selected for that.

Six Apps to Bring You Together from Afar

We have found six popular apps that will help you see, hear, read and even feel each other at any distance. Some of them are extremely popular; others are kind of exotic. But all of them can help you stay close when apart.

Skype

Skype screen

It’s the classical app for voice and video calls, now owned by Microsoft and included into Microsoft Office (in its business version). What makes Skype a good option for lovers? First of all, it’s voice and video calls, providing a sort of presence with its HD video and HQ voice. Second, it’s is subscription. Even when one of you is overseas, Skype lets you make calls to regular landline or mobile phone numbers when your partner is offline. It only takes an Office 365 subscription. Even the basic option includes 60 mines of Skype Out.

Instagram

Instagram app

We all know, it’s the app for publishing your pics, polishing them with filters, and then exposing them to the whole world, right? It’s also owned by Facebook, so it’s popular and subject to strict censorship. But Insta is much more than this. First of all, there are Stories, the ephemeral chronicles of your days. You can charge them with meanings and messages only someone special can understand. Second, it has a private message system, so you can send each other the pictures not meant for publishing. 

And, in addition, it’s so sweet to tell the world something meant just for one person, so others will only understand how close you are to each other to read otherwise unreadable. Anyway, Instagram is for showing off your happiness, so show off your love… as much as it doesn’t touch the very heart you save for the two of you.

WhatsApp

Whatsup app

And another app by Facebook hurries to the rescue when you’re half a world away. It brings you free unlimited texting, voice and video calls, and it’s not too sensible for connection quality. So even one of you is somewhere in the wild, where the Internet is a luxury, you won’t need much of it to send a message, a picture, a short video, or your location. It’s strange to recommend this app as it’s already one of the most popular in the world; it’s rather a reminder to keep in touch.

Spokeo

Spokeo screen

This app should have been named first, as it’s a great investigation tool. You only need to enter the phone number into the special field, and the service reports you everything about public activities of the phone’s owner.

No doubt this service only uses open source data and works legally, otherwise, it wouldn’t be available. It can seem immoral to spy over your partner like this; well, then don’t. But you may need to know. Or at least warn each other that you’ll mutually spy over Spokeo, to feel like you’re doing all these activities side by side. Alas, Spokeo is little help (or none at all), when one of the two temporarily (or constantly) lives outside the US.

SnapChat

Snapchat screen

The greatest thing about Snapchat when it comes to relationship is its privacy. Send each other your photos and don’t be afraid they may leak out. Just don’t forget about self-destruction timer.

We don’t mean only explicit pics, though we understand how much they can matter when physical touch is impossible. These little stupid pics or videos with Snapchat filters and masks can be much more compromising. And this makes Snapchat a sort of test: if you both really enjoy these stupid moments with dog ears and noses, crowns and clowns, and your faces mutually swapped, then you really fit each other.

Telegram

Telegram app

It’s a good messenger, but most of its messaging features copy those of WhatsApp, and the unique ones (like public channels and advanced encryption) seem to have nothing in common with our subject … Oh yes, they suddenly have. Encryption, you say! Yes, that’s what makes chatting in Telegram feel more secure, so you can share your deepest feelings and thoughts. 

What Telegram cannot do is video calls, and the developers say they don’t have the slightest intention to implement them. But you can have Skype or WhatsApp for your regular video calls, and Snapchat to make them really crazy with filters and stickers.

Keep Closer!

Well, there are other ways, in addition to these above. If both of you have Apple Watch, then you can even send touches to each other, with haptic responses, and use an online walkie-talkie. And if you know each other’s offline addresses (and why not?), then use the traditional postal delivery to send each other physical gifts and paper letters. Because nothing digital gets as personal than a handwritten paper letter. Even if you write an email with your own hand and a hi-tech stylus on your touchscreen, it shares the same handwriting and signature but not the warmth.

We left uncovered services like iMessage or Facebook Messenger, partly because they are bound to hardware (no iPhone – no iMessage), partly because they just duplicate the other apps. And if you feel your conversations lack visual emotions, you can connect one of the third-party emoji packs to heart, kiss, pair, dance, moon, and sun each other, or whatever you feel special about. But remember: your love and feelings are primary, and the apps just help it.

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WhatsApp Alternatives: Our Top Picks

So, you decided to find an alternative for WhatsApp. Maybe you’re too worried about Facebook’s privacy policy. Or you just don’t like the way it works. Or you drop it for your own reasons.

Here are the alternative apps you can have on your phone for communicating. All of them are cross-platform and compatible with your PC as well as with iPhone or Android devices. So, select what’s the most attractive to you.

And remember: even the best messenger is no good if your contacts aren’t in. So, you better check several alternatives and see what your contact list looks like in each.

Signal: The Safest

Signal app screen

Signal is an open-source cross-platform messenger, developed by a group of enthusiasts and distributed for non-profit reasons. Its source code is always published on GitHub, so everyone competent enough can check it and report bugs, vulnerabilities or backdoors if any of them is found.

The killer feature of Signal is security. Its encryption system is rated as the most secure of all the messengers available. 

As for features, Signal has exactly what a modern messenger should have. Its primary identifier is your phone number. After confirmation and authentication, you can make voice and video calls and send messages and files to other Signal contacts. Exactly like you do in WhatsApp.

Is it that perfect substitute? In fact, not, unless you persuade all your contacts to switch to Signal, or at least install it as a second messenger. For that you can just send invitations from Signal as regular SMS.

Pro: secure.
Con: not so popular.

Viber: The Richest in Stickers

Viber screen

If you mostly communicate informally and emotionally, you probably like sending and receiving all those graphic smiles, kisses, flowers, thumbs up, and the big stickers showing that regular emoji aren’t expressive enough. Then here comes Viber by Rakuten.

In fact, this messenger has all the features of WhatsApp. It supports unlimited texting, sending pictures and locations, video and voice calls, group chats, and even built-in games. And it’s quite popular: there are few countries listing it as #1, but almost all over the world it’s in the Top 5. 

But the most distinct feature of Viber is its treasury of stickers and emoji. You can select pets, cartoon characters, popular mascots, and characters invented on purpose, to express your emotions. Even paid ones can be available for free if sponsored, or as a reward for active communication.

Pro: the most emotional messenger.
Con: but once you get locked into a serious sticker collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

Telegram: The Most Social… and The Most Controversial

Telegram screen

In fact, Telegram is more than a messenger: it’s a text-centric messaging and blogging app, two-in-one. The messaging part of Telegram is familiar, with one useful exception: you can send messages to yourself as well. A useful feature when you need to transfer a picture or some text between your devices. On the other hand, Telegram has no video calls and no plans for that.

As for the blogging part, you can create a public channel with your account and post anything you want. So far your posts can only be read, but the team is working on implementing comments. The rumor has it that Telegram is to introduce its own cryptocurrency soon.

Security features include end-to-end encryption and possibility to hide your phone number; but still those who have it will see it connected to your account.

Pro: secure and social.
Con: no video calls.

GroupMe: For More Than Two

GroupMe screen

Of course, this app by Microsoft can be used for private communication, but rather it’s a tool for creating group chats (just like it says on the tin). It also supports sending pictures, locations, links and all the types of data regularly shared in groups.

You can use your Microsoft or Facebook accounts to log in or create an independent account with your email. Still, it needs to access your phone book and fetch the contacts from there. 

Pro: great for group chats at work and at your party.
Con: it can’t replace your WhatsApp experience.

LINE: Orientally Oriented

LINE screen

If you want something resembling WhatsApp up to the color of the logo, here comes LINE. It’s a messenger with functionality very similar to all the messengers like WhatsApp. It also needs your phone number as an ID and your phone book as the base to fetch your LINE contacts.

Though LINE is mostly popular in East Asia (Japan, South Korea), but also it has its fans in America and Middle East. If you communicate with friends or colleagues from these Asian countries, you’ll access them easier, and they’ll appreciate.

Pro: all the features of a modern messenger, useful for contacts with Asia.
Con: not as popular in the rest of the world.

The Ones Behind

There are other messaging apps (or rather services) also worth attention, at least in one sentence. Some of them are only popular locally; say, WeChat is mostly used in China, IMO in Central Asia, and KakaoTalk in South Korea. Google Hangouts, formally sharing the same functionality, didn’t get as popular; as for iMessage, it only works with Apple devices.
We skipped Facebook Messenger too, because, being too an obvious alternative, it shares one thing with WhatsApp: it’s controlled by Facebook. As far as we know, concerns about Facebook’s privacy policy is one of the main reasons why people give up WhatsApp.

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