Quarantine Hangs

5 Great Ways to Hang Out Online When You’re Tired of Just Video Chat

May 19, 2020 Tech By
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During social distancing, we’ve been forced to coming up with new and innovative ways to hang out with each other. Obviously, video chat is a big part of that. We’re using apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts and FaceTime more than ever, both for work and just for hanging out with family friends. B if you’re looking to add a different level of intrigue to virtual hangs, you don’t just have to have face to face conversations. Here are 5 other ways to hang out on line, that will let you spice things up, or chill out in a way that’s more low-key.

Watch a Movie

Cost: Free

Netflix Party is a free Chrome extension that allows you, family and friends to watch the same movie or show on Netflix at the same exact time. There’s a chat box that appears so you can all type your “lol I’m dead”s, “I knew it”s, and “Hey, it’s that guy”s in one place. If you don’t have a Netflix account, no problem. Only one person in the “screening” has to have an account, as Netflix Party creates a shareable link that everyone can access.

Solve a Mystery

Cost: $20 $17

There are a zillion different online games that you can play online with friends, but one of the most creative and fun is TEG Unlocked: The Heist. It’s a virtual crime solving game where you and up to three friends work as a secret agent and try to stop a suspected art thief. You can think of it as a virtual Carmen Sandiego game where you have to solve a bunch of puzzles and discipher a bunch of clues. Believe us, it’s a blast and a great time killer.

Play Some Party Games

Cost: Free

Houseparty is a video chat app that lets the people in the chat play games with one another like Heads Up! and Trivia. The app and chrome extension is free, can be played with up to eight friends at a time. You could, of course, also just play card games on standard video chat, but Houseparty’s integrations make it easier.

Listen to Music

Cost: Free

If you and your friends are all Spotify Premium subscribers, check out JQBX. It’s a web player and mobile app that lets you create a listening session where you can take turns selecting tracks while listening in unison. Anybody in the listening session can add music to the queue, plus you all can rate songs via a “dope” or “nope” meter. It’s a great bit of socialization to have on in the background if you’re not up to something more involved.

Start a Chat

Cost: Free

One of the big downsides of video calls is trying to schedule an appointment with your friends and find an excuse to leave when you’re done. But with Discord, a chat app that’s popular with gamers but great for everyone, you can create a persistent digital space for friends to come and go as they please, and hang out with whoever happens to be around. Mixing the best qualities of Skype and Slack, it has a wide-array of video, audio, and text-chat options for whatever suits your needs and your mood. You can even start up a video stream, and just let your friends or relatives swing by and say hi whenever they feel like it.

How to Use Your Smartphone As a Webcam

A free app lets you use your smartphone instead. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Tucker Bowe

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol's editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

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