The global pandemic has left many people stuck overseas with very few options available to them to get home. Currently, restrictions in many countries are being lifted and people are getting home. However, there are some still not able to get home, other that do not want to go back to their home country because of quarantine restrictions, and there are those that have already made it back.
Regardless of their situations, how did these people cope with being overseas? And how did they get their taste of back home? One of the main ways people stayed in contact back home was, of course, mobile apps! It seems that in today’s day and age, apps are the answer to everything.
According to one recent Buzzfeed news report “We Need An “Army” Of Contact Tracers To Safely Reopen The Country. We Might Get Apps Instead”. Apps are looking increasingly likely to be the answer to tracing people’s whereabouts so if another outbreak occurs, as it did with the Spanish flu, then governments have a way to trace everyone that may have come into contact with the virus.
As for those stuck overseas, they have equally been relying on different apps to try and get home.
Newspaper apps are quite common these days. Connecting to local news at home via a website and sifting through the titles or a news feed can be difficult, but newspaper apps make life much easier. People can install the app and set alerts. When a new story is released under the ‘coronavirus’ subject, an alert can be sent to people’s phones.
For example, there are numerous foreigners with families in Thailand unable to get back into because the country has suspended all flights. News and information regarding as to when these people can reenter the country is reported on the county’s English speaking Thai newspapers such as the Bangkok Post and the Nation. Alerts will be sent immediately to the user’s app, and as soon as the borders being reopened is announced, then these people can plan their re-entry back into the Kingdom
One of the best ways to access local news channels back home is via YouTube. Most TV news channels and radio stations have taken to YouTube LIVE channels. For instance, if you are English and you are stuck overseas, the best way to access sites such as BBC or Sky News is via the YouTube app.
There are hundreds of news channels on YouTube LIVE so you can also catch up with news in other countries if you wish. Channels include CNN, Al Jazeera, RT, Fox News, and so on. As long as there is internet access, then finding live news wherever you are in the world is very easy.
We all know about Netflix as the movie streaming giant has taken the online movies and series scene by storm over the past decade. For those stuck with the standard hotel channels wherever they are, movie entertainment can be rather limited, to say the least. However, the very affordable Netflix app can be downloaded and movies streamed from hundreds of countries around the world.
Even if the country you stuck in does not allow access to Netflix, you can use a VPN to get access. Many people use VPNs from overseas to connect to their local version of Netflix. An example of this could be a US citizen stranded in Thailand. The Thai version of Netflix may not be showing the latest US catalogue of films, movies, and so using VPN software and connecting to a US server will give them access.
There are tons of VOIP and real-time video apps out there, but Skype always seems to be the one that gives you everything. One of the features of Skype is its landline and mobile line subscription packages. This means if you want to contact someone on their telephone that may not have Skype, you can use the Skype VOIP mobile and landline numbers packages.
In short, not only can people overseas connect using free Skype to Skype calls, but also, they can call landlines and mobile phones by buying a certain number of minutes. This has helped people overseas stay in touch with family – especially those with older family members that do not use the internet or understand how to use today’s latest tech.
If you do not free landline and mobile calls, then great, because Skype is totally free to use if you use it for real-time video and voice calls using Skype-to-Skype connections.
Apps are the best way to stay in touch with home when overseas. Whether you are travelling overseas, or if you happen to be stuck abroad because of the latest pandemic, getting access to back home so you can stay in touch with your culture, there are tons of apps out there. All you need to do is find apps that suit your preferred styles of entertainment. And if there is a geo-block on these apps, meaning you need to be in your home country to access the content, you can use a VPN to bypass these restrictions.
The best thing about most of the apps covered in this article is nearly all of them are free!