If you’re living abroad or considering moving away from loved-ones, here are six ways to stay in touch with your nearest and dearest from anywhere in the world.
One of the biggest sacrifices people make when moving abroad is living away from their families. It is something every world traveller, expat and overseas holiday-home-owner confronts to some degree when deciding to spend time in another country, either permanently or for extended periods of time. Thanks to modern technology the emotional strain of living away from loved-ones is alleviated by the various apps and VOIP software that make staying in touch easier than ever before – and it’s all free. Gone are the days of expensive international calls across crackly lines.
Gone are the days of expensive international calls across crackly lines.
The software program Skype features free skype-to-skype audio calls, videos calls and messaging from anywhere in the world. It’s a simple process to download the software to a computer or mobile device, and as long as your friends and family also have the app installed, communication is simple. A decent internet connection is required for a seamless video communication, while the audio communication works fine with a slower connection. The video conferencing features allows three or more people to connect at the same time, making family gatherings from different spots in the world possible.
Nearly everyone has a Facebook account these days. Facebook Messenger is a separate app that uses your Facebook credentials to sign in. Once connected you can audio or video call any of your Facebook friends. It’s as simple as looking up their name and hitting the call or video-call button. As long as you are connected to the internet all of your Facebook contacts are a simple click away, even Janice in Accounts from that job you were so happy to leave!
WhatsApp is an interface that allows instant text messaging free-of-charge from anywhere in the world, with over one billion subscribers in over 180 countries. Both users must have the app installed on their mobile device, which is available for iOS and Android devices. The simple app makes texting anyone in the world simple and straight-forward.
For Apple users iMessage and Facetime are great features that come standard with an Apple device. When connected to the internet iMessage allows you to send free-text messages from anywhere in the world (to activate go to ‘settings’ and then ‘messages’ then activate ‘imessage’). Facetime enables users to video-call contacts on their phone that also possess an iPhone or iPad. This is a simple, free and seamless way to call and message anyone on your contact list from anywhere in the world.
When connected to the internet iMessage allows free-text messages from anywhere in the world.
Viber is similar to Skype and allows parties to call, video-call and text message. It also allows the sharing of picture and video messages. You can download the app from the Apple or Android store, which will sync with the contacts on your phone. Those with the app can enjoy free calls, video and messaging to anyone on their contact list who also have Viber.
If you have a Google+ account then Google Hangout is a great way to communicate with friends and family. The kids or grandkids will love this one as you can choose animated hats and costumes to ‘wear’ while video-calling. A strong internet connection is needed to stream this app properly.
Communication technology has come a long way in the last decade and we are excited to see further advancements in the coming years – virtual reality anyone?
At Property Guides we help people from the UK move abroad by assisting with the process of purchasing property and researching and learning about your new destination.