Special time with loved ones is often what makes the holidays so memorable. But what do you do when those loved ones are too far away to pop over for a big meal and a heartwarming gift exchange? Well, with a strong internet connection from Race, there are lots of ways to stay connected.
If you have an iPhone and you are contacting someone who also has one, then FaceTime is the obvious choice. However, if one or more parties don’t have iPhones, there are plenty of other options. Read on to discover seven creative ways to video call, swap photos, send gifts and simply stay connected with long-distance family this holiday season.
Let’s start with the obvious choice. With its long-time history of quality audio and video calls, Skype has long been the go-to choice for connecting with loved ones all over the world. But did you know its features also include low-cost texts and calls to mobiles and landlines, easy group video calling and file sharing and messaging between devices? It’s also easily accessible on a wide range of devices, including your smartphone, computer, smart TV, Playstation and more.
#2: Google Hangouts
If you’re hoping to have a video call with your cousin Jason, Aunt Lisa, niece Jenna and family friend Marc at the same time during your upcoming family gathering, Google Hangouts is the platform for you. You can talk to up to 10 people at a time, do live-streaming video, file share, text message and, of course, make audio and video calls. You can even take photos during your hangout to easily capture the special memories you’ll be making together-yet-apart.
#3: Facebook Messenger
If your family members are skeptical about downloading a new service just to video call you on Christmas, check to see if they’re already on Facebook. The Facebook Messenger app works for text communication, sure, but it also has a voice and video call feature. Simply tap the person in your Messenger contact list, then tap the video icon to begin a video call. It’s easy and free, and no new apps or accounts are needed!
Looking to share photos and videos with loved ones without posting them for the entire world to see? No need to start an annoying group text. Instead, meet Cluster. This app features an Instagram-like feed, but only for the people you invite into the group. Create a group for all the family members that want to see baby’s first Christmas or all the friends attending your Friendsgiving feast. And everyone can share their photos in one simple place. Plus, the ability to “like” and comment on photos will keep the spirit of community alive no matter how far apart you may be!
If you’re looking for an easy way to share photos with your not-so-internet-savvy family members, look no further than a Wi-Fi cloud frame from Nixplay. This digital photo frame creates a slideshow of the photos you add, and you can easily use your phone to add more at any time — even if the photo frame is on the other side of the world. This makes this frame a gift that keeps on giving for family members near and far.
Picking just the right present for that distant (and possibly picky!) family member can be tricky, so let Giftster do the thinking for you. This free app allows you to create a wish list and add any items you’d love to receive. Then you can invite family and friends to create lists of their own. Shop from each other’s lists to bypass that anxiety over gifting just the right thing. (Plus, your family members will love how easy it is to find the perfect gift to send you, too!)
#7: Artifact Uprising
We all know how much Grandma loves getting updated pictures of the grandchildren, but creating a photo album can be time-consuming. Help her feel remembered and included this holiday season by using Artifact Uprising to quickly create quality prints, photo books, calendars, gallery frames and so much more. Simply upload photos straight from your Instagram or camera roll, and click to buy. You can even use the gift option to send the photos straight to Grandma!
Each of these tools and apps makes it easy to stay connected with family all over the world throughout the holiday season and beyond. Contact Race today to make sure you have the high-speed internet connection you need to power each and every one!