Mosaic / Reviews / May 14, 2014

Apps link long-distance relationships, friends

Technology makes it easier than ever to connect and “hang out” with loved ones, even if they’re towns or countries away. For students far from their significant others, family members or close friends, these apps will make distance hurt less.


“Relationship App for Two”

TenthBit’s app Couple is a private messaging app for couples. Self-explanatory, right? Surprisingly, the app is feature-rich with “private timelines” created from messages, photos, videos and events; shared to-do lists and schedules; collaborative sketchbooks; and more.

A personal favorite feature is the “ThumbKiss,” where users can “kiss” their significant others over their phone.

Couple is available for iOS, Android and desktop browsers.


Similar to Couple, You&Me is a newer relationship-focused private messaging app created by HowAboutWe (a company known for their dating apps).

Compared to Couple, You&Me is more visual and image-based. If you and your significant other enjoy taking photos or videos together, then You&Me would be more fun and usable than Couple.

Popular features of You&Me include the “Halfsie” photo, which allows each person to take one half of a photo and combines the two into one, no matter where they are, or the “Secret” photo, which puts a film of “steam” over photos which can then be revealed by swiping over your screen.

You&Me is available for iOS and Android.


Dobby is one of many video streaming apps that allows users to chat with friends and watch movies together over the internet.

The nifty thing about Dobby is that it creates a room for anyone to watch a movie or TV show, allowing the videos to stay in perfect sync for everyone in the room. No longer will users have to face the dreaded problems of trying to sync videos together.

The problem with Dobby is that all users have to have the same video downloaded to their computer, which can be rather inconvenient.

Google+ Hangouts

Google+ Hangouts is a video messaging app that creates rooms for friends to hang out over the internet. Compared to other video messaging apps (namely Skype), Hangouts is one of the most feature-rich options for groups of people.

Like Dobby, Hangouts has the ability to share and play videos in perfect sync with friends (the caveat being that it must be a YouTube video). Hangouts also has add-ons that include Sporcle (trivia games), Risk, collaborative sketchbooks, stickers and more.

Unfortunately, in order to use Google+ Hangouts, one must first create a Google+ account.

This is probably the only reason Google+ is still relevant.

Zynga Inc. Games

Everyone is familiar with “Words With Friends,” and many have seen the variety of two-player mobile games that came out of it. Other popular games include “Draw Something,” “Hanging With Friends” or “Scramble With Friends,” all of which go through your phone, Facebook and Twitter contacts to look for people to play with.

Zynga Inc. games get surprisingly competitive (usually jokingly so), and are perfect for casual play.

Most games are available for all smartphone platforms.

League of Legends

League of Legends is a multiplayer, “battle arena” style online game for desktop gamers. Players are put in teams and control “champions” for the main purpose of overtaking your enemy team’s “nexus”. Games typically last half an hour to an hour, depending on what kind of game you play, and no, chances are you won’t be allowed a break during the game.

Because of its inherent competitiveness and team-based gameplay, League of Legends is one of the best competitive games you could play with a group of friends.

There are many rules surrounding the game, as it is also played professionally and tournaments garner massive audiences, but to go over it in its complete depth would take the entirety of this newspaper (maybe).

Tags:  apps couple dobby Google plus google+ hangouts league of legends procrastination smartphone study abroad you&me zynga

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Casey Mendoza
Casey Mendoza is a junior majoring in political science with a double minor in philosophy and Chinese. This is her third year working for TKS as a photographer and photo editor. Casey also works as a photography intern for the Galesburg Register-Mail. In 2013, she won third place in the Photo Essay category from the Illinois College Press Association. In the Winter and Spring of 2014, Casey will be studying journalism and working in Washington D.C. She manages the YouTube Channel for The Anglerfish Magazine and works as video editor for Question Mark Productions.

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