Going the distance: apps to keep you in contact with faraway friends


Feel closer without getting close at all

Since restrictions have lifted, it’s been wonderful to reconnect with friends, but there are some we still haven’t seen. Maybe they’re teaching in Australia, travelling in Asia or living the American Dream. Between a pandemic, travel bans, and the cost of flights, it might be some time before we can see our long-distance friends in person once more. If you’ve got Zoom fatigue and can’t handle additional FaceTime calls, these apps can help you keep in touch.


If you’ve ever had a conversation with a friend and thought “we should have a podcast”, Cappuccino is the app for you. You can create a group with either one other person or a handful of pals, and each record for up to three minutes. Give a rundown of your day, remind them of a funny memory, or just check in. Each day at a certain time, your ‘bean’ will be ‘served up’ to the recipient, and they can then send one back. The app even adds an intro and outro jingle to each voice note, so you’ll feel like you really have downloaded the latest episode of a friend’s radio show. Plus, thanks to the three-minute cap, wave goodbye to the extensive WhatsApp voice notes! Available on the App Store and Google Play.





Tinkovu is great for faraway friends and long-distance lovers alike. You just sign up on the app, and share your friendcode with someone you want to connect with. Then, whenever you think of them, send them a ‘tink’. This can simply be in the form of a notification that let’s them know “hey, I miss you!” or you can accompany it with a photo or a memory. Or, send a message that can only be opened at a specific time. In the Friend Goals section, challenge your friends with some questions about you. It’s a fun way to stay connected, and make sure the other person knows they’re on your mind when they’re not on your continent. Available on both Apple and Android phones.


If your friends are film fans, download Rave for an ideal way to watch together. You can watch shows or movies from a range of streaming sites all together, and chat while you do. It’s just like a movie night, but miles apart. You can connect with your whole group, and each vote on what plays next, and when you do finally get to be in the same room, you can sync your devices into one speaker system. The app was released in 2015 but grew to prominence in 2020 for obvious reasons! Rave is available on Apple, Mac, Android and Windows devices.

Main image by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash