Using Email, Video Chat and Messaging Apps to Stay Connected to Family
Kinetic Internet and Getting the Speed You NeedEnter Kinetic Internet, our high-speed Internet solution. With Kinetic Internet, you can get speeds starting at 25 Mbps and going up to One Gig.
EquipmentNow that you know how much speed you need, it’s time to delve into what devices will best fit you and your family. What are your choices?
Ways to Keep in TouchAnd, once you’ve got all the equipment you need, you’re ready to explore all the technology to help you stay in touch with family and friends.
Put away that pen and paper, and do away with snail mail. One of the easiest ways to keep in touch with family is email, of course! And, my, has it come a long way since the first ever was sent in 1971.
With email, family updates can come as often — or as little — as you like. The frequency will primarily depend on how quickly folks are able to respond. Do they let emails languish in their inbox for days on end? Or do they need to mark all as read?
This method is also great for sending along important moments that your extended family won’t want to miss but will have to, like the little one’s first recital or prom. Attach photos and videos from the big day. Just remember that most email services limit the file size that you can share. As an example, Gmail and your Windstream email only allow 25 MB per message.
2. Cloud Storage
And that brings us to a second way to share: cloud storage. Unlike saving to your computer’s hard drive or an external device, cloud storage lets users place their data in a remote database, accessible through the Internet. The main upside is that you can share certain files with people of your choice.
There are many free options that give you enough storage to house all those important moments that won’t fit in the email you’re sending. But, of course, if you do exceed the storage limit, there are paid options as well. Check out some of the cloud storage services here, and be sure to look for some of the integrations with the services you’re already using. As an example, Gmail will automatically send files over the 25 MB limit as a link to Google Drive, the suite’s cloud-storage service.
3. Messaging Apps and Video Chatting Apps
With family messaging apps, you could easily start a thread to ensure not a moment is missed. These days, messaging apps include much more than the ability to send and receive messages. Many — like Whatsapp, now a part of Facebook — have features that allow you to send photos and videos, share other types of documents and group chat — all using your Internet connection instead of your cellphone plan. Whatsapp also lets you sync your chats to your computer, so you can start on one device where you left off on another.
Other messaging apps, like Life360, combine communication with safety features like driving details, including top speeds and dangerous driving events. With Life360 specifically, parents can create circle “members” with immediate family, friends, caregivers or others, and customize messaging, location sharing and check-ins with specific circles.
And, for the ultimate face-to-face time, there’s video chatting. Like everything else that involves technology, there are more than a few ways to achieve this. The easiest is through your smartphone or tablet (for iOS users, Facetime). While there isn’t an equivalent for Android users, many video chat options — like Skype, Google Duo and even Whatsapp — all have phone apps for video chatting.
For each of these apps, you’ll want to read the bandwidth requirements it will take for you to run the app seamlessly so that all of your time together is quality time.