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Essential apps for long-distance relationships

Summer is coming, and if you're away from home, use these apps to organize your trip..and save your relationship.
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1 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Facetime

Developer: Apple

Price: $0.99/free

Compatibility: Compatible with Apple products OSX 10.6.6 or later

Facetime is a video communications program found installed on many Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. It allows for real-time chatting with another person who also has Facetime installed.

The video and audio capabilities are great, and in my opinion, far surpass Skype in quality. Since it is available on a number of mobile devices, the portability of this app makes staying in touch with loved ones far easier. A strong WiFi connection is necessary, and for most mobile phones, it can be a severe battery drainer.

Source: App store

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2 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Girlfriend Keeper

Developer: Wilshire Shaw Inc.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.0 or later.

 

“My first three wives divorced me because I always forgot anniversaries. I am pretty sure my fourth marriage will work thanks to the Girlfriend app.”  -- Mark, 22

This amusing app, Girlfriend Keeper, is designed to help the modern gentleman remember the important aspects of their relationship -- including birthdays, anniversaries, and the name & eye color of their girlfriend.

Setting your criteria of how "intense" the relationship is, messages can be automatically sent from every few hours to several a month. The messages are randomly selected from a database full of thousands -- and any response you receive is sent to your email address.

Don't take it too seriously though -- most girls will figure it out soon enough, but at least it will put a smile on her face.. and you won't forget her birthday (or name).

Source: App store

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3 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Foursquare

Developer: Foursquare Labs

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Android.

In a world where many individuals are freely sending personal and intimate details of their lives across the Internet, locations are no exception. Even though it will only be a matter of time before the first Foursquare stalking story appears in tabloids across the West, it is still a popular service that many use to inform their contacts of where they've been.

Foursquare is available for iOS and Android models. Not only is it used for socially broadcasting your activities -- and sending such information to social networking sites Twitter and Facebook -- it can also be used as a business promotion tool. For those in long-distance relationships, if you're backpacking across the globe, letting your loved one track your trail is possible through the application.

The app has three tabs -- Friends, Places, and Me. "Friends" allows you to see who's recently checked in, and where; "Places" uses GPS technology to locate nearby venues, and "Me" shows your check-in history.

Source: App store | Google Play

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4 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Pair

Developer: TenthBit

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.1 or later. Android.

Having a Facebook newsfeed full of declarations of love can be highly annoying -- but what if you had the capabilities to share your travels with one person only, and save the rest of your Facebook friends the experience?

That's where 'Pair' comes in. For those in a long-distance relationship, being able to create a private timeline offers something for everyone. Swap messages, photos, videos and locations -- all on a private timeline platform and away from other prying eyes.

Once the app is 'paired' with a partner, you can share content immediately. From simple text messages to joint 'to-do' lists and collaborative drawing, there is a variety of ways this platform allows you to communicate. For true romantics, pressing your thumbs on the same parts of the screen results in a 'thumb kiss' where the phone vibrates.

Source: App store | Google Play

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5 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Google+ Hangouts

Developer: Google

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Android.

The updated Google+ app has resulted in a simpler format and seemingly more reliable Hangout video chat option. Miss the days you used to watch a film together? Never fear. Place the phone next to you, connect with your partner, stick the film on and you're away -- but of course, you'll need a reliable Internet connection.

Instant messaging is also a feature of Hangouts, and if you fancy tagging some of your friends along, the video chat now supports up to ten people talking simultaneously -- which is an option that makes it unique in relation to Skype or Facetime.

Source: App store | Google Play

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6 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Instagram

Developer: Burbn, Inc.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later. Android.

Instagram is a popular photo editing and sharing application. After gaining over 15 million users on iOS, it has recently begun growing a fan base on Android after the recent release of its Android-compatible app -- gaining over 5 million downloads in one week.

This app includes a range of photo filters to immortalize what you're seeing in a slightly different way. Once you've taken a picture of the Colosseum to send to your sweetheart, you can either share it across social networks like Twitter and Facebook, send them to your Instagram account or directly to their mobile.

 

Source: App store | Google Play

 

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7 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Kayak

Developer: kayak.com

Price: Free/Pro versions.

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Android.

A necessity for any traveler -- to be able to access sites that allow you to book flights, cars and hotels if there is a change of plan or you're off to meet your partner across the globe. The Kayak app is one of the more popular search functions available. It is possible to compare and book flights, check the status of your flight, manage a trip itinerary and find information including baggage fees and airline numbers.

Source: App store | Google Play

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8 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Kik Messenger

Developer: KIK Interactive Inc.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.Requires iOS 3.1 or later. Android.

Kik Messenger is a decent app that can be a good alternative to other popular messaging platforms such as Facebook chat -- especially if there are only certain people you're interested in talking with.

At the time of writing, Kik is advertisement-free that works across multiple platforms. It is a good real-time chat option, and you can also share images with selected individuals (think of the possibilities..), plan your next outing with your partner, and you also receive instant notifications when a new message or image is sent to you. Group chat is also a handy option that can be organized by creating groups or adding people to real-time conversations.

Source: App store | Google Play

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9 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Pillow Talk

Developer: Little Riot

Price: -

Not an app but certainly worth a mention, Pillow Talk is an experimental project aimed at creating a physical presence in long-distance relationships. The system has two elements -- one, a ring sensor that each person wears to bed. The second element is a flat fabric panel that is slipped into their pillowcase. Through a wireless connection, once one person goes to bed, the other panel begins to glow -- indicating that your lover has also retired for the night.

Placing your head on the pillow apparently allows you to hear the real-time heartbeat of your partner -- certainly a step-up from the 'good night' text message.

Pillow Talk is currently waiting on funding for manufacturing the project after going viral and receiving almost half a million hits.

Source: Little Riot

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10 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Pinterest

Developer: Pinterest Inc.

Price: Free

Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Pinterest is a web-based platform that is also available as an iOS application. The basic idea of Pinterest is to 'pin' your favourite images to share with the world -- but what if you and your partner are both on separate trips, or living in different places? Share a board and share your experiences.

Source: App store

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11 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Postagram

Developer: Sincerely Inc.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Android.

Choose a photo from your iPhone library, Instagram, or Facebook account, send it to be printed and a real postcard will be delivered in a few days to your partner -- a personal way to show them what you're experiencing.

Postagram's mailing service can be delivered worldwide, and any image from your mobile or social networking account can be selected. You can also include an 180 character message, and it costs 99c for the U.S, and $1.99 worldwide. If you're trying to send a postcard to the U.S. or Canada, it will be delivered within a week -- but international delivery can take several weeks to arrive.

Source: App Store | Google Play

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12 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: TripIt

Developer: TripIt

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later. Android.

The TripIt application is another useful service for travelers -- and can help you plan the next visit to your partner. Once you've set up a free account, you can either use the app or web interface to pull information from your calendars, email and reservations. To save churning through emails to find your itinerary or flight plan, you can forward it to an email address to include it in your digital planner, and keep your plans running smoothly.

Trip plans can also be shared across social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so your partner can know your travel plans -- and you can both make any changes as necessary. In the Pro version, flights can be monitored for alerts to save money on airfare and to be kept informed of any delays or cancellations.

Source: App store | Google Play

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13 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Viber

Developer: Viber Media

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.1 or later. Android.

The Viber application is compatible across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. It currently supports over 40 million users, who use the free app to call, text and send images across to other Vibe users across the world through WiFi or 3G.

One thing which is good about the app is the fact it is not smothered by advertising, and the privacy policy is crystal clear. The sound quality isn't quite as strong as Facetime, but the battery usage rate is better -- for Android users, combining this with Juice Defender keeps it ticking along for much longer.

If you download the app and want to know who is already on the platform, you can choose to synchronize your contacts to show you if your friends -- or your partner -- is already connected. For those on the road, it can certainly cut down the phone bill.

Source: App store | Google Play

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14 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: wikiHow's Love Survival Kit

Developer: wikiHow, Inc.

Price: Free

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.0 or later.

Whether your long-distance relationship is going well or not, even the best of us sometimes need advice. Whether it is how best to ask your partner to move in, or how to get rid of a love bite, wikiHow's Love Survival Kit app is a quick-fix solution to rapidly find the answer to your dilemma.

The app includes articles on dating and maintaining relationships, grooming, romance, tactics and even tips for the bedroom. You don't need an Internet connection to access the app, but you can also use the free service to find YouTube videos, to read the 'How to' of the day, and bookmark items for reading later.

Source: App store 

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15 of 15 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Name: Words With Friends

Developer: Zynga

Price: £1.99 (approx $4)

Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. iOS 4.0 or later. Android.

A popular app, Words With Friends can allow you to keep in touch and play games with friends all over the world. It is built on a very simple premise: turn-based gaming (which can extend to multiple, ongoing competitions between different friends) in order to build up your word score.

Over 20 million people have used this app, and it is available in paid or free versions (advert supported). Scores and games can be shared across social media sites. You can play up to 20 games and chat simultaneously -- one way to keep the conversation going between you and your loved one in a fun way.

Source: App store | Google Play

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