A slew of tech platforms offering an important service for people practising social distancing. Video chat app Houseparty is among those which has surged in popularity since the arrival of the coronavirus chaos.
In these extraordinary times, apps such as Houseparty have come to be viewed as essential services.
There are now numerous apps capable of allowing people to keep in touch with their contacts during coronavirus lockdown, from WhatsApp, Skype and Zoom.
As well as collaborating and conversing, Houseparty additionally lets users to play quizzes and games with friends.
But although Houseparty users can use the app on laptop and PC for free, in addition to iOS and Android – it is not available on Windows.
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How to use Houseparty on laptop and PC:
Houseparty can be used on laptop and PC, although Google Chrome is required.
Users should have Google Chrome installed and used as the laptop's main browser.
You are next required to either visit the Houseparty website or download the app from the Chrome web store.
Once the app has arrived, users now need to sign-up by following all the onscreen prompts.
Required fields include creating a username and filling in an email address and password.
The smiley face button on the top left gives an overview of friends and notification settings.
The dots on the bottom-left corner suggests three options: Share Screen, Record Facemail, and Disable Camera.
Sharing your screen and disabling the camera do exactly what they suggest.
Another option is to send a Facemail, similar to leaving a video message for someone.
This message will be received by the friend in question when the app is next opened.
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Once you've downloaded Houseparty, open the app and you should see the homescreen.
The Houseparty homescreen essentially a video feed of your face with a load of symbols around the outside.
To start a chat or group call, hit the + sign in the top right of your screen.
Select one or several of your mates – you will need to have added one another on the app first and tap Invite to Room.
You are now in a call and can chat to your heart's content.
Find people to chat with from the + menu, as well we inviting people without the app to download it.
How to play games on Houseparty:
Houseparty also has games you can play with people in your room.
Once you're in a chat, tap the dice icon in the top right and you'll be presented with four options.
These free options include Heads Up, Trivia, Chips and Guac and Quick Draw.
Games normally close after one round, but it can be difficult to quit them midway through if you are in a big group.
To do that, you all need to confirm you wish to finish by hitting the X symbol visible in the top right corner of the games screen.