Come on, let's all get together for a beer and get this Houseparty started!
As the Corona Virus lockdown in Spain began on 14th March 2020 here in Spain, I began wondering what life was going to be like for most of us confined to our homes for at least a period of 15 days.
Thank goodness for the Internet and social media which does a great deal to keep us informed. When your ability to socialise is taken away, it is heartening how some have organised 'social' events from their balconies in the towns; singing, dancing, keep fit and of course the daily rounds of applause for those working in the emergency service risking their lives to keep us all safe to name just a handful. Myself, like many others live on an urbanisation so we're not really in good sight of each other or proximity, so I began to look for a way that me and my friends could socialise electronically.
I've already used video-calling apps for both personal and business use but what I was really looking for was something where a handful of people could all get together in one call. So, a little Google search and investigation and I found this wonderful free app called HouseParty. The even better news is that if you have a mobile phone, be it Android or an Apple iPhone, and iPad, Android Tablet, Apple Mac or simply any laptop or computer running the Google Chrome browser then you can use it - you do of course need to make sure your device has a camera and microphone (for computers a web cam connected).
I posted on Facebook, and will be posting about this article because I think everyone might enjoy their own house party (at a distance) - you can get the app from your App store, or Playstore, or by using the links on the Houseparty website - all the links are below:
- Houseparty.com - main website, learn more!
- Apple app store
- Android (Google Playstore)
- Download for Apple Mac
- Install for Google Chrome from the Chrome App Store
It's really easy to install since 2 of my friends who aren't super-tech-literate managed all on their own. Once you've installed HouseParty on your particular platform (that's just a techy word to cover phone, tablet, computer, web browser) you'll need to register for an account (remember, it's totally free), also straightforward - you can see the steps I performed on my Apple Mac below.
20-MAR-20 - HouseParty supports up to 8 video callers, however I understand that you can participate in more than 1 HouseParty by jumping from one to another. They kind of work like rooms - maybe someone can let me know if I've got this right as I haven't been able to test that theory yet.
Here's a screenshot of my first Houseparty
We 'partied' for a couple of hours, had a great time and a few beers (thanks Mick and Les!)! Whose round is it next!? This one was using Google Chrome plugin.
Party on my own - Mac Version
Here's a pic of the mac version. If you want to test it out and have nobody to test with, you can always add alltechplus to your Houseparty and if I'm free I'll party with you!
Signing up on a Mac
The process for signing up is practically identical on each platform - you'll need your mobile phone to hand to receive a text message to confirm that you're a real person and not some automated signup - this is fairly standard for these type of applications - if you use WhatsApp or Viber this will be familiar to you!
Opening screen - click signup - simples - process should be similar regardless of platform
Signup screen - just provide your details - you're almost done
Fill in your details
Add a profile image if you wish, by clicking the plus (seen in previous screenshot), click Next when you're done.
Now to confirm your phone number - if you're in Spain, start typing Spain and it will appear for you to select, pop in your phone number, and then Send SMS. I haven't hidden my phone number here, that's my real business phone number!
Once you've put the correct code sent to your phone, the app will most likely ask for access to your contacts - it's a good idea to allow it to do so. Once you've given permission, click Next.
If any of your contacts already use HouseParty you will be able to add them at this point. Don't worry if nobody shows up, you can add them later using their nickname (my nickname here is alltechplus).
All you need to do now is go-online or you can copy your profile link and e-mail it to your friends - it contains your nickname so they can easily find you on Houseparty.
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