Sure, most of us are a bunch of Gen X introverts that have been prepping for social distancing since the moment we could choose to stay home or go out. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to find a way to sometimes share some time or interests with other people during this uncertain time. In that vein, I’ve gathered some apps people can use to watch movies and other things together with people that are miles away — or just next door and unable to leave their home.
This is the only app on this list I’ve personally used. Courtney and I used it to watch Roadhouse together while tipsy in two different states. Unlike some apps, this one comes with a web-based version for Chromebook users, as well as the basic Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android versions. Alas, the browser version is in testing and doesn’t have all of the features of the downloadable versions.
Kast requires an account to use, but once signed up users can pop into a private room where they invite friends to share the screen.
Only for Windows and Mac, Syncplay puts users into a virtual room with their own media synced up media players. The main movie or video plays for everyone in their media player at the same time, even pausing or fast-forwarding at the same time. Unfortunately, every person in the group must have access to the same piece of media to watch it at the same time.
However, streams may be compatible with the service if one’s computer is fast enough. It’s complicated and this service is probably not for the less technologically savvy of us.
The twoseven app uses webcams and a chat feature to allow users to interact with each other while sharing videos and movies together. Netflix is compatible with the service (as soon as a new update to the streaming platform is patched by twoseven), as is Hulu. However, the new nature of the service means certain criteria must be met to use the Hulu service in rooms. Once again, it is complicated but probably useful for those early adopters of tech.
This one is a Chrome Extension. The app syncs up the flicks or shows watched by the group and allows chat during the viewing.
I suppose another option is one I’ve used in the past: Google Hangout. (Yes, it still exists.) Obviously this is more for chatting face-to-screen with friends, but with some well-timed pushing of the play buttons on various media sources, you can watch movies with friends and react in real-time. Sure, maybe when we watched Twilight there was a little bit of lag from one person’s screen to the other, but did it matter? Nah.
Header Image Source: Warner Bros. Pictures