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Apps to Help You Stay at Home

It’s mid-April of 2020, and with very few exceptions, most of us are still under a stay-at-home order—Working From Home (WFH)—except for essential needs. Many things can still be done without going out thanks to deliveries by mail and shipping services, while others can be accomplished with minimal personal contact through curbside pickups. Here’s a collection of useful apps to help ease your time in quarantine.

Pharmacies

Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get sick. The “regular” flu is still going around, people are still getting colds, allergy season is upon us, and of course, you may also have a need for long-term medications due to a condition. Fortunately, two of the country’s largest pharmacy chains — Walgreens and CVS — are still open for drive-through shopping and deliveries, and you can use their respective apps to order and pay for your needs in advance. 

Groceries

Instacart Icon
Instacart for same-day grocery delivery from local stores

There are a lot of regional grocery store chains in the U.S., so we won’t list all of the possible apps here. Just know that most of the nationwide chains such as Kroger, Safeway, and Walmart all have grocery shopping apps. Instacart does same-day grocery delivery from a variety of stores. 

If you’re an Amazon shopper, the Amazon app provides a convenient link to Whole Foods Markets — there used to be a separate app for the grocery store, but it’s now part of the ubiquitous Amazon app. 

Alcohol

Your local bar may not be open, but that’s no reason not to have the occasional celebration. In states where liquor delivery is available, particularly in major market cities, services like Drizly and Postmates can deliver beer, wine, and spirits. Perhaps you should stock up on champagne in preparation for celebrating when the stay-at-home orders are lifted!

Restaurants

DoorDash icon
DoorDash defaults to “contactless delivery”

Postmates also does delivery from an insane number of restaurants throughout the U.S., so if you need takeout food from your favorite Mexican or Thai restaurant to go along with the beer you just purchased, the app serves double duty.

Many large chain restaurants also have apps and are doing delivery or pickup orders at this time, and a lot of those restaurants do their deliveries through DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub.  It’s a good time to support your local restaurants, and delivery apps like these can help keep them going until the quarantines are lifted.

Home Improvements and Repairs

Perhaps you’re using your extra time at home to work on some home improvement projects, or maybe your increased time around the house made you aware of something that needed to be fixed. Many of the large American home improvement chains — Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace Hardware — are open as essential businesses provided that social distancing is practiced by shoppers. To limit your exposure, curbside pickup and deliveries are available at specific stores.

Some of us aren’t as handy around the house as others, which is why there are apps for finding those who can help you with home maintenance or remodeling. HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack are both useful for getting in touch with local handymen and repair professionals. 

Entertainment

You can’t go to the movies. You can’t go to a baseball, basketball, or hockey game. Live theater productions are closed down. However, it’s possible to keep yourself well-entertained at home regardless of your interests. 

When it comes to movies and television shows, there is no shortage of apps to choose from, not only for iOS and iPadOS but for Apple TV and Mac as well. Of course, you can use the TV app that comes with Mac (Apple TV app on iOS and iPad OS), but many folks want a lot more variety than just Apple TV and Apple TV+. 

Netflix, Disney+, and the CBS app are all wildly popular. While you can’t watch live sports right now, MLB.TV, the NFL Network, NHL.TV and  NBA TV are all streaming classic and previous year games.

Metropolitan Opera
Try the Met Opera on Demand app for an in-home date night!

Can’t get to the Great White Way in NYC for your fill of Broadway plays and musicals? That’s OK because Broadway Direct is bringing the shows to you. Most require Netflix or the Broadway HD app. You can even stream more than 600 performances from the Metropolitan Opera if you’re an opera buff. 

One sure way to keep yourself entertained is with an Apple Arcade subscription ($4.99 per month), with games that your whole family can enjoy on just about any Apple device. 

Would you like to see more?

If you can think of any other categories you’d like us to explore for apps and services that can keep you occupied in your spare time, please let us know in the comments section below.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Contributing Author
Steve is the publisher of Apple World Today, a website providing news, reviews and how-tos for the world of Apple, as well as an author on The Rocket Yard. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist.
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