Connect with the world
These four apps allow you to interact with strangers from anywhere on Earth in interesting and unexpected ways.
There are so many apps we use to keep in touch with people we know - but what about apps that help you meet new people to socialise, collaborate and network?
Here are four apps we love that you might not have heard of. If you're looking to grow your friendship circle, get input from strangers on creative projects, or simply connect with likeminded folk on the other side of the globe, give one of these a go.
Connecting to socialise with new people IRL
NewConnect is a great app for travellers and those who are new in town. It connects people who live nearby, but it's not a dating app. All users are approved and checked, and through NewConnect, they give each other advice about the city they're in, let each other know about upcoming events, and sometimes arrange to meet for a drink or a talk in real life. New Connect matches users through location and their shared interests, but when they want to go invisible, all they have to do is switch the location function off on their phones. The app is billed as 'The easiest way to find new friends', and it means you'll never be lonely in a new city again.
Connecting to help you get out of bed
Wakie may sound like the strangest app you've ever heard of, but it's got great reviews and millions of users from over 80 countries. The premise is this: You are more likely to wake up instantly with a phone call from a stranger than from your boring old alarm clock or alarm tone.
And it seems to work. You choose a topic you want to discuss with a stranger over the phone, set your alarm through the app, and then, when the clock strikes the hour, your phone rings and you pick up to chat to a completely random stranger from somewhere else in the world about your chosen topic for 10 minutes max. The secret to the app's success is that the users are all upbeat, friendly, and definite 'morning people', so chances are, you'll go about your day with a little extra bounce in your step thanks to their contagious good mood.
No phone numbers are ever exchanged, so it's totally anonymous and safe.
Connecting to create something new
Dubble takes the photosharing of Instagram up a level. Instead of just sharing your photos with strangers, and viewing theirs, the app creates brand-new works of art by combining one of your pictures with someone else's in the community. There's no limit to the number of dubbles you can create from one of your images + a stranger's, and you'll be surprised how much more textured and interesting your pictures have become once they've been 'dubbled'.
Download Dubble FREE for iOS (not yet available on Android).
Connecting to understand a new language
Google Translate has been around on the web for years, but it's an essential app to have on your smartphone when you're travelling or when corresponding with someone online who speaks a different language. It lets you translate to 103 different languages when you're online, and it even works offline, too (though only for up to 52 different languages).
Extra features on the app include instant chat translation in 32 languages, being able to tap on text in any app (eg WhatsApp) and having your translation pop up, and instant text translations through your phone's camera.