Love is in the air
Just in time for everyone's favourite pink holiday, we asked our coupled coworkers for their romance-related tech recommendations.
Feared by many and loved by some, Valentine’s day is almost upon us. The perfect opportunity to take a look at the many ways technology can help your love life – when you’re already in a relationship. So without further ado, our ten couple-friendly picks for apps, services and gadgets.
1. List-keeping: Wunderlist, Todoist, Soon
Let’s start with the basics! Apart from a shared calendar, you probably need a shared list app of some sort. Keeping tracks of any shared to-do’s, grocery lists, and the like may seem mundane, but it just makes your life run more smoothly. Our office favourites are Wunderlist and Todoist, both of which have an excellent system for sharing lists and tasks.
Do you like to keep lists with the movies and shows you want to watch together, or the restaurants and bars you’d like to check out? Soon is an (iOS-only – sorry, mixed couples) app that helps you with this type of “everyday bucket list”. The interface is good-looking and easy to use, and offers useful information (like opening hours and addresses) for the places or things you bookmark.
2. Going all the way: Couple, Between
If you want something a little more specialised, and are not afraid of a dose of corny-ness, then you might want to check out one of these couple-specific apps. Shared calendars, in-app, private messaging, anniversaries, memory logging, and more shared heartbeats and cutesie emoji than the latest Apple presentations are all part of the package. Both Couple and Between are available on iOS, Android, and in the browser, and offer similar features.
3. Don’t sweat the little things: Splitwise
Let’s tackle a subject that’s slightly taboo for some people in relationships! No, not that – we’re talking money. Especially if/when you don’t have shared bank accounts yet, an app like Splitwise can help you keep track of expenses and make sure you keep things balanced. This can be especially useful when you just moved in together. And of course, the app is also very convenient to use with friends.
4. Stylish and smart: Fitbit, Ringly
Looking for a gift idea that will help you both break free from the screens a little more often, without missing out on crucial notifications? Or are you working on your fitness goals together? Consider a stylish-but-functional wearable, like a Fitbit or the lesser-known, but considerably more feminine Ringly. If you have a competitive streak, try to out-walk each other on the step counter…
5. Smart home for babies: Withings
While we’re on the subject of good-looking, useful tech gadgets: if you’re not just a couple but also parents, take a look at Withings’ smart objects. With our office’s recent baby boom, the brand’s babyphone and air quality meter (called Home), and their smart, contactless thermometer have been much talked about. The devices are well-designed, both aesthetically and functionally, and the companion apps make it easy to track and share information between the two of you.
6. Let love shine a light: chatbot magic
This is an idea one of our team members came up with: he loves home automation (think smart lights, thermostat, power outlets, and more), but his girlfriend dislikes the fact that they all have to be controlled through separate apps. To fix that problem, he created their own private chat bot!
He used the IFTTT integrations of his smart devices, Facebook Messenger, and services Chatfuel and IFTTT’s own Maker to trigger and receive json APIs. Depending on which and how many smart devices you have around the house, this will require some tinkering, but you won’t have to write a line of code.
7. Watch together with Rabbit
Do you love to watch shows together, but aren’t living under the same roof, or making long-distance work? Yes, there’s an app for that, too. Rabbit is a browser extension and iOS app that lets you watch movies or play games together, and videochat, all in the same interface. If you’ve ever watched tv while on the phone, chatting or Skype-ing with your (girl)(boy)friend: this is the better version of that experience.
8. Share those subscriptions
Speaking of watching: don’t forget to leverage one of the most wonderful benefits of being in a relationship… Shared or family accounts on streaming services! Netflix, Spotify, iTunes – sharing a life also means sharing your passwords ;)
9. Delivery: Bloomon, Deliveroo
This post might be Valentine-themed, but don’t forget to leverage the many easy subscription and delivery apps and services for your “normal” date nights, too. In Belgium, you can get your significant other a flower-delivery subscription through Bloomon, or boxes full of ingredients to skip the groceries and get straight to cooking together. And if you don’t feel like cooking, you can get great food through eco-friendly bike-courier delivery service Deliveroo. There’s plenty of similar services popping up in countries around the world, so there’s certain to be one you like!.
10. The Goodnight Lamp
And we end with an item that catches the Valentine spirit: cute (but not quite nauseating) and pleasantly useless. These Goodnight Lamps are a non-intrusive, low-tech way to feel connected when you’re apart. Turn on the big lamp, and all its connected smaller siblings will automatically turn on too.