The world is in quarantine. Here in Singapore, the circuit breaker period has been extended, which means we’ll be spending a lot more time at home. Bored at home with nothing to do? This short entertainment guide will give you some ideas of what to do during quarantine.
All across the world, people are stuck at home. While this hasn’t stopped smartphone manufacturers from releasing phone, upon phone, and deals upon deals, for us at Twenty First Tech to cover, the rest of the world is in stasis.
Singapore has extended its circuit breaker measures further till 1 June (inclusive). What’s worse, restrictions are now even tighter.
That means that the government is now advising you to go alone if you want to leave the house, even if you are getting necessities or for exercise.
With these increased measures, it looks like we’ll be staying at home for the long run. With that in mind, we have created an entertainment guide of things to do to survive circuit breaker.
Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list. Rather, it consists on some fun and interesting “tech” things that you may or may not have known about. Personally, we’re doing everything on this list!
What to do during circuit breaker
We’ve had Netflix around for awhile now. And while it’s usually for private entertainment, there are times where we’d want to watch with friends and family.
Miss having your friends over for movie nights? While you can’t have your friends physically over, you can still beat the circuit breaker through Netflix Party.
How does it work? Netflix Party is a Chrome browser extension that allows you to host and share live Netflix video sessions. Your friends will have to install the Chrome extension, but just one person needs to create the session to begin.
Once you create the session, Netflix Party will generate session link for the host to share. Anyone can join by clicking on the link.
In the live session, video playback is synced. So anyone in the session can pause the video, and it will be paused for everyone. If that gets annoying, the host can choose to only allow himself to be in control of playback.
There is also a chat panel on the side for you to chat about the show with your friends as you’re watching. You can even choose from a fixed set of avatars and give yourself a nickname to spice things up.
Unfortunately, Netflix Party does not provide a video chat function. If you’ve got enough bandwidth, you can have a separate video chatting application open on your computer. (That’s what I do.)
Zoom, for example, will give a tiny floating window of who you are chatting with. You can then position the window somewhere it doesn’t block your movie. Remember to mute yourselves so you don’t get audio feedback!
Note that you can only use Netflix Party on your computer’s Chrome web browser. It does not work on mobile devices, not without some hacking anyway.
Check out Quibi – 90 days free
What’s Quibi you ask? Why, it stands for “quick bites” of course.
Quibi has a really strange proposition even without considering the current world situation. It tries to serve you videos in bites of 10 minutes or less.
It’s really designed for a world where you’d be waiting in a queue. Or standing in an MRT or bus. Not really for when we’re all stuck at home. But I guess now it can be a bathroom companion?
The schtick is that the production is high quality, but the videos are short. And you can watch all the shows in either portrait or landscape. Think of it as premium TikTok.
Anyway, they’ve got an all-original lineup of programming. These include dramas, reality TV, and news. They’ve also got a ton of big celebrity names in there: Chance The Rapper, LeBron James, Offset, to name a few.
Personally, I’ve been hooked on the Judge Judy-style Chrissy’s Court, and the surprisingly heartwarming Shape of Pasta.
There’s a 90-day free trial, after which it becomes S$11.98/month, which is a little steep if you ask me. But who knows, maybe you’ll get hooked? Check it out, and hopefully by the time your free trial expires, this quarantine/circuit breaker will too.
Get FREE (or really cheap) games
Maybe you haven’t played a game in a long while. This circuit breaker
If you didn’t know already, Epic Games gives out a couple of free games every week. This week’s free titles are Just Cause 4 and Wheels of Aurelia.
Sometimes the titles are random unheard-of indie titles; other times it can be blockbuster AAA titles. Recent notable free titles include Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Watch Dogs and Celeste.
Other game developers and publishers are either slashing their prices or letting their games go for free altogether. Ubisoft recently made Assassin’s Creed II and Rayman Legends completely free.
Mobile publishers are also giving away a ton of games. Square Enix recently gave away Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO for free.
Pick up an Ebook
When was the last time you picked up a book? Well you probably won’t be picking up a physical book any time soon. But you could pick up your iPad or your Kindle (or your phone!) and start reading an Ebook.
Tons of Ebooks are on sale right now as part of publishers’ response to the coronavirus. Google Play Books is just one of the places to purchase an Ebook for cheap. Once you do, it will be downloaded and synced across all of your devices.
Personally, I’m currently working my way through Normal People by Sally Rooney, which I got at a great discount.
If you do end up picking up something online, make sure you check if you can use Shopback to get cashback on your purchases to save yourself some extra money.
That’s it for this quarantine entertainment guide. We’ll be covering much more circuit breaker and quarantine content, so stay tuned for more.
What did you think about our suggestions? Do you have anything to add? Are you a Singaporean lamenting the circuit breaker extension? Let us know in the comments below!