In distant relationship? Apps bridge gap (Valentine's Day is on Feb 14)

New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) It's no secret that long distance relationships aren't easy to maintain, but youngsters vouch for mobile applications, in short apps, that help them bridge the gap and keep them happy without burning a hole in their pockets.

This Valentine's Day, couples staying apart will depend heavily on free apps - such as Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and We Chat - to stay connected with their partners and make it special for them.

"From sending messages, video calling to sharing photos - the apps help us in staying connected. It makes your partner feel that you are closer even when you are sitting far away. For me, apps made my courtship period easier as we were in two different cities," said 25-year-old Akshita Jain, a newly-married journalist.

Delhi-based Shalini Jha is in a relationship with a Gujarat-based boy and she too relies on the apps to keep her love life intact.

"We use Skype a lot because when we fight, we talk for seven-eight hours at a stretch and often we run out of balance (on our mobile phones); so we use Skype. Long conversations are easier and economical through Skype," said Jha who is in her mid-20s.

Skype is a software application mainly used for video calling, while Viber is useful for international phone calls.

One can go on a messaging and photo sharing spree on WhatsApp.

Viber can be used on iPhone, IPad, Android smart phones and Blackberry as well as Nokia, Windows and Bada devices.

"The latest mobile apps are advantageous for couples. Even when you are loaded with work, a smile icon sent on WhatsApp acts as a stress buster. Viber and We Chat help me maintain a beautiful relationship with my fiance who is in the UAE," said Delhi-based Priya Sood, who is planning a surprise for her partner on Viber.

Instant messaging has redefined the dynamics of a long distance relationship, said Anubhav Nayyar, country manager of Viber India.

"One of my friends was working in a remote part of West Africa. More than e-mails or chats, he was using Viber to keep in touch with his loved ones back in India. For us at Viber, that signals a shift in technology where we are able to make communication simpler and accessible across mobiles and desktops," Nayyar told IANS.

Couple is another app that helps in bridging the gap in a long-distance relationship. It is a mobile app that provides intimate messaging service for couples. It is free, it's fun, and it's completely private.

If these are not enough, try Fun2shoot -- a live video broadcasting application from Maverick Media & Technologies Pte. ltd., a Singapore-based company.

"Fun2Shoot is the first of its kind video social networking service which allows users to broadcast live video from a mobile phone to another mobile or web in near real-time. The experience of broadcasting, registering and shooting takes less than five minutes," Shabir Momin, managing director of Fun2shoot App, told IANS.

"Most of us have been sending cards or flowers, but the personal touch is missing; this Valentine's Day, in addition to whatever you are giving or sending, wish your loved one through a live or recorded video over Fun2shoot," he added

(Nivedita can be contacted at nivedita.s@ians.in)