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Coronavirus lockdown: take advantage of these free apps and services from Apple, Audible, Google and more

The lockdown caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has resulted in most people having to indoors and follow social distancing. This has required professionals to work from home, and students to take online classes to stay up to date on their work. As a result, several top brands are offering users free access to their premium apps and services during the lockdown for a limited period. We compiled a list of such offers for our readers to benefit from, and will continue updating this list as more are announced.

Apple: extended trials for Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X

One of the most expensive and crucial tools for video editors and producers is Final Cut Pro X. Considering that most professionals and students might not have it on their home computers and also may not be able to afford it (Rs 24,900), Apple has extended the free trial period. Usually limited to 30 days, Final Cut Pro X will now be available for free for 90 days, after which users will have to purchase to continue using. Apple is also offering a 90-day free trial for Logic Pro X, which costs Rs 15,500. Logic Pro X is Apple’s professional audio production software for music makers.

Google: free premium Hangouts Meet access

The Mountain View giant, Google also came out in support for professionals working from home and educators as well as students. The company is waiving the fee on the premium version of Hangouts Meet to assist businesses and schools/colleges to operate remotely efficiently. Some of the features of premium Hangouts Meet include up to 250 participants, live streaming for an audience of up to 1,00,000 viewers, and the ability to save meetings to view them later after recording them. These features are typically available in the Enterprise edition of G Suite and in G Suite Enterprise for Education. They will be free to use for all G-Suite users until July 1st, 2020.

LinkedIn: free Learning courses

The professional networking platform, LinkedIn is also offering a number of services to help professionals stay updated and able to work effectively from home. The platform is offering 16 LinkedIn Learning courses for free to its users, which include lessons on ways to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, and use virtual meeting tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex, and Zoom. There’s also a course on finding a healthy work-life balance while working from home. LinkedIn is focussing on making it convenient and healthy for professionals to work from home during the long lockdown period. Apart from this, the platform is also offering tips and best practices on how to make the most from your remote work when searching #WFH and #RemoteWork, and “a new trusted information section” curated by the editorial team.

Airtel: free access to Juggernaut books

As they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and this is especially true in case of prolonged work from home without the option to go out. Juggernaut, which was previously Airtel Books, is offering thousands of e-books for free to download and read during the lockdown. Airtel said in a statement, “In these unprecedented times, Airtel and Juggernaut are trying to make sure that people have more options to stay engaged as they observe social distancing. And what’s better than getting back to reading.” If you have been procrastinating reading a book, you can do so now by downloading the Juggernaut app from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

Amazon Audible: free access to kids’ audiobooks

Amazon-owned audiobook platform, Audible is offering free access to hundreds of its titles for kids. The company has set up a new page, and users can start listening to popular titles without having to enter any credit card or personal details. These titles include Winnie the Pooh, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Aladdin, Jane Eyre and The Call of the Wild. Amazon has curated the collection for families and the company stated, “The stories were hand-picked by our Audible editors and offer a mix of education, entertainment and general-interest titles, from the classic to the contemporary, with a focus on stories that are suitable for children.”

These are the top free services being offered by brands to ease the long lockdown period for their users. Do you know of any other brand offering such benefits? Let us know in the comments.

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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.