Eighteen digital freebies and extended trials you can take advantage of right now
Free stuff for healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 and everyone helping others by staying inside.
As COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, some tech companies have proven themselves willing to help those of us doing our civic duty by staying home. Simply put, these developers have made certain products free on a temporary basis or for an extended period of time, giving us the ability to try out a whole host of products and services.
So whether you’re looking to distract your kids with some videos or keep up your fitness while you’re at home, there’s bound to be at least one entry on this list that makes your life a little more bearable until we get back to normal.
Free kids TV on Amazon Prime Video
If you have an Amazon account, you can now tune into certain family-friendly shows and movies on Amazon Prime Video without paying a cent. At last count, there were about 40 free titles, from Amazon Originals like Pete the Cat to licensed content like Arthur.
Free live TV news on Hulu
Maybe you don’t want to spend too much time watching the news with the world in the state it is today, but it’s important to stay informed. Hulu will let you do that for no cost right now—it’s adding a free live TV news feed for those using the on-demand package that normally comes without live TV.
Free news and shows on Sling
Sling TV has announced that certain parts of its library (including a live news channel, a selection of shows and movies for kids, and certain lifestyle and entertainment programs) will be free for anyone during these troubling times, no account required.
Free live TV on Plex
Plex is free, but access to live channels including ABC, NBC, and CBS is an add-on that would normally set you back $5 a month. Now, during the COVID-19 outbreak, they’re free, but you will need a TV tuner and antenna to plug into your Plex device of choice.
30 days of premium TV on Roku
Roku has launched a special 30-day trial of a package it’s calling Home Together, which includes channels like Showtime, Epix, FitFusion, and Smithsonian. Its plan is to provide everyone with enough news, family-friendly, and entertainment content to see them through.
Free satellite radio from SiriusXM
You won’t have to pay any subscription fees to tune into the full SiriusXM catalog of shows, at least until May 15—that’s a whole lot of entertainment to keep you busy while you’re trudging around inside the same four walls. Subscription packages normally start at $8 a month.
90 days of free Peloton training
Even if you don’t have one of the company’s treadmills or exercise bikes, you can still use the workouts in the Peloton app to get fit. Subscriptions cost $13 a month, but Peloton recently expanded its free trial period from 30 to 90 days in response to COVID-19.
90 days of free Fitbit training
Not to be outdone, Fitbit has also extended the free trial period for its on-demand training app from 30 to 90 days. It’s called Fitbit Premium, and it’ll give you access to thousands of workouts that you can follow at your own pace.
Free access to Nike Training Club Premium training
Nike has made the premium tier of its Nike Training Club app free until further notice, giving you access to a host of guided workouts, nutrition advice, and more. Normally, you would’ve paid $15 a month to access these additional features inside the mobile app.
Free Adobe Creative Cloud access for students
If you’ve been eying the heavy-duty Adobe apps but have been put off by their price, you may be in luck. Access to the company’s Creative Cloud suite, which includes Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and Illustrator, is free until the end of May. The catch is that you have to be a student and you’ll have to get your school or college to apply.
Free Yousician access for teachers
Yousician helps you learn to play an instrument remotely and has resources for both teachers and students. If you’re an instructor, you can access premium Yousician features (usually $10 a month) for free until the end of the school year.
Three free months of Fender guitar lessons
Fender also runs online tutorials for guitar, bass, and ukulele, and these are now all free for three months to help keep some of us occupied at home (they’d normally cost $10 a month). That’s a two-month extension to the standard 30-day free trial.
Two free months of Stadia Pro from Google
Google is offering a two-month free trial for Stadia Pro, the top tier of its game streaming service that’s normally $10 a month. You can access a range of games at no charge right away, including Grid and Destiny 2, and play in a browser or on certain Android phones.
Free games from Ubisoft
Ubisoft is encouraging people to stay home by giving away some of its older games for free. The company has already offered titles including Rayman Legends and Chess Royale as freebies, while newer games have gotten extended trial periods and price discounts as well.
Free sleep aid content from Sleep Cycle
Sleep Cycle is a mobile app you can use to track your sleep and wake up in time with your circadian rhythms. It also includes music and stories, crafted by experts to help you drift off to sleep more easily, and this content is now free during the coronavirus crisis.
Free meditation resources from Headspace for healthcare workers
Meditation and mindfulness app Headspace has made its premium ($13 per month) plan free for healthcare workers in the US until the end of the year. It’s also expanding its free library of audio meditations, so more people can get peace of mind without paying.
Free audiobooks on Audible
Here’s another way to keep the kids entertained while they’re at home—free audiobooks aimed at youngsters from Audible. You’ll need to register an account, but you won’t have to pay to get more than 300 titles streamed to your phone or laptop.
Free music apps from Moog and Korg
Attention, musicians trying to keep busy at home: The Moog Minimoog Model D Synthesizer app for iOS is usually $5, and the Korg Kaossilator apps for Android and iOS are usually $20. All three are now free while we’re all bunkered down weathering the coronavirus storm.