So it's that time of year again, and you're looking for a way to
make your holiday a bit less hectic. If you have an Android phone
or iPhone, you're in the right place. Try these applications for
your smartphone to take some of the troubles from your holiday
10 Android apps for the Holidays
Wixel (lite version-free / full version-$1.49)
- Every year after the big events are over, many families
gather round the table and play board games. If your family is
anything like mine, you'll soon enough be picking seven lettered
tiles from a cloth sack. Why wait until next year to exact your
letter tile board game revenge on friends and family when the key
to retribution is at your fingertips? Wixel, a great word search
style game, makes passing idle time and expanding your vocabulary
fun. The Lite (free) version offers basic word search play
options, while the paid version ($1.49) also lets you play online
My Droid (free)
- If the season to be merry leaves you feeling more frantic
than jolly, the Where's my Droid app may help keep your phone at
hand. This app allows you to text a phrase of your choice to your
phone to set off your ringer for a period of time so you can find
it when it's lost nearby, or get the latitude and longitude of
the phone if you've lost it far away. The great thing is that
even if your ringer is turned off, the Where's My Droid app will
enable it again, and make it ring until you can find it. A very
helpful app that won't even break the bank.
- Does your inner nerd scream every time you need to use Wi-Fi,
but are already knee deep on a Web site using your 3G? Or maybe
you just find yourself annoyed at having to jump into Settings
whenever you need to use a new W-Fi connection. The StatusToggle
app allows you to turn on/off your wifi connection easily without
jumping back and forth in the Android system, right from the
notification bar on the fly. It even offers to open the wifi
availability list if you are in an unfamiliar location and need
to choose a connection. Managing Wi-Fi doesn't get any easier
only for G1 and MyTouch 3G / free)
- Ever find yourself in an unfamiliar place and needing food,
gas, or hotel? Then Sherpa is the app for you! An augmented
reality app that learns your likes and dislikes, Sherpa works by
adding a layer of information over your camera's phone to show
you surrounding businesses in your area and more. Once you find
what you're looking for, Sherpa gives you contact info as well as
options to find the best route to the location.
- Anymore it's not uncommon to have more than one phone number.
In fact if you're anything like most you might have a personal
cell, a business cell, an office line, and a home line. With
Google Voice, managing all your numbers is a breeze. Set one
number to ring every line, set up a common voicemail between all
numbers and much, much more.
- Learning to navigate an unfamiliar alarm clock can be a
chore. You're never quite sure if it is set correctly, and even
when it is it can be painful to find the off switch in the
morning. Bedside to the rescue! Beside, a feature stuffed Android
alarm clock, will be a welcome addition to those that want a
simpler way to wake up. Bedside launches whenever you plug your
phone in to charge, and takes over the screen with a large
customizable clock. It also features some great functions like
SMS blocking while you rest, the ability to play music to help
you fall asleep faster, as well as many other useful functions.
Say goodbye to that unfamiliar guest alarm forever by carrying
one right in your pocket.
- Flyscreen, the lock-screen replacement app for Android, is a
great way to be able to keep up on the news that matters to you
on the go. After launching Flyscreen, you are given the option to
load content from news to social media widgets, and just about
everything in between. These widgets live right on the lock
screen, so whenever you need to play catch-up you wont even have
to go past the lock-screen. Receive news feeds, preview / visit
stories, or make a posting to your Facebook wall. Never be out of
the loop while you travel again.
- Get the ability to share files from your phone to your
bluetooth enabled computer, and back again with Bluetooth File
Transfer. Forget searching through mounds of wrapping paper to
uncover the right cable or cord, and go wireless. Bluetooth File
Transfer is a basic file transfer app for Android, and allows you
to share content without the hassle of being tethered to a
computer. Now its just as easy to snap holiday pics and give them
to friends instantly as it is tearing through the wrapping paper
on that perfect gift.
Sound Alarm ($1.99)
- Stop gift snoopers and other sneaky types with the Motion and
Sound Alarm. This alarm is activated by motion and/or sound, and
gives you the option to set an audible alarm or to call another
phone once tripped. Ensure that all the snoopers on your gift
list stay surprised on the big day, by hiding your phone in the
pile of presents – they'll never see it coming!
- If your pockets are feeling a little light as you do your
holiday shopping, you may want to try out ShopSavvy for Android.
ShopSavvy is a barcode scanning app that, after you scan a
barcode of a product you would like to purchase, provides you
with price comparisons from both local and online shops. Also
helpful is the ability to organize scanned items into a wish-list
in addition to reading reviews about the needed item right from
your mobile. Save time and money this season by making sure you
get the best prices on all your gifts with your personal
comparison shopper, ShopSavvy.
10 iPhone/iPod Touch apps for the Holidays
‘Til Christmas (lite version-free / full
- If your kids (or spouse) ask daily or hourly “How long
‘til Christmas?” just show them this app. For the
tiny ones, 14 Sleeps ‘Til Christmas might mean a bit more
than 14 days, and when the magical eve gets closer, just tap the
sign to switch from “sleeps” to hours, minutes or
seconds. This will also be helpful for the parent that needs to
know exactly how long he or she has to assemble jr’s
bicycle. With several backgrounds and holiday tunes playing in
the background, this app will allow you to answer and entertain
at the same time.
- The name pretty much takes care of the explanation here . . .
for those of you who need details, here they are. This app
provides 40 channels to choose from, including one station
broadcasting from the North Pole. Because this is a free app you
can’t choose the songs and there are lots of ads, but at
least one of the channels is sure to power your holiday cheer
with just the right mix of tunes.
- OK. This one is really cheesy and loaded with ads, pop-ups
and other things you don’t want. It’s really basic.
It has only one screen and no options. So why include it? Because
it’s portable mistletoe!! What else do you need it to do?
Just punch up the app, tap away the ads, and you’ve got
something that time-honored excuse for a smooch displaying
brightly over your head.
Holiday Plan (free)
- Now for something a bit more practical. Even though
it’s already a bit late in the shopping season, this app
will help you keep track of every penny. It has areas for your
overall holiday budget, gifts, decorations, food, travel and
more. You can add individuals to keep track of $$ spent. The only
down side is there is not a field to keep track of exactly what
you bought them. There is also a section of holiday tips, and
because this one is sponsored there are lots of links to the
sponsor (you’ll have to download it to find out who). If
you are looking for more person and gift-specific functionality,
check out “Shopping List.” You’ll need to cough
up $0.99 for it though.
Paper Toss (free)
- Yes, paper toss. “That doesn’t sound like a
holiday app,” you say, and you’re right. However, I
think we’ve all spent some time hanging out at the mall, or
the airport, or in a car, or a really dull party, or a . . . you
get the idea. The bottom line is that a lot of time during the
holidays is spent waiting, so you might as well have a mindless
app for that. It’s simple. Pick your difficulty level and
flick a wad of paper at a trash can. There’s a fan to make
things challenging, and if you’re actually stuck in the
airport . . . there’s a screen for that.
Lose It (free)
- Now on to another practical, if somewhat touchy, subject. The
holidays are notorious for great food and the additional pounds
that result from said food. If one of your goals this year is to
not set a New Year’s resolution to lose the weight you put
on over November and December, then you’ll want this app.
It will ask you a few questions your spouse or best friend
won’t even ask you start off (like how much you weigh and
when you were born) then move along to your goals. After
you’ve completed the initial set up, it’s time to
monitor what you eat and how much you exercise. When it’s
time for a meal, or time to plan a meal, just dial up the food
you want and it will display and store the calories for you. The
calories add up through the day, but entering exercise will take
them away – of course it won’t work if you
don’t actually do the exercise. Good luck, and happy
- If you don’t fit into the category above, then you may
need this app to guide you through 2010. iResolve will store your
New Year’s resolutions and help you track them as you go.
Just enter a new resolution and how you intend to accomplish it
then set reminders to keep you on track.
Year’s Eve Top 100 Songs (free)
- If you’re looking to DJ your New Year’s Eve
party, but aren’t sure what to play or where to get the
songs, just download this app and plug your iPhone or iPod Touch
into your stereo or docking station. It will stream 100 songs in
random order (for legal reasons), and if you decide you really
like one of the songs, there’s an option to purchase and
download it. Prince’s 1999 tops the list followed by Jimi
Hendrix’ version of Auld Lang Syne. Some other top hits
include Stayin’ Alive by the BeeGees, Shout by the Isley
Brothers, Aretha’s Respect and 95 others that I will not
type out but will listen to this NYE.
New Year’s Countdown (free)
- Yes, it’s another countdown app, but hey, it’s
counting down to a different holiday, so it’s worth
mentioning. This is a very simple but free countdown to take with
you anywhere. You may not need it if you’re standing in
Times Square, but it will work wonders if you’re trying to
figure out how much longer you need to stay awake before the
first kiss and extended sleep of 2010. It has several backgrounds
and other options to choose from as well as a party screen to
ring in the New Year.
- Lastly, you can’t ring in the New Year without a bottle
of bubbly. So if you find yourself without one handy (or if
you’ve already downed it all), fear not!! Just crank open
the Champ app, give it a shake and then pop the cork. Happy New