Top five apps to survive Christmas

Published:
13 December 2012
Topic:
News,Mobile Phones

Sending cards, wrapping, cooking, entertaining, drinking - there's so much to do at Christmas, don't you wish someone had compiled a list of five apps to help you get through it all?

Well, your Christmas wish is my command - so get your phones and tablets at the ready as I round up the top five apps you need to see you through the next week or so.

Easy Christmas cards

Want to send unique, personalised Christmas cards from the comfort of your sofa? If you have an iPhone or iPad, Apple has you covered with its free Cards app.

 

Touchscreen wizardry allows you to make customised cards with personalised pictures and text that are then created into hard copy and sent to the letterboxes of your friends and family - all from within the app.

Each card costs £3.99 (including postage) and is printed, Apple says, on premium cotton paper using a centuries-old printing method that presses a design and ink into the card for a unique look and texture.

Marketing blurb aside, it's certainly a convenient way to send cards, especially if you realise you've forgotten someone last-minute.

And don't worry Android users, I've not forgotten you. Instead of Cards you can download the Moonpig app for free from the Google Play store. Cards cost £2.99 including postage and you can personalise cards just like in Apple's app.

Just be sure to check the dates for last post!

Christmas cooking

Christmas dinner is a serious business, so why not get some help from the best in the business? The Great British Chefs Feastive Edition app offers just that, with 105 festive recipes from 21 Michelin-starred British chefs.

 

The app tells you how long a recipe will take to make, and its level of complexity. It even features voice controls for when you're up to your elbows in stuffing. It's available for £1.99 on iOS devices.

Android users could try the BBC's Good Food app, or if you find your leftovers always go to waste each Christmas, why not try the Love Food Hate Waste app which has Portion Size Planner and Meal Planner tools to help you reduce waste? It's free to download and available on Android and iOS devices now.

Wrapping it up

I love giving presents, but can't stand wrapping them - and the standard of wrapping usually reflects that fact. 

If you're the same then the free iFinger app could be useful. You tell it the height, width and depth of the gift you're wrapping and it will calculate how much wrapping paper you'll need.

You then place the gift diagonally in the centre of the paper and fold the paper around the gift, using your iPhone or iPad as a weight to hold the corners in place.

Sadly, there's no iFinger for Android users, but there are other apps to help you wrangle the wrapping paper and tame the tape.

Gift Wrapping Tricks and Tips for example, promises easy-to-understand instructions that will teach anyone to wrap perfectly, even for oddly-shaped gifts.

 

Christmas booze

Here at MoneySupermarket we encourage responsible drinking, but with all the work that goes into Christmas you'll have earned a drink by the time the gifts are exchanged and the family is fed.

Mixology for Android and iOS is a boozy library of drinks recipes organised into handy categories. You can even tell it what spirits and liqueurs you have at hand and it will tell you what you can make using them.

If you're feeling particularly adventurous there's even a slot-machine style random drink function, taking the choice out of your hands entirely. You must be at least 17 years old to download this free app.

NHS Choices also has an app for making sure you don't go overboard. The NHS Drinks Tracker will tell you how many units of alcohol you've consumed based on what you've had to drink.

 

 

Entertaining

When the hard work's done and the drinks are flowing, the party will be in full swing - and what's a party without music?

There's a really clever app for iPad and iPhone called djay which turns your device into a fully-fledged DJ system with twin turntables. The app allows you to mix any two songs from your music library in real-time. ABBA and The Smiths? Sure. Bing Crosby and Skrillex? Why not?

If you don't fancy your chances at the wheels of steel, there's an auto-mix function which will seamlessly mix together songs from your playlist on its own. You can even record your best efforts for playback later.

The iPhone version cost 69p while the iPad version, which comes with more features, costs £13.99. There's a free Android equivalent called DJ Studio 4 which will do pretty much the same thing, but the app may not be compatible with your device if it's a bit older.

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About This Author

Mark Hooson

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Senior Writer

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