The festive season is well on its way and app stores are filling up like stockings hung around the fireplace on Christmas Eve.
From practical ways of helping people to organise their Christmas shopping, to fun games and animations for kids, there seems to be thousands of apps piling up across all the major platforms. Here we take a look at five of the best available, whether you’ll be spending Christmas Eve staring out of the windows looking for Santa or panic-buying in a far-flung shopping centre.
5. Better Christmas List
A Christmas take on the kind of shopping app you may use all year round, Better Christmas List allows you to break your gift purchases down into different sections depending on who they are for.
Planned purchases can then have prices attributed to them and even link to online shopping services such as Amazon. The app also has a progress indicator that allows you to keep track of whether you’ve bought, wrapped or delivered each gift. Available for iOS.
4. Xmas Go Launcher Ex Theme
Go Launcher Ex features a simple Christmas theme that can be downloaded to Android devices, and changes wallpapers, widgets and icons to a festive style that suits the season. Santa’s sleigh is splashed across the homescreen and app icons are adorned with Christmas hats, all well drawn and very fitting for the time of year.
The app itself has made it easier for small developers to build and distribute their own Android themes, with a simple download and installation of the app being all that is required to adopt the theme to your device. Come the New Year, simply uninstalling the theme will get your device back to normal. Available for Android.
Apple’s own Cards app allows users to design their own greetings cards at any time of year but is particularly useful in the Christmas season. Creations can then purchased and posted out directly from the app itself, saving you a trip to the postbox.
Cards supports the uploading of photos directly from a device, which can then be added to a card and personalised with graphics and text. There is an in-app charge to send a card but the app itself is free. Available for iOS.
2. The Snowman and The Snowdog
Watching The Snowman on Christmas Eve has become quite a tradition since it was first broadcast in 1982. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic animated film, a sequel has been made and a companion smartphone game has also been created to accompany it.
The game involves walking in the air with the Snowman and collecting stars and snowflakes along the way. While gameplay itself is rudimentary, the beautiful artwork, animation and soundtrack make this a pleasure to simply sit and watch, whether you achieve a highscore or not. Available for iOS and Android.
1. T’was The Night Before Christmas
Whilst there are many apps named after the famous festive poem, this one from Moving Tales Inc. tops them all, offering animations, audio and music to accompany the classic Christmas tale.
Rendered in a brilliant, irreverent cartoon style, the app’s visuals are accompanied by a reading in one of three different voices. In a brilliant twist, users can also record their own readings of the poem and have them play back in time with the animations. Available for iOS.