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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Best Apple Apps to Get You through the Holidays

The snow is on the ground, the charity bells are ringing, and everyone is starting to run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Yes, the holiday season is once again upon us and with it the many stresses that make us wonder why we don’t just hibernate from Thanksgiving straight through to the New Year. But while the mad rush of the season can definitely be hard to deal with, there is still much to love about the time of year that centers on family, religion, and giving to others. So if you’re looking for a few good ways to get through the holidays with less stress this year (and possibly even enjoy yourself), here are some apps for your Apple devices that will make the process a lot easier.




Let’s start with shopping, since that’s the seasonal activity that has most people running for the hills. There are tons of apps to help you here, but the best ones will save you both time and money. For example, Amazon has a Price Checker app that will let you scan, photograph, or type in any item and see if you can get it for less on their website. And if that sounds good, you’re going to love RedLaser, which lets you scan a barcode and then uses search engines to find better prices at both local stores and online retailers. Of course, it’s even better if you can use coupons on top of your deals, so download The Coupons App to double dip on discounts.


It might also help if you have some idea of the items you’re looking for from the get-go, and here the iTunes App Store can help, as well. You can get a handle on the latest technology, gadgets, and electronics on the market by signing up for the free BestStuff podcast, hosted by Bill Butler and Tim Moses. If you’re not so great at choosing the tech your family and friends will love, this podcast can help you to get it right and amaze everyone on your gift list this year. And if you’d rather eschew the consumer orgy entirely, consider using the handy Donation Tracker app. You can make contributions to charitable organizations in the names of family members and friends while easily tracking all of your monetary (or other) donations for tax purposes. It’s a gift for you, your family, and people in need this holiday season.


Of course, it isn’t all about shopping. While finding free cell phones, discount toys, and better deals on every purchase is nice, there’s a lot more to the season than spending. It’s also about family and you can find dozens of ways to stay connected to yours this year. Flickr is a great option for posting holiday photos, but if you want to do something special, consider using the Photogram app to create customized e-greetings. You can select a holiday theme, add photos and messages, and send e-cards via email, Facebook, and Twitter (to individuals or preset groups). It’s a lot easier than hand-writing cards. Or if you want to get a little more personal download Skype for your phone so that you can connect with family via real-time video chats. Grandparents will no doubt love watching kids open their presents and you can get recipe tips straight from mom while you cook the meals she made in your childhood.


 Story submited by: Evan Fischer

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