• Ten Family-friendly Holiday Smartphone Apps

    It's a digital world alright - why, even Santa can now be reached online with these useful and fun apps!
    by Rob Del Rosario .
  • As busy as you may be this holiday season, you won’t ever be too busy for that one last bite, that one last joke that the rather rotund family jester repeats on the Christmas table (and it’s usually an anecdote about you).  That one final run to the mall for extreme last minute shopping, and that other run for a pair of shoes you fell in love with even more since they went 50% off.  As heartwarming as this season’s gatherings may be, these days may also turn out to be horrendously hectic, with plenty of cooking, baking, cleaning, and car checking (we hope!) to do. Top that off with young children and all their same age cousins, friends and relatives from here and beyond, crazy relatives who we all love to talk to…for one minute before we hide… it’s quite a ruckus, really. 

    You’ll be pleased to know that your smart phone may indeed prove to be handy this holiday season, not just for making calls to loved ones but also to keep you company in the traffic jam, put some sense into your schedule, and entertain the little one while you finish that chitchat with old college friends. Here’s a list of applications to help you make the most out of the final merriments of 2011:


    1. Free Christmas List

    app free xmas list

    Developer: Developers Simplify Lives    
    Format: Android    
    Rating: 4.5/5
    Cost: Free
    http://www.appbrain.com/app/free-christmas-list/com.developerssimplifylives.xmaslistfree

    If you’re not done, or haven’t started Christmas shopping yet and your lists and notes are everywhere that’s quite fine, if you’re okay with accidentally leaving someone out, or going overboard with budgeting.  Free Christmas List allows you list down everyone you’d like to play Santa to, input gift ideas and a budget, track your list per person or group, and a cool cost summary that you may find quite delightful.  This program’s simplicity is its highlight.  Staying on track lets you have a more enjoyable holiday break!


    2. Speedtest.Net Mobile

    speedtest.net

    Developer: Ookla
    Format: Android and iOs
    Rating: 5/5
    Cost: Free
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/speedtest.net-mobile-speed/id300704847?mt=8
    https://market.android.com/details?id=org.zwanoo.android.speedtest&hl=en

    You may be sitting there wondering why you might need to check your bandwidth performance instead of partaking in the usual festivities.  But think of just how many people are actually using cell phones, smart phones and tablets to communicate during the holidays?  It’s become quite the norm, and as long as you’re not at it at the dinner table or anywhere inappropriate, do make that call or email and greet someone far away, stay updated with work if need be, check out your GPS maps if your family is on the road. Enjoy it as among the myriad gifts the internet may bring. Having a peek at how your device is performing with your internet provider is quintessential.

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