The best smartphone apps for Christmas

Got a smartphone that needs a little yuletide inspiration? Here is our selection of the best Christmas apps

Seasonal apps might seem easy to forego given their limited shelf-life, but aside from the purely entertaining (and purely puerile) there are some highly useful Christmas apps which have longevity long after the last mince pie has been devoured.

Waitrose Christmas (Free) iPhone

Waitrose Christmas App

Ignoring the obvious product placement, Waitrose Christmas is an extremely practical app which could help avoid festive culinary disasters. It’s stuffed with recipes but other highlights include a turkey timer (so you won’t be eating an oversized lump of coal), a Christmas Day meal planner, and most importantly, a wine guide. Watch out for the QR codes on TV too which will load up advertised recipes.

Shopping Lists Manager (Free) Android

Shopping Lists Manager is useful all year round, but is even more handy during the festive period. You simply make a list of who you need to buy presents for and when you’ve bought the present you change its status to “got it”, a convenient way of keeping track of which presents are under the tree. Unlike a pen a paper list, this isn’t going to end up lost under a pile of Christmas cards.

My Fitness Pal (Free) iPhone

After the inevitable festive food and drink binge, feelings of post-gluttony guilt are never far behind. The My Fitness Pal app attempts to undo some of the damage by providing a calorie counter to keep your waistline in check. By inputting food intake and exercise undertaken, My Fitness Pal will tell you when you’ve gone over your recommended daily calorie intake. It’s free too, which means you won’t be tempted to sign up for an expensive gym membership which, after one solitary use, could never be described as value for money.

Nightmare Before Christmas (£3.00) Symbian

If the traditional festivities aren’t your cup of tea, there’s an app for that. The Nightmare Before Christmas app boasts an impressive 100 levels of puzzles in which protagonist Jack Skellington needs to retrieve all of Santa’s stolen presents. It’s mobile platform gaming at its most addictive, but at £3.00 you’ll be a mulled wine down.

Christmas Wrapped Lite (Free) iPhone

Christmas Wrapped Lite

If, like us, you’re constantly perplexed at what to buy for your nearest and dearest then Christmas Wrapped Lite helps to take some of the brainpower out of Christmas present buying. It’s a gift generator which makes suggestions for festive presents based on information you input, such as age, gender and budget. If it’s the thought that counts then this app goes a long way to making your gifts sentimentally worthless, but it’s better than the inevitable five pack of socks, surely?

Super Dance Elf Christmas (59p) iPhone

Super Dance Elf Christmas is an easy way to spread festive cheer via your smartphone, and definitely beats another drab Christmas card. Just position a photo in the facehole of an elf, reindeer or Santa and watch your virtual festive doppelganger dance across the screen to yuletide tunes. It’s easy to send your creation to friends and family, and unlike your Christmas cards, it'll definitely get there on time.

Coca Cola Christmas Snowglobes (Free) iPhone

Apple stores across the country may have iPads in snowglobes but here’s a better idea: a snowglobe in your iPhone. Free and courtesy of Coca Cola, you can upload pictures of pretty much anything to put inside your snow globe. Once you’re done, you just shake your phone and watch the snow fall. A simple app but still as inexplicably watchable as its physical counterpart.

Talking Santa (Free) Android, iPhone

Talking Santa

If you enjoyed Tom The Talking Cat app, here's the same idea but in a more festive guise. Say anything to Santa and he’ll repeat it in gruff tones. It’s an amazingly simple yet curiously addictive concept. It doubles up as a de-stressor too: you can slap, poke or tickle Santa, which is cathartic when you’re drowning in a mountain of Sellotape and wrapping paper. And a stern warning from Santa might convince the kids to go to bed. Might.

Ski Resort (£0.59) iPhone

Incredibly useful for those who prefer an active holiday to a day on the sofa snoozing and covered in the remains of Christmas lunch. If you’re hitting the piste this Christmas, Ski Resort offers up-to-date information from more than 650 different ski resorts. Using livecam technology it’ll let you know the condition of the snow before you get out on the slopes.

Amatuer Surgeon Christmas Edition (Free) iPhone

Amateur Surgeon Christmas Edition

A macabre Christmas app for those with less patience for the holidays than Scrooge, Amatuer Surgeon Christmas Edition takes an Operation-style concept and makes it festive. Turn amateur surgeon in the North Pole, treating Christmas casualties with a range of questionable medical equipment. It’s not tasteful, but it’s a fine antidote to the unavoidable slew of saccharine christmas apps.

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