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8 Smartphone Apps That Will Make the Holidays Brighter

It’s time for the holidays, and whether you’re hosting the family or traveling this year, you’re probably going to be better off with a little technical assistance! There are tons of apps out there to make the season less stressful and way more enjoyable (way more enjoyable in some cases), but we’ve narrowed it down to just eight.

Slice

More holiday shopping done online means more tracking numbers to keep track of and a much greater chance of something getting lost in transit! Slice is a pretty cool app that pulls in tracking numbers from your email, regardless of which shipping company is handling the delivery. It’s even a big help before and after you purchase something — you can use Slice to find sales and be notified of any recalls for an item you’ve purchased online.

Slice – iOS/Android

TripIt

TripIt is another all-in-one app that we love. It’s the perfect travel companion — instead of just keeping track of flight and hotel information, TripIt can become your entire itinerary. You can have the app keep track of restaurant reservations, events, and rental car information. There’s even the option to share your whole trip plan with others, so you won’t constantly have to answer questions about where you’re going to be on which day.

TripIt – iOS/Android

Tynker

It is necessary that we have an app here that can keep the kids entertained. If you can help it, maybe stay away from YouTube until they’ve been able to filter out all the bizarre, sometimes abusive videos targeted at kids. Instead, try to trick them into learning something! Tynker is a fun app that teaches coding concepts by using simple blocks that kids can put together to make on-screen characters move around and act. Perfect if you want to raise the next great robotics engineer!

Tynker – iOS/Android

Netflix

But, if it’s just entertainment you need, gotta go for Netflix. While the catalog of older movies isn’t as deep as it used to be, there are still some solid holiday classics on there, like White Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. Points off for a lack of Love, Actually and Die Hard. We’re still picking Netflix for our entertainment app of choice, but it’s starting to get some serious side-eye.

Netflix – iOS/Android (but like really though, you’ve already got it)

Postmates

It’s cold! It sucks to go out to eat, and it sucks to go out to the grocery store to buy things to make at home. If you’re in a major city, that’s a perfect recipe for snuggling up and spending way too much on delivery fees with the help of Postmates. It’s become one of the top services for food and drink deliveries, and it’s going to be a lifesaver when the temperature really starts dropping. Also, shout out to the drivers, who are just some of the many, many heroes this holiday season.

Postmates – iOS/Android

The Liquor Cabinet

Maybe everyone needs to keep warm. Maybe everyone just needs to take the edge off a little bit! Whatever the reason, family cocktails are just about mandatory around this time of year, and The Liquor Cabinet is probably the best in the business when it comes to booze apps. The Liquor Cabinet is a simple app that will help you make the basics just right, so that one uncle doesn’t complain about how you fixed his Old Fashioned.

The Liquor Cabinet – iOS

Skype

Ideally, everyone could be together for the holidays, but it rarely works out like that. Fortunately, these days we’ve got any number of video chat apps to use! Skype is the old standard, but whether you use it, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or any number of other apps out there, make sure you stay in touch with the most far-flung of your loved ones!

Skype – iOS/Android

Pandora

The holidays are a time for tradition and nostalgia. Sure, you can use Spotify to blast your Christmas tunes, but there’s just something about putting on a Pandora holiday music playlist that feels right this time of year. Pandora was basically made to play Bing Crosby, so let it have its moment!

Pandora – iOS/Android

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