The best holiday iPhone appsDecember 14, 2009: 6:00 AM ET
Check out some of our favorite picks that will let you keep track of your spending and eating — and help you make a drink or two.
The holiday season can be stressful: the shopping, the spending, even the parties can be incredibly stressful.
Luckily, all you Apple (AAPL) iPhone users have more than 100,000 apps to help your holiday season go a little smoother. Yes, there's the obvious "Better Christmas List" app or the "Asking Santa" app, but maybe before it gets too close to the yuletide cheer, you should make a trip to the iTunes app store. That'd be one way to make the trip to your in-laws a little more bearable. All in all, a happy app holiday!
Make your shopping experience easier — and more affordable
Everyone's trying to find the best deals this time of year. And besides tackling someone on Black Friday or being glued to your laptop on Cyber Monday, you can look for apps that can help your shopping. Try Red Laser, priced at $1.99. All you do is take a picture of a product barcode, and it'll recognize the product and search for prices on Google (GOOG) and TheFind. So instead of buying something marked-up, you can see where you can get the item for the cheapest.
Stop using a checkbook and start using an app
There are more than enough apps to help you keep track of your finances. Mint.com, for instance, has caused a small revolution in the iPhone and digital community, showing you how much you're spending and how much you're actually making. Mint.com is like having a digital version of your loving, but overbearing, scolding mother living in your inbox and iPhone. But for the holidays, try BudgetCare for $1.99. It's especially tailored for individual transactions. So this way if you just want to track your holiday expenses, it's a bit easier to sort through.
I'll be home for Christmas...on Wednesday at 5:32 p.m.
Many of us will be traveling for the holidays, and let's face it, we might enjoy the in-flight movie, but what we all care about is our destination — and whether we'll be home in time to make the holiday festivities. So rather than being preoccupied, you can stay occupied by checking your flight status in real-time with FlightTrack. For $4.99, you can check whether you'll have any delays, if they've switched gate numbers or if you just want to see which other planes are flying in the air with you.
So you're finally home and you're in charge of drinks. No fear! Here comes (the free) Mixologist: Drink Recipes to the rescue! You've got almost 8,000 recipes at your disposal. Pick the liquor, pick the spritzer and shake it up--your iPhone, that is. And then you can pick up the real shaker and be the life of the party! This is one holiday app that keeps on giving.
Watch those calories!
Now that the party has really gotten started, it's easy to get stuck eating hundreds of obligatory holiday feasts. That really doesn't do much for your diet though — nor your pant size. So maybe it's best not to completely pig out and use an app that'll give you a handle on your eating. With livestrong.com's $2.99 Calorie Tracker app, you can search a food item, add it to your database and then you can search for the appropriate workout to burn those calories you just added to your system. Might as well get a head start on that New Year's resolution.
Let's make some Christmas cards
And no holiday would be complete unless you took some crazy photos and made them your Christmas card for next year. But why wait until next year, when you can dress them up and send them now? For $2.99, with the Grinch edition of the Dr. Seuss Camera, you can take a picture of your holiday antics, lay some Grinch illustrations on top of the faces you and your nephew are making and then send those greetings out to your loved ones right away. Who said the Grinch ruined Christmas?