This Christmas, there’s a good chance that you received a new smartphone and/or a tablet, and you might be wondering what are some of the best apps available to download for your new devices. Last year, an estimated 328 million apps were downloaded on Christmas, and this year, many sources predict the number of apps downloaded will easily surpass that figure. Here are a few of them for you to choose from, some of them just for fun, some that — who knows — might improve your life in one way or the other.
What are the best apps for you? It really depends on your interests, your budget, and how much time you have on your hands to use the apps you want to download.
If you’d like to download a game or two (or more), the the best apps choices for you might be the Angry Birds trilogy of the original Angry Birds, the Jedi Knight-inspired Angry Birds Star Wars, to the most recent incarnation, Angry Birds Go. You can download them for 99 cents on Windows Phones and iOS, and they’re available free to download for Android owners. Other popular game apps are the extremely addictive Dots, which is similar in ways to Candy Crush, but it’s better, and it’s free. Then, there’s the Pitfall-like game app, Temple Run (free), and Cut the Rope ($2.99 on iOS, free on Android, 99 cents on Windows Phones), a puzzle game in which you cut ropes to feed candy to a little green monster.
Then there’s a fun game called Ridiculous Fishing for smartphones, but the app will set you back $3. Still, it deserves to be included on the list of best apps.
Waze is a great free navigation app that allows you to find the fastest available routes, avoid traffic, accidents, and roads under construction that might cause you delays from getting tp where you are wanting to go.
Another free app you might want to download is Yelp, which will help direct you to new restaurants and bars to try and places to shop. Yelp will give you full menus, useful reviews, and information about stores like their operating hours.
If you want to download an app that will allow you to listen to the type of music you like the most and create your own radio stations, you will probably want to give the free app Pandora a try.
You might like the free app SoundCloud even better. It will allow you to follow your favorite musical artists or labels, and whenever they upload new music, it will wind up in your own personal music stream.
Is watching videos more your thing? If so, you should consider downloading the free YouTube app. YouTube, owned by Google, has been called the Internet’s video library.
If you’re into social media and social networking, you might want to download apps for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat — they’re free apps available for all smartphones. With Vine, you can create your own six second-or-less cinematic mini-masterpieces, and with Snapchat, you can send people photos and short videos that disappear after you view them for a few seconds.
Do you desire to use your time productively? If so, Google Drive might be the perfect app for you. With it, you can create and then save documents, spreadsheets, and slide presentations from your smartphones to your computers. With the Google Drive app, what’s more, you can also access any info you might have saved in the Cloud. The price for this app is right, too — it’s free.
With the totally free Dropbox app, just for signing up, you receive 2 gigabytes of free Cloud storage space. You can earn more free storage space by connecting up your Dropbox account to other apps. You can use Dropbox for purposes like backing up your photos — you can have your smartphone photos automatically sent to Dropbox.
A great free app you will possibly want to download if you’re into taking photos is VSCO cam. This app allows you to take, edit, organize, and share your photos with others.
Want to message your friends? a couple of free apps you might want to download, then, are Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts. You can even use Facebook Messenger to make video calls, but unless you don’t care that they will count against your data caps, you should use Wi-Fi, where they won’t.
WhatsApp is a great free app, and it’s extremely popular around the world. That’s because it allows you to send unlimited text and multimedia messages anywhere in the world. It’s free the first year and just costs $0.99 per year after the first one.
For fans of reading, the free Pocket app will allow you to save and read articles, video, etc. in places that lack Wi-Fi and read them later on when you have more time. Also, the free Amazon Kindle app will allow you to download and read e-books, many of which are also free, or are available for a low cost.
If you like to express your artistic side using your iPad, the free app Paper might well be one you will find to be essential. You can use it to sketch, paint, and draw pictures.
The iA Writer app for the iPad costs $5, but it’s a decent word processor that will aid you in unleashing the Inner Author within you, and writing the next Great American (or European, or whatever country you happen to be from) Novel.
A great game app for the iPad that will set you back $2 is the fantasy game Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP. If you enjoy playing games full of Sword & Sorcery adventure, this game app might be a Must Have for you.
A recent Harris Interactive Survey said that at least 30 percent of the people who get new smartphones or tablets will download one or more apps on Christmas. It’s the biggest app download day of the entire year. 35 percent of the men surveyed and 24 percent of the women said that they planned to download a new app on Christmas.
Christmas is the season to be with your loved ones, to give and receive gifts, to contemplate the reason for the season if you’re a Christian (the birth of Jesus Christ), and — increasingly — it’s also become the season to download apps.
Written by: Douglas Cobb