The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with loved ones, but this time of year can also be hectic and stressful—not to mention dealing with the pressures of holiday shopping. Help is on the way. These apps for your Android™ device make the holidays what they should be: fun.
With so many gadgets in our lives these days—smartphones, MP3 players, tablet devices and more—it’s hard to keep track of what we store on all of them (especially around the holidays). Evernote helps you remember by taking notes, syncing them across computers, capturing photos, making and editing to-do lists, recording voice reminders and more.
Reduce paper clutter at home by taking snapshots of business cards and restaurant menus that you can look up later. You can retrieve this information from wherever you are.
Feeling creative? Capture ideas and inspiration on-the-go. Organize and save holiday recipes, which you can then search by ingredients. Sync and share files via PDF, Excel, Word and PowerPoint. You can save favorite tweets to your Evernote account, or web pages that you’ll need to reference later. And keep track of your holiday gift budget so that your finances stay in order.
To get the most from your Evernote app, be sure to download it onto all the computers and phones that you use.
Try This: Create a holiday shopping list and cross things off as you go along. (So efficient!) Use the app to keep track of products and prices for comparison, so you can score the best deal. And share gift “wish list” notes with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.
If you’re traveling over the holidays, you’re traveling at the busiest time of the year. Worldmate is a mobile travel app that helps you plan, book and manage your itinerary with ease. (As for lost luggage? You’re on your own.) You can set up a trip schedule, get flight reminders and more.
Because this app is comprehensive, you can arrange hotel rooms, car rentals and train journeys, as well as flights. In fact, you can even book restaurant reservations through Open Table, and concert and theatre tickets via TicketMaster.
Use the app to get a five-day weather forecast before you travel. And if you’re visiting a foreign country, look up exchange rates in the currency converter—that way you’ll be able to plan a spending budget for your trip.
This app even has a cool “Share Trip” feature, allowing you to share your travel info with friends. Just post to Facebook and send an email summary to anyone in your phone’s contact list.
Best of all, WorldMate will post real-time notifications to your phone’s status bar whenever your itinerary has been updated in any way (gate changes, and so on).
Try This: Sync your travel schedule to Outlook or your Android/Google Calendar. And enjoy an “at-a-glance” view of your itinerary on your phone’s home screen, thanks to the handy Travel Widget.
It’s normal to feel uninspired when it’s time to start cooking for the holidays. After all, these meals tend to have similar elements from year to year—the same main dishes, the same vegetables. That culinary familiarity is partly what makes holiday traditions so comforting and memorable, but maybe you’re looking to shake up the menu this year. Food lovers, rejoice: Epicurious can help.
This delicious app allows you to choose from more than 30,000 food and drink recipes, tried and tested. You can read reviews from people who have used these recipes (and even improved upon them), create shopping lists that you can access at the supermarket, and save and share favorite recipes. The app is easy and efficient to navigate.
Plug in ingredients you already have, or let Epicurious surprise and inspire you, allowing you to experiment with new flavors and cuisines. Don’t worry: desserts are represented, too. (Layered brownies with white chocolate and caramel, anyone?) And you can even use voice-recognition to browse recipes.
Whether you’re a pro or a beginner in the kitchen, you’ll find a meal that’s easy to prepare, with step-by-step instructions.
Try this: Take advantage of the “Recipe of the Day” widget on your home screen. If you have a Samsung refrigerator with an 8” LCD screen and apps, then you can just log in and access your favorite recipes and shopping lists here as well.
Without good food and great music, the holidays aren’t quite what they should be. Pandora is a customized radio service that streams music on your phone—just the way you like it, and nothing else. You’ll listen only to the music you’re in the mood to hear.
Begin with the name of one of your favorite artists, songs or classical composers—Bruce Springsteen, for example, or Mozart. Pandora will create a personalized “station” for you that plays their music, as well as other music similar to your favorites. (Pandora is adept at figuring out your tastes and suggesting new artists and songs that you’ll love.)
The interface is easy to use, and includes access to artist bios—so you can further your musical education while enjoying some tunes.
Try This: You can rate, skip, and bookmark songs; access and manage your personalized Pandora stations online, from any computer; and create new stations directly from your Android smart phone.
Between cooking, shopping, wrapping gifts and dealing with houseguests, it’s a good idea to take occasional breaks—time that’s just for you. That’s where Bubble Blast Holiday comes in. This fun puzzle game allows you to “burst” Christmas characters to trigger a chain reaction and eliminate them.
Choose a character (icons include an ornament, a reindeer, and a snowflake) and get started. The more you play, the more challenging it becomes to pop these bubbly critters. Get as many as you can to rack up points.
There are two modes of playing: “puzzle” mode offers a whopping 2,000 levels to move through; “arcade” is a free play mode.
Consider yourself warned: this game is mesmerizing and surprisingly addictive!
Try This: If you like this game, which works on all versions of Android, you can play other editions, including Bubble Blast Valentine and Bubble Blast 2.
A Special Gift for You from Samsung Technology Lab
Add some holiday cheer to your mobile device with a parallaxing winter scene to remind you of the winter holidays and the Christmas season. Customize the snowflake type, speed, and number on the screen with the settings menu. We hope you enjoy this free live wallpaper from Samsung's Dallas Technology Lab. Download your snowy wonderland now.
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