The twelve apps of Christmas: the best festive apps for iPhone and Android

Make it an appy Christmas by using these treats to plan and survive the big day

Christmas Day is the most relaxing 24 hours of the year. No guests to entertain. No cooking to worry about. No arguments over board games or temper tantrums for little (and big) ones who didn’t get what they wanted.

No, hang on - we’re thinking of a quiet Sunday in March. Christmas Day is horrific. Absolutely terrible.

Still, these apps might help you cope a little better with the constant stress and disappointment. Happy Christmas!

Christmas Countdown 2018

When planning, it’s fairly important to remember when Christmas is. No-one will be happy with ‘No, honest, this is still Christmas’ on 28 December. Use this app to count down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the big day, which totally won’t result in regular panic attacks when you realise how little you’ve done.

£free for Android and iOS


You thought Christmas was about cheer, goodwill, eating far too much, and tearing open presents? Nope: it’s about lists – lots and lots of lists. Fortunately, you can keep them all in Wunderlist, share them with friends and family, and even leave snarky comments when some idiot forgets to buy the stuffing.

£free for Android and iOS


Fed up with impersonal cards with generic pics and routine rhymes? Go custom with Moonpig. Upload festive snaps into templates, type your greeting inside the card, and hurl the result at friends and relatives via the magic of the postal service. Then realise you’ve misspelled ‘Christmas’ in every single card, and reach for the gin.

£free for Android and iOS


Remember that year when you ended up with eleven copies of that bloody Steve Jobs autobiography? What larks! Make sure that never happens again with Giftster, a private gift list system where everyone can enter their wish list, rank items by how much they’re wanted, and ensure duplicates are a thing of the past.

£free for Android and iOS

Carrot Weather

Whether you’re staying at home or going on a festive journey, it pays to know whether the weather will behave. CARROT offers short- and long-range forecasts. These are all delivered with festive charm – for example: “You should stay indoors today. No-one wants to see your face anyway.” It’s like Christmas cheer and 50 Santas all rolled into one!

£free for Android / £4.99 for iOS

Google Maps

The cross-country jaunt to the in-laws’ is going to be even less fun when you get lost on the way, and realise your lateness will likely result in ‘burnt turkey’ being the day’s centrepiece. So grab Google Maps, download chunks of the local area for offline turn-by-turn directions, and revel in being able to lob that useless road atlas into the recycling bin.

£free for Android and iOS

Santa Radio

You don’t want people arguing about what to listen to – it’s Christmas! So take such decision-making out of everyone’s hands by firing up Santa Radio. It endlessly broadcasts a selection of suitably festive hits - plus, if you tap the grinning Santa, he’ll get entertainingly angry: “Ho-ho-ho! No-no-no! Stop pressing my face!”

£free for Android and iOS

Kitchen Stories

Although Epicurious contains every recipe known to mankind, Kitchen Stories is a better bet, despite its streamlined selection. It reduces the stress of making Christmas lunch by way of handy step-by-step guides complete with photos and videos. Great stuff for knowing whether you’re about to ruin the turkey or burn the ice cream.

£free for Android and iOS

Cocktail Flow

There’s going to come a time during the day when you really need a drink. Perhaps the sprouts actually caught fire, or the Christmas tree fell on your gran. But don’t just reach for the gin – use Cocktail Flow to fashion a drink fit for the season. On iOS, you even get festive options, like ‘Winter Chill’ and the superbly named ‘Jingle Juice’.

£free for Android and iOS

Heads Up!

It’s that game where you – in the days before technology – held a piece of paper with a name on it to your forehead and guessed who you were by asking questions. But now it’s on your phone – and in super-fast fashion, since you flip your device to zoom through card decks. It’ll also record your friends, so you can embarrass them later.

£free for Android / 99p for iOS

Pic Collage

You’re having festive fun, but halfway through the 17th mince pie realise you forgot to send any cards. Or invite half your relatives over. Make it look like you care by welding together a load of photos from your day, slathering them with festive stickers, and then emailing the lot, shortly before you pass out in a small pile of turkey.

£free for Android and iOS

Super Mega Worm vs Santa Saga

Aunt Beryl’s drunk and attacking the tinsel. Your other half bought you only one sock. Random kids are drawing on the walls with cranberry sauce. Take out your frustrations by having a giant worm devour all things Christmas. It’s Tremors meets Santa, with jingling bells, gore, and giant robots. Nothing could be more Christmassy than that.

89p for Android / 99p for iOS