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Get set for 'appy' holidays

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With most of us surgically attached to our hand-held devices, apps have become a part of life. This being the month of incessant weddings, after-office parties, get-togethers, family holidays and much more, here are a few savvy apps that will help you manage a packed month.

Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List app
OS, Win Phone 7,
Android: Free

DRINKING AND eating well with friends and family during the holiday season will never be a problem again, even when you are responsible for getting or supplying food for a party.

Just get the Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List app from award-winning food site Epicurious.com that comes packed with over 28,000 professionally tested and created recipes from renowned magazines such as Gourmet and Bon Appétit, popular cookbooks, top chefs, and leading restaurants. The big saviour is a feature that allows you to add ingredients of a favourite recipe to your shopping list. The next time you hit the grocery store just open the app and pick up the items off the shelves. This is a godsend for for those of us who always forget something at the grocery store.

Epicurious lets you plan meals based on what you have at home, prepare grocery lists, read reviews, save and share recipes and more. Also, there are thousands of recipes so you can expect the app to be a bit slow when searching. Recipes are displayed in a slideshow so you need to swipe through until you find what you want.

PopOut! The Night Before Christmas/
iOS: Rs 170
Android: $4.99

IT’S MANY a family’s annual ritual to read Twas The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. While there are a number of apps of the story in app stores, PopOut’s app, based on the children's story by Clement Clarke Moore, allows your child to interact with everything on the page as the story is read.

Launch the app and use the pull-up tab on the Menu screen to select Read to me that allows kids to listen to the story on their own and watch as each word on the page is highlighted when read. Readers also get to play with characters and objects, touch words individually to hear them read again and then swipe the page when they’re ready to continue.

Some items will literally pop-out and move freely around the pages when you tilt your iPad back and forth or drag the objects around the screen with your finger. Get this app for some cosy bed-time reading this season.

RunKeeper/
and Android: Free

WITH ALL the dining out and late nights, a handy app to keep on your device this holiday season is RunKeeper.

Want to track your speed while running, or maintain a solid fat-burning workout regimen leading up to Christmas, RunKeeper is the app for you. Mind you, RunKeeper isn’t just for runners. The app keeps track of a variety of fitness activities, including hiking, cycling, swimming, and so on. Before you start your activity, you can switch the type of activity from the Start screen so the app accurately tracks the progress.

We liked the fact that app also integrates with music library (on device) and so there’s no need to keep switching apps to control your music beats. RunKeeper also integrates with Facebook so that you can share the results of your workout with all of your friends.

Simple Soiree/
iOS: Rs 110

IF YOU have landed yourself in midst of organising a festive get-together and aren’t sure where to start, or are just looking for tools to make your event planning easier, check out the app, Simple Soiree. This party planning app lets you create & send invitations, manage the guest list and even shopping lists.

Simple Soiree automatically generates an elegant email and web page that your guests can RSVP to. Now that’s a 2012-thing to do, isn’t it?

The best part is, you can continue to use it to organise your daily life or plan other events after your party is over. This event planning iPhone app will also plan a party theme for your child’s first birthday party or for your parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.

First Aid - American Red Cross/
iPhone, Android and Blackberry: Free

WITH KIDS at home from school, or spending time outdoors with friends, it is important to be prepared for anything and everything. While it is okay to think that nothing will go wrong on holiday health-wise, but in case it does this essential first aid app should be a great tool.

The information you need is all hosted on the app itself such as how to deal with a variety of first aid scenarios, including burns, choking, bleeding, head injury, poison, and strokes, among many others.

It needs no internet connection, thus making it fast and easy to access in a crisis.

The use of videos to better explain emergency manoeuvres is a great addition as are all sorts of checklists to prepare for natural disasters and other situations.

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