When I first starting writing about technology, which dates all the way back to the launch of the now-vintage first iPhone, there were no holiday apps.
In fact, if you’re on top of your tech history, you’ll recall that it wasn’t until a year later—in the summer 2008—that Apple launched its App Store.
At the time, if you wanted to make a holiday shopping list, you were stuck with Evernote. Yes, it’s a quality product (still is), but it pales in comparison to the festive downloads we have today. (Heck, Angry Birds hadn’t even launched until 2009, so if you wanted to procrastinate on your gift list in 2008, you didn’t even have a addictive casual game to play!)
This December, things are different. From a banking app for your smart watch, to a gift status app for your iPhone, to an address-free shopping app, we’re inundated with smart high-tech holiday picks.
Here are five downloads that I’ve been testing this season, downloads that will take a little stress out of the most wonderful time of the year.
Choose from a number of carefully curated gifts from local and national retailers. When you’ve found the perfect pick, click ‘Gift This’ and enter the lucky recipient’s phone number or email address. When you send the gift notification, your recipient can choose his or her preferred shipping address.
Manage Christmas (iOS)
If you have a tough time keeping your holiday shopping on track, this download is a life saver. Simply enter everyone on your list, include a budget for each person, and track your purchasing progress. At the top of the screen you will always see your total budget and, based on what you’ve bought, how much money you have left.
Scotiabank Mobile Banking App (Android)
Speaking of money, Canadian banks are innovating around the clock to make it easier for all of us to manage our money. This year I had a chance to play around with Scotiabank’s mobile banking app on the Samsung Gear (the first of its kind in this country). If you have this wearable product, you can turn on Quick Balance and Wearables within the app on your smartphone; this way you always have quick access to your account balance on your wrist. Overspending, be gone!
Geek (iOS & Android)
There is a good chance someone in your family or one of your friends wants technology under the tree. When it comes to personal electronics, this download has you covered. From headphones to speakers to accessories, you will get great ideas and discover big savings.
Flipp app (iOS & Android)
Depending on which survey you read, Canadians will spend just shy of $600 on gifts this Christmas. What we don’t take into account when we share this number is the high cost of holiday groceries. Flipp will help you find local fliers so you can save on food this December. After all, this is a busy social season, so good food is the perfect perk.