The App Store has a great selection of Christmas apps, covering everything from holiday music to greeting cards. While these apps are not delivered by Santa and his reindeer, they are a festive addition to your iPhone or iPod touch this holiday season. Here are our picks for the best Christmas apps.
The Grinch Edition of the Dr. Seuss Camera (US$1.99) is an adorable Christmas app for kids or anyone who could use some extra holiday spirit. It includes 20 “Grinchmas” cards that you can personalize with your own photos -- and who doesn't want a picture of themselves dressed as the Grinch? The cards can be emailed to friends or saved to the app’s photo library. If you’re only going to download one Christmas app this season, make it this one.
Proceeds from The Salvation Army Christmas Music app ($2.99) go to -- you guessed it -- the Salvation Army. The app includes a variety of holiday music stations, including classic Christmas songs, Christmas hymns, oldies, and children’s songs. You can’t select specific songs to play, but you can skip songs within each station.
If you are overwhelmed with holiday shopping each year, the Christmas List app ($0.99) is for you. It’s a full-featured list app with email support, address book integration, and plenty of sortable categories. I especially like that it tracks your spending so you don’t exceed your gift budget. And the app is password-protected to hide your list from prying eyes.
Santa’s Christmas Village (Free) includes more than 13 games with fun holiday themes. It’s got solitaire, checkers, hangman, minesweeper, and more. Twenty holiday songs are also included. Even if you’re not a big game fan, Santa’s Christmas Village is a perfect kids app for keeping them entertained during the holidays.
The Christmas Radio app ($2.99) won me over with its festive interface and collection of more than 31,000 radio stations. The app is based on SHOUTcast radio, so you can search the stations by keyword and save your favorites for quick access later. Music can be streamed over EDGE, 3G or Wi-Fi, but you’ll want to stick to 3G or Wi-Fi for the best experience.
If holiday anticipation is killing you, the Christmas!! app (Free) will keep you sane until the big day arrives. The app includes a Christmas countdown, advent calendar, and a small collection of holiday songs. An in-app gift list will also help you keep track of your holiday purchases. The content in this Christmas app won't be unlocked until December 1, but you can use it year after year.
Even Sudoku apps are getting into the holiday spirit. Christmas Sudoku ($1.99) has three modes of gameplay -- easy, medium, and hard -- and 30 levels within each mode, so you won’t be bored with this one for a while. You can play the traditional game with numbers or spice things up with Christmas icons, in addition to playing with friends over Bluetooth.
The BBC’s Good Food Festive Recipes app ($2.99) includes more than 100 holiday recipes with step-by-step instructions and photos for each dish. Vegetarian recipes are clearly identified, and the built-in turkey timer will certainly come in handy over the holidays. The app also includes a helpful tips section where you can master basic kitchen techniques.