The holidays have come and gone and we’re in the midst of the January blues.
January can be a tough month… The glitz, glamour and excitement of the festive period has come to a close, and we’re left with a pretty hefty financial hole in our pockets. That doesn’t mean we can’t look back fondly to the big day and remember the plentiful apps we used to bring to a little enjoyment to the table. But when the festivities are over, we also need some help getting back into the daily routine to get us back on track.
Released in November 2014, Dubsmash is a video messaging app for iOS and Android. The idea being that you scroll through well-known quotes from movies, television shows, song lyrics or animal noises, and once chosen, the app prompts you to take a selfie video and mime along with the recorded quote. The result is a short and hilarious clip of your performance, which you can then instantly share with friends on Whatsapp or socially on Facebook.
Not shy of wanting to make fools of ourselves, my sister and I loved this app over Christmas, creating and sharing many recognisable clips of audio; from ‘Hannibal Lecter’ to ‘Gollum’, much to our parents’ amusement, who thought we were incredibly talented and gifted children. A bit like Vine, this app generates a lot of laughs.
Google Santa Tracker
A charming and aesthetically pleasing app from Google which, even as a 25 year old, I found particularly entertaining (and exciting!) to use on the eve of the big day. Although there have been many variations of ways you can track the big guy’s movements seen online before, what makes Google’s ‘Santa Tracker’ stand out is the adorable animations and statistics given surrounding Santa’s movements.
Initially available as a daily countdown to Christmas, the app took to life on Christmas eve as Santa set off in his sleigh and started delivering his presents and gifts across the globe. The app then tracked his every movement, allowing you to watch where Santa had stopped, and how far he was from your own home. Neat statistics also accompanied the traveling Santa animation, such as the amount of miles he’d accumulated on his journey across the globe. I was delighted to discover when I checked in at 11pm on Christmas Eve, Santa was busy unpacking toys and gifts in Paris, slowly making his rounds and his way to me!
This fun and hilarious game for everyone to get involved with on Christmas Day will have your Nan wetting her knickers (not literally hopefully). A digital twist on the classic games ‘Charades’ and ‘Articulate’, ‘Heads Up!’ requires a person to select a category; from celebrities to silly accents and, as the name of the app suggests, the player then holds the phone or tablet up against their forehead so they can’t view the screen, ready for the other players to act out or describe the displayed word. The idea being you guess as many cards shown as possible before the time runs out.
This game is great fun and offers a lot of laughs, especially given the option to watch your ridiculous antics back as a video as the app records your every movement. Lots of celebrities have announced they can’t get enough of the app, but here’s Ellen Degeneres and the late and wonderful Robin Williams getting it right.
My fitness pal:
Having used the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app since last summer, I’ve developed a great reliance on this app to help me keep track of the calories and all the other naughty things we’re not meant to have too much of (like chocolate and alcohol), to make sure I don’t overindulge.
Now, that’s all well and good for the other 364 days of the year, but on Christmas day this app was well and truly ignored. For fear of the app somehow going into overdrive and combusting as I logged the mince pie after Ferrero Rocher after Quality Street, I decided to ditch the regular routine for this one day.
Now you might think logging everything you eat can be a bit excessive, but the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app really makes it easy for you. The huge database of food means you merely need to do a simple search of the food you’ve consumed and it’ll quickly find and store your choice.
The app then handily breaks the day up into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in order for you to log what you eat, and then tally’s up your calorie intake and record how many you’ve consumed and whether you’re under or over your daily limit. Definitely an abused app over the festive period, this app is great to get you back into the ‘New Year, New Me’ mentality and help you shed those turkey-dinner love handles.
I’m a big fan of spending money, and the festive season is obviously the perfect time to go wild with your wages. However, with lots of presents to purchase and parties to attend, along with getting paid a week earlier than the usual, January can mean a long and painful month for the bank account. Luckily for me, I love packet soup, so living off that for lunch breaks doesn’t seem too much of a chore, but for others keeping an eye on outgoings throughout January, the ‘Money Dashboard’ app seems like a good option to invest in.
‘Money Dashboard’ helps you save money by seeing all your balances and transactions in one central hub. This gives you a much clearer picture on how you’re spending your money, helping you save or cut down on various expenditures. By grouping outgoings, the app helpfully displays your expenses in a neat and easy-to-read graph. So when the personalised category ‘Pub’ get’s a little too large on the pie chart, you know where to save the pennies which ultimately make pounds in order to pay off that credit card bill generated over Christmas.
Perhaps if I’d been ever so slightly less intoxicated on New Year’s Eve, this app would have come in handy, prevention certainly being better than the much needed hangover cure. ‘iDrated’ is a neat little app that helps you log the amount of water you’re drinking, which is vital for keeping skin looking healthy, aiding digestion, improving concentration and, perhaps most important of all, flushing nasty toxins from the body (such as those consumed on NYE).
Now if you’re like me, who overall is quite bad at remembering to drink enough water throughout the day, this app is the perfect tool to help you get into the habit of drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day.
With an easy to use, simplistic design, iDrated allows you to log the amount you are drinking, stores your weekly stats and helps you remember to drink water with a helpful notification for extra incentive. My only criticism would be that the app should really notify you of when to put down the prosecco and replace with H20…
December is a great period to party in style, spend time with family and friends, and generally enjoy yourself as much as possible. So downloading a few novelty apps that could generate a lot of fun is a great way to get interactive and share with others during special times of the year. The apps we put away to allow ourselves to escape reality, overindulge and not be too hard on ourselves are available 365 days of the year to help keep our lives on track… And they’re great for helping keep those New Year’s Resolutions in tow.