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Apps for the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, which means we’ve got so much time, and so little to do. Wait, strike that…it’s the reverse.

There are gifts to order, flights to track, family recipes to manage, and memories to capture. We’re going to be relying heavily on a select handful of apps to get us through all the craziness, and we thought we’d share the list with our readers in case they might also find it helpful.

App in the Air

A good flight tracker with up-to-date and accurate flight information โ€” no matter your airline of choice โ€” can save you from headaches and stress while traveling to visit loved ones. The design, user experience, timely notifications, and extra features of App in the Air really make it stand out from the crowd, which is why it’s our favorite flight tracker.

App in the Air flight tracker for iPhone and iPad. (Free)


One of our favorite things about the holidays is getting together with friends and family to make a meal that won’t soon be forgotten. Keeping track of all those recipes is made much easier with Paprika, our favorite recipe manager.

Adding recipes to Paprika is a snap, whether you’re creating them manually or importing them directly from popular recipe websites and food blogs. And once they’re in Paprika, recipes sync across all platforms you own the app on, which can include iPhone, iPad, and Mac (each version sold separately).

As you cook, ingredients can be crossed out when added, measurements can be converted between unit types (in case, say, you forget how many tablespoons are in a ยผ cup), and recipes can be scaled up or down to suit the size of the crowd you’re feeding.

While Paprika includes nifty features to help you manage your grocery shopping list, there’s another app we turn to for that particular purpose: AnyList for iPhone and iPad (they also have a web app). Read our full review of AnyList here.

Paprika recipe manager for iPhone ($5), iPad ($5), and Mac ($20).


These days we do far more online gift shopping than in physical retail stores. Let’s face it, shopping in pajamas is so much nicer. The only thing is, we need a good way to track all those gift shipments, regardless of what carrier is shipping them. Our favorite tool for the job is Deliveries for iOS/Apple Watch and Mac.

Open the app with a tracking number copied to the clipboard, and Deliveries will auto-detect the number and even which carrier it came from. You can track the shipment’s progress and location, and receivea push notification when it arrives at your door.

One nice touch: Packages on the list are color-coded by carrier โ€” purple for FedEx, brown for UPS, white for US postal service, etc.

Deliveries package tracker for iOS ($5) and Mac ($5).


If you’re like us, with every holiday season you end up with loads of photos to cherish for years to come. Whether you share them with the world or keep them for your own enjoyment, you want your photos to look their best.

Even with the enormous number of great photo editing apps available for iOS, our favorite of the bunch continues to be VSCO (formerly VSCO Cam), thanks to its incredible selection of one-tap filters and powerful image editing tools.

On perk of being the premier photo editor for iOS, VSCO makes it easy to share your photos in a number of neat ways โ€” including an Instagram-esque publishing platform called Grid and a photo-centric blogging service called Journal. It also syncs your photos (along with their non-destructive edits) between your iOS devices.

If you’d like to add a heart-felt message or amusing caption to your holiday photos before sharing them with friends and family, check out Over and Phonto.

VSCO Cam photo editor for iOS. (Free)

Day One

When the holidays are over, the presents have been put away, the food’s been eaten, the decorations are down, and the good-byes have been said, the only thing left is to log those joyous memories away while they’re still fresh. There’s no better way to do that than with the award-winning Day One journaling app for iOS and Mac.

For a comprehensive rundown of what Day One can do and how you can make the most of it, check out our new iBook, Day One In-Depth. This is the most detailed and extensive guide to Day One available today, featuring in-depth reviews covering the app’s every function and feature.

Day One for iOS ($5) and Mac ($10).