Alright, nerds. Can't afford to mail a fruit basket to Uncle Larry this year? Or maybe just too lazy? There's an alternative! For iTunes users: simply hit "gift" in the drop-down menu for any app, and cross Larry off your list! Google phone users have ways of gifting apps, too. Apps are both unique and range from free to pricey, meaning there's a suitable choice for anyone with a smart phone. We've compiled a brief app gift guide to help get ideas flowing. (Though most of these apps have Android versions, we don't guarantee universal compatibility!)
One of the things missing from the portable-digital age is the soothing consistency of real broadcast radio. Podcasts don't always cover what's local, or bring you information that you wouldn't seek out otherwise. Luckily, TuneIn has both a free and a pro version (no ads) to bring you all of your local channels.
Wish your phone took better photos? Now it does! With ClearCam's enhanced and quick modes, the app creates a composite of the best frames, or picks the best out of six rapid-fire shots. No more blur, noise, or other common camera-phone issues. It's a simple, high-quality alternative to the built-in camera app.
Cor.kz Wine Info
Don't kid yourself – talking about wine is really hard. You won't have to worry anymore, though, because this app has all you'd want to know about most wines, with a massive database and a built-in barcode reader for in-store tough decisions. Give it to a friend, or buy it for yourself and spend the holidays outsmarting your snobby brother-in-law!
Words with Friends
There's a Scrabble nut in every family, someone so obsessed with the board game that they haven't yet heard about this insanely popular knockoff app, where you can challenge your Facebook friends or go head-to-head with random users. Balance multiple ongoing games and egg on slowpokes with the built-in chat. There's a supposedly ad-free version but reviews indicate the lite version is just as good.
Ghostly International is a record label (with some of its flagship artists based in the Bay Area) that releases music on the cutting edge of instrumental and creative technology. It's only fitting that it has a trippy little app that streams the entire Ghostly catalog via user-driven controls specifying desired tempo, texture, and more, to create a unique mood-based listening experience.
Not only does this new version include full Yoga practices, but you can edit and save your custom, personalized routine. Relax in Downward Dog without worrying about who's checking out your tail! You don't even have to change out of your Little Mermaid pajamas.
If the music-tech nerd you love hasn't heard about this yet, they'll flip out when it shows up in their inbox. Modeled after the Kaoss touchpad, this new app is the logical extension of Korg's innovative line of synthesizers. At this point, it's a steal: This full-featured synth app will double in price come December.
Nowadays Craigslist is the go-to website to find anything used — furniture, bicycles, apartments, jobs, people — and these developers have improved upon the site's already easy-to-use design. With more search features and impeccable organization, you might never need to use the actual site again.
Bonus: For iPad users, there are two cool new ways to blast your music: Algoriddhm djay ($20) turns the iPad into a DJ station, with two turntables and a slick, functional interface. Retro Boombox Music Player ($3.99), in addition to its delightfully gimmicky design, plays local radio and even allows you to record along (read: freestyle) over the music via your built-in microphone.