14/11/2017 10:11 GMT | Updated 16/11/2017 16:13 GMT

The Best Smartphone Apps To Download This Christmas

Deck the halls. But before that, deck your smartphone.

TARIK KIZILKAYA via Getty Images

Christmas may be just around the corner but this year – for once – we’re not sweating it. Not one single bit. Here’s why: we’ve got some extra help at our fingertips, thanks to our trusty phones.

We’re talking about the smartphone apps helping us get through the festive season. Even Santa isn’t getting assistance this good from the elves in his workshop.

From the apps we need in our lives to help put us in that Christmas frame of mind (and banish any bah humbugs!) to the apps that will keep our diet and exercise in check as we merrily make our way from one Christmas party to the next (to the one after that), your smartphone will save you this festive season. Here’s how.

  • Mixtiles
    This might be our favourite easy-yet-unexpected Christmas gift idea yet: wall art tiles that you make from the photos on your phone. Mixtiles stick onto walls and can be organised and moved around into whatever patterns you’d like – without damaging that latest coat of Farrow & Ball Cornforth White. These also work as a great backdrop for your festive season get-togethers.

    Free, App Store
    You spend the whole Christmas period snapping smartphone photos: of your friends embarrassing themselves at the work Christmas party, of your kids making their nativity play debuts, of your family members posing together in ridiculous Christmas jumpers. And, tragically, that’s where most of the photos remain: stuck on your phone forever, occasionally making an appearance on social media but largely forgotten. No longer. This year, make sure the lasting memories of Christmas do exactly that – last – with an easy-as-pie-to-make photo book from LALALAB. You can also order prints, posters, magnets and more.

    Free, Google Play, App Store
  • ShareTheMeal
    Christmas is so much lovelier when you remember that it’s not just a season of receiving (and giving to those who already have a lot of stuff). ShareTheMeal, a United Nations social impact app, is all about ending world hunger and helping children who need it most. Just one tap – and £0.35p – is all it takes to feed a child for a day. And to spread a little Christmas cheer.

     Free, Google Play, App Store
  • Elf Yourself by Office Depot
    Elf Yourself by Office Depot
    Calling all Scrooges! We defy you not to get into that festive frame of mind with this app. Think about it. Dancing elves. With the faces of your friends and family members. What’s not to love? Warning: you may become more addicted to this than your children.

     Free, Google Play, App Store
  • Secret Santa’s Tombola, Free, App Store
    Secret Santas Tombola
    You’ve got enough on your plate this festive season already without worrying about what to get for your various Secret Santa recipients (workmates, family, uni crew, etc.). How you’ve managed to maintain this many disparate social groups when you spent most of the last year obsessively tracking your step count and binge-watching Netflix shows is a mystery, but for whatever reason, there are a lot of random people expecting Christmas presents from you. This app does the Secret Santa dirty work for you – and well. Stick-on moustaches, anyone?

    Free, App Store
  • Deliveries: A Package Tracker
    This app keeps track of all your deliveries, letting you know when to expect packages to arrive so you don’t miss them. A must to help manage all your Christmas parcels – and ensure Santa and his reindeer aren’t running late.

    £4.99, App Store
  • Gift Finder by Not on the High Street
    Gift Finder by Not on the High Street
    Because nothing beats the smile on a loved one’s face when they get given something one-of-a-kind, completely in tune with their passions or just plain gorgeous (and unusual). Cue every gift from Not on the High Street. And guess what? Buying interesting gifts is a lot more fun than hitting the accessories department and picking up another scarf. Oh – and this is a fact – kids love anything with their names on. So, a personalised present might just be the key to securing you that favourite uncle/auntie status you’ve been coveting.

    Free, App Store
  • Fitbit app
    A real all-rounder, this app is an essential for helping you get through the bevy of Christmas parties, dinners, puddings and lazy hours spent watching telly with friends and family. The Fitbit app has a purpose for every part of your day, from tracking goals for burning calories, to reviewing and perfecting your sleep pattern. Challenge your friends and family over the festive period to see who is the most active. You can download the app and test basic functions even if you don’t have a Fitbit tracker.

    Free, App Store, Google Play