Nevertheless, I have given and received my fair share of Christmas lemons. For example, every Christmas my grandmother sends me a sweater the color of Pepto Bismol, which she calls the “man-catching color.” This sweater is always too small, which means I have to march down to the department store and return it. As the customer service clerk rolls her eyes and frantically skims the line winding out past the automatic doors behind me, I feel like Scrooge and sigh,"Ba humbug." I begin wishing that I had a gift card—or better yet—an app.
As a millennial, it's no surprise that I’m a tech-junkie. In fact, almost everyone in my immediate family is geek-chic, which makes apps squeal-worthy gifts. I can gift personality-perfect apps that cost 99¢ to $4.99 (or free!) right from my iPhone or iPad—and no wrapping is required!
1. Find the perfect app
Launch the app store from your iPhone's or iPad's home screen. You can choose one of the recommended apps below, but I also like to scour the iTunes charts, which features the top 100 songs, albums, TV shows, movies and apps. When you find the ideal app, tap on it. I search for the app I would like to gift to someone and tap on it.
For the prankster
- iFart($0.99): Put the whoopie cushion in storage! Loaded with a variety of toot sounds, this app will have everyone wondering who just cut the cheese.
- Lie Detector (Free): Perfect for gullible friends. Have them push their thumb down on the screen, ask them an embarrassing question, and wait for the lie-o’meter to gauge their truthfulness.
- Voice Changer (Free): This app allows you to speak in 40 different accents or morph your own voice.
For the fashionista
- Disney Princess Royal Salon ($2.99): Deck out your favorite Disney princesses with breathtaking gowns, sparkling accessories and magical styling tools.
- Stylebook (Free): Put together a killer wardrobe while keeping up with each piece's size, brand, care and price.
- What's My Size (Free): Key in your measurements and fit-preference (slim, comfort, or relaxed) to find your perfect-size in any brand.
For the sportsman
- Instant Heart Rate Monitor (Free): A powerful Apple tool that allows you to use your camera's flash to see if you are as fit as a fiddle.
- Fitness Buddy: Exercise Workout Journal ($1.99): This app has over 17,000 unique exercises with detailed pictures and animations. Use it to build your own workout and track your weight and inches.
- Map My Fitness (Free): Map your route and keep track of the calories you torch. This app also sends audio updates about your pace, time and distance while exercising.
For the geek
- Marvel Heroes Live Wallpaper (Free): Experience the marvelous site of your favorite superheroes in action on your iPhone's or iPad's screen.
- Scrabble (Free): This classic game has had a modern digital makeover. Pass the phone around as you play, or battle your friends on Facebook.
For the artist
- Artsy (Free): Dubbed the "art world in your pocket," you can search for images, collections and playlist-esque groupings of art from emerging and established artists.
- Tayasui Sketches for Sketching (Free): A simple sketch-board with an impressive array of digital pens and pencils.
- Somebody (Free): Texting is tacky, calling is awkward and emailing is old, so Miranda July created this app that uses a human surrogate to deliver your messages to friends and family face-to-face.
For the animal lover
- Games for Cats (Free): Let your kitty (yes, you read that right) chase virtual mice and lasers to rack up points for more online goodies.
- Cat Piano (Free): Channel your inner musician with this adorable kitty keyboard that makes meowing sounds.
- WWF Together (Free): Get face time with some of the world's most amazing animals: elephants, rhinos, pandas and many more.
2. Click the share button in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen. Then tap on the blue icon that looks like a gift-wrapped box.
3. Fill out the information in the fields (to, from and message).
4. Scroll down and pick today or another day to send the app.
I send my apps on Christmas Eve, so it appears in the recipient's inbox on Christmas morning.
5. Click the Next button in the upper right-hand corner. Then pick a theme. (I think of this as virtual gift-wrapping paper for my app.)
6. Review the receipt.
I review my receipt making sure that the recipient's name, email address and send date are correct. Then I use PayPal or my credit/debit card to purchase the app. If I'm sending the app to multiple people, I will have to pay per person. While you can send free apps, you can’t gift them. Don't worry, though. If the app you purchase doesn't sweep your family and friends off of their feet, they can return it by January 8th.
This is a guest post by Cherese from Tennessee.