'Tis the season. Welcome to the most jolly, yet, hectic time of the year. From the smell of burnt cookies baking in the oven to that caroling sound of Christmas songs playing on repeat throughout the house - the last few weeks of December can be the most annoying time of the year.
As much as we love visiting in-laws and other relatives, getting through the holiday season can have its limits. Sure you are surrounded by people who love you, or at least people to whom you are related, but sometimes you just want to put your head down and do something, anything other than listen to your sister talk about her wedding plans for an hour.
How many Sony-hack conversations can one have with Aunt Sally? Do you really have to answer Dad's intrusive questions about your marital and reproductive prospects?
If you need a distraction, take comfort in bits of tech salvation, that is your smart phone of course! So either put on some headphones and just ignore everyone just for a bit or download these 10 apps to successfully ignore your family during the holidays.
Instead of scrolling through your braggy Instagram posts from people you follow or seeing whatever hashtag is trending, Plague is an iOS 8 and Android app designed to spread information - much like a virus in real life.
Whenever a user submits a funny picture or video, shared by text, links or images which have your location, it gets sent to the four Plague users closest to that person, who can either pass it along to the four closest Plague users nearby, or strike it down and stop the spread. When it appears for those users nearby, they have the option to either infect those near them or to stop the infection.
Think of Plague as Reddit gamified. And when there's lots of people sharing, Plague could be a great way to crowd-source your family angst and spread the virus, (ehem) we mean cheer.
If Mom asks, "Are you playing on your phone again?" You can tell her confidently, that you are swiping for your soul mate, or at least someone to bring to next year's holiday festivities. If Tinder is for hookups, the Hinge app is for relationships.
The Android and iOS app uses its "romance graph" to pair you with friends of friends, so you have a trusted connection that implies your date isn't a psychopath, and you get to see info about their work and education upfront.
Hinge serves up a seemingly endless stream of potential dates; for each one, you respond by swiping left for "no" or right for "yes"—kind of like the old "Hot or Not" game. You will be mesmerized by how quickly time can pass by with this app.
So you've been sitting in your parents home for hours, longing for an adult drink. You could hop in the car, but hey, it's cold out there. And who's to say whether the closest liquor store will be open?
Have no fear, just look down at your smartphone and with a few taps of the finger, your favorite beer, wine or liquor is on its way, in just 20 to 40 minutes. The $3 flat fee plus 10% automatic gratuity is totally worth it. After a few drinks, you will be sad that the holidays are almost over.
Drizly is available for download for iPhone and Android.
Tengami is an atmospheric adventure game, full of wonder and mystery. Taking its design from traditional Japanese arts and crafts, you guide a character through a pop-up book world in which you flip pages and slide tabs to discover hidden passages. Flip, fold, slide and pull parts of the world to solve puzzles and discover secrets.