5 iPhone Apps to Make Your Holiday Events Easier

Our iPhones can be an invaluable resource during the holidays and with Thanksgiving only a few days away it's time to put them to work making our lives easier and less stressful. We can use our iPhones to make our holiday meals even more special, mix up the perfect cocktail, play group games, and let everyone share in the good memories we're making. The Mac Observer's Jeff Gamet put together a list of some of his favorite apps to help you out. The only thing missing is the perfect dairy-free gingerbread recipe to make him happy.

Your iPhone can help cut holiday stress with the right appsYour iPhone can help cut holiday stress with the right apps


Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List (free) takes the stress out if you aren't sure where to start with your holiday dinner plans. The app is packed with more than 30,000 recipes, includes collections geared towards different holidays, can tell you which vegetables are in season, and has a powerful kitchen timer you can run from your iPhone or Apple Watch. If you're worried about getting sauces, veggies, or other ingredients all over your iPhone Epicurious includes a voice control Cook Mode, too.

Epicurious is great for discovering new recipesEpicurious is great for discovering new recipes


Paprika Recipe Manager for iPhone ($2.99) is great for keeping track of your favorite recipes, and if you don't have any yet you can use it to load recipes from cooking websites. It can keep track of the ingredients you have at home, build shopping lists based on what you plan to cook, and can even track timers for multiple recipes when you're in the kitchen. If you want to use your iPhone when shopping, but view recipes on your iPad, that isn't a problem because Paprika syncs between your iOS devices, too.

Organizing your recipe collection is easy with PaprikaOrganizing your recipe collection is easy with Paprika


Mixology Drink & Cocktail Recipes (free with in-app purchases) has you covered when you need to come up with drink ideas that go beyond dumping Coke into your rum or bourbon. The app is loaded with thousands of drink recipes, lets you search for ideas based on ingredients, and can offer up suggestions based on what's in your liquor cabinet. If you're short on liquor or mixers, Mixology can help you find a nearby store, too.

Mixology helps you come up with awesome cocktailsMixology helps you come up with awesome cocktails


Spaceteam (free) Sometimes holiday gatherings feel a little too uptight which is a clear sign no one has started a round of Spaceteam. The object is for everyone to work together to fly a spaceship successfully to the next level. Everyone has their own control panel on their iPhone, and will see actions they need to call out, like "Set Sigmaclapper to 3," or "Activate Synthcage." Everyone has to shout out their commands, otherwise the person with the Synthcage that needs activating won't hear. Spaceteam runs on iPads, too, but be careful no one gets hurt when it's time to shake your device to avoid the astroids.

Fly a spaceship with your friends and family in SpaceteamFly a spaceship with your friends and family in Spaceteam


PartySnapper (free) turns the photos everyone is taking at your holiday event into an instant group photo album on your iPhone. You can stream the shots to your Apple TV via AirPlay so everyone can see, and you don't need to remember to ask everyone to send you the photos they took because they're already on your iPhone. Everyone can download and use PartySnapper for free, and a seven-day pass with unlimited photos costs $4.99. A 30-day pass is $9.99, and unlimited parties costs $29.99.

Even More Holiday Apps

Last year Jeff put together a list of holiday survival apps that's work checking out again now. He also recorded a great The Mac Observer's Daily Observations podcast with John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont with even more holiday app suggestions.

And Jeff is still on the hunt for the perfect dairy-free gingerbread.