Make sure your holiday soiree is the event of the season by downloading these 11 innovative, life-saving apps. From the guest list to the menu to the entertainment, they’ve got you covered so you can spend more time putting smiles on your guests’ faces.
1. WePopp; Free
This fabulous app takes all the stress out of nailing down the who, when, and where for your big shindig. Simply create an event and list your available dates and times, then invite your friends (who don’t need the app to participate). They then vote for their favorite date, guaranteeing you the best turnout—and eliminating any “What if no one comes to my party?!” worry. You can also have your friends vote on things like venue and menu.
2. Paperless Post; Free
If you’re feeling a bit less egalitarian about your party planning, use Paperless Post to send your guests perfectly-curated invitations. Paperless Post sets itself apart from other invitation apps with its selection of thousands of gorgeous invitation designs and its ability to mimic the feel of receiving a tactile invite in the mail. It also helps you manage your guest list—who has RSVPed, who needs a reminder—with an easy-to-use interface that navigates seamlessly from the mobile app to the Paperless Post website.
3. Paprika Recipe Manager; $4.99
Streamline your menu-planning process with the help of this handy recipe app. Browse recipes anywhere on the web and tab them to save to your mobile device. Once you’ve decided on your favorites, create shopping lists within the app and Paprika will sort them by supermarket aisle (Dairy, Produce, etc.). Cross ingredients off your list once you’ve added them to your shopping cart. During the actual cooking process, Paprika saves you from switching back and forth between the recipe to the timer by automatically embedding timers within the recipe; simply tap to start.
Pepperplate is like your own personal sous chef. Not only does it help you manage your recipes, but it also helps plan whole menus for your special events and will scale recipes up to accommodate for the right amount of people—no more terror of realizing you’ve flubbed your math while quadrupling a recipe! You can also put Pepperplate into Cook Mode to prevent it from dimming while you prepare your mise en place.
5. Hello Vino; Free
Some people are sommeliers—for the rest of us, there’s Hello Vino. Hello Vino takes the guesswork out of choosing the perfect wine for your party by making recommendations based on your menu and taste preferences.
6. Speakeasy Cocktails; $9.99
Learn how to craft sophisticated cocktails or stir the perfect punch straight from the pros. Top bartenders Jim Meehan and Joseph Schwartz, founders of New York City cocktail bars PDT and Little Branch, share their recipes and offer video tutorials and instructional graphics for mixing over 200 drinks.
7. Spotify; $9.99/month
Nearly every song you can think of, instantly at your disposal, for free—need we say more? And for $9.99/month, you can upgrade to a Premium subscription that will allow you to access Spotify’s extensive library from your mobile phone—with no ad breaks. Create your own playlists, share them with your friends, and follow others with similar music tastes to discover new sounds.
8. Party Mixer; Free
Don’t just create a playlist, become your party’s DJ. Party Mixer allows you to play two tracks at the same time so you can cross-fade between them just like a real DJ. Change up the pitch and temp on your songs and save them to create your own remixes. Curate your playlists and then set the app to “Auto DJ” once the guests start rolling in for it to automatically mix your tunes.
9. Sing! Karaoke; Free
Take your party up a notch by introducing some karaoke. Forget one of those fancy machines, all you need is this app. Not only do the lyrics appear on your phone’s screen (you can choose from a huge catalog of hits), but you can record your performance or join duets being performed all over the world.
10. IncrediBooth; $0.99
Give your guests a real photo booth feel with this app from Hipstamatic. The IncrediBooth automatically snaps four shots of you and friends in quick succession, just like the real thing. Then you can upload the whole strip or individual snaps directly to Facebook or Twitter—we’d like to see one of those giant boxes do that.
11. Uber; Free
Make sure your guests get home safe and sound by requesting an Uber ride for them. You order the car with the tap of a button, then track the driver’s progress in a real-time map until your ride reaches your front door. You also have the option of messaging or calling your driver, should your pick-up location change. Once you sign up for the service, it automatically stores your payment information so you don’t have to scrounge for cash to pay for your ride.
For holiday entertaining, don’t get stuck in the same old rut—look for ways to innovate. The same goes with computing. Intel is always looking for ways technology can change lives for the better and with Intel® RealSense™ technology, they’re doing just that. Gesture recognition, 3D scanning and smart videoconferencing are a few examples of how Intel innovation is changing the way you use technology forever. Learn more at intel.com