Appy Christmas: Five of the best – and not just for the kids

Track Santa on Christmas Eve, laugh at yourselves as dancing elves, and more

Google’s Santa Tracker has plenty of interactive games for the kids to play right through December

Google’s Santa Tracker has plenty of interactive games for the kids to play right through December


Santa may be an old-fashioned fellow – he still uses a sleigh to get around, and he has a big old musty book to keep his list of good little boys and girls. But in recent years he’s become very tech savvy – must be all those smartphones and Xboxes he gives away every Christmas. He’s big into his apps, so before you hang up your Christmas decorations, load up your phone with these top festive apps:

Google’s Santa Tracker

Android/iOS, free
When Santa sets off around the world on the night of December 24th to deliver his presents, your kids can track his journey through this ever-popular app. But watch out if he starts getting too close to your country – you’d better get straight to bed. The elves have plenty of interactive games for the kids to play right through December.

Norad’s Santa Tracker

Android/iOS, free
The North American Aerospace Defense Command keeps a watch on the skies to protect against all threats from above, but it also keeps an eye on Santa every Christmas as he goes about his journey, using satellite technology. Norad will make sure Santa can safely deliver his presents without having to worry about Little Rocket Man.

Message from Santa

Android, free (optional in-app purchases)
Santa can call your kids – of course he already knows their names, ages and what their interests are. And your kids can leave a message on his voicemail, or send him a text and he’ll text right back. Simple but perfect for the very young kids in your family.

Portable North Pole

Android/iOS, free (optional in-app purchases)
If you’re looking for an authentic-looking Christmas app, this one has all the sleighbells and whistles. Santa will send you a personalised video which you can view on your smartphone or PC. The videos are of cinematic quality, filmed on location at Santa’s workshop in the snowy North Pole. Santa will chat to your kids by name, and open his big book to make sure they’re on his “nice” list. There are four free customisable videos, but you can sign up to premium packages that give you a range of video and call options, including a “reaction recorder” that captures your child’s astonished face when they see Santa talking to them.

Elf Yourself

Android/iOS, free (optional in-app purchases)
Turn your friends and family into dancing elves – what’s not to like? Upload photos of you and your family or friends, and you can become elf dancing queens and kings. Make a personalised video of your elf selves dancing and share it via email or Facebook. New dances have been added to the app this year which you can download and purchase.