Throwing a holiday party? These Windows Phone apps can help

Throwing a holiday party? These Windows Phone apps can help

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Holiday parties: they’re fun when you’re a guest and a pain when you’re the host. But with a little planning and some help from your Windows Phone, you can survive (and enjoy) planning and hosting a holiday party with apps that make entertaining easy, fun and interactive.

Food

Whether you know what you want to serve or are like me and haven’t a clue, the free Allrecipes app can help. You can search thousands of top-rated recipes by food name or categories like “holidays.” A search for “Roasted Chestnuts” delivers a four-star recipe and a search for “holiday” offers a variety of considerations, from holiday burritos and biscotti to pumpkin bread and peppermint bark each with star-ratings based on reviews from a community of millions of home cooks.

The Allrecipes appThe Allrecipes app

After selecting an item, you’ll get an overview and can pan to see ingredients, directions (for preparation), nutrition info and even reviews from people who used the recipe. The Holiday Burritos and Mimosa sound like a good combo to me, so I pinned the individual recipes to my start screen for easy access at the supermarket. Later, I can also pin the directions to my start screen so that it’s easy to glance and prepare at home.

The Allrecipes appThe Allrecipes app

Epicurious and Betty Crocker are also great recipe apps to try. Both are free and feature thousands of recipes that you can search and share from your Windows Phone.

Drink

Although I’m mostly a beer and wine guy, it’s no surprise that cocktails are a crowd pleaser at holiday parties, especially when they go with the season. Similar to All Recipes, Cocktail Flow ($2.99) allows you to search for recipes by name or category. But even better, it also offers themed cocktail packages. A Christmas package includes 35 different cocktails, such as Eggnog Martini, Poinsettia, White Christmas, and Peppermint Stick, that can be downloaded to your Windows Phone.

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If you’re hosting a dinner party for the holidays, Food and Wine Pairing is another great app to try. For wine simpletons like me, it recommends an appropriate wine for any meal. So after I’ve decided on the main course with All Recipes, I hop over to Food and Wine Pairing to choose the wine – done.

Entertainment

Why interrupt chatting with friends at your party to put on another CD, when you can download, play (and later conveniently delete) several hours-worth of holiday soundtracks with a subscription music service? Both Spotify and Zune are less than $10 a month and are great for this. Simply enter your holiday of choice in the search bar and you’ll be amazed at how many artists, albums and tracks exist.

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I’ve downloaded several albums from both services in minutes with both Wi-Fi and 4G connections. Once the tracks are in your collection, add them to one giant playlist and you’ll have holiday tunes playing long after you want them.

With camera phones, taking pictures is almost part of the entertainment at most parties these days. The bummer of it is that you rarely get to see photos other than those you took. Flickr solves this problem by allowing you and your guests to take photos from Windows Phone, Android, or iOS phones and instantly upload them to a public, invite only or completely private group that you can create for your holiday celebration. Here’s a thought: post a few notices around your party about the shared Flickr group to encourage your guests to participate.

16 Comments
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  • Watch 10 Windows Phone apps perform “Jingle Bells”  http://bitly.com/uj3eHX

    Enjoy!

    WPMom

  • @ Vincent_G

    Probably after, or when, "Tango" is introduced along with Nokia's US Windows Phone lineup this coming January at CES.

    www.winrumors.com/nokia-planning-u-s-att-launch-at-ces-2012

    http://www.cesweb.org/

  • vincent_g
    19 Posts

    When can we start to see the features of Tango revealed one by one, like your big brother Windows 8? :)

  • Could someone please wake the people working on the My Home Server app and tell them that Mango has been released and their app should not have less features because of an OS upgrade. And maybe tell them that it is basically working OK... as long as you don't have more than a few hundred photos or music files on your Home Server.

  • Remember, on most useful app OTY vote for a WP native application.

  • !! Vote Here !! For Phone Of The Year And OS Of The Year!

    forms.reghardware.com/.../mobile.html

  • The white Acer WP7 phone looks good.

  • @ScubaDog2011 @Rodney E. Jones

    The idea of a colour wheel would be great, but I feel metro would lose a bit of it's modern touch if that was implemented, the bright colours give it an edge that's demanding, yet attractive, especially when it's on the purest of black screens. Maybe a slightly larger array of colours is all we need? Although, I've always used and loved the metro theme in office :p

    I can't use the red or purple accent colours :( they are just too bright when it's dark, it's almost blinding. Although I don't have the same problem with the boyfriend's HD7. The screen is slightly duller, and so it's easier on the eyes. I've got the Omnia7. Don't think we can change that much though :( and i'd never ever swap from a super amoled to an lcd :p

    I love love love the cyan and magenta nokia colours :3 WHO ELSE HAS A PHONE LIKE THAT! Oh and that pretty white :) I'm sorry, no other white phone looks good. They look cheap and flimsy. Don't know how Nokia manages to pull of white phones looking so elegant and sleek

  • @ Scuba.

    Yeah, That's all I ask is for more choices, nothing fancy yet...I actually like the Magenta, but I don't have enough balls to set it. I never tried the purple. I really would like more red options.

  • @Rodney, I have to admit, though, that my primary color choice is purple.  That said, however, it sure was nice when I had my phone unlocked before Mango I load the advanced config app that let me choose from a virtually unlimited pool of colors, so I was able to set my Focus up with just the right shade of purple ;)  Anyway, while I dread the day they eventually allow bitmapping of the tiles (which some people seam to think is a good idea) and a bitmapped wallpaper (again, a preference I can't understand), I do think allowing a broader choice of colors for the theme would be easy with no negative impact on performance.

  • Lets not forget about our buddy trying to help us get more quality apps. Please go and support his efforts...  http://www.tweetwp7.com/

  • @ Tee.

    Yes, one lady was said to choose the Lumia 800 over the iPhone because she say's the cyan color matches her handbag. We also need more color choices to attract men as well. Us guys always seem to get left out on color options. For example, out of the tiny number "10" of accent color choices on my S. Focus I would only consider 2, blue and red, for my phone. That's sad.

  • @Rodney E. Jones I Agree, block colours are all the rage this season, especially in Australia. Go nuts with big bright bold colours! Girls are loving this (me kinda-sorta-included) :D

  • purevibz
    14 Posts

    Can I say coaktail flow is the best looking app on any platform bar none. I just use it to make  a vodka mix and loving it.

  • Also,  I just sent some of my friends daughters, on Facebook, a link to the WP website. I asked them to tell me what they think about the phones. I like the fact that you guys are using the red accent color for the phones now, but it would really help me out, and open up the platform for others, if the phones were displayed in a variety of accent colors on the site. I think that they would be more attracted to the phones if they were shown in the magenta, or other tones. They need to know that these color options exist. I think we should take advantage of this colorful time period in fashion. This would help me help you.

    And, hopefully in the future there will be more color options, like that grey accent color on the Fujitsu IS12t.

  • Thanks, I will definitely show these apps to my wife. Another great holiday app is YuleTile. Look it up.

    Speaking of the Rubik's Cube, I think Nokia has grabbed a hold of this classic toy/game and is using it as WP's "little green robot"... Personally I think WP needs a mascot, and the Rubik's Cube seems to make a lot of sense. Here are some pictures of the Nokia Lumia Roadshow in Hong kong, celebrating the release of the Lumia phones. The pictures show Nokia using the Cubes, which are very similar in appearance to Nokia's recent marketing campaign. There is also a huge WP made of 550 Lumia 800s.... Check this out!...  http://welovewp.hk/?p=2718

    You guy's should have Rubik's Cubes made with assorted live tiles covering all the squares. These in the hands of the public would make for some really good advertising. And, with permission of course.