Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Apple > iPhone

Managing The Holidays With Your iPhone or iPad

  • Print
  • + Share This
Lisa Spangenberg offers up her favorite iPhone and iPad apps for making shopping, cooking, and entertaining a little bit easier.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

I eagerly look forward to the holidays every year, but increasingly I rely on my iPad and iPhone to help deal with holiday tasks in ways that free me to enjoy time with friends and family. In my case, the holidays include cooking and entertaining and gift-giving, which means both shopping for gifts and creating gifts.

There’s an app for that.

To-Do Lists

My list-making needs are simple, so I generally rely on the iOS Reminders app. Reminders syncs with all my iOS devices and my Mac via iCloud. I can have multiple lists in play at any time and several tasks allocated to each list. I can assign a time and date for the task, and then receive a reminder on my Mac and iOS devices via the Notification center. It’s trivial to create a schedule for creating a holiday dinner, or coordinate a shopping expedition.

For those with more sophisticated needs, Any.DO Task and To-Do List for iPhone is free and syncs with other iOS devices via the developer’s site . Any.DO allows you to share your lists, create tasks with location reminders as well as time-and-date, use voice commands, and easily postpone or re-schedule tasks. For $2.99, Clear+ Tasks and To Do List  for iOS from Realmac Software  supports the iPad as well as iPhone and iPod Touch. There’s even a syncing Mac OS X Clear client for $9.99. You can have multiple lists with multiple tasks, move tasks from one list to another, and sync them across devices via iCloud. Tasks are color-coded in terms of urgency or importance. Clear+ is very gesture-based in terms of creating and dismissing tasks (swipe left to delete, swipe right to clear a task) and both can display items in Reminders.

Holiday Shopping

Both Amazon and Apple make it easy to digitally window shop, as well as order with a tap. Amazon’s free app for iPhone and iPad  makes ordering, tracking, and managing wish lists exceedingly simple. Amazon has also created Amazon Santa . This app helps kids window shop at Amazon (it's not possible to actually purchase items from the app) for themselves and others by using Wish Lists. They can even send a shopping list to Santa (otherwise known as the email associated with the Amazon registration associated with the app). The animated interface is largely icon-driven; kids can drag and drop items to a wish list and navigate categories via icons. If a parent registers the app with an Amazon account, they can access kids’ wish lists via email and even send it to other interested parties. There’s even a browse mode that doesn’t require an Amazon account.

Apple, via the Apple Store app, has gone a step beyond in making it simple to scan barcodes at the store and expedite checkout, as well as check stock and reserve items to be picked up at the store. (Using the Apple Store app on iPhone is still probably the easiest way to order and arrange pickup for a new iPhone.) Until 12/31/2013, Apple is offering a free holiday music playlist via the Apple Store app on iPhone. The iPad version of the Apple Store app isn’t quite as feature rich as the iPhone/iPod Touch version, and this particular offer is one of the features the iPad version seems to lack.

There are also several catalog apps  for the iPad that serve as showcases for catalog retailers, ranging from Crate&Barrel to Lands End. The idea is that you shop via the app, but make your purchase via the retailer’s website. The leading contender apps are Catalog Spree and Catalogue from The Find.

If you are not sure what to buy someone, or short of time, you can easily send a particular gift via a digital certificate in iTunes   or a gift certificate for a specific amount. Keep in mind that iTunes Gift cards work with the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, and Mac App Store. Apple store gift cards can be used at Apple retail stores or in the Apple online store. If you haven’t noticed the Wish List feature in iTunes, this is the perfect time to start using wish lists. You can access it via the Share icon in the top right of the iTunes iOS app.

Pinterest  has a useful free iOS app  that makes creating a wish list or a shopping list for gift giving simple. Just pin gift ideas as you see them. It’s a great way to store menu ideas or holiday decor ideas as well. The app syncs seamlessly with the website and your free Pinterest account.

Once you’ve done all your holiday shopping, use June Cloud’s  $4.99 Delivery Status touch  to track those packages on your iPhone or iPad. Delivery Status supports tracking for all the delivery services I’ve heard of, including Canadian (but not, alas, those without a presence North America), and supports alerts, notifications and map-based updated tracking.

Holiday Cards

While I’m still mourning the loss of iCards and Apple’s own Cards iOS app, you can still send printed letterpress cards customized with your photos and text using iPhoto on your Mac for $2.99 each. iPhoto for iOS doesn’t support card creation, but other apps do.

Ink  is a free post card app from Sincerely. Ink relies on sincerely.com to handle contacts and addressing (it’s a free account) for postcards you customize using their templates and your photos and messages. You can use photos from a variety of sources, including the iOS Photos app, Flickr, Google Drive and Facebook. A 300 dpi 5 x 7 card on glossy heavy stock sent to a U.S. postal addresses is $1.99, including postage, with reduced rates for larger orders. Cards are delivered to US, UK, European, and Canadian postal addresses in 2-5 business days, and elsewhere in two to three weeks.

PingSome  is an animated greeting card app from Jeego. You create a free account, choose an animated card (with sound and music) customize the sender and recipient, add a message, and choose a delivery method (Twitter, email or Facebook). Regardless of the delivery method, the actual animation takes place on the PingSome website. The app and the first card are free; subsequent cards require you to make an in-app purchase for “credits.” Three credits are required per card; you can buy three credits for $0.99 and fifty credits for $2.99.

Create Your Own Photo-Based Gifts

iPhoto for iOS 7  is $4.99 from the App store, but free with recently purchased iPhones. It now lets you create hardcover photo books using iPhoto for iOS in either  8x8 inch or 10x10 inch sizes,  as well as custom-size prints from your photos, up to and including auto-sized panorama prints and wall posters. Simply select the photos you wish to have printed or included in a book, then tap the Sharing icon.

Shutterfly  is a website for creating all sorts of photo gifts using your photos. Possible gifts range from greeting cards and post cards to mugs, calendars, canvas prints, and even tree ornaments. The website is fairly simple to use, even on iOS devices, but it’s a good idea to to create a Shutterfly account and upload images to their server first. There’s a Shutterfly app for iPad (and one for iPhone. You can link the Shutterfly app to your Shutterfly, Facebook or Instagram accounts, as well as import photos from the iOS Photos app. You’ll need a free Shutterfly account to make a purchase, but the iOS app provides some special offers.

Holiday Cooking

There are a number of free iOS recipe apps from large cooking sites like All Recipes and Epicurious. These apps let you search for recipes based on ingredients, as well as specific dishes. The All Recipes Video Cookbook  is a free download, although the app does require a free membership to the All Recipes website. (The iPad app is much easier to use while you’re cooking.)

The Epicurious website  has a free membership and free apps for iPad and iPhone . The site features recipes from a wide variety of  cooking magazines, including Gourmet, Bon Appetit, cookbooks, chefs, and members. The apps allow you to browse, search, save, bookmark, and email recipes and create shopping lists. The iPad app features a full-screen mode with an orange draggable  bookmark so you can follow the step-by-step instructions for a recipe (the ingredients list is just a tap away). It’s trivially simple to save or share recipes via Facebook, Twitter or email. With a $1.99 in-app purchase you can save and sync recipes and shopping lists across devices.

Getting It There in Time

Thanks to the speed of digital gift-giving and the ease of shopping, it’s almost never too late to shop for the holidays. Apple is offering free shipping on purchases from the Apple store until December 22. There’s a convenient chart when to shop for delivery by December 25 .

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020