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[dropcap letter="C"]hances are you'll be spending time with your family this Christmas eve, while resisting the temptation to check out stuff online through your phone or tablet. That’s why you’ve got at least this commentator wishing for the unplugged holidays.

On the other hand, it’s possible to use gadgets to bring the family closer together. It’s all a matter of getting the young ones to share their techie time with the the oldies, through useful apps like…


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It’s easy to set up gift lists on any smartphone, but Santa’s Little Helper lets you set a budget for each person, or group of people.

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iOS, Android


If you haven’t played Pinoy Henyo, much less played it, welcome to 2013 fellow Filipino! This app makes the popular game possible for families anywhere. Players can only ask yes or no questions as they try to guess the secret word, which is shown on the phone as it’s held above their head for everyone (except for him or her) to see.

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iOS, Android


Imagine a planner that everyone in your family can use together, sharing event schedules, contacts, and even to-do lists. That’s exactly what Cozi makes possible. The only drawback: it requires that everyone in the family have their own gadget, but sooner or later everyone will have their own unit, right? At the very least, everyone can keep their time with family and friends straight.

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iOS, Android, Windows Mobile


It’s the most popular smartphone navigation app for a good reason. Waze can crowd-source user traffic reports and movement data to suggest the best possible route for you. Perfect for finding the best route during the traffic-heavy Christmas shopping season, and for making sure everyone in the family knows where that reunion is happening.

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iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, and yes, BlackBerry


This is a no-brainer. Skype lets you video call people from practically anywhere in the world with a decent internet connection for free.

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iOS ($0.99), Android (P87.87)

Monopoly is always an awesome family game. Yet setting up the board, exchanging play money, and rolling dice can make for a messy table. board game? Buying real-estate and driving your opponents into bankruptcy is just a matter of tapping on the iPad while playing the for-four-player tabletop mode, and a similar experience is possible on Android devices.

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iOS, Android, Windows Mobile


Here’s another popular game for the family. Taboo is very easy to play: make everyone else on your team guess a word, without saying any of the “taboo” words associated with it, before time runs out. The smartphone versions make it easy to set up the game and time everything.

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iOS, Android


What’s a Filipino family gathering without singing? Karaoke Anywhere HD lets you belt out thousands of classics, it also supports TV Out. With the right cable, you can connect the iPad to a TV and make sure everyone sees just what you’re singing. You can even record your performances for later review (or laughs).

Rico Mossesgeld

Rico is a frustrated writer, web developer, and tech blogger. Check out rico.mossesgeld.com for more details.

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