The Daily App: Where's Santa?
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring... because they were busy tracking Santa on their iPads. Christmas Eve is here, and that means Santa's big show is just about to launch. Want to be a part of the spectacle? A few apps let you track the big man's location as he makes his way across the world -- or you can even talk to him directly.
What's the App?
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, has been tracking Santa on Christmas Eve for the past 57 years. Well-known and fun, its Santa Tracker app brings the mythos of "The Claus" into the mobile era. The tradition began in 1955 after an ad misprinted a phone number for children to call Santa. It was actually a "hotline" to the commander-in-chief's operations at CONAD, the forerunner of NORAD. But rather than hang up on eager children, the defense group embraced its role as Santa tracker, kicking off the holiday tradition.
Of course, a slew of copycat trackers followed, but the original is still free on iOS, Android and Windows. The app is simple and colorful, offering a map of places he plans to travel during big night. The live tracking map goes live on December 24, updating locations as the hours tick by. Until the big day, you can play simple, standalone games within the apps to pass the time. It's simple, but still very fun, and irresistible to little ones who can't wait to get their gifts.
You'll Want It If...
You're a parent who wants to share the Santa-fun with kids, or if you just enjoy holiday traditions reinvented for the technological age. No matter how tech changes the world, Santa remains a beloved figure who rewards virtue with generosity and largesse, and apps like these keep that benevolent spirit alive.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
Sure, tracking Santa is fun, but what if your kids want to interact? That's where "Santa's Big Helper," offered for $1 for iOS, comes in handy. It has a Santa tracker as well, and a host of other features that give a fun way of interacting with St. Nick and his world. Elves update daily news from the North Pole, and kids can also write to Santa directly. For questions that don't need him, you can also "Ask an Elf" about life at the North Pole.
It's a fun feature that gives a sneak peek behind the curtain of an undoubtedly big operation. But best of all, an "Elf Cam" lets you create Christmas videos on your phone. Just shoot images of your house, for example, and the app will add footage of Santa sliding down the chimney. What better way to bring a beloved Christmas tradition to the mobile era? ♦
Categories: Entertainment | The Daily App