The Daily App: Ring In the New Year
New Year's Eve is a night for bacchanalian revelry -- and let's get real: you'll probably booze it up. That's why we've gathered a veritable toolkit of apps to help you get into a celebratory mood, keep you from acting too stupid and then whisk you away safely when the confetti has cleared -- and avoid any disastrous consequences, whether it's on the road or to your love life.
What Are the Apps?
If you're like most, alcohol plays a major role in your New Year's Eve plans, and while the bubbly can boost the party spirit, it can also be the catalyst for major accidents on the road. We'll keep the drunk driving lecture short: don't do it.
Apps like "Last Call," available for iOS, help you plan by moderating your alcohol level as the night goes on. Basically, it helps you gauge your blood alcohol count. Caveat: of course, it offers only estimates, and you should in no way use it to help you decide if driving under the influence is okay -- it's not. But if you're curious how long it'll take to sober up -- and go home in one piece -- it can help. It's essentially a calculator -- you enter how many drinks you've had, what kind and when, and it delivers an estimate of your BAC, as well as a timeline of your future BACs as the night goes on. If it's high, there's a taxi service that can find rides in your area. It's easy to use and even elegant to look at, making it a cinch to use even if you're incapacitated.
You may just want to skip ahead and take a cab home. The evening can be unpredictable, and if you're like most, you'll end up where you don't necessarily plan to. That's where "Taxi Magic," available free for both iOS and Android, can help. It's more than a finder app -- you can find, book and pay for a taxi through the app, making it a boon in places where cab service is rare, or even in crowded urban centers where it's difficult to flag down a ride off the street. It's easy to use and slick to look at; it's only major drawback are its limited booking service -- only available in select markets -- and reliance of GPS, which can drain your battery. So make sure to close it so it's not running in the background. Regardless, it's a valuable tool when your designated driver has wandered off and there's no other way to get home.
Of course, other disasters lurk -- including the impulse to call while intoxicated. Drunk dialing or texting can be irresistible, but luckily apps like DrunkBlocker -- free for Android -- can help prevent you from dialing old flames and crushes, among others, while inebriated. Meanwhile, Textalyzer, available for $1 on iOS, can keep you from texting while drunk. Add these to your phone if you know you're prone to oversharing while under the influence, or else you may find yourself embarrassed, as well as hungover, come New Year's Day.
You'll Want It If...
You're a party disaster waiting to happen, or just a garden-variety hedonist looking to gear up for the night. Taking time to prepare for all kinds of scenarios can strike some as a killjoy, but the presence of mind resulting from planning for the unexpected can actually help you enjoy the night more, while helping keep others safe.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
If you're like some people, you don't want to deal with the crowds on New Year's Eve, preferring a night in with loved ones, maybe a little wine and some Times Square action on the TV. For that, we've still got you covered. "Liquor Run," free for iPhone and Android, connects you to a national database of liquor stores. The barebones interface and navigation can tell you the store nearest to you, as well as its hours of operation.
It also offers cocktail recipes, as well as a calorie counter for popular drinks, for when, you know, you want to drink and diet. There's also a safe rides feature, because you can't have too many designated drivers on the road on one of the biggest party nights of the season.
And of course, a New Year's Eve in isn't complete without watching the ball drop in Times Square. You can watch it on TV, or you can follow the action on an app in true 2013 style. The "Times Square Official New Year's Eve Ball" app, free on both iPhone and Android, can put you right there in the middle of the action, where hopefully you'll be warm and safe -- no matter how you choose to ring in the New Year. ♦
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