Must-have starter apps for your new smartphone

If you woke up Christmas morning to find Santa left you a smartphone under your tree, you'll want to download these apps.
If you woke up Christmas morning to find Santa left you a smartphone under your tree, you'll want to download these apps. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Evan Vucci

TORONTO – If you woke up Christmas morning to find Santa left you a smartphone under your tree, you’re likely to be tempted to start downloading apps as soon as possible.

But, with family members buzzing around and turkey being served, you might find yourself short on time. Don’t worry; we’ve done all the work for you. Here are some of must-have apps you will want to download on your new device.

Social Media

Since your phone already comes with the bare necessities – including a mail app, web browser and messaging features – the first thing you’ll be likely to download are your favourite social media apps. How else will you Instagram your entire #ChristmasDinner feast?

Facebook: For Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry

Facebook Messenger: Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry (Facebook will force you to download the standalone app if you want to use its instant messaging feature on a mobile device.)

Instagram: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone (Beta)

Twitter: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone

WhatsApp: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone

Vine: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone


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Many of the latest smartphones come with powerful cameras – perfect for capturing holiday memories. But these apps will help take your smartphone photography to the next level.

VSCO Cam: If you are looking for an all-in-one photo editing solution, VSCO Cam is a great choice. The app allows you to edit photos by manipulating things like the exposure, saturation and sharpness of your image. It also features its own set of filters. VSCO Cam also has a social aspect to it – you can follow other photographers and explore their libraries for inspiration.

Android and iOS

Adobe Photoshop: If you are looking for a straight-forward editing tool for your device, try Photoshop. The app uses the software’s most commonly used editing tools to make adjustments to your photos – it even supports large file types, so you can edit things like panoramic photos.

Android and iOS

Hyperlapse: Released by Instagram earlier this year, Hyperlapse is the social network’s solution to short, entertaining videos. Use your phone’s video option to shoot footage and the app speeds it up into a time lapsed masterpiece in seconds.

Only available on iOS


You’re probably going to need some down time in between turkey and dessert, so why not download a few good games and kick back.

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Angry Birds: It’s been one of the most popular mobile games since its release, and for $0.99 Angry Birds provides endless entertainment for all ages.

Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

Temple Run 2: This game boasts over 170 million downloads in the Google Play Store.

Android and iOS

Lumosity: This app offers a series of games designed by neuroscientists to challenge your brain and exercise your memory.

Android and iOS


Evernote: This is the perfect app for anyone who works on multiple devices. Evernote allows you to take notes, upload pictures, videos and audio clips and store them in the cloud to access on various devices.

AndroidiOS and Windows Phone.

Feedly: If you are looking for a quick and easy way to curate news feeds and blogs in one place, Feedly is your solution.

Android and iOS.

1Password: Can’t remember all of your passwords? 1Password manages all of your passwords in one place for easy access – plus it uses encryption technology to make sure your passwords are super secure.

Android and iOS.

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What are some of your all time favourite apps? Let us know in the comments.

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