Okay, we’ve got a house to clean, a feast of food to cook, and we need to make sure we don’t go insane between here and Grandpa’s house. Do we have what it takes to get it all done? Well, we can certainly try, and if you’re looking for just a little help from your phone to make things go more smoothly, these apps have got your back!

Keep it all together

Google Keep

Google Keep is a Swiss Army knife of party planning. Use the checklists to keep on-task with cleaning and shopping lists, copy down recipes and links to festive playlists, and even if you don’t have time to write, you can use voice notes to take down your thoughts while driving on errands or laying in bed at 3 AM when you remember what you forgot to buy.

Free at Google Play

Better than recipe apps

Google Assistant

There are a lot of recipes and recipe apps out there, but it’s easier and better to ask Google Assistant for help finding recipes because Assistant can search across multiple services and serve the recipes up to you on any device, from your phone to your Google Home. Google Assistant has a myriad of uses around the holidays, but recipes top the list.

Free at Google Play

Host a SAFE dinner

Monash Uni FODMAP app

A low FODMAP diet may be necessary to many with IBS and other digestive disorders, but it can be beneficial to everyone at the dinner table. This app may seem expensive, but if it prevents you or your guests from feeling sick or getting sick after the big meal, it’s worth every penny. It can also help cut-down on post-stuffing flatulence.

$ 9 at Google Play

Save Thanksgiving dinner

DoorDash

Turkey still frozen on the inside but rank on the outside? Someone try to fry the bird and fry the yard instead? Just need a meal you know is safe and good after seeing that wreck of a kitchen? DoorDash is one of the most widely available food delivery apps on the market, but check if it’s available in your area before you get stranded without decent food!

Free at Google Play

Chromecast Fireplace Visualizer

Google Play Music

When casting music to a TV this holiday, skip the album art and turn on Google Play Music’s hidden gem that’s perfect for cold winter nights: the Chromecast Fireplace Visualizer! Open Google Play Music’s website settings and scroll to the bottom. You’ll find it under Labs, and it turns any playlist into a yule log.

Free at Google Play

Wanna watch a movie?

Movies Anywhere

Need to try and find a movie that everyone can agree on? Movies Anywhere is the cross-platform movie locker system that lets you watch your movies on just about every major video platform — and you can use it to check prices between digital retailers like Vudu, Google Play, FandangoNow, and Amazon Prime Video.

Free at Google Play

Offline and chill

Netflix

Netflix, the tried and true time-killer, has allowed users to download a wide selection of its content for a while now, but it’s only useful if you download things ahead of time to watch. Also, if you’re going to be hosting younger family members, remember that there’s a Kids profile you can switch Netflix to on your smart TV and phone so they don’t mess with your recommendations.

Subscription required at Google Play

What’s the score??

ESPN

Awww, how wonderful! Everyone’s spending quality time together and— oh, this is torture, just let me watch the game!! Whether you’re stuck sneaking peeks at the score at the dinner table or you just need to figure out which channel the game is on, ESPN has got you covered. I would just recommend turning off notifications so you’re not busted by DA-DA-DA, DA-DA-DA.

Free at Google Play

Is it gonna rain?

AccuWeather

Big backyard get-togethers, a “friendly” game of football, and attempting to test your homeowners insurance deep-frying a turkey all involve good weather to succeed. There’s always a chance of the weather changing on you, but with Accuweather’s MinuteCast, you should be able to time your outdoor activities perfectly around whatever foul weather comes a-blowing.

Free at Google Play

Drive safe

Android Auto

Android Auto has been around for years, and no, you don’t need a fancy new car radio to use it — though using it in my 2018 CR-V is awesome! Android Auto gives you a simplified UI with bigger touch targets, minimizes distractions, and integrates Google Assistant so that you can control your phone with your voice while your hands and eyes stay on the road.

Free at Google Play

Fight price gougers

GasBuddy

Whether you’re driving to the woods, the plains, the mountains, the city, or just driving back to your hometown, you shouldn’t overpay for gas on the way. GasBuddy can help you find the best prices for fuel wherever you are along your route, and even filter by fuel grade, cash or credit, or a particular brand. Don’t overpay for gas just because you don’t know the area.

Free at Google Play

What’s the waze home?

Waze

Waze is one of the most popular navigation apps on the market, allowing users to report wrecks, speed traps, construction, or any other kind of condition while you’re on the long road home. Waze also works with Android Auto — whether you’re it with a car stereo or solo — and can help you re-route around the inevitable delays that crop up during holiday travel.

Free at Google Play

Smart home control

Google Home

Whether you need to control your lights, smart plugs, thermostats, and Google Assistant powered speakers and displays during a party or control your home from afar, the Home View in the Google Home app makes it easy. And if you’re having someone pet/house-sit, you can add them as Home members so that they can control your smart home while you’re gone.

Free at Google Play

Wanna see some pictures?

Google Photos

Two things inevitably happen at holiday get-togethers: people shares photos of their lives/pets/families and ask us nerds for tech support — like how to backup said photos. Google Photos is free unlimited backups that are drop dead simple to set up and make those photos easy to share far and wide. Oh, wait, that last bit might not be a good thing, would it?

Free at Google Play

In case of dead zone

Google Play Books

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house go! The bars are all gone, the Wi-Fi’s not on, and the boredom is building- oh noooooo! Even if you’re not a complete bookworm, download a few books for reading should you be trapped offline. Google has thousands of books available for free on Google Play, so grab a dozen!

Free at Google Play

There are a lot of apps out there to help you, but Google Keep and Google Assistant are the two that help me keep everything together during such a chaotic time of year. When they and the best laid plans fail, Google Play Music is there to pull me back together again with some nice soothing holiday music. No, it’s not too early for holiday music, especially with Chromecast Fireplace Visualizer making the TV look so delightful!

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