Champagne, party hats and noisemakers may be the traditional ingredients of a New Year's Eve celebration but, this year, consider adding one more accessory: your smartphone.
Whether you plan to ring in 2011 with a big bash or a cozy evening at home, a few smartphone apps can add just an extra bit of festivity and function to your New Year's celebration.
Times Square Official New Year's Eve Ball App 2011
If you don't want to fight the New York crowds or brave the cold, you can still get in on the Times Square New Year's Eve action.
With a new (free) app, New Year's Eve revelers can enjoy the world famous countdown, celebrity appearances and top musical performances, virtually.
The application lets users personalize their own countdown clocks, watch live video of the New Year's Eve program and access history, news and photos about the storied celebration. It also lets users send in photos of their own celebrations, which may be selected for display beneath the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball on Dec. 31.
New Year's Blowout Horn! And 2011 Countdown!
What would New Year's Eve be without some extra noise?
To make sure your New Year's Eve sounds like a celebration, New York-based IntuApps released an updated version of its New Year's Eve Blowout Horn for 2011.
Just download the 99-cent app and then blow into the phone's microphone. You'll hear the familiar sound of a party horn.
The app also includes a countdown clock so that you know exactly when to break into "Auld Lang Syne."
After a few glasses of bubbly, it can get all too easy to start dialing up old boyfriends and girlfriends for a New Year's kiss.
But the 99-cent Don't Dial app lets you block people you know you shouldn't call pre-party so that once you've started sipping you can't be tempted.
You select the names you want to block and then either choose a period during which the name and number will be totally inaccessible, or let a trusted friend select a password they can use to unlock the name at their discretion.
The one downside of the app is that while it can prevent you from texting a person you have never texted before, it can't stop you from replying to a text they might have sent you (Apple doesn't let developers mess with text histories).
Until Apple enables a workaround, Don't Dial advises you to delete the texts you might be tempted to reply to.
Once the clock strikes midnight, the revelry winds down and the resolutions heat up. If you're like many people, that means it's time to start watching your weight and shedding the holiday heft.
The Lose It! app is just one of several smartphone apps that can help you reach your New Year's health goals.
The free app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is a calorie counter that helps you create a personalized calorie budget and track your progress.
If you want to lose a few pounds to fit into a special New Year's Eve outfit, the app can help you get there. If you just want to keep your weight constant through the holiday feeding frenzy, it can do that too. Once you've set your weight loss goals, you enter your daily food intake and exercise to make sure you're not exceeding your daily limit.