|Apps for Last-Minute Valentine's Gifts|
|By MARY GODFREY||Feb 12, 2013, 7:08 PM|
Cards, candy, flowers and dining out -- all of these are synonymous with Valentine's Day. The average annual spending on gifts for this once-liturgical celebration is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and if you believe the data, roughly 30 percent of those dollars will be spent online.
Still, the convenience of online and mobile shopping doesn't stop many of us from putting off making dinner reservations or finding a gift for someone to celebrate the once-a-year romantic ritual. So, with only a day left before the holiday, we compiled a short list of apps to help the Valentine's Day procrastinator in all of us.
This restaurant app will have you covered when it comes to finding and making a dinner reservation. Choose a location, date and time, and the app will search its database of over 20,000 restaurants to find one near you and tell you available times. You can narrow your search by cuisine type and price range; we found six French bistros in trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn with available reservations between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. for Feb. 14. Select a restaurant to read reviews, see the menu, or find others like it nearby. We'd recommend you book the table now. (iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Blackberry, Windows Phone)
So you didn't have time to shop? Treater's gift-giving app makes it easy for you send a little something via Facebook or email. Browse categories of treats; for something small, you might try a massage bar from Lush, or a specialty cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. Users will find this app useful for many occasions, not just for Valentine's Day. By analyzing your friends' Facebook Timelines, Treater will suggest events for which to give a gift and will suggest treats based on their likes. Add a message and photo to personalize your treat and Viola! Gift given. Valentine's Day catastrophe avoided. (iOS and Android)
Design, draft and send a thoughtful Valentine's Day card. Red Stamp gives users the ability to search for themes and designs or create their own cards using photos from their camera roll, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Once you've designed your card, Red Stamp will print and send it for the price of a stamp and a small printing fee.
But wait -- it's February 13 and your card will never make it! Relax. Users can tweet, email or send their cards to Facebook in order to share with a loved one. The app comes with 400 pre-loaded designs, most of them simple, but with a tasteful esthetic, and for a few extra bucks you can purchase premium designs. (iOS)
Flowers on Valentine's Day are as ubiquitous as turkey on Thanksgiving or fireworks on the fourth of July. So if you don't want to appear unorthodox, but you've run out of time to pre-order a bouquet, you might try the 1800Flowers app. Search by category or occasion, best sellers or same-day options. Enter your recipient's location, select your flowers and set the delivery date. The app offers a simple checkout process and order tracking so you can make sure the two-dozen long stem roses you (Ahem!) did-not-forget-until-the-last-minute-to-send get there in time.
When it comes to this app's layout, do not expect a highly imagined user experience complete with rich media elements. With a few swipes and clicks, this app is designed to get the job done from your mobile device. (iPhone and Android)
Rap artist Soulja Boy not only had hit song called "Kiss Me Thru the Phone," he also has an app. Download Kiss Me Thru the Phone from the Apple App Store and send kisses to your besties and loved ones. Take a picture of yourself with your iPhone or choose a background, and press the "Kiss" button. Luscious red lips will appear on your screen. From there, you can add a few simple touches, such as a red rose or bleeding heart. Email your kiss (we hope you get one back!) and then send more. For $1.99 the app does not offer much other than the ability to send a gimmicky looking-kiss, and the art it provides looks like the clip art you see on a strip of fake tattoos. Still, it's nice to get a kiss, even if it's a virtual one. (iOS)