What’s ‘Appening: Five apps to add extra jolly to your holiday season

The end-of-year holiday season is a time of giving,sharing, and about celebrating with your friends and family over good food, wine and conversation. However, the hassle of planning a gathering can get to even the best of us. With these great apps on Windows and Windows Phone, you can throw those worries aside and go about planning that perfect party for family and friends.

If you’ve got a favorite app of your own, leave a comment below or tell us on Twitter with the hashtag #WindowsHoliday!

MSN Food & Drink
When it comes to planning a great party, MSN Food & Drink (Windows and Windows Phone) is a great place to start. Whether you’re going for a traditional turkey-and-ham combo or kicking it local with ethnic fare, you can easily plan your menu ahead with the Collection or Meal Planner feature, while finding that great bottle of wine from our collection of over 1.5 million bottles.

Skype Qik
If a picture speaks a thousand words, then a video must convey millions of words! Video sharing has taken off quickly through Vine (Windows Phone) and Instagram (Windows Phone), but let’s face it, grabbing a video is much more disruptive and tricky than a simple snap of the shutter – by the time you get out your camera and open up the video, the moment may already have passed.

That’s why Skype’s new app Qik (Windows Phone) is so brilliant. It’s a fast and simple way to share those precious moments with groups of family and friends. You can shoot and swap with confidence, too – any videos that you want deleted from Qik will be removed from everyone’s phone*.

Microsoft Xim
We’ve got Skype (Windows and Windows Phone), WhatsApp (Windows Phone), and even Blackberry Messenger (Windows Phone), but wouldn’t it be great to have an app specially designed to share photos with a group of friends without sending those big image files back and forth? We’ve got just the app, and we call it Xim (Windows Phone).

Xim lets you share any photo you take immediately with your friends around you without having to pass your phone around. Choose photos from your camera roll, Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, or OneDrive and watch them all zoom into everyone’s phone simultaneously!

You absolutely have to try it to see how fun it is.

Yelp for Windows Phone
Prefer to eat out instead of whipping up a storm in the kitchen? Yelp (Windows Phone) is here to help!

As one of the most established social community platforms in market, the app serves up dining recommendations in a jiffy based on your preferences in cuisine or location.

You’ll never have to worry about running out of options. Just remember to make your reservations early or you may be stuck in the queue longer than you’d like!

From L-R: Amazon, eBay and Newegg for Windows 8.1

Amazon, eBay and Newegg for Windows 8.1
What’s Christmas or the New Year without a few gift surprises? More and more consumers in Asia are turning to e-retailers to get their shopping done, and we’ve got just the apps you need on Windows and Windows Phone, from gigantic general retailers like Amazon (Windows and Windows Phone), to a specialized geek’s haven like Newegg (Windows and Windows Phone). And for hunting down those elusive items that your significant others crave, eBay (Windows and Windows Phone) may just fit the bill. It’s never been easier to get your shopping done right from the comfort of your own sofa!**

Deck the halls with red, green, and… Cyan!
The Lumia Cyan update for Windows Phone 8 devices feature an updated Lumia Camera app which now makes it easier to take the perfect family potrait for the holidays. Don’t forget to load up even more camera goodies like Lumia Cinemagraph and Lumia Selfie, your holiday snapshots will truly come to life. Just one last thing: Don’t forget to back them up and share them with your loved ones on OneDrive!

And you’re now all set for Christmas, the New Year, and beyond! Have a jolly and ‘app-y time!

* It may be possible for recipients to capture and save videos elsewhere before you delete them from Qik.

** Local availability of service varies across the region. Please check directly with the respective service.

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