The Holiday Downtime Guide

The Holiday Downtime Guide

We’ve rounded up some fun and interesting ways to enrich and otherwise fill your holiday downtime if you’re lucky enough to be getting an iPhone or iPad for Christmas…

  • Star Walk

    Star Walk

    Old news but still pretty amazing. You can point your iPhone/iPad anywhere in the sky and it tells you exactly what constellation you’re looking at. Plus, at Christmas time you can see Santa’s path across the sky.

  • Flight Track

    Flight Track

    So you always know when your loved ones have taken off and landed safely. I use this one all the time.

  • Djay


    An actual turntable on your iPad. This is great for people who take “djaying” for parties really seriously—with seamless transitions from song to song and playlists you can save.

  • Instagram


    We love the look and feel of the app and the idea of sharing experiences through images rather than words. Recently, we met co-founder Kevin Systrom, who is 27 years old, by the way, and he told us about how he came up with the vintage feel for the photographic capabilities of the app; after having fallen in love with a Holga camera in a college photography class, he applied the same look to the app a few years later. We’ll be firing up our account soon…

  • And for art lovers

    And for art lovers

    Both the MoMA and the Tate have released wonderful apps for art lovers. The MoMA’s image heavy iPhone app lets you get acquainted with the entire permanent collection, while the Tate provides an incredibly useful glossary of art terms

  • If Poems

    If Poems

    A poetry app meant for kids but also delightful for adults—it’s a compendium of classic poetry, some of it read by Helena Bonham Carter and Bill Nighy. It’s a fun primer for getting into (or back into) poetry. You can also record yourself reading a poem and send it to a friend. Ten percent of all sales go to Save The Children.

  • The Heart & The Bottle

    The Heart & The Bottle

    Children’s writer and illustrator Oliver Jeffers’ already touching story about a girl grieving for her grandfather comes to a whole new life with this super interactive, engaging, and beautifully produced app. Definitely ups the ante for children’s apps. We were transported for a good half hour playing with it at goop hq.

  • Drawing Pad

    Drawing Pad

    This has definitely been one of my daughter’s mainstays on the iPad. It’s in constant use and the possibilities for the kind of art you can produce on it are pretty astounding. David Hockney is on to something with the Brushes app, which is a bit more advanced.

  • Sound Shaker

    Sound Shaker

    A sweet and beautifully designed app for young kids to engage with sound.