1. USPS Mobile by the United States Postal Service
This app is great for shipping holiday presents. You can schedule package pick up, track your shipments, and look up zip codes among other features.
2. Smart Traveler by the U.S. Department of State
If you plan on travelling abroad during the holiday season, make sure you have this State Department app. It provides access to frequently updated official country information, travel alerts and warnings, and information regarding U.S. embassies and consulates. You can also register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for assistance during emergencies abroad.
3. Mindfulness Coach by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The holidays can be a stressful and emotionally difficult time for many people. Stay grounded and peaceful with the Mindfulness Coach app. It also includes resources specifically addressing PTSD.
4. SaferRide by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
From Friendsgiving to office parties, the holidays are full of cheerful gatherings. Make sure you get home safely at the end of the evening. This app uses your location to provide information for local taxi services, complete with ratings and contact information. It also includes a feature to select a trusted friend from your address book who you can call for a ride home.
5. Ladder Safety by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This app is perfect for hanging lights on your home! Ladders can be tricky and unsafe if used incorrectly. This app provides a measuring tool to ensure that the angle of your ladder is appropriate. It also will tell you the type of ladder you require based on the weight of you and your tools.
6. NOAA Radar Pro – Weather Alerts & Forecast by Apalon Apps, featuring data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service
Stay informed and prepared for possible winter storms with Radar Pro. It provides weather radar and includes all of the National Weather Service watches, warnings, and alerts as interactive features on the map. When you click on the alert, you can read the full alert text. The app also includes a snow depth map with local and global views of current snow layers.
7. Polar Bear Horizon, a Smithsonian Institution and Oceanhouse Media collaboration
Children ages three to eight can enjoy learning about polar bears and their arctic habitat in the North Pole through this interactive book. You can customize the book by recording your own voice reading the story.
8. Consumer Information mobile site by the Federal Trade Commission
Consumption peaks during the holiday season. Stay informed and protected with this mobile-optimized site. It provides information targeted toward senior citizens who are more likely to be the victim of a scam or fraud.
9. Ask Karen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
This app will come in handy during holiday travels, parties, and feasts. Whether you are at an outdoor market or in your grandmother’s kitchen, this app provides many helpful food-related features regarding consumption, handling, preparation, and allergies. It also includes a live chat feature to speak directly to a food safety expert.
10. My TSA by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration
This app is great to have on hand if you will be flying during the holiday season. It provides updates on security line wait times sourced from app users, as well as real-time airport statuses.
11. U.S. Population Challenge Pop Quiz by the U.S. Census Bureau
Perfect for long car rides, this app is fun and educational. Download this app and quiz the entire family to pass the time on your way to Aunt Evie’s house!
12. NORAD Santa Tracker by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command)
The official app of the NORAD Tracks Santa Program, this app features a countdown to tracking Santa’s flight across the globe as well as games and information about NORAD’s mission.