Happy appy Android apps for New Year’s Eve 2012

by Kristen Nicole

There’s no better way to end a week full of family, fun and food than a celebration of the new year, and as 2012 relentlessly approaches we look at some Android apps to help you ring it in right. Whether you’re hosting, meeting up with friends or reveling remotely, there’s an Android app to help you keep things in line. With a little help from your Android, you can really let loose on the biggest party night of the year.

Time Square Official Ball App (Free)

The official ball drop app has returned to Android for a second year, delivering live coverage of the event directly to your mobile device. There’s millions of people that trek to Time Square and tune in to watch the ball drop at midnight, Dec. 31, and it’s a magical moment that unites a nation in welcoming the new year. Learn the history of the Time Square celebration, check on weather and even share photos and send kisses from your new year’s locale. The best of the photos will be displayed at Time Square, while other favorites will be featured during the live show.

GroupMe (Free)

Whether you’re the one throwing the party, or you’re merely meeting with friends at a central location, keeping up with the night’s details is especially difficult on New Year’s Eve. Amidst party hopping, unnavigable traffic and jovial boozing, the merriment of the occasion can be dampened by missed messages. Get the group together via chat to centralize text-based chatter with GroupMe. It sends alerts for new messages, connecting with social networks and friends already in your Android contacts list. There’s integration with SMS to ensure you don’t miss a message, and you can even share photos directly from the app. Take private conversations offline, add your location and view group members on a map.

Lightbox Photos (Free)

I once heard that over 70 percent of Facebook photos are of drunken escapades, so why let New Year’s Eve elude you? Create a photo journal with Lightbox Photos to document the entirety of your night, and share snapshots with friends if you like. Pictures are auto-organized into a timeline of “postcards,” which are also synced to the web. Dress up your holiday photos with enhancements and effects, and create crowd-sourced galleries by adding shared snapshots from friends on Twitter, Instagram and other social networks. Photos shared on Facebook are uploaded to an album so you can tag friends, and images created in Lightbox can also be sent to other camera Android apps for easy integration.

Uber (Free)

It can be tough to find a cab on New Year’s Eve, with so many inebriated party-goers all needing a ride around the same time. Uber lets you book a private driver, taking requests on-demand in the event that planning ahead isn’t your forte. Set your location, send in the request and wait for the private car to arrive. Credit card payments are accepted, and some cities include the tip in the final price. Uber’s Android app is for celebrators in major cities, as the app currently only supports a handful of metropolises including San Francisco, Chicago and Boston. It’s worth mentioning that Uber is known to hike prices during holidays, so check rates before booking a ride.

Liquor Run Mobile (Free)

Whether you’re drawing up your drink menu for your NYE party or in search of a liquor store on the way to a friend’s party, Liquor Run Mobile is a useful little app. It’s got a database of drink recipes and thousands of U.S. liquor stores to condense your beverage efforts. The free Android app provides store details like closing times (with reminders) and driving directions, as well as descriptions, alcoholic strength and caloric information on hundreds of top beers. Save beers, wines and liquors to your faves list for later access. Liquor Run Mobile will also help you get home safe with its safe ride search, which browses programs across the U.S.