Appolicious powers Verizon Educational Tools

Android app Free Christmas List makes it easy to give

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Their holiday shopping list is the only thing a lot of people have on their minds right now. To keep it all straight, the Free Christmas List app puts everything you need to buy, and who it's for, onto your Android phone. And for a free app, it works fairly well.

To get started, add some friends and family members to your list. To do this, click "Add Person." Here, you'll be presented with a menu that asks for details on all kinds of clothing sizing information, and, if you're like me and will not be buying pants or shirts for anyone this holiday season, you can ignore most of it. But, you can fill in measurements for shoes, pants and shirts if you want.

Perhaps a bit more helpful, there is an area to include the type of computer the person you're buying gifts for has, and a place to make some general notes. In this section, you can speculate about the kinds of things people might like, based on their interests, and give yourself some wiggle room when deciding upon an appropriate present. Or, if you already know exactly what you're looking for, this is the place to document that.

After you have added all the people and their holiday wishes, hit the stores or the web to see what you come up with. Click on the pencil icon beside a name, and you can choose from four different icons.

The gift icon is where you note when you have bought something, the name of it, and how much it costs. There is also an area to make more notes, if you think you need to log more details about a particular purchase. (Maybe: I have a gift receipt to go with this item?)

The little green guy with the pencil is how you edit details about that person on your list. The green guy with the X beside him is a way to delete a person from your list. The "X" closes this menu.

Click on the "Menu" button, and you can adjust password settings, pull up a spending summary, or email this data to your computer. The spending summary is especially helpful because it allows you to keep track of your finances in case you're on a tight budget.

Because there are only five icons (they're holiday-themed: Santa, an angel, a Christmas tree, Rudolph and a snowman) to differentiate all of the people you're going to shop for, I think it would be easier if there were more organization options. Perhaps, at the simplest, lots and lots of icons or the choice to organize your list into sections, such as family/friends/neighbors/work, etc.

I noticed that it's not obvious when you have fulfilled a shopping obligation. You can go back in several clicks to make note of the fact that you have finished shopping for one of the people on the list and what this item is, but there are no check marks on the main menu or a separate "Done" section or menu. From the menu, all people, whether their gifts are wrapped or remain to be bought, look exactly the same. I would find this to be confusing if I was were just taking a quick glance at my list.