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Sunday, Jun 25, 2017
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Six holiday apps to make Black Friday shopping bearable

Black Friday shopping has many hazards, from battling the elements while spending the night outside Best Buy, to battling the boredom from a long, long wait in a crowded checkout line. Fortunately, you've got that trusty electronic device to make things a little easier. Here are some free holiday-themed apps to help you make it through the busiest shopping day of the year: Toca Hair Salon Christmas Gift – Ever wanted to know what Santa would look like with a Fu Manchu? How about with no eyebrows? This app lets you trim and style Santa's hair, (and the "hair" on a weird anthropomorphic tree character) to your heart's content, because sometimes you just need a mindless distraction from the chaos. (Apple iOS) Jive Turkey Shoot – If you're still irked about putting on a couple pounds from Thanksgiving dinner you can take your anger out on the turkeys with this shooting game. Rack up points by blasting 3-D turkeys as they tumble though the air in a jumble of pumpkins, wine bottles, yams and kitchen timers. (Apple iOS)
Yule Log – It can get cold when you're camped out in front of a shopping mall all night. The developers of this app claim that staring at the crackling fireplace on your phone screen will make your body feel warmer. You test that out and let us know. We'll be in our houses with the heat on. (Apple iOS, Android) Pocket Snow Storm – Anyone dreaming of a white Christmas around Tampa might be waiting for a while, considering the last measureable snowfall here was in 1977. This app lets you turn any scene viewed through your phone's camera into a snow storm, and allows you to capture it in a photo as well. (Apple iOS) Elf Ur Face – Is the cashier giving you a hard time about accepting that coupon? Did some guy just try to cut your place in line? Kids making you nuts? Snap a photo, and use this app to decorate their faces with a selection of colorful hats, hair and glasses until they become the mugs of more-tolerable Christmas elves. (Apple iOS) El Gifto – For those who are actually looking for an app that does something useful, we'll throw you a bone. El Gifto helps stumped shoppers with personalized gift recommendations. Just enter in some quick info about the receiver's age, gender and personality (high maintenance, hipster, jock, etc), and it lists thoughtful suggestions. (Apple iOS, Android)

cspata@tbo.com, (813) 259-8012, @CSpataTBO

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