If someone on your Christmas list owns an Android phone, then the gift of apps can definitely be worth giving. Grab them a Play Store gift card and then suggest some useful downloads from this list.
Swiftkey is our favourite Android keyboard, and for good reason. It's fast, flexible, constantly updated with new and innovative features, and all around a pleasure to use. SwiftKey was the first Android keyboard to incorporate gesture typing in a seamless way, letting you type entire sentences without lifting your finger off the keyboard, and recently it has been updated to support multiple keyboard layouts, sizes, and styles. You can pick a theme you like, and choose a layout that works for your phone or tablet and your typing patterns. Plus, you can store your library and all of your saved words in the cloud and sync them across Android devices seamlessly.
Tasker is one of our favourite customisation and automation apps, and it's made our gift list several times. All for good reason: Once your recipient understands the sheer power at their fingertips with an app like Tasker on their phone, they'll be happy they downloaded it. It's only $3.49, much less than it used to be, and it has had a design overhaul this year that makes it easier to use than it's ever been. If you've ever thought "I wish my phone would do X whenever Y happens," Tasker is the app that can give you that power. We've highlighted some of the awesome things you can do with Tasker to help you get started.
Nova Launcher Prime ($4)
If your recipient complains about the skin on their phone, or you know they have a taste for customisation, give them the gift of our favourite application launcher for Android. Not only does Nova pack the ability to theme, skin, and completely customise and personalise your app launcher and app drawer, it also comes with shortcuts and gestures you can use to open folders and apps quickly. You even get unread email, call, and SMS badges in the launcher dock.
Spotify (from $11.99)
There are lots of streaming music services to choose from, but Spotify is the biggest and best-known. While anyone can now use Spotify on their mobile for nothing, a Premium account allows ad-free access and lets you choose individual tracks. You can buy a one-month gift subscription for $11.99, 3 months for $35.97, 6 months for $71.94 or a year for $143.88.
Light Flow ($1.99)
Android notifications are already pretty powerful. Light Flow allows users to customise them even further by tweaking the colour and frequency of the blinking notification lights. With a little time and effort, you can see what type of message or app is trying to get your attention with just a glance. Most devices should support Light Flow, but be sure you know which device your recipient has to ensure that it supports multi-coloured LED lights.