Skip to main content

Apps of the week: surviving New Year's

By John D. Sutter, CNN
Smartphone apps help partiers mix drinks and find cab rides at the end of the night.
Smartphone apps help partiers mix drinks and find cab rides at the end of the night.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • CNN reviews smartphone apps for New Year's Eve
  • "Rocket Taxi" helps people find safe rides home
  • "Drunkblocker" stops Android phone users from drunk dialing friends or co-workers
  • "Couch to 5K" provides users with a simple, 9-week training program
RELATED TOPICS
  • New Year's
  • Smartphones

(CNN) -- New Year's Eve is a logistical nightmare. There are just so many decisions to make: which party to attend, how to entertain guests, where to catch a cab, who to kiss at midnight -- what to resolve NOT to do at this time next year.

Luckily, there are mobile phone apps to help bring some order to the night of December 31 -- and the resolutions that follow.

Here are a few of our favorites:

10001 Cocktails (Android, Free) -- Everyone has those friends who haven't learned to say "gin and tonic" on auto-pilot when a host asks them what they want to drink. For the ambivalent, picky or indecisive drinkers in at your New Year's party, consider the free, "10001 Cocktails" app for Android phones. If this app doesn't have what your friends are looking for, tell them to bring their own liquor.

Pros: It's for the Android. The iPhone has a host of drink-mixer apps, but not everyone who throws an end-of-year bash totes around an Apple smartphone. This app also lets you save your favorite drinks to a personal list, and includes more drinks than some competitors.

Cons: The app also offers up random pick-up lines, which, in theory, you could use while serving up these complicated recipes. Only problem: Saying things like "Can I flirt with you?" and "Hey, don't I know you? Yeah, you're the girl with the beautiful smile" won't score you many points with non-robots. So your stellar drinks had better do the talking.

DrunkBlocker (Android, Free) -- Want to go out drinking all night but you're worried you'll end up in a slurring phone call with an ex -- or, worse, a boss! -- at 4 a.m.? Unavoidable, you say? Not with the DrunkBlocker app for Android phones. This free app blocks some, or all, of your contacts after set times, meaning that your sober self can control your drunk self's actions -- at least when it comes to phone use.

Pros: Hides phone numbers to prevent you from dialing manually, and you can choose to block incoming calls, outgoing calls and outgoing text messages. Emergency numbers cannot be blocked.

Cons: Just don't get lost from your friends.

Rocket Taxi (iPhone, $1.99) -- It's tough to find a cab on New Year's Eve, when everyone who's even remotely interested in drinking hits the town. The Rocket Taxi app may be able to help. Using your GPS location, the app finds taxi operators based nearby and gives you their phone numbers as well as some background info like customer ratings and estimated fares.

Pros: The taxi search works in 10,000 cities and several countries, according to the app-maker's Web site. Plus it has a fun interface, with black-and-white checkers and a yellow background.

Cons: The app finds taxi companies located near you, but won't point you to the individual cab that may be sitting around the corner, just beyond sight.

Couch to 5K (iPhone, $2.99)

Nine weeks of detailed training plans, a built-in calendar and digital coaches who talk to you are what make the "Couch to 5K" app great. Sold by Felt Tip Inc., this app tells you exactly what to do and when -- including interval set plans and stretching diagrams.

Pro: Gets you off of the couch and into a race by early March. And you only have to work out three times each week.

Con: You still have to run.