Smart Apps For Android: Tracking Santa with NORAD and Google (best free Android apps for kids)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tracking Santa with NORAD and Google (best free Android apps for kids)

One of the most exciting aspects of Christmas has to be the possibility of catching Santa in the act of delivering presents. The Santa Cam FX app creates the illusion for children that Santa has been in their house, while apps that track Santa give children hope that they will know exactly when he will arrive (or just that he is on his way). The following apps are the best we have found on Android for this purpose and we hope you enjoy creating a little magic this Christmas.

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North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa since 1955, although back then it was known as Continental Air Command (CONAD). "Why would a national defense body be tracking Santa?" you ask. The story goes that Sears Department Store were trying a new marketing gimmick for Christmas, whereby children could call a local number and speak directly to Santa himself. Perhaps in those days, there wasn't a Santa's Grove in every shopping centre and it was more economical to employ someone to sit by the phone to answer kiddies' calls.

Regardless, the flyers were up and children were excited. There was just one small problem; the phone number was wrong. The one that ended up being printed connected children straight to CONAD. Not to worry, the country's top military defense took it in their stride and took the calls. It was a bit of fun and relief from the normal seriousness of defending the country, and quickly became community outreach by CONAD.

Now the NORAD Santa Tracker is used by families all over the world and could easily bear the title "Official Santa Tracker - endorsed by Santa himself." There are two options for following Santa's journey, the first being to track online HERE, and the second to download the official NORAD app below.

The NORAD Tracks Santa app provides a lot of information about NORAD, Santa's sleigh, flight path and more, and has links to YouTube where there are videos about Santa's test flight etc. The online version has games to play, but the mobile version is really most useful when Santa actually takes off on Christmas Eve.

Not having ever used it myself before, I cannot tell you exactly how it goes. I was not able to trick the app into tracking Santa early, either, by changing the date of my tablet. You will just have to take it on good authority that this is the premium Santa tracking app that you need. It must be good if the program has been running since 1955!

The NORAD Tracks Santa App is the official mobile app of the NORAD Tracks Santa program. Watch the days countdown to Santa's flight, follow Santa's progress on December 24, play "Thin Ice" to help Santa's elves deliver presents, and learn about NORAD and its mission. Please note that the countdown in the app is NOT a countdown to December 25. It is a countdown to when the app begins tracking Santa's flight.

Get it on Google Play

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Google has now come into play, releasing its own Santa tracker which, like the NORAD one, can be followed online or by using the Google Santa Tracker app. Like NORAD Tracks Santa, I was unable to trick this app into thinking Santa was already on his way by changing the date on my device, so we all wait in anticipation to see how convincing this app is.

The online version of Google Santa Tracker provides a countdown of sorts, with a new mini-game every day. The app only provides a mini-game every other day and shows a continuous countdown until Santa takes off. Definitely a contender for title of "Official Santa Tracker" but without the sentimental history of NORAD, this app will sit in second place.

Celebrate the holiday season with the Google Santa Tracker app for Android. Santa's developer elves have created this app to follow Santa on his December 24th journey as he delivers gifts to children all over the world. To learn more, visit Happy Holidays!

Get it on Google Play

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To finish off this post, I want to share another app with you that will delight your little one no end. Santa's Home is like a live webcam into Santa's house where children can see the current activities of the Jolly Fat Man. Depending on what time of day you check this app, Santa can be seen preparing presents, eating his lunch, feeding the reindeer and more. I had a play with the day and time with this app too, but I could not get a view of Santa loading the sleigh or taking off. Again, we wait in anticipation as to what will happen on Christmas Day.

Welcome to Santa's house! What does Santa do during the day? How does he prepare for Christmas? Santa invites you to discover his daily routine at his home! Your child will also be able to send him a pretty picture that he will display in his workshop! Chocolapps apps promote your child's development because they help to improve observation and concentration skills, and give your child a sense of independence.

   FREE                                        FREE
Get it on Google Play          Available on Amazon Appstore

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Be sure to check out our other Christmas apps:

Top 25 Christmas Apps For Android

Christmas Jigsaw Puzzles 123

Magic Christmas Coloring Book

Santa Cam FX


Plume's School - Saving Christmas

Christmas Blabber Box

Nutcracker Musical Storybook

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