If you got a new smart phone for Christmas, you might be looking for the best apps to load it up.

Free ones, right?  Free is always good.  Here are some ideas.

How about an app that makes us smarter?  The Elevate app is getting rave reviews and it's full of cognitive exercises and ways to improve speaking abilities and concentration. There are games on it too, that are aimed at improving short-term memory.  The boss will be super impressed when you get back to work in January.

If you're a parent like me and you're always looking for ways to entertain the kids when there's down time at the grocery store and the doctor's office, you might want to have an arsenal of movies at the ready.  The Disney Movies Anywhere app lets you sign up for free and gives you at least one free movie.  Anything to keep the kids from climbing the walls and pulling out stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors while you're waiting for the doc to come in the room.  Wreck-it-Ralph to the rescue.

USA Today also points out the greatness of the Mailbox app too, which is supposed to sync several email services and simplify all of it with some new shortcuts and options. Who has just one email address these days?  Not me.  A little organization is good.

With all of the smart devices that ended up under the tree this Christmas, the app makers have to be salivating about all the users out there looking for downloads.  And we tend to start with free and branch out from there, so the USA Today list is a good place to start.  Happy app hunting.

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