If you listen closely, you can hear the bells ringing: Christmastime is upon us, and if you’re a fan of the holiday like me, you’ll want a live countdown to the big day, no matter how you celebrate. And that’s where some fun iPhone apps can help. These iPhone apps add a little bit of Christmas cheer directly to your home screen—and once Christmas is over, you can use these apps to count down to any other big events in your life, such as an upcoming trip.
Let’s start with one of the simplest apps: The Countdown Widget app has fun widgets with rounded fonts and graphics, which makes it easy on the eyes. It also has a live countdown—down to the second. You can create multiple countdowns, but you’re limited to a single style for the free version. I would recommend upgrading to the paid plan just so you can get the style that lets you add your own image to the widget, making the Christmas countdown more personal.
Once you have created a new countdown, you should add the widget to the home screen. That process is going to be the same for all apps listed here: Tap and hold in an empty part of the home screen, then tap the Plus button. Search for the Countdown app and choose the widget style you want. You can then drag and drop it anywhere you want. Tap the widget, and choose the event you want to highlight.
If you love photos, you’ll love the Days app. It’s an image-based countdown app that will let you add popular holidays in an instant, including Christmas and New Year. But adding a custom countdown is easy, too. Tap the Add button, give it a name, and go to the customization screen. The app’s coolest part is its integration with a free image-sharing service called Unsplash. You’ll be able to see contextual images that you can directly add to the countdown, and they will be displayed beautifully, full-screen. You are free to add your own photos as well.
Add the Days widget (the medium size works best with photos), and you now have a colorful reminder right on your home screen.
Up Ahead is a beautifully designed countdown app with a great timeline view. You can add three events for free, but the $1.49/month Plus subscription will unlock all limitations, and add new customization options. There’s a one-time $29.99 purchase option as well.
The app’s flow is quite simple. You add a title, date, icon, and you choose a color theme, which will be added to the timeline view. Much like the Countdown Widget app, Up Ahead relies on beautiful design and graphics instead of photos. You can add the widget to the home screen as well.
If you’re a fan of the iPhone home screen aesthetic, you might be using Widgetsmith already, with your own custom theme. In that case, you don’t need to look for a separate app to add some holiday cheer to your life. Widgetsmith has a Countdown widget where you can add a photo, text, and the day countdown.