NORAD tracking Santa on your iPad and smartphone

As it has done every year for the past 56 years, NORAD is once again tracking Santa this holiday season. But for Christmas 2011, the military organization that watches the skies above North America, has added the ability to follow St. Nick’s progress on your iPhone, iPad, and Android devices as well.

The satellite tracking went live earlier today and has been following Santa’s sled as he’s made his annual rounds through the timezones where it is already Christmas Eve night. Even now, he is delivering presents to homes on the other side of the planet and spreading holiday cheer where ever he goes. You’ll be able to check in on his progress throughout the day today, and watch in anticipation as he nears your neighborhood as well.

Of course, many of us have full days of shopping ahead, not to mention gatherings with friends and families to attend, so we won’t always be close to our computers to track Santa ourselves. But never fear, as NORAD has released the NORAD Tracks Santa app, which is available in both the App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, as well as the Android Market for the plethora of devices that run that mobile operating system. Through this app, you’ll not only be able to keep an eye on the Man in Red, you’ll also be able to play the amusing “Elf Toss” game too. If you’re old school, you can still track Santa in Google Earth too.

Be sure to add these apps to your device now. After all, you’ll definitely want to be home, and snugly tucked in your bed, when Santa comes to deliver your gifts tonight.

La Tour Eiffel for Google Android – live webcam views from around the world

Regular readers will know that I’m a bit of a Google Android fan. I recently gave you a quick look at Flightstats for Android, but today I’d like to share another application with you. In fact, despite a marketplace offering over 4500 applications, my absolute favorite does nothing more than show live webcam images as the background on my home screen.

But no matter how simple the app may seem, there is something awesome about going to bed at night and seeing a live sunrise in Paris, or waking up to the sunset from the top of the Sears Tower. Images from the webcam sources can be updated every 10, 20, 30 or 60 minutes, and the program supports saving images to your MicroSD memory card.

The application is in the Android marketplace as “La Tour Eiffel” and is free of charge. As for the name? It launched with just one webcam and progressed into the amazing application it is today. In total, the application offers over 30 different views from around the world.

FlightStats for Android now free till July 1st

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the new FlightStats for Google Android powered phones. The application is still available in the marketplace for $5.99, but if you’d rather take it for a spin before paying, then search for “Flightstats” and take advantage of the free trial version.

This app was placed in the market several days ago, and the duration of the trial should be enough to give you a good idea what you can expect from FlightStats.

As a quick reminder – FlightStats shows live flight information, departure and arrivals data and live map tracking of flights.

In addition to this, you also get airport and airline information and the ability to store flights and airports in a saved list.

If you own an Android powered phone, and are often in the air, then I highly recommend taking FlightStats for a spin.

Software quick look – Flightstats for Android

Yesterday, the folks at added the first Android compatible flight tracker to the Google Android market. For those of you not up to date on the latest and greatest in the smartphone world, Android is the operating system developed by Google that powers the T-Mobile G1 (and several other phones).

Flightstats for Android offers several convenient travel features – live flight status, flight tracking with live map updates and airport/airline information.

Searching for flights is very simple, and can be done by flight number, route or even by airport. Search results show all flight numbers as well as any codeshare flight numbers.

The results can be added to a favorites list, making it easy to keep an eye on upcoming trips.

The application can be found in the Marketplace by searching for “flightstats”, it costs $5.99 which is about the most I’d be willing to pay for such an application, especially since a lot of the information provided can also be found for free on the web. That said, the application is very clean and easy to operate, the developers clearly put a lot of effort into designing the interface.

You can learn more about the application directly from Flightstats, or feel free to check out the screenshots I made of the application on my T-Mobile G1.