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The downloads: must-have apps for your new gadgets

best new apps

Happy Holidays! Today may be Christmas, but there are plenty of reasons you've gotten a new gadget in the last few weeks. It's Hanukah season, and give-gifts-to-your-co-workers season, and Secret-Santa season — plus it's possible you had the grave misfortune of being born near Christmas, and are thus the recipient of the dreaded "combination gift."

But hey, it worked out, and you're now the proud owner of a new phone, tablet, or PC. You've opened the box, plugged it in, and turned it on — now what? We've got the answers. Look below to see some of the best stuff for your new stuff, the apps that will get you fully up and running with your new gadget in no time. Before you wade into the App Store, the Play Store, or the Store, make sure you get the best apps first.

6 updates and 806 comments below.

Dec 25 10:04a

The 12 best apps for your new Android phone or tablet

Android phones used to be for the hyper-nerds, who happily sacrificed simplicity for customization, ease of use for sheer horsepower. But now you don't have to trade – whether you just got a Nexus 4, a Galaxy S III, a One X+, or something else entirely, you're using a phone that does everything you want and does it in style. But what to do with it? First you'll download Facebook and Instagram, and get your Google setup nailed. Then go get Angry Birds Star Wars and Temple Run, sure. But...

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10:04a

The best apps for your new Windows Phone device

If you're looking for Windows Phone 8 apps, you're probably the proud new owner of a Nokia Lumia 920, or an HTC Windows Phone 8X. Maybe a Lumia 822 on Verizon? Whatever you've just activated, you now need some apps. You've already got Bing Maps, a great calendar, and some nifty Nokia apps if you have a phone from the Finnish company, but now you need a way to get stuff done, a half-decent Twitter app, and some games for when you don't feel like being so staggeringly productive. The...

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10:04a

The best books for your new Kindle

So someone sweet bought you a Kindle, huh? Well aren't you well-loved? But now comes the hard question, which is... what are you going to read? There isn't a one-size fits all answer to this question, of course, but we're going to do our best to recommend some of the best books we can think of to get you started. Happy reading!

Dune by Frank Herbert - (1965)

The 1965 sci-fi classic is likely to be The Verge’s January Book Club pick, but it’s a must-read page turner regardless.

...

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10:04a

The best apps for your new Mac

Well, aren't you lucky to get a new computer for the holidays! New Apple computers come with a fair mix of writing, photo editing, and music creation tools — and of course you'll want to grab essentials like Skype, Twitter, and GrabBox — but we decided to put together a list of apps, tools, and utilities that we always put on a fresh install. And these aren't just for new computers, either. While you're playing tech support at home and cleaning up the family's machine, install a couple of...

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10:03a

The best apps for your new Windows PC

This is a good year to get a PC for the holidays. So well done, you! You've gotten your hands on a Yoga, or a Zenbook, or a ThinkPad, or an XPS, or any of the many other brands of Windows-running laptops and desktops out there. If your new machine has Windows 8 on it, the first thing you'll want to do is fire up the Windows Store and hunt for apps. The second thing you'll do is be disappointed, because Windows 8's good apps are tough to find at the moment. They're out there, though, and...

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10:03a

The 13 best apps for your new iPhone

The iPhone, land of endless choice. First, you’ll want to grab Twitter, Kindle, Facebook, Find My iPhone, Shazam (it's still a magical thing), and Apple’s Remote app for controlling iTunes remotely. But then you get to the hard questions. Which to-do app to get? Which map alternative is worth downloading over Apple’s default? Is there a weather app that offers the perfect balance of hourly updates and animated doppler imagery? What are the best games to get to avoid the family during the...

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10:00a

The 11 best apps for your new iPad

This holiday season, you've plugged that very important hole in your life — the one between your smartphone and your computer. Whether it's the 9.7-inch iPad or the new 7.9-inch iPad mini, you're now in possession of a device that not only has a great screen and a fast processor, but one that gains you access into one of the best app stores on the planet. The iOS App Store has an incredible number of great apps and games, but the best ones can be hard to find among the huge selection. Of...

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