Santa Phone lets you stealthily figure out what to get your kids for Christmas

best secret santa gifts christmas apps holidays
Unsure of what present to get your kid for Christmas this year? There is a direct line to Santa’s helpers in the North Pole that can help you find out what is on the Christmas list.

Twilio, a cloud communications platform, has launched a new service called the Santa Phone Project. As the name suggests, the service lets your child call Santa’s helpers to tell them what they want for Christmas.

The idea is hardly novel — hotlines to Saint Nick have been around for quite some time. Twilio says what makes Santa Phone special is that it’s a “cloud-based service which automatically syncs a phone number with an email address so parents can receive the digital recording of the call.”

It works like this: Head over to SantaPhone.org and type in your contact information. You can schedule a time for the call so you can make sure your children are close by.

You will then get a text with your two-factor authentication code to ensure the entered information is accurate. Once you have verified your information, you can expect a call at the scheduled time.

Twilio says it saves your name, email, and phone number but you can request to delete that information by emailing help@twilio.com. The recording is also saved to “reconcile our records with our carrier partners and audit those records as necessary for tax and accounting purposes.”

After the call starts, Santa’s elves will ask a few questions, including what Christmas presents are on children’s lists. The call is a “machine-read script” that uses Twilio’s text-to-voice technology — meaning your child will be speaking with a chatbot, rather than “an actual person.” When the call ends, you will immediately get a recording of the email which you can play back to jot down the names of everything requested.

The company says it’s donating $1 to Toys for Tots for each of the first 10,000 calls.

Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Smart Home

These best outdoor security cameras will keep porch pirates at bay

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what movies and shows are leaving in April 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for April 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.
Mobile

The best Sony Xperia 10 Plus cases to keep your smartphone safe

It's always a smart play to safeguard your smartphone with a decent case or cover. We've identified the best Sony Xperia 10 Plus cases here, so take your pick from rugged protection to slim style.
Mobile

Here’s how to cancel subscriptions on an iPhone or an iPad

Find out how to cancel subscriptions on an iPhone or any other iOS device with this easy step-by-step guide. We'll show you where you can review your subscriptions and precisely how to cancel them.
Wearables

This $76,000 Grand Seiko watch has something in common with a plug-in hybrid car

How can a watch that costs $76,000 possibly have anything in a common with any car, let alone a plug-in hybrid? It's all about the complex, technically incredible Spring Drive movement inside this Grand Seiko watch.
Mobile

Mozilla rolls out Firefox for iPad with split screen support

Mozilla released a version of Firefox that is specifically designed for Apple's iPad. The internet browser comes with several unique features for the tablet, including split screen support and unique tab management.
Mobile

Scientists wreck a smartphone in a blender, but not just for fun

It’s oddly mesmerizing to watch a smartphone get torn apart inside a blender. Researchers recently did just that in a bid to find out which materials make up a handset, and also to encourage people to think more about recycling.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Deals

The excellent Apple iPad gets even deeper price cuts on Amazon

The humble iPad from 2018 is still one of the best tablets around -- and a solid choice for most people. Amazon has seen some great price drops for these tablets recently, and now you can own an iPad for even less than before.
Mobile

More than a screenshot: How to record the screen on an Android device

If you've ever want to record video of your Android screen, there are plenty of apps that can help. Here's an easy guide on how to record the screen on an Android device with the right settings and apps.
Mobile

Apple News Plus gives you access to more than 300 magazines for $10 per month

At Apple's services event, the company unveiled a new news subscription service called Apple News Plus. The service gives you access to more than 300 magazines and newspapers and costs $10 per month.
Apple

Apple March 2019 Event Coverage

Apple’s next event will take place March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California at 10 a.m. PT. We’ve got a handy guide on how to watch, but don’t expect to see any new iPads, iMacs, or AirPods at the show, all of…