Valentine’s Day is upon us again.
But now we have apps galore, whereas in the pre-smartphone era we were restrained to hallmark cards, bears, and chocolates.
Here’s a selection to help make February 14 the best yet.
MAKR (Free, iPad-only)
With this iPad-only offering, you can create personalised stickers, postcards, recipe cards, announcements, and any number of cards.
There are a selection of tasteful and professional-looking Valentine’s Day templates, allowing you to sidestep the generic schmaltz of the newsagency offerings.
The app will charge $3.99 to save a design as a PDF, which you can then print at your leisure. Professional prints are available in the US only.
VALENTINE RADIO (Free, iOS and Android)
Forget scouring your music collection for Celine Dion and Whitney Houston.
Valentine Radio provides a selection of 40 national, international and internet radio stations broadcasting the best love tunes.
Browse from suggestive names such as Todoexitos Romantico, and Candlelight Radio.
LOVECAFE CARD DESIGNER (Free, Android only)
A good e-card design app for Android phones, LoveCafe’s Card Designer is a little more playful than Makr.
You can choose from more than 100 backgrounds and clipart characters, or put in your own photos if you wish.
You can then export them via email, save them to your photo album, or post them on Facebook.
LADIDA ($3, iOS)
This nifty app will turn your horrendous singing into something your love might actually want to listen to.
It’s billed as “reverse karaoke”, using artificial intelligence to turn even the most tone-deaf ramblings into something digestible.
Sing or rap into the phone, and LaDiDa will analyse your voice and compose music to match.
It includes voice effects such as pitch correction, reverb, chorus and delay, and you can choose from a selection of musical styles – from acoustic rap to underground rap.
YUMMLY (Free, iOS)
There are plenty of recipe apps out there, but Yummly’s search function makes it stand out.
Its search filters let you find recipes by holiday, cuisine, taste, diet, and more. It groups recipes from top sites and blogs, and lets you share them easily on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google Plus.
A quick search of the word “valentine” brings up a list of cakes and biscuits – there’s even a recipe called Cinnamon White Chocolate Valentine’s Day Puppy Chow!
CRAFTSY (Free to download, but some classes cost money, iOS)
Learn to craft your own personalised gift with Craftsy – the ultimate DIY app.
Craftsy hooks you up with video tutorials on a range of topics, including cake decorating, cooking, knitting, sewing, and quilting.
Several mini-classes are free, but the more advanced ones start at about $30.
POCKET SALSA ($4.50 on iOS)
Apparently you can learn to dance salsa “in minutes” with this app, which has more than 120 video dance lessons.
It might take a little longer than that, but your Valentine is sure to be impressed by your effort.
Additional premium videos are available as in-app purchases if you’re after something a little more difficult.
POETRY FROM THE POETRY FOUNDATION (Free, iOS and Android)
If you’re not exactly Shakespeare, fake it with this nifty poetry app.
It features thousands of poems by both classic and contemporary wordsmiths – including, of course, an entire section dedicated to love.