SLIDESHOW

Thinking About Drinking? Smartphone Apps to Enhance Your St. Patrick's Day Experience

Use these Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Palm apps to locate the nearest pub, play beer pong, cure a hangover, or find a whole host of merrymaking activities.

Drinking Apps!

Cell phone debauchery abounds year-round (see: sexting, Android's Porn App Store, and the Cannabis and TigerText apps). But there is no holiday quite like St. Patrick's Day to thoroughly test out your phone's boozy alter ego.

The iPaddyWhen iPhone app will even make sure that you never lose sight of the day: It gives you a countdown to midnight in Dublin. Let the sloppy, green-beer-induced madness begin.

Games of the Intoxicating Variety

Among the green rivers, parades, and pub crawls, entertainment on March 17 isn't generally an issue. Nonetheless, drinking apps can enhance your celebrations with games of the intoxicating variety.

Frat favorites include Beer Pong U ($1.99), Beer Pong Challenge ($0.99), and the Quarters-like Beer Bounce ($1.99) for the iPhone and Beer Pong King ($1.99) for Android. Better yet, iChug for the iPhone ($0.99) and Android (free) uses the accelerometer built into your phone to time how long you take to down your green beer. It's as though your phone distilled the best parts of college and fit them in your pocket.

Android's Beer-Word (free) also sounds like a recipe for mildly absurd St. Patrick's Day fun. The app gives you a word, blocks your phone number (using *67), and then calls a random person. Without uttering the word yourself, you have to get the stranger to say the word. Standard drinking rules apply: If you fail, you drink--but if you succeed, everyone else knocks one back. The same goes for Balance the Beer (free).

BlackBerry features BeerBuzzer ($2.99), a multiplayer beer-themed trivia game, while Palm boasts the arcade-style Beer Kegger ($9.95).

And then there's the Irish Drinking Game ($1.99). Simply shake your iPhone, receive a command, drink, and pass. Just don't blame us when a YouTube video surfaces of you doing an Irish jig or attempting to Riverdance.

Take Me, Take Me to the Green Beer

GPS may enable crazy stalkers, but happily it also locates the nearest bar, beer garden, tavern, or pub. No need to follow any rainbows or leprechauns to the Guinness.

The iPhone's Bar Finder: Liquor Frog Lite (free) provides a strategic "beer, bars, and alcohol" search to help you unearth your next watering hole (complete with maps and directions). For the serious lush, the paid version ($0.99) includes advanced search filtering, bookmarks, and user reviews.

Alternatively, Beer Hero ($1.99 to $2.99) is available on both the Apple and Android platforms. Its three key features are Near Beer (a microbrew guide), Meal Planner (offering beer pairings for your food), and the Pub Finder. And you better believe that St. Paddy's Day is the perfect time to put the app's local-brewpub database to the test.

Craft-beer enthusiasts can also use the creatively titled Find Craft Beer ($0.99) app for the iPhone (soon to come for Android) to track down a nearby brewpub or brewery from The Beer Mapping Project.

And, lest we forget, Yelp has an app for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and Palm platforms.

Guiding Spirits

If you've made it to the bar/pub/beer garden/liquor store and you want some sage advice, relax and let your phone do the instructing.

The impressive iWhiskey ($10.99) application, available only for the iPhone, is an epic sourcebook for drink descriptions. And sorting the reviews by category will allow purists to stick to those libations of Irish origin.

If you're feeling more adventurous, download iShots (free) or iShots–Irish edition ($0.99). Just shake your iPhone, and the app will randomly generate a shot recipe for you to mix yourself or ask the bartender to make.

Hosts of St. Patrick's Day parties will want to acquire the Beverage Calculator ($2.99), a Windows Mobile app that determines your quantity needs based on the number of guests and the types of alcohol served. And amateur mixologists looking to make an Irish Car Bomb, a Nutty Irishman, or a Dancing Leprechaun can consult cocktail guides of all shapes and sizes.

Beer and More Beer

The developers at GreatBrewers.com built BeerCloud (free) to "enhance your beer life." We weren't aware that our beer lives needed enhancing, but the app's creators certainly applied the notion of cloud computing to our favorite beverage with great effect. The app allows you to scan bar codes and see product descriptions, maps retailers carrying your favorite brew, and provides food-pairing recommendations. Currently it is available for the iPhone and Android (the makers say that versions for other platforms are coming soon).

Beerology 101 for Palm ($1.99), iBeers ($2.99) and Beer Genie ($0.99) for the iPhone, and Beer Master ($14.99 for Palm, $2.99 for iPhone) all offer catalogs and guides to help you make the right decisions this St. Patrick's Day--well, the important ones, at least.

If you are luckless and stuck at the office and/or operating heavy machinery, you can still observe the day with a virtual iBeer ($0.99) and play simulated drinking games with iDrunker (free). But we know that it's just not the same.

Stumbling and Feeling Irish

So you're wearing green, you've somehow acquired an Irish flag, and you've curiously picked up an Irish accent. For iPhone users, that may mean it's time to take A St. Patrick’s Day Quizzle (free), try Speakin Irish ($0.99), tell iRish Jokes ($0.99), and use Dublin Slang ($0.99).

Maybe it's the moment to impress the ladies or gentlemen with All Naughty Limericks ($0.99) or your Kiss Me I'm Irish ($0.99) wallpaper. (Let us know if either of those approaches actually works.)

Android users also have the options to tell Irish folk stories with the help of Beside the Fire ($0.99), to learn new vocabulary in the Top 1000 Irish Word Quiz ($1.49), or to pick up some Irish Slang (free).

Three Sheets to the Wind?

As all days do, St. Patrick's Day, too, must come to an end. Among the useless clutter, developers have come up with some genuinely valuable applications to make your night's conclusion reasonably painless.

Android's DrunkBlocker (free) easily takes the prize in this category. Set the time when you will begin drinking and an end time that approximates when you'll be more or less in control of your phone again. Then, choose all of the people whom you really shouldn't be speaking to while intoxicated. If you try to dial the banned numbers during the allotted time, DrunkBlocker makes you pass a fairly difficult test in order to complete the call. Voilà--you'll never drunk-dial your ex, boss, or mom again.

Though they have varying degrees of accuracy and shouldn't be used as an exclusive measure of sobriety, monitors for blood alcohol content are available in nearly all app stores. Windows Mobile features the Alcograph ($1.99), BlackBerry owners can download Blood Alcohol Calculator ($12.99) or BAC Finder ($2.99), Palm has the Advanced BAC Calculator ($1.49), and Android apps include the BAC Tracker ($1.00).

If you're more snockered than Boris Yeltsin wandering outside the White House in his underwear, the iPhone's OverTheLimit ($3.99) and LastCall (free) will not only track your alcohol consumption but also help call a taxi. Alternatively, you can attach to your iPhone a genuine breathalyzer, the iBreath ($79).

The Day After

March 18 already? For the hung over, your phone is your friend. iPhone users can download Hangover Cures ($0.99) to hunt for the elusive remedy, as well as Easy Excuses (free) or Simple Excuses ($0.99) to get out of whatever meeting you foolishly planned.

If you have a tendency to take a taxi home and forget the exact location of your vehicle the next day, a car-finding app will make your life a lot easier. Try A Car Finder ($0.99) for the iPhone, Car Locator ($3.99) for Android, Car Finder (free) for BlackBerry, or FindMYcar ($2.99) for Palm.

And, of course, if you discover any incriminating or outrageous St. Patrick's Day texts, turn to the Texts From Last Night ($0.99) app to record them on the Net for posterity.

Only 364 more days to go until early-morning drinking in a leprechaun outfit is considered socially acceptable again.