Ever wonder how Santa Claus can deliver so many presents all over the world in one night? Well you can find out with the Santa tracking apps from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Google. NORAD has applications out on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and even Windows 8/RT to help you track Santa wherever you are.
If you can’t wait to track Santa, NORAD has included a mini game called “Thin Ice” within their iOS and Android apps. It’s a labyrinth style game where you have to maneuver presents into an area. It may sound simple and easy but the gameplay is actually very challenging, especially with the inclusion of holes in the ice and logs that block your way. There’s also “Elf Toss” where you have to launch elves and dunk presents into Santa’s sleigh.
This year, tracking Santa became a little controversial as NORAD ditched Google in favor of Microsoft’s Bing Maps. This ends the relationship that Google has had with NORAD since 2007. This change came as a result of Microsoft being NORAD’s lead partner on their website, which is helping to promote Windows 8. Ironically, YouTube (a Google product) is still favored for video hosting on NORAD’s Site.
Google fans shouldn’t be too upset as the company has released its own Santa tracker. Users will be able to track Santa using Google Maps and Google Earth starting at 2AM Pacific Time on Christmas Eve. Google’s Santa tracker will feature a dashboard view where you can keep track of how many presents have been delivered as well as how many kilometers have been traveled. There’s even an Android application to help you track Santa on the go but it doesn’t do anything until Santa takes flight.