Its 11:59 pm on New Year's Eve. Everyone is huddled around waiting for the countdown. Finally the clock strikes. You reach for your phone instead of a Champagne flute. For many venturing to local New Year's celebrations, virtual toasting, via smartphone apps, is the only legal means of ringing in 2011.
As it has been true in years past, many city-wide New Year's Eve celebrations ban the consumption of alcohol during the evening's festivities, such as the ball-drop in Times Square, and the family-friendly "First Night" celebrations (including those in Boston, Philly, and D.C.). Instead of popping open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate, people can instead download a variety of apps to their phones that will simulate a New Year's toast.
The Clink-Clink app, sponsored by Waterford Crystal, is free to download and allows users to choose from five flutes to toast with. Two users can "bump" their phones together in a celebratory fashion as though "clinking" glasses. With the MobileToast by Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte app you can simulate the entire process of removing the foil wrapping and cork cage before popping the cork. Other apps that you can use to toast the New Year include iToastU and Real Champagne. Just make sure your phone has a cover on it before you start toasting, you wouldn not want to risk it shattering like a champagne flute.