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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Free Santa Apps

Make Santa sing and dance with Singing Santa HD, a new holiday app from Khush. Available in both iPhone and iPad versions, this app showcases the Khush (now part of Smule) voice recording and auto-tuning technology already on display in apps like Songify and LaDiDa. In Singing Santa’s case, you can create holiday videos and postcards to send to your friends and family. Although the app has crisp animation (Santa’s belly actually jiggles like a bowl full of jelly), and solid voice playback, it’s a little on the kitschy side and will mostly appeal to kids.

Singing Santa (iPhone, iPad) Free
It’s the holidays, and you know what that means: novelty Santa Claus dolls that dance and sing songs. I’m pretty sure my grandparents have approximately 15 of those, because they seem to show up with a new one each year. But they could save on all those dancing Saint Nicks with Singing Santa, an app that emulates the classic (if irritating) toy and lets you dictate what Santa sings.

Singing Santa dances to the beat of a holiday tune you choose, and uses your iOS device’s mic to “listen” to what you say to him – then he sings it back to you in perfect autotuned pitch. This app is from the same guys who brought you Songify, an app that also turned your speech into autotuned songs, so if you were into that, you’ll like this, too. You can also save photos or videos of your dancing Santa and share them on Twitter, or email them as holiday cards.

MailStop Mobile (iPhone, iPad) Free
MailStop lets you use your iPhone or iPad to get yourself free of junk mail. It’s designed to help you “opt out” of receiving certain mailers that you’d otherwise need to contact the company responsible to put a stop to. The app works pretty simply: just snap a photo of whatever it is you don’t want to receive anymore using the app, and the MailStop service does the rest.

You get your first five opt-outs through MailStop for free. After that, you can purchase more opt-outs through in-app purchases, costing as little as $0.30 each. Since the app is free, you basically get to give it a go without paying anything to see if you like it. If you tend to get a lot of junk mail, MailStop might be a pretty quick and easy way to put an end to it.

Chrono Trigger (iPhone, iPad) $9.99
My favorite video game of all time has found its way to the iTunes App Store, and I couldn’t be happier. Chrono Trigger was originally released way back in 1995 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and is similar to other classic role-playing games of the time like the Final Fantasy series. Featuring an epic time travel storyline and menu-based battles of classic RPGs, Chrono Trigger has some great chiptune music and one of the best storylines of a generation of video games.

This version of Chrono Trigger is the one that was featured on the Nintendo DS in 2008, and includes a few extra features from that version that weren’t seen in earlier ones. It has two dungeons that are only available in this version of the game, plus Retina-optimized graphics and touchscreen controls.

BuckShot (iPhone, iPad) Free
BuckShot lets you start up a scavenger hunt using your iOS devices, wherever you are. The app provides you with lots of random prompts of items to take photos of, kicking off the scavenger hunt. They can be just about anything, making the game both kind of easy and potentially pretty difficult – you’ll have to use your problem-solving abilities to do well. Every time you upload a photo to the game, you earn points for yourself or your team.

The app uses a Facebook account to allow you to link up with other friends to start scavenger hunts, and as they add photos and you do as well, you’ll each be able to see the other’s progress as you try to complete your hunt. You can also play hunts with other players you’ve never met online, if you’re just looking for a game on the go.

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