To get you and your family in the Christmas spirit, we checked out 10 Santa apps. These apps bring holiday music, graphics, and cheer to your iPhone and iPad. In some, traditional games and activities merge with 21st century technology seamlessly. In others, familiar, popular games and the high functionality we expect developers to deliver are given a Christmas makeover. You and your family will enjoy spending some time celebrating this holiday season with some new deliveries from the iTunes store.
The Santa Tracker iPhone app is essentially an interactive Santa website complete with pictures, blog, and news. Santa Tracker has a Jingle Bells soundtrack that is a lot of fun, but can get a little intense. Fortunately, you have a mute button on the screen to make adjustments. Your kids will have a blast checking the Santa Countdown to find out how many “sleeps to go” until Santa arrives. Santa’s current location is tracked, and grainy, black and white images of Santa sightings are shared. The cute and creative features you and your child will enjoy are the news and blog features. Santa’s workshop is overwhelmed by a flock of penguins, and elves are accidentally shipped to Venezuela. Kids are encouraged to eat candy canes to increase their Christmas spirit. Your child can also send an email to Santa. The Santa Tracker iPhone app is creative, fun, and well-designed, but it could benefit from some slightly more sophisticated graphics.
Santa’s Village for iPhone and iPad is a game where you build Santa’s Village, workshop, and toys in order to defeat the evil underground village full of grumpkins who want to stop Christmas. The graphics are great, and the controls are responsive, as you accept quests to build the village, get elves, and make toys. Instructions to help you navigate the game are available and well-positioned, so you don’t have to move from the game to a tutorial or help menu. The app is probably best-suited to elementary age children, as the process of building a village and toys does not move quickly. The Santa’s Village iPhone and iPad app is a nice choice for your younger gamers and Santa lovers.
The Letters to Santa Gold iPhone and iPad app is your 21st century letter to Santa. You simply click through the app’s forms to input your gender, age, and naughty or nice. You type your name, and you craft your letter to Santa on a virtual parchment. You click finished and send. Santa sends a letter back to the app. Santa’s letter is light-hearted, humorous, and warm—just like Santa should be. Be prepared to flip a coin, as only one letter can be processed at a time. Your kids will be waiting in line for this one. The Letters to Santa Gold iPhone and iPad app is a fun addition to your Santa AppList.
If you are looking for traditional games like mahjong, tic tac toe, and solitaire with Christmas spirit, you will want to check out the Santa’s Christmas Village for iPhone and iPad. You can play your favorite games with special Christmas touches in the graphics, music, and sounds. You’ll want to visit the home menu to adjust the game’s settings, so your skill level is matched. The app is difficult to navigate, as Santa’s Christmas Village’s buildings are games. It wasn’t exactly clear which game corresponded to which building. Even though the Santa’s Christmas Village iPhone and iPad app could benefit from navigation enhancement, it’s a festive way to play well-known, timeless games.
The Talking Santa for iPhone app successfully creates a sophisticated, cheeky experience suitable for all ages. Santa does all of the typical Santa things. He opens gifts, says “Ho, Ho, Ho,” drinks milk, and eats cookies with fantastic, appropriate sounds to compliment each action. Santa also has a sense of humor. He gets snow rolled by a giant snowball. You can make postcards to share on Facebook or via email where you write your custom holiday message on Santa’s underwear or a shot of Santa’s dog covering his eyes. The Talking Santa for iPhone app could keep a little one busy for hours, but the intrusive promotion to sell another app might shorten the duration of interest.
The Talk, Santa, Talk! iPhone app is simple, yet full of quirks and humor you and your family will enjoy. From the home screen, you tap Santa to make him talk, open his gift bag, dance, and throw snowballs. The snowball effect is great, since Santa throws it back at the user and it covers the iPhone’s screen. Santa even gives the sage advice, “Don’t eat the yellow snow!” The coolest feature of the Talk, Santa, Talk! iPhone app is the Santa voice recognition. Santa will repeat what you say, and the software works so smoothly that Santa nearly captured my southern accent! You can share your videos of Santa antics via Facebook, Twitter, and email. The Talk, Santa, Talk! iPhone app is 99 cents you will want to spend.
A Christmas Santa iPhone app is a fun, interactive Santa game suitable for all ages. In this game, the reindeer are striking and Santa needs to pay them. To earn money and practice his flying techniques, you help him stay in the air. Santa is launched like a rocket; and with taps on the screen, you keep him from crashing into the snow. The game is quick, easy, and requires very little gaming knowledge. It is appropriate for your 4 year old, and your 10 year old will think it’s cool as well. A Christmas Santa iPhone app is a great Santa app addition.
If you have an affinity for Feliz Navidad and Hangman, then the Christmas Hangman app for iPhone and iPad should be on your list. The navigation and utility of this app are well-designed and agile. From the home screen, you choose your level, and the game begins. The Christmas graphics are modern, clean, and attractive. You touch the screen to solve the puzzle. It’s a little shocking to see Santa as the Hangman, but the juxtaposition of macabre and festive makes for a great Santa app for the cynical, angst-filled teens and disgruntled uncles in the family. The Christmas Hangman app for iPhone and iPad is an edgy Santa app that is both fun and functional.
It’s frequently hard to find entertaining iPhone and iPad apps for girls at any time of the year, but the Toca Hair Salon – Christmas Gift is a great app for your favorite girl. The free Christmas version of the Toca Hair Salon app lets you choose to style Santa or an animated Christmas Tree’s hair. This is a responsive, intuitively-designed app. You tap the screen to choose a comb, scissors, or growth serum. You swipe your finger across the screen, and you brush, cut, or lengthen the hair, eyebrows, moustaches, and beards. The Toca Hair Salon – Christmas Gift iPhone and iPad app is a blast, so there is a good chance you’ll be buying the full version of this app.
If you can’t get enough CityVille on Facebook, then you can take this holiday version, CityVille – Holidaytown, with you on your iPhone and iPad. The functionality of the app will be familiar to those who already play. The seasonal features, tasks, and inventory bring the Christmas spirit to CityVille. You wake a slumbering Santa, harvest holly crops, and gain XP and currency by building workshops. The app’s notifications let you know when you are ready for the next CityVille – Holidaytown adventure. Suitable for most ages, your family will enjoy the CityVille – Holidaytown app for iPhone and iPad.