(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Many of us grew up dialing cheesy 976 telephone numbers to try to get a few words with Santa Claus before Christmas. Of course, hearing the same canned message every time we called (for a quarter, at that), didn’t inspire much confidence that the big man was paying any attention to our wish lists.
Thankfully, local developer AppVentors has a new way of tapping into the North Pole. The mobile application development company just released Santa’s Magic Phone Deluxe & Playland app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and plans to release an additional version for Android devices. The free app, which makes money through premium in-app purchases, lets children (and their parents) exchange personalized phone calls and text messages with Santa Claus.
AppVentors to date has released five applications, mostly focused on kids and education.
“Initially,” explained co-founder Biju Mathew, “we started by writing children stories, and creating holiday games around that. Our business model though, is to develop smart, productive, fun and educational apps that leave a lasting impression.”
More Holiday Apps for Under the iTree
A Charlie Brown Christmas, available for $6.99 on iOS and Android devices, features the classic 1965 Christmas special in interactive storybook form. Users can choose to have the story narrated by original Charlie Brown voice actor Peter Robbins, or read and scroll through pages themselves.
While eBay is a great shopping resource available online and for virtually any smartphone and tablet device, a brand new update to its iPad application is perfect for those who would rather find presents for others (or themselves) without ever leaving the couch. The new “watch with eBay” feature, which will eventually be available for iPhones and Android devices, asks for basic information including your zip code and cable/satellite provider. Thereafter, users can type in what show or channel they are watching. The “watch with eBay” feature then serves up apparel and merchandise based on what you are viewing.
For 99 cents, Super Dreidel brings the classic Hanukkah game to iOS devices. Enjoy three modes of gameplay -- traditional, Vegas and Turbo -- and hum along with two different versions of the Dreidel Song.
Brad Spirrison is the Managing Editor of Appolicious.com and AndroidApps.com, where consumers find mobile apps they'll love. The Appolicious family of sites (which also includes video review service AppVee.com) and mobile apps (for the iPhone and Android devices) are discovery tools to help consumers browse, search and share recommendations for the hundreds of thousands of apps available on the iOS and Android platforms. Spirrison, a longtime Chicago-based media and technology commentator, lives in Lakeview with his wife and young son.