Tick-tock, tick-tock . . . you know what that is? That’s the sound of the holiday clock ticking away, getting closer and closer to zero-shopping hour. But if you have any iPad/iPhone users left on your list, you can stop your fretting right now. Speaking as a self-professed iPad fanatic, I can think of fewer gifts that would tickle me more than for somebody to gift me with an app!
If you’ve never gifted an app, don’t worry, I’ve prepared some handy-dandy instructions and put them right here.
So, what apps might make good gifts? I figured what better place to ask than among my co-workers here at SAFK? We all love apps ourselves, so it makes sense that we’d think that giving them as gifts is a dandy idea (and is not a reflection on the fact that we might have procrastinated a little bit on our holiday shopping). I ended up with a list as long as my arm of apps that varied from games to sports to cooking to movies to adventure . . . whew. I really couldn’t even begin to name them all in one post.
What I had to do was set some criteria. There are multitudes of apps we love, but I was looking for ones that somebody might want to give as gifts. There are some really nice free apps out there, but those didn’t make the list, because they are just that . . . free. A free app you just tell a friend about and let them download it themselves. But what apps could you give as a gift . . . ones that somebody might not purchase for themselves or their child? No way that I could name them all, but here are some of our faves:
Almost across the board, the staff said that they would gift Minecraft PE (Mojant, $6.99)to older kids. It's expensive, so I waited until my kiddo had earned a really special reward before purchasing it. So, an excellent gift it would be. (Also recommended: Terraria.)
Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App (Disney, $5.99) was suggested multiple times. I know that Emilie gave it FIVE STARS when she reviewed it, and she’s a tough cookie. I had never tried it, so (purely for research purposes) downloaded it tonight to try it out, so I’d feel good about recommending it. I’m sitting here playing it on my iPad while I type this on my computer . . . and the kids went to bed hours ago. I’m making up my own Pigeon stories and cracking myself up.
Any of the Dr. Seuss book apps. Because they are Dr. Seuss. They’re classic and there isn’t a one that wouldn’t make a good gift. They run from $.99-$4.99, and they’re worth every dime. If I had to pick just one, it’d have to be Oh, The Places You’ll Go (Oceanhouse Media, $4.99). And these are like the Seuss storybooks we all grew up with, only turned up a notch and made interactive.
One gift suggestion was a Bible app. Heather suggested Olive Tree and I use Just One Word. No matter which you choose, there are multiple versions available (the link below is to Olive Tree's NKJV translation, which is $9.99), so give them a look to find the version of your choice. (And the Bible app on my iPad has actually convinced my mom that an iPad might be useful. Hey, when she buys herself an iPad, I can gift her with a Bible app.)
Any Toca App. All of them are good, and some of them are great. I’m thinking about gifting my little nephew with Toca Builders (Toca Boca, $2.99). He’s too little for Minecraft, and it’s a nice little substitute.
You can’t go wrong with games as gifts. Several of us had PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies (and Plants vs. Zombies 2) on our lists. At just $.99, this one is a very addictive little game. I’d keep this one to the older kids or adults. It’s not really scary or gross, but it is zombies trying to eat your brains so it’s probably not for the little ones.
Kingdom Rush or Mushroom Wars. I am apparently not patient enough for these strategy games, but our own Grand Poobah and Lisa R. just love them.
iPad/iPhone ($.99, Ironhide Game Studio)
You can't go wrong with any Angry Birds app. They’re popular for a reason, folks, and there are a lot to choose from. Current fave at our house is still Angry Birds Star Wars (Rovio Entertainment, $.99). I just love Han Solo in any form, even Angry Bird form.
Scribblenauts Remix: It's a DC Comics adventure! There's not much cooler than that. I'm thinking of gifting this one to myself. You'll find yourself muttering things under your breath, like "Must . . . get knight . . . across lake."
iPad/iPhone (Warner Bros., $.99):
Berenstain Bears book apps. We’ve enjoyed several of these over the holidays. The classic books that help reinforce life lessons you might be trying to help your little one learn are now in app form. My princess currently loves The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule (Oceanhouse Media, $3.99).
I also suggest that you browse the app store for kids’ book apps (like the ones I have listed above), or check out the book section on SAFK. There are some really great books out there in app form and you can find almost anything to interest each kid on your list. Or check out our best apps by categories. Need a toddler gift? Check out some here. We have categories to cover probably everyone on your list, so be sure to search the site.
Oh! And be sure to check out our list of Five Star Apps! All of these have been given a big gold star by SAFK, so you know they'd make AWESOME gifts!
Now, if you’re just completely stuck and don’t even know what app to gift somebody, another fantastic option is an iTunes gift card. These would never be unwelcome (ya hear that, Santa?). And if you do give someone an iTunes card, make sure you direct them to SAFK so they can find wonderful ways to spend it.
Alright, alright, I won't leave you hanging. Some of the other apps the SAFK staffers loved (that didn't make my list because of my arbitrary "no free ones" rule), in no particular order: Candy Crush, Netflix, iTunes U, Kindle, Zineo, Draw a Stickman, Madden by EA Sports, SugarSync, Pandora, Dropbox, Twitter, Stitcher Radio, YouTube, Sandbox, Jetpack Joyride, BrainPop, Temple Run, Pinterest, Voxer, Viber....whew (wipes brow). Now I'm a little tired.
Do yourself a favor and bookmark this post, because I have a feeling we'll be adding onto it as we think of other must-haves.
Happy holidays, y’all!
Kelli really is starting to get concerned about her dwindling desire to complete the Christmas shopping she has left to do. Thank goodness for the App Store!