And so it approaches – Christmas. I sure hope you’ve finished your Christmas shopping, wrapped your gifts and can sit back and enjoy the festive period– but what about those last minute purchases? This year, instead of rushing out and panic-buying socks why not finish off your lists with an app or two? Apple’s App Store allows you to gift an app to a friend via the app description on iTunes or your own iPhone or iPad.
Don’t forget to make your purchases on the evening of December 24th to ensure a proper surprise on Christmas morning (you might also need to remind the recipient to check their inbox, of course).
Garage Band ($5)
It really doesn’t matter if you’re buying for a male, female, child, teen or adult because they’re guaranteed hours of enjoyment from Garage Band and will be literally singing your praises all day for gracing their device with such an essential piece of software.
No, really – if you know someone with an iPhone or iPad who doesn’t have Garage Band then you owe it to them to spend the $5 on making their device better. Making music is as fun, simple or complex as you want it to be and… I could go on, but we’ll have an article all about it up soon.
Also consider: iMaschine ($5) – This groove sketchpad from the mighty Native Instruments is ideal for anyone with an interest in electronic music or creating interesting beats. It comes with a ton of samples to get you started and was recently updated with bug fixes, making it more stable than ever. Read our full review.
djay – iPad ($19.99) / iPhone & iPod Touch ($9.99)
Probably the most “serious” DJ app for the iOS platform, djay comes in both iPhone and iPad flavours. At the time of writing there are massive reductions (up to 90%) on both apps so if you’re lucky you might score a cheap but powerful gift.
djay allows complete access to your iTunes library and makes mixing it all together easy and fun. Considering this is the best app of it’s kind on the platform it’s no surprise to see features like BPM matching, realistic scratching and visual waveforms included in the price.
Also consider: Loopy (iPhone, $2.99) / Loopy HD (iPad, $7.99) – As the name would suggest Loopy is designed to build loops by layering up samples. The app is very simple to learn but will also please the more experienced out there with a rich set of features.
Golfscape GPS Rangefinder ($19.99)
Dad likes golf? Don’t fancy buying him yet more boring golfing accessories? Good – cheer him up this year with augmented reality! That’s exactly what Golfscape GPS Rangefinder utilises in order to improve your game.
The app comes ready-to-go on around 37,000 golf courses worldwide and uses GPS in order to help players plan their shots by detecting distance to the hole. Simply point your phone at the hole you’re playing and you’ll get distance information to the front, centre and back of the green as well notices about hazards.
Also consider: Golfshot GPS ($29.99) – Everything you see above but with aerial shots of the golf course you’re playing and “TouchPoint” technology. This essentially allows you to plan a route to the hole by touching a point on the map and displaying the distance between that point and the green. Serious golf stuff.
Infinity Blade 2 ($7.49)
The sequel to one of the prettiest smartphone games of all time, Infinity Blade II is a feast for eyes and thumbs alike. Featuring tweaked, slightly sharper graphics than its last outing and the same swordplay that convinced so many first time round, Infinity Blade II continues the story and refines the formula further.
Also consider: Batman Arkham City Lockdown ($6.49) – Hot off the heels of the recent console release, the latest handheld Batman game will have you touring Arkham City, taking out bad guys and encountering a slew of classic Batman characters and villains along the way.
Chrono Trigger ($9.99)
The SNES classic has finally made it onto the App Store, complete with original 16-bit graphics and an overhauled touch interface. Whilst original graphics might seem “lazy” to some, I’m of the opinion that this is how the game should be enjoyed.
Ideal for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the RPG genre, Chrono Trigger is a classic story-driven adventure that has aged surprisingly well.
Also consider: Final Fantasy ($8.99) – If JRPGs are the order of the day then the original Final Fantasy iOS conversion should probably see a mention. The story might be nearly 25 years old, but this reinvented iOS version is perfect for those who missed the original.
Scribblenauts Remix ($2.99)
Scribblenauts was originally a Nintendo DS game where puzzles had to be solved by introducing items, people and anything you can think of into the scene by simply typing it in. The updated iOS version not only contains new levels, but has another trick up its sleeve for 4S owners: Siri.
That means instead of having to type you can now bark instructions at your phone instead. Scribblenauts offers multiple ways to play, features tons of levels and of course comes with a Sandbox mode which is perfect for making God fight Cthulu during an earthquake or anything else you can think of.
Also consider: Minecraft – Pocket Edition ($7.49) – If creating worlds is the order of the day then it doesn’t come much more painstaking than Minecraft. This pocket edition features 36 different blocks and local multiplayer play as well as the usual single player fun.
That’s all for holiday app ideas this year folks. If you’ve got any apps of your own, any you’re hoping to receive or any that you’re thinking of buying for others then do share them in the comments below. Together we can get through Christmas shopping hell!
Do you own any of these apps? What do you think? Buying them for anyone else this year? Fill us in below, in the comments.