Meryl Streep, Songatron pop up in iPad Apps of the Week

Nov 29, 2010
Tech

Even the iTunes App Store is not immune to holiday offerings, and this week brings a delightful read-aloud classic Christmas story. Also, this week’s best iPad apps allow you to create silly songs, ninja-chop dinosaurs, build up your aquarium, and share whiteboard drawings with anyone who’s got an Internet connection and computer or iPad. THE […]

Even the iTunes App Store is not immune to holiday offerings, and this week brings a delightful read-aloud classic Christmas story. Also, this week’s best iPad apps allow you to create silly songs, ninja-chop dinosaurs, build up your aquarium, and share whiteboard drawings with anyone who’s got an Internet connection and computer or iPad.

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (FREE)

What’s better for a child than listening to a story read aloud by one of their parents? Listening to it read by Oscar-winner Meryl Streep. In The Night Before Christmas, the long-beloved Christmas story is read by the actress, and includes accompanying Christmas carols sung by some of the best bluegrass, gospel and choral musicians (and also by Streep herself). Watch the story in video form read by Streep, record yourself reading it, or just read the tale, which is accompanied by lovely illustrations.

SONGATRON (99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME)

It won’t get you organized, solve any world problems, or make your life more complete, but Songatron will make you laugh. Record any word in your voice, and it can be inserted into your choice of silly songs by Jonathon Mann. You can send a link to your songs via email, or post the tunes to Facebook or Twitter. A $1 price tag for hours of giggling? Totally worth it.

 

CHOP CHOP CAVEMAN (99 CENTS)

Channel your inner hunter-gatherer by guiding a hungry caveman to food in Chop Chop Caveman. Cute graphics, easy controls (just tap!) and lots of levels and challenges are some highlights in this fun game. Compare scores and track achievements with your friends via Open Feint or Game Center in this new great offering in the Chop Chop series. I particularly enjoy punching the dinosaurs and gobbling up the sausage and steaks that miraculously appear.

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FISHDOM HD ($4.99)

Use your skills to build up a beautiful fish tank in Fishdom HD. In this game, you earn money to upgrade your tank with new fish, comforts and decorations by playing match-three puzzles, which feature beautiful graphics. The graphics are the same as the award-winning downloadable game franchise, as well as the Facebook version. The iPad version is nicely executed.

 

SYNCPAD ($9.99)

I’m amazed at the sharing capabilities of SyncPad. With this app, you can create a “room” and share your drawings with others in real time via their own iPad or the Web. When you start drawing on your iPad, it appears almost immediately on the other screen. You can also add photos from your iPad albums and draw on them, as well as email drawings directly from the app. This isn’t the smoothest, nor most feature-rich, of drawing applications, but as a whiteboard and for reviewing and marking-up designs and photos with others when you can’t be in the same physical space, it works beautifully.

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Viki Gonia

Viki Gonia writes a column for her local paper, teaches writing at Columbia College of Chicago, and has had her iPhone surgically attached to her hand.

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