Make Santa sing and dance with Singing Santa HD, a new holiday app from Khush. Available in both iPhone and iPad versions, this app showcases the Khush (now part of Smule) voice recording and auto-tuning technology already on display in apps like Songify and LaDiDa. In Singing Santa’s case, you can create holiday videos and postcards to send to your friends and family. Although the app has crisp animation (Santa’s belly actually jiggles like a bowl full of jelly), and solid voice playback, it’s a little on the kitschy side and will mostly appeal to kids.
Singing Santa HD stars—you guessed it—an animated tricked-out Santa Claus, outfitted in shutter-shades and a Khush ball cap. Tap the Record button, and Santa holds out his microphone to capture a voice recording. Say or sing whatever you want, presumably a holiday greeting or song lyric, and the app will auto-tune your voice and set it to music. Santa then sings the recording back to you, complete with disco-ball effects and dance moves.
The app has ten classic Christmas songs to choose from as your recording track, like Deck the Halls, 12 Days of Christmas, and Jingle Bells (not to be confused with Jingle Bellz—a Singing Santa exclusive hip hop remix). The auto-tune plays back loud and clear, and is pretty comical: Your words are kept intact and the messages are easy to understand through the robotic voice. The auto-tune feature also attempts to match your voice to the tune of the selected song, but this feature works better with some songs than others. And unless you time your recordings perfectly, the rhythm of the auto-tuned message won’t align well with the instrumental track.
If you just want to mess with Santa, you can tickle his belly, bop him in the nose, or tap his hands and feet to make him move. He’ll also rudely point the mic at you if you remain idle for too long. This feature of the app worked really well—Santa responded instantly when badgered.
Once you’re done with your video masterpiece, you can send your Singing Santa video through an e-mail attachment, or share it through Twitter or Facebook. You can also send a virtual postcard of Santa with a customized greeting through e-mail or Facebook (or, save it to your Camera Roll and send it through text or iMessage).
Singing Santa HD is available for the iPad as a $5 download that includes all songs, dance moves, and postcards with the initial download. The iPhone version is free, but requires in-app purchases to unlock premium content and extra songs. While it’s safe and appropriate for all ages, kids will mostly appreciate Singing Santa HD. Though the app isn’t a holiday must-have, Singing Santa HD is sure to give your friends a good chuckle.
[Leah Yamshon is a Macworld staff editor.]