Christmas keeps iPad festive while idle

Spoiler alert! XME Inc. may not have unleashed the creative juices when they named their app Christmas, but they packed a lot of nice features for a dollar. While you’re in a rush to make those last minute panic decisions, your iPad can keep the season festive. Four Stars.

Christmas Vacation may have depicted a family so dysfunctional the methane in their sewer lines blew up the neighborhood, but the writers’ families had to bear some resemblance to the Griswalds or the movie wouldn’t have replaced Miracle on 34th Street as the all time family favorite Christmas classic as quickly as it did.If you read your Jung, which, if you grew up Baptist Preacher’s Kid (BPK) like me, you didn’t, you would know that most of the Griswald characters were archetypal family members. The movie features a hypercritical mother-in-law. a father-in-law who sleeps through everything, the relatives so old they smell like mothballs and one can’t remember whose house they’re at, the cousin or brother-in-law who hasn’t held a job longer than six months, the drunk, the relative who has a story to top every anecdote shared at the dinner table and at least one obnoxious pet that no one likes.I haven’t mentioned the unbearable children. Not your children, of course, your sisters’ pretentious children and your cousin’s kids who can reduce an entire room to rumble in less than fifteen minutes.Once they show up for Christmas, the glad tidings of comfort and joy tend to take second place to stress, alcohol and pain killers. On top of that, you’re suddenly flooded with Christmas card emails from people you forgot you knew and suddenly feel compelled to answer every one with a Christmas e-card of your own. Pain killers aren’t enough. You need non-stop relief.Christmas won’t provide the relief but it will certainly help. Referring to Christmas the app in the same blog as Christmas the real holiday can be confusing, but don’t blame me for that. Blame developers XME Inc.. How hard is it to add a word to the app name so readers will know I’m promoting their product and not the holiday we love? Christmas Memories might work, or Christmas Relaxomatic. For now, I’ll just have to refer to the app as Christmas and the real Christmas as “the holidays.”

Santa kitty is Carol’s favorite slide in the show. If it were up to her, the entire show would be Christmas cats. If it were up to Jenny, she would be the only cat in the pictures.

Christmas is similar to the Christmas Slideshow & Wallpapers reviewed Tuesday but it adds an important wrinkle: music. Not to mention a Christmas countdown feature. The slideshow, however, is just a slideshow. The set includes some great holiday photographs, including Carol’s favorite—a cat with Santa hat.Unfortunately you can’t add snow to the slides or control the transitions as you can with Christmas Slideshow & Wallpapers. You can’t even change the speed of the transitions.Instead the app offers two dozen instrumental Christmas tracks, which you can play through once or loop in the background while you compose those Christmas ecards or challenge your brain with Merry Xmas pipeline puzzles (reviewed Friday). You can also set the loop to run for a set period of time and shut off in the background.

You can set the music track to loop, to loop and shut off or even to wake you up. Unfortunately, you can only loop a single track rather than loop through the entire song list.

I can’t think of any app more perfect to accompany you when you retreat to your bedroom, lock the doors, turn out the lights and down three or four Xanax to drown out the family noise. I can’t think of anything more perfect except the ability to loop through all of the tracks rather than only one. It would also be nice if the store offered more than two additional songs (although at $1 each I doubt I’ll download those). Oh, and change the order of the slideshow or start with a different image and possibly even add snow the way Christmas Slideshow & Wallpapers does.But other than those few details, and maybe an Airplay feature so you could play the slideshow back on your HD TV and listen through the sound system. Sure, you can use headphones or jack into your stereo, but Airplay and HDTV would be so much cooler.I’m telling Carol, Aimee, her husband Gary and my mom about the app so they can download it to their iPads. That way, when Chutney the neanderthal dog confronts Tory, Aimee’s hyperkinetic dog, and the nephews get in a fight over who gets to play with each other’s identical Lego flying helicopter and the discussion between Gary and Carol over the Cowboys and the Redskins heats up, we can each take our iPads, retire to our respective rooms and let the house collapse as we relish the joys of the holidays.

Jenny Manytoes rates Christmas (the app)

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Christmas. It could use a little tinkering before next year’s release but for a dollar it’s good enough to get us through the impending celebrations.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 4 Stars - Purr, Entertainment, Seasonal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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