iPhone Halloween apps

By Lex Friedman, Macworld |  Personal Tech, Halloween, iPhone

While each element works, there's not much to love about this Energize Software app; it feels pretty disposable.

Halloween Deluxe--currently free--also takes the hodgepodge approach to ghostly fun, but fares better than some of its competition.

The app sports (yet another) countdown to Halloween, and (another) sound board, both of which are great at what they do. The "Costume Ideas" tab lists hundreds of costume suggestions, across categories like Kids, Sexy, and Couples/Groups. (Mercifully, that's three separate categories, not one inappropriately creepy one.)

Also available are random bits of Halloween trivia, most of which are disappointing: "The Oxford English Dictionary dates the first appearance of the word vampire in English to 1734." Unique to Halloween Deluxe amongst all the apps I reviewed, though, is the Backgrounds tab, which showcases a dozen beautifully drawn images you can save to your iPhone's photo library and use as your wallpaper. For a free app, Schatzisoft's Halloween Deluxe packs some nice Halloween fun.

While Halloween Deluxe just lists a few hundred costume ideas, two other apps devote all their energy toward helping you pick the perfect costume this year. Halloween Costume Generator ($2) and Costume Ideas - Halloween ($1) approach the task of finding you the right costume pretty differently.

Synthetic Bit's Halloween Costume Generator features a grim, organ-based soundtrack. You pop in 3 fields--gender, type of party, and current mood--and the app spits out a costume idea, like "American Tourist" or "Drunk Santa." Tapping on the costume photo leads you to a helpful screen that tells you what materials you'll need, and precisely how to pull it off. The app has a sense of humor; each costume has an associated "soundtrack" that you can tap to preview in iTunes. (The "Michael Phelps" costume is, of course, linked with "Smoke on the Water.")

The other app, Costume Ideas - Halloween from More Blu Sky, asks fewer questions: You provide your gender and whether you're a kid or an adult, and the app provides a costume name ("Zombie", "Michael Jackson Thriller"). You don't get a photo, or any other details about how to make the costume happen, and without even the minimal filters that Halloween Costume Generator offers (especially mood), the costume ideas are entirely random.

Armed with the right apps--my favorites are Halloween ~ Postage, Halloween Deluxe, and Halloween Costume Generator--your iPhone can help make this season of ghosts and goblins a bit more fun. Not as much fun as buying heavily discounted candy on November 1st, but fun nonetheless.

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