APP OF THE DAY: Advent 2012: 25 Christmas Apps review (iPhone, iPad and Android)
It's a short and sweet App of the Day today as we start to feel all Christmassy now that December is well and truly under way. We've even thought ahead this year, having already bought a Heston Blumenthal Christmas pudding with a whole candied orange inside before it sells out and starts to appear on eBay for £100 a pop.
But at this time of the month, there's an essential part of the Christmas build-up tradition that must be observed first - the act of opening little doors with numbers on them to reveal Christian pictures, chocolate (if you're lucky) and, in the case of this digital Christmas countdown calendar, apps..
Advent 2012: 25 Christmas Apps
While we wait for the annual iTunes 12 Days to Christmas app from Apple, which traditionally gives out digital goodies for free on a daily basis, this electronic advent calendar will more than suffice.
To be completely honest, there's not a lot to it - a nicely dressed way to present free app suggestions - but it's worthy of its App of the Day, because it dresses the presentation up with thought. For starters, there's a whole range of Christmas-oriented songs and tunes that play while you interact.
Plus, instead of just present a download button when you open each daily calendar door - like many others in the category - Advent 2012 offers a mini game to play first which, although not too complex, gives you enough of a challenge to want to beat the score the next time around.
However, tinsel aside, the main point of Advent 2012: 25 Christmas Apps is to present 25 decent free applications, which would normally be offered on their respective app stores, iTunes or Google Play, for a fee. And, again unlike rivals, from the first four days' worth so far have been of a sufficient quality to want to come back to see what's next. Which is more than can be said with the "chocolate" found in many real-world advent calendars.
It also benefits greatly from being free itself, which, at a time when you're expected to shell out money you don't have on a pile of plastic tat, too much booze to logically fit in a fridge, and enough food to feed a small African village let alone a family of four, is a major deal breaker.