Whether they contain a new LEGO, a piece of chocolate, or a cute picture, advent calendars remain a popular way to count down the days until Christmas. The iPad is well-suited for use as an advent calendar, and several high quality Advent calendar apps that feature a variety of themes are available from the App Store.
1. Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar — London ($1.99) — E-card maven Jacquie Lawson has a new pitch perfect advent calendar for Christmas 2012. Lawson’s London themed calendar is a follow-up to last year’s Village theme. Both calendar’s are available for download in the App Store. Lawson’s work, which includes very detailed illustrations of many of London’s landmarks has a foot in the Old World as well as the 21st century, and will appeal to Christmas fans of all ages (or Anglophiles!). While it is the only paid app on our list, it also offers impressive graphics and animation as well as a high quality sound track. Note: this app is not compatible with the original iPad.
2. Christmas Advent Calendar: The Best 25 Free Apps (Free, $0.99 removes ads) — Christmas Advent Calendar: The Best 25 Free Apps is the app that keeps on giving. While the calendar part of the app is rather basic, what’s behind the door offers a great surprise — each day the app will allow the user to download another Christmas-themed app for free. The first game, Winter Walk, tells the story of a gentleman who can’t seem to hold on to his hat, and is fun to play when you have a few moments to spend.
3. Binny’s Advent Calendar (Free) — Binny’s Advent Calendar brings light hearted, retro-inspired graphics to the Christmas season, and will likely appeal to kids or fans of whimsical graphics. Follow Binny the Elf as he walks through town. Tap a new door each day to find an interactive graphic or short activity. On December 1, the user can play holiday songs on a vintage Fisher Price record player. And, like all of these digital calendars, there’s no peeking! Try opening a door early and Binny pops up to scold you saying, “not yet.” Many of the activities include integrated sharing features, so friends can see your creations.
Also, Just for Kids Apps Advent Calendar, which we reviewed last year, is also available to download for 2012. This app’s traditional approach reminds users of yesteryear, and will please adults and children alike.