updated 11:57 am EST, Sun December 22, 2013
Sales galore on games and other apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
[Updated again with yet more app deals] Freebies and discounts on iOS apps are in plentiful supply during this holiday season, and MacNN is scouring the US App Store and web to bring our readers the best of these discounts, most of which should be locked-in throughout the next week or so (Apple is closing its iTunes Connect service, which allows developers to change App Store prices, until December 27). Here are just some of the best deals we've found for you.
Free for Xmas: non-game categories
[Update 2: some new freebies to replace a few that went away] A number of iOS non-game apps have been reduced in price to free, among them video and music remixing app Vjay (normally $10), drawing app Inspire Pro (regularly $5), photography app Split Lens 2 Pro (normally $2), and social network management app My Followers 3 in 1 (regularly $1).
Spark Camera, a movie shooter and editor that nabbed Apple Editors' Choice and App Store Best of 2013, is now free (previously $2), as well as travel app Kayak Pro (normally $1), Spanish: Speak and Learn Pro (regularly $10), comic book creation app Halftone 2 (previously $2), novelty photo app OldBooth HD (was $2), text editor Daedalus Touch (normally $5), and photo editor Laminar Pro (regularly $5). As with any free deals, there may be in-app purchases available.
Free for Xmas: Games
There are, quite frankly, too many discounted and free games to entirely list -- but TouchArcade and other sites have kindly helped whittle down some of the best-known game titles that are now free of charge, including the quest title LostWinds (previously $4), Flick Football (normally $1) and the iPhone-only Flick Football Super Save (reg. $1), Toy Defense HD (usually $3), Toy Defense HD 2 (previously $5) and Toy Defense 2 (regularly $2), Block vs. Block (reg. $3), Ninja Striker (normally $1) and Angry Birds Star Wars II (usually $1). The popular Mario World-esque game Lep's World 3 (formerly $1) is also now free for a limited time. We also found the well-regarded Skulls of the Shogun has been reduced to free from its normal $5 price, as was Pinball HD (normally $2), and Somersault (was $2).
Great app deals: Non-game categories
Fantastical 2 for iPhone
App Santa looks at first glance like a bundle deal, but it isn't: it's just a handy collection of developers who have banded together to offer App Store discounts. Among them are Delivery Status (now $3, was $5), Mileage Log+ (was $10, now $5), Twitter client Tweetbot (formerly $5, now $2), journal/diary app Day One (now $3, down from $5), To-Do list Clear+ (was $5, now $2), Perfect Weather (33 percent off its normal $3 price), note-taking app Vesper (was $5, now $3), VNC app Screens VNC ($5 off its normal $20 price), PCalc (was $10, now $7), Readdle's Printer Pro, PDF Converter, cross-platform calendar sync program Calendars 5, and Scanner Pro (all now $3, down from $7), Launch Center Pro (was $5, now $3) and password manager 1Password (normally $18, now $10).
In addition, the well-regarded calendar app Fantastical 2 is on sale for $2 (half off its normal price), as is its Mac counterpart ($10, down from $20). The same company offers an iMessage log search tool called Chatology for Mac that is also half price ($10, formerly $20). The iPad music-remixing app djay is also on sale for half off its normal $10 price, and Mailtab Pro for Gmail is now just $1 (originally $2). Paiting software ArtRage for both OS X and iOS is now half off its normal price (the iPad version is 40 percent off), and even upgrades from previous Mac versions of ArtRage are now half off until January 2. Music app maker Korg is offering 50 percent off its iOS apps, and 30 percent off its legacy collection until January 1.
A rare sale on a augmentative communication app is underway as well. Developer Assistiveware, of iOS assistive talker Proloquo2Go fame, has put its text-to-speech solution Proloquo4text for sale. The normal price of $130 has been slashed to $65, a 50 percent savings. The app isn't for everybody, and is aimed at people with autism, cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, apraxia, ALS/MND, laryngectomy, stroke, or traumatic brain injury.
Great app deals: Games
A scene from Infinity Blade III
When it comes to iOS game deals (and few Mac bargains as well), Santa's bag truly runneth over. Most of the big game studios have slashed prices by up to 90 percent on many of their game catalogs, offering savings galore. Electronic Arts offers a large selection of games for just $1, including its Sims and Need For Speed lines. In addition, the company has added some holiday cheer to existing games, such as a pet reindeer to The Sims Freeplay, a special holiday storyline and characters for The Simpsons: Tapped Out, "seasonal livery" for the Ford Focus RS in Real Racing 3, and a "Feastivus" celebration from December 24-30 in Plants vs. Zombies 2.
Other notable titles include Infinity Blade III (now just $3, formerly $7), XCOM: Enemy Unknown for half off ($10), Final Fantasy games (the original, II, III, III for iPad, IV, V, VII Advent Children Complete Larger-Than-Life Gallery, XIII Larger-Than-Life Gallery, Tactics: War of the Lions for iPhone and iPad, and Crystal Defenders for iPhone and iPad) all 50 percent off, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies (now $3, was $7), quest game Bastion ($1, formerly $5), Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 (was $5, now $1), the "full unlock" version of Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (now $10, $5 off normal), Fruit Ninja HD for $1 (normally $2), Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic half off ($5), and The World Ends with You: Solo Remix (now $9 for iPhone, $10 for iPad; half off regular price).
The Secret of Mana for iPhone
[Update 1] We've also found deals on games like The Secret of Mana (now $4, was $9), the Chaos Rings series (including the iPad versions and all up to 75 percent off), Magellan for iPad ($5, was $15) and Magellan Jr. for iPhone (normally $5, now $2), the iPad-only Cradle of Rome series (now $2, normally $5 each), as well as sale prices on Fieldrunners 2 (now $1, formerly $3) and the iPad Fieldrunners and Fieldrunners 2 HD for iPad ($1 and $3 respectively, were $3 and $5).
Game makers 2K are also having an iOS sale, with titles including 2K Drive (was $7, now $1), NBA 2K14 (was $8, now $3), NHL 2K11 (just $1, normally $4), Sid Meier titles like Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies ($3, was $5), Pirates! and Civilization Revolution (both regularly $3, now $1). The iPad versions of Pirates! and Civilization Revolution are also both discounted (now both $1). Popular Double Fine quest and mystery game The Cave dropped from $5 to $2 (the Mac App Store version is also on sale, now just $3), and Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II is now just $1, down from $5.
Mac app deals: Games
There's also few game deals going on for the Mac, including half-off on the LEGO Star Wars Saga, Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and Harry Potter Years 1-4, all now $10. In addition, Anomoly Warzone Earth for Mac is selling for 90 percent off its normal price of $10, now only $1. As mentioned above, the Mac App Store version of The Cave is also on sale, now just $3. Sale prices on items could change at any time, so buy soon.
Mac app deals: Non-game categories
Intensify by MacPhun
Non-game Mac programs don't get as much bargain action as iOS apps, but that doesn't mean there aren't some great deals out there. We love the menubar radio app Radium 3, and it's now on sale for half off at $5. Nicely-done and versatile RSS aggregator ReadKit is over half off (formerly $7, now $3), and password manager 1Password for Mac offers 30 percent off its normal $50 price (now $35), and the iOS version is also on sale for $10 (normally $18).
Photo enhancing tool Intensify and Intensify Pro are both on sale, with the former being $10 off, now $20, while the latter is 25 percent off its normal $60 price, just $45 (but only available from the developer, though an upgrade path from Intensify to the Pro version is available). Diary/Journal app Day One for the Mac is also on sale, dropping from $10 to $8 (we previously noted a sale on the iOS version, mentioned above).
Finally, Mac app bargain-hunters should check out the last day of MacUpdate's MUPromo "Appy Holidays" bundle sale, which offers 10 great Mac utilities for just $40 (original retail value: $397!). Included for the first 5,000 buyers are freebies Flame Painter and IconBox, but the bundle also brings users six months of Anonymizer and backup service Backblaze, remote drive tool ExpanDrive 3, two NTFS utilities from Paragon, iStopMotion 3, MailHub, Mail Designer, Labels & Addresses, and utilities Cocktail 7 and Washing Machine.