Title: Sing! Karaoke by Smule
Cost: Free (additional credits must be purchased or earned for some songs)
Platform: iOS 5.0 or later on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; Android 4.0 and up.
So you may not be an American Idol or the Voice, but who doesn’t like a little friendly, musical competition? Sing! gives smartphone and tablet users the opportunity to compete karaoke style from anywhere. Sing the words on the screen, and earn points for rhythmic and vocal accuracy. If you are especially proud of (or amused by) your performance, you can share the recording with other Sing! users and watch it climb the “Hot Performances” list. There is an additional option to share your talent via facebook, twitter, and other social media sites, or if you’re feeling a bit shy, you can keep your performance private.
Rated by over 31,000 users, this app averages out at almost five stars. Praised by many reviewers for being pure fun, Sing! gives the average person a chance to belt out a tune. The options to re-record before sharing or to keep a performance private will encourage the timid karaoke soloist. Duet and group singing options will please social singers, and the selection of solo and duet tunes is fairly robust. From Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to Call Me Maybe, the songbook includes something for most vocalists. You can also add sound effects to your singing to spruce it up a bit (e.g. Normal, Basic, Pop Star, and Indie).
Here is where Sing! loses half a star from me. After installing the app, each user receives 10 credits, but most songs cost twenty. There are free songs, but almost all are children’s music and may not appeal to the average teen. To get credits to perform a more popular song, users must buy access at $2.99 for 1 week, $7.99 for 1 month, and $39.99 for 1 year. The pricing is a little steep. However, there is an option to earn more credits by watching ad videos, many for other apps and some for products like McDonalds. Although a tad annoying, the ad videos might be a good option for teens short on funds.
Overall, I think this is an enjoyable app that will have great young adult appeal. Music, sharing, and competition are a wonderful combination.