Christmas Wrapped iPhone Review! Jolly good? Or a load of humbug?

Christmas Wrapped

iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iOS 4.0 or later

Price: Free Lite Edition or £1.19

It’s that time of year again where we all struggle to buy Christmas presents in the ever-shortening run up to the festive season.

For many people, myself included, the problem is not about knowing where to shop or get the best prices, but more about actually knowing what to get someone- the original inspiration is what we need.

Christmas Wrapped is the perfect app for this conundrum because it supplies you with tailor made suggestions; enter the gender and age group of the person you are shopping for and the budget you have to spend, and the app will supply a list of suggested gifts.

Those of us who need a little organisation will get the most out of this app. Make a list of people, enter budgets, create shopping lists and put in custom entries for any gifts you’re already got in mind so that the budget can be done in one place. Without a doubt, Christmas Wrapped is a perfect first step for planning a perfect shopping spree.

The price tag of £1.19 is a little steep at first glance, but it’s also a small price to pay for that much-needed inspiration when you just don’t know what to get for someone. Fortunately there is a free edition that you can try out first, limited to only 3 gift suggestions, but it gives a reasonable idea of the functionality of the app. The suggestions all link to the appropriate product page on the website that they come from so you can order them there and then.

So; time to give the app a spin. Let’s see what it suggests for the following fictitious family: Dad, Mum, Brother, Girlfriend and Baby. You can use your own contact list or make your own entries, a handy little touch.

For Dad I put in the male gender of course and the age group as 40-70. With a budget of £40 I get Inception on DVD, a Digital Photo frame, family tree making software and a malt whiskey gift set among many other things.

For Mum I put the same but female. The suggestions included loads of perfumes such as Hugo Boss Pure Purple, Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals (also listed for Dad), a Vivitar Digital Camera, Adopt a Kitten pack and much more, with a nice selection of gift jewellery too. With some wiggle room left over in the budget I took a quick look at the £20 gifts too and found a nice digital photo frame keyring.

For Brother I put in male, £30 and 15-20. This came up with Converse trainers, remote controlled cars, Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals again, a funky headphone hat and a Lightsaber room light. The suggestions mostly centred around gadgets of this nature.

For Girlfriend I put in female, £50 and 20-40 age range. I was given a pampering day, some fluffy ear muffs, a lot of perfume, Pet’s Eye View Camera and a few experience day gift packs. A decent selection, bearing in mind that I only looked at the first few suggestions for this review.

Lastly for Baby I did male, £10 budget, 2-5 years old. Christmas Wrapped came up with a VTech Nursey Rhyme Book, Baby Wooden Dinosaur, a variety of educational toys and a child’s apron that I could have done with myself when I was young.

In the end I had, after about 20 minutes of playing around:

Dad: Whiskey Gift Set – £46.54 delivered

Mum: Hugo Boss Pure Purple – £27.20 delivered, SilverStone Pebble Digital Photo Keyring £7.95 delivered

Brother: Star Wars Lightsaber Room Light, £29.99 delivered

Girlfriend: Emu Australia Women’s Angahook Ear Muffs, £48.00 delivered

Baby: Baby Wooden Dinosaur, £10.95 delivered

I think it can be easily said that his app does exactly what it says on the tin. The heart of the matter is that even if you don’t like the suggestions, it gives a ton of possible gifts that act as inspiration when you just can’t think of something new for someone. The organisational elements of the app also help to get all this shopping done within budget and on time. It’s also clear that it isn’t foolproof; it is quite common to get the same gift offered to people in quite different categories and this app comes up with suggestions that fit quite stereotypical groups of people. If the people you are buying for like their gifts to be out of the ordinary, this app may not help so much.

Despite slight drawbacks which can be checked out easily with the free version, the full version of Christmas Wrapped will almost certainly provide help for Christmas shopping. There are extra features that bring a little more value for money from a PIN lock (so that nobody can snoop on your list) and the option to donate to Make-a-Wish. It even has a sly sense of humour which I found out when deleting a contact’s gift list only to see the app stamp them with ‘Naughty!’

Some users will find that it gives them new ideas while others will be able to do the entirety of their shopping just on this app alone. With a balance between functionality, usefulness, fun and ease of use, Christmas Wrapped fulfils the very point of having iPhone apps.

by Bret

You can reach me via the About page and the social links at the top, or subscribe at the bottom.