Developer: I Keel You, Inc
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Fans of Jeff Dunham and his iconic ventriloquist's dummies received a shout out earlier this month with the addition of The Jeff Dunham iPhone Application to the App Store. Essentially a promotional tool for Dunham's 2010-2011 tour, The Jeff Dunham iPhone Application provides instant access to news, videos, touring locations, and iTunes material. As an added bonus, his character creations are also included in an interactive "game mode" format with a few random sound clips.
Available characters include Achmed, Peanut, Walter, Bubba J, and Jose. Though most fans have a personal favorite (mine is Peanut) and will be satisfied with the chosen quintette, Sweet Daddy Dee and Melvin didn't make the cut so don't be disappointed by their no-show. While the app itself doesn't do a whole lot outside of keep users connected to the world of Jeff Dunham, it does include a few bonus features—the sort that are often absent from these types of promotional apps.
From the home screen of The Jeff Dunham iPhone Application, users can scroll through moving portraits of the five included characters to their favorite. Tap on the screen and the character pops up in full screen display. A shuffle icon on the top left will initiate a random sound byte. Each character has three or four pre-recorded sayings. You can also change some of the characters' facial expressions by one or two finger swipes, whch moves their mouths and in some cases, eyes or eyebrows. As an added bonus, you can also create a short recording of your own voice, to which the character will move their mouths. It's a pretty elementary concept, but it's just for fun and at least it's an interactive feature, rather than a static one.
Aside from the characters, you get access to You Tube videos, which load in-app in Quicktime and can be shared on Facebook. Thankfully, selecting a video to watch doesn't redirect you and take you out of the app the way some do. Other features include news updates, access to show locations and tickets, and material available for purchase on iTunes.
With promotional apps there's always a debate about how much one should expect to pay and what should be delivered. The Jeff Dunham iPhone Application is well-done and is a great way for fans to stay connected. Sure, the sound bytes are repititous and none of the videos are exclusive material not available elsewhere on the net for free, but the interactive characters and the overall user interface deserves some applause. If you're a Peanut, Achmed, or Walter fan and don't mind paying for easy access to videos, tickets, and merchandise, as well as a few classic character sound bytes, then The Jeff Dunham iPhone Application serves the purpose well.