Andy Nicolaides

December 1, 2021

Indie App Santa is Coming to Town

Hey, World 👋


If you’ve been an Apple person for a while I’m sure you recall fondly the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ promotion Apple ran every December from 2008 until it’s abruptly stopped after it’s ran in 2013. For those of you that don’t remember it, or maybe weren’t even around when it was running (which is a depressing thought) it was a yearly promotion where Apple gave people the opportunity to claim a free item each day from their online store. This would consist of a free app, TV show episode, film, or book. As the name suggests, this ran for 12 days every December.

I don’t recall ever seeing an official reason why it was cancelled, but after seeing Twitter light up with complaints from entitled dinguses about how each days free gift wasn’t good enough, I could hardly blame Apple for giving up on it. Despite it now actually running for that long, and it finishing quite some time ago now, I still miss it. It wasn’t about what I actually got each day, it was more the fun of waking up each day and checking what was on offer. It was that little Christmas morning, for 12 days, that adults no longer really get a chance to enjoy.

Why am I writing about a short lived promotion that was killed off almost a decade ago? Well, I was reminded recently that this idea actually still lives on, in the guise of the excellent Indie App Santa!. Indie App Santa is the brain child of developer François, the founder of App Craft Studio. Each year François teams up with various Indie app developers to offer one of their apps for free, or a discount on a subscription to said app. It’s basically an app advent calendar. Who doesn’t love an advent calendar?!


Seeing as it’s the 1st December today, the fun has already kicked off with the puzzle game Black Box. The apps that are offered up for free during this time are available to anyone, so the promotion is more a way to highlight and promote the discounts as far as I can tell, but it’s still a fun thing to play along with.

There’s a new companion app as well, which presents a fun advent calendar aesthetic with a new virtual door to open each day.

If you’re still pining for the ‘good old days’ of Apple’s 12 Days of Christmas or if you want to just combine your love of apps with getting into the festive spirit give it a whirl! You may find some gems.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your goodies!