StarGreetz, Inc., a company specializing in personalized phone messages from celebrities (fictional and not), launched their iPhone App today, aptly titled StarGreetz.
As of the time of this writing, NFL Philadelphia Eagles player Brandon Graham stands alone as the only actual human lending his voice to the message service, the rest of the contributors are some of the most popular Disney characters of all time. Disney/Pixar characters such as Sheriff Woody and Doc Hudson and Nightmare Before Christmas’ Jack Skellington join classic Disney favorites such as Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Donald Duck and even Minnie Mouse (with more on the way).
Between the lot is a virtually endless number of configurable greetings, ringtones and alerts, all of which feature the character addressing the recipient by name. The list of names is pretty extensive, but in the event your (or the recipient’s) name isn’t available, there doesn’t appear to be any generic way to address the individual or skip it altogether. Once you manage to configure your desired message, you can preview the full message at no cost to you before you decide to purchase. If you decide to purchase through the app, once iTunes authorizes the charge, you are provided the opportunity to email the purchase to yourself (or whomever you wish). Although this is the most convenient method of purchasing, it also reveals the biggest shortcoming with the process in that the email simply contains a direct link to an .MP3 file. While the intent is to use iTunes (or whichever method your mobile phone uses to receive music files) to sync the message to your iPhone, in most cases, the message will simply start playing in your browser with no apparent way to save it. Thus it will require some technical know-how to get around this issue. I couldn’t figure out how to save the message even when opening the email directly on my iPhone. That said, it should be a relatively simple fix on StarGreetz’s end to make it easier to use the program, but there’s no question it can be a potential showstopper for many. I also managed to quickly spot a typo in the app which is simple aesthetic as the message itself was fine.
The positives, however, greatly outweigh the negatives. This is a quick, easy and fun way to have your favorite characters (if they’re included) create a very customizable, personal greeting or ringtone for you or your loved ones. You obviously won’t be getting Tom Hanks as Woody, but the voices are all pretty darn good, using talent approved by Disney. And the bottom line is it won’t cost you anything to download the app and try it out.
While the app itself is free, as is sampling the selected message choices (as well as online), there is an in-app charge of $2.99 per message charged through iTunes, so it can get very addictive and expensive fast. Consider yourself warned. The website also charges $2.99 per message and delivers them through SMS (with the regular restrictions, details available on their website) — the app is definitely a much easier method of exploring, testing and purchasing the messages.
Although StarGreetz is currently available only online and on the iPhone, the company has plans to release native apps for the Android, Blackberry and other devices soon.
To download the StarGreetz app, click here.