A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
SMULE - THE #1 SINGING APP lets people create and share their own music videos by recording video on their device as they sing along to karaoke tracks of popular songs. First, users pick a song, and then they choose to sing solo, with another user, or with a pre-recorded video from the original artist or from another user. Once you've created your video, you can upload it to the app with visual features (like in Snapchat and Instagram) and audio improvements (think auto-tune). Users can also "freestyle" and sing without a backing track. They can also record a track and invite others to collaborate with them live or by submitting their own recordings. Recorded songs can be set to private or they can be shared, which allows other users to like, comment on, and share via social media. Users can chat privately through the app's messenger feature and host "LiveJams" where they livestream themselves for invited or public audiences.
Is it any good?
It's definitely appealing to have access to so many song choices (name a song -- it's probably available), but mean comments, livestreaming, and the price make this app more for teens. Contributing content here feels risky: You can create and upload videos privately, but Smule - The #1 Singing App is really geared toward sharing and commenting on others' performances, and the comments aren't always kind. Meanwhile, if you're not interested in contributing content, finding entertaining things to watch can be its own challenge. The playback features and options are stellar, and it's great that you can listen to uploaded videos as you search for your next one. However, the content itself isn't always great. While some users offer solid singing and some of the best-of lists feature good collaborations, there's a lot of lackluster singing on display, and some videos feature vulgar language or gestures, in spite of the app's community guidelines. Also, it can get spendy fast, so if it's a good fit, find the subscription price that works for your budget. Overall, it has a lot of fun features and songs, but access to mature content is easy and public accounts are best for older teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about family rules for privacy and social networks. Talk about when it's OK to share information and what kind of information should be kept private. What are your rules around your kid using Smule - The #1 Singing App? Can your kid share videos publicly or only with friends?
Before downloading, discuss your family's rules around profanity and sexual references in music. What are your teens allowed to listen to? What kinds of videos can they post?
Talk about songs that might be fun to sing to and how you can get creative with the filters. How might you use the filters to add to the songs you choose to sing?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Pricing structure: Free to try (free to try, subscription for full access)
- Subscription price: $2.99 All-Access Pass; $7.99 Weekly; $19.99 Monthly
- Release date: August 13, 2018
- Category: Music
- Size: 121.50 MB
- Publisher: Smule Inc.
- Version: 7.1.5
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.3 and up
For kids who love social networking and music apps
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.