Smule - The #1 Singing App

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Smule - The #1 Singing App App Poster Image
Powerful karaoke features, questionable social network.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

There's an enormous variety of songs available, and it's easy to use the features to manipulate the audio and video filters.

Violence

Unless a song's content has especially abusive language, there's unlikely to be any violence depicted.

Sex

Some sexy stuff, including singers wearing revealing clothing, dancing suggestively, or singing provocative lyrics.

Language

Almost any popular song you can imagine is available; if there are vulgar lyrics, they'll scroll by on the karaoke display like any other word. 

Consumerism

Most of the content is user-generated, and purchasing pricey VIP subscriptions gives users access to more licensed content, like options to sing duets with artists and access premium Disney songs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Depends on the song, but there are definitely verbal references to alcohol and marijuana.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Smule - The #1 Singing App lets users record and upload their own karaoke versions of popular songs, either solo or with other users. Teens can stream themselves singing live, and they can interact with other users by inviting them to sing with them live or on their recordings. If you don't set your recordings to private, other users can freely search, like, comment on, and share any content that you upload. The app is extremely popular mostly outside the United States; one news source reported that more than 20 million videos are uploaded to the site each day. While the app's community guidelines specifically prohibit bullying and posting inappropriate content, it's hard to know how closely or quickly those guidelines are enforced. Users can briefly access the app through a free trial; once that expires, users are charged an ongoing subscription fee. More expensive fees give access to more premium content. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygrace80 September 14, 2018

Don't try it even free trial

I cancelled it after the free trial but they charged money and no refund even no answer even though I sent an e-mail 3 times. worst app
Teen, 13 years old Written bysheilahasaproblem September 6, 2018

The best app for karaokes with your idols.

It's stylish itself - it has multiple options and many songs to sing along. What actually called my attention is how you can have a karaoke with your idol,... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old September 19, 2018

Nice but whelp membership rises and never get any followers unless get membership.

Nice but membership cost loads and also the f### word is in it and s### is in some lyics :). I(f ur acually want popularity levels high whelp only choice is mem... Continue reading

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?

App details

  • 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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