Amazon's Santa App Gets An Update

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Amazon Santa has just received a big upgrade in time for the holiday planning/shopping/giving season.

Version 1.1 of the popular app is still designed for kids of all ages. The idea is to provide a simple, interactive way for parents to provide customized gift lists for their children. One might surmise that Amazon ( AMZN) hopes you will use those shopping lists to buy lots of stuff on the Amazon Web site.

To assist you in that task Amazon has made it easier to filter items by category or by brand. It has also expanded categories from the usual toys, games, movies and TV shows to include a selection of non-couch-potato favorites like bicycles and skateboards.

But, don't think this is an app just for parents. It also targets children aged 3 to 11, allowing them "to search for and select gifts from an online catalog that includes thousands of the hottest toys, games, movies and TV shows, books, sporting goods and video games."

Amazon expects you to use its Santa app on one of your Kindle tablet devices. If not, they probably would like you to consider buying one. Failing that, there are versions for Apple's ( AAPL) iOS and other, non-Amazon devices running Google's ( GOOG) Android operating system.

The best feature of all, Amazon Santa is downloadable - and possibly one of the few holiday items that you can get free of charge.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.