The OSXDaily Holiday Gift Guide for 2015
Need a few holiday gift ideas for that certain someone? Maybe you’re shopping for yourself? For whoever and for whatever, we’re offering up a handful of techy gift ideas that should make your holiday shopping a bit easier.
Lens Kit for iPhone
Add-on lens kits are a fun way to improve the iPhone camera experience with macro, fish eye, and wide angle lenses. While there are many options out there, the TECHO Universal Lens Kit is priced well and will fit just about any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android phone, which makes it nearly universal and it likely won’t be obsoleted when a new model phone comes out, which is the case with some of the other lens kits out there.
Another option is the pricier but excellent Olloclip for $120, but as hinted at before, the main problem with Olloclip design is they are specific to particular iPhone models, meaning that as soon as a newly designed iPhone comes out, they tend to not work on the newest model.
Small Starter Flying Drone with a Camera
Drones are becoming increasingly popular and offer plenty of entertainment for adults and older kids alike. Fortunately, with their increased popularity has come dramatic size and price reductions, so if you just want to have a little flying drone to send around your house or down the street, or to take the ultimate selfie from the sky, you can now have one for as little as $50.
Another popular drone choice is the Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera RTF 4 Channel 2.4GHz 6-Gyro Headless System, Black at $150 which is well rated and a bit more fancy.
Apple TV 4th Generation
The new fourth generation Apple TV starts at $150 and should be a popular choice this season. Great for streaming movies, media, and music, AirPlay mirroring an iPhone or iPad to a TV, as well as playing some basic games, the new Apple TV is a great choice for households already heavy on the Apple equipment.
Of course, if you’re shopping for a more serious gamer, a true console like the Xbox, Wii U, or Playstation are probably better choices.
Serious gamers will likely prefer a dedicated gaming console to a device like the Apple TV. Not only does the Xbox One and Playstation 4 offer hardcore gaming options, but they also include many of the capabilities of the Apple TV anyway, including various apps, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and you can even stream video from a computer to the consoles too. These things are really full featured and can be thought of not just as gaming consoles but also as full fledged media centers, and they can really transform a living room. They aren’t cheap, but again, if someone is a serious gamer, picking one of these is often the way to go.
Jumbo Beanbag Chairs
Enormous beanbag chairs make for great additional seating in family rooms, dens, bedrooms, and offices, and they’re also just really comfortable.
Fitbit Activity Monitor
Activity monitors are popular gifts for the fitness crowd (and the wannabe-in-shape crowd too!), as they can measure heart rate, step count, distance, sleep, and much more. The Fitbit models are popular choices that cost considerably less than an Apple Watch, but can still sync just fine with an iPhone or Android. Of course the Apple Watch would make a great gift as well if your budget accommodates it, but for active individuals, many reviews tend to favor the Fitbit.
Amazon Prime or Netflix
Amazon Prime is a great service that offers free two day shipping on a huge number of Amazon purchases, access to a huge streaming music library, access to thousands of movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage in the Amazon Cloud, and free book access through the Kindle program. For $99, Amazon Prime is a really great gift for others, or buy it for yourself. It’s incredibly useful. Or maybe you have a friend or relative who is constantly asking for your Netflix login so they can watch House of Cards? Just get them a Netflix gift card instead.
Wi-Fi Connected Electrical Outlet
While there is no shortage of internet connected lightbulbs, appliances, and house doodads, rather than splurging on some new technical gadget to gain wi-fi access to turn the thing on and off, why not convert an existing lamp or device to be wi-fi compatible instead? That’s what wi-fi connected electrical outlets do, and with an app from the iPhone or Android, you can remotely control an electrical outlet. More useful than you may think!
Sure, maybe it could end up being this generations “The Clapper”, but you have to admit being able to wirelessly control and outlet is handy.
Not seeing anything that floats your boat? You can always find a gazillion other ideas on Amazon.com
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!
Interesting ideas, but some UK alternatives would be REALLY appreciated. For example, the TECHO Lens Kit does not exist on Amazon.co.uk, so have to assume the Apexel 2 in 1 Lens Kit is similar as it looks identical.
And thanks for your ongoing advice, valuable for an interested non-techie!
I would also recommend Bluetooth speakers, like the Sonos Speaker system or similar. Great stereos for iPhone users to stream music to.
Drones are really fun but watch out for power lines, trees, and anything else in the sky! And don’t fly too close over a neighbors house they will get ticked off. Over a certain size they become regulated too, which is very much a good thing!
And if you have the budget for it, splurging on a new Mac is always a great gift for someone. MacBook Pro is an excellent machine.