Holiday Gift Guide for iPhone, iPad, and Mac [iOS Blog]

You’ve made your list, you’ve checked it twice. Now it’s time to get gifts for the folks on that list. But what should you buy, especially for the tech-savvy people? You can turn to many of the gift guides on the web, but our guide is for the devoted Mac, iPhone, and iPad user. Pick up one of our suggestions, or use them as inspiration to figure out a gift on your own.

Mac Gifts

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Asus PB287Q 28″ 4K Monitor: HD is passé. It’s all about Ultra HD now, also known as 4K video. The PB287Q is a 28-inch display with a native resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. At a $649 list price and frequently available for less, it’s a lot more affordable than other Ultra HD displays, which can cost most than a thousand dollars. As Macworld points out, you sacrifice a few features for the price, but the PB287Q does the job. [$563 at Amazon]

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OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock: Apple laptops are quite popular, so there are a lot of MacBook users who plug-in and unplug their devices as part of their daily routines. With the $300 (and currently on pre-order sale for $249) Thunderbolt 2 Dock at your desk, you connect all your devices to the dock, and then you connect the dock to your laptop with a single Thunderbolt cable. When it’s time to go, just unplug the one cable; when you return, just plug in the same cable. [$249, pre-order at OWC]

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Dynamism Ultimaker 2: Remember when 3D printing was only for companies with big budgets and specialists? We’ve come a long way since then, and you can have your own 3D printer at home. The $2,499 Ultimaker 2 from Dynamism comes with Cura, software for designing your creations, and it has settings for beginners and experts. The Ultimaker 2 is PC Magazine‘s Editor’s Choice for 3D printers, with the site pointing out that the printer is ideal for makers and designers alike. [$2,499 at Dynamism]

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LaCie Christofle Sphére: Don’t settle for a boxy, boring hard drive when you can give something more artistic. The $490 Christofle Sphére is a gorgeous silver-plated sphere that houses a bus-powered 1TB hard drive. Handcrafted in France, the Sphére uses a USB 3 connection, so you don’t have to sacrifice speed in the name of art. CNET‘s review of the Sphére says it stands out in both performance and design in a crowded market of hard drives. [$490 at Lacie]

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WaterField Designs Mac Pro Go Case: Apple’s Mac Pro is so small that you shouldn’t be surprised to find a professional toting a Mac Pro around from location to location. But instead of using the original box, use the $129 Mac Pro Go Case a bag that’s specially designed for the Mac Pro. The soft lining inside the bag protects the Mac Pro, and accessories and cables can be stored in the Go Case’s disc pouch that covers the top of the Mac Pro. Macworld called the Go Case an “elegant” bag for the Mac Pro. [$129 at SFBags]

iPhone Gifts

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Cobra JumPack Battery: It sucks when your iPhone battery runs dry, but it’s even worse when you’re stranded somewhere because your car battery is dead. The JumPack is a 7500 mAh portable battery pack with a peak current of 400A, enough juice to jump start a car. Cobra includes special jumper cables that work with the JumPack, as well as a standard power adapter and a 12V charger. Mobile devices connect to the JumPack via USB. [$101 at Amazon]

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Beats solo2 wireless headphones: The $300 solo2 wireless headphones are the first released by Beats since Apple’s acquisition of the company became official in August. The headphone’s Bluetooth connectivity has a 30-foot range, and the battery lasts 12 hours. More importantly, as of the launch of the original solo2, Beats has improved the audio quality, and there’s no degradation between the wireless and wired modes. TechCrunch says the solo2 wireless sounds “surprisingly good.” [$300 at Apple Store]

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Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-1: While we live in a digital world, there’s something fun and sentimental about printed photographs. The $180 Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-1 is small enough to take to parties and get-togethers, and it connects to your iPhone wirelessly so you can print a picture right after you’ve shot it. The iOS app has different templates for adding text and to make your prints more festive to match the occasion. The Digital Trekker Blog said the SP-1 can be “an indispensable tool.” [$151 at Amazon]

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HTC RE Camera: You have a camera with you all the time, thanks to your iPhone, so why do you need a camera like the RE, much less want to pay $200 for it? Because as easy as it is to use your iPhone’s camera, you can still miss out when a surprise photo opportunity presents itself. With the RE’s one button control, all you need to do is literally point and shoot, and its 146-degree wide-angle lens means you don’t have to worry about framing. You can set the RE to shoot videos or stills, and it’s waterproof up to 1 meter deep. The iOS app gives you access to saved videos, provides a viewfinder, and offers camera settings. Greenbot has a full review of the RE. [$199 at Amazon]

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Nova Bluetooth iPhone Flash: The easiest way to improve your photos is to have better lighting when you take a picture. The iPhone’s flash has come a long way, but it still has its limits. The $59 Nova Bluetooth iPhone Flash gives you more flexibility, allowing you to place the flash where light is needed, instead of coping with the fixed flash on your iPhone. The flash has 40 diffused and cool LEDs so you can adjust the light through Nova’s iPhone app. It’s small enough to fit in a pocket so you can carry with you all the time. [$59 at Amazon]

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Olloclip 4-In-1 Photo Lens: Olloclip’s camera lenses for iPhone have always been popular, and the 4-in-1 Photo Lens improves on a successful formula. Designed for the iPhone 6, the 4-in-1 clips on the phone over the front-facing or rear-facing cameras to expand your choices in optics. The 4-in-1 includes a fisheye lens, wide-angle lens, macro 10x lens, and macro 15x lens for $79.99. Learn more about the 4-in-1 by reading our hands-on article. [$79 at Olloclip]

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SanDisk iXpand: iXpand is a flash drive that can copy files from your iOS device, giving you one more way to transfer files between devices. The drive works with an iOS app that you use to transfer photos and videos, and you can even play media files from other devices directly on the drive. The iXpand also has password protection, so your files are safe in case the drive falls into the wrong hands. CNET provides a review. [16GB ($59.99), 32GB ($79.99), and 64GB ($120) at Sandisk].

iPad Gifts

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littleBits Smart Home Kit: Home automation is making its way through the neighborhoods of America, but why isn’t it catching on more quickly? Mostly because most home automation systems require you to replace the items already in your home. You don’t have to do that with the $249 Smart Home Kit, which includes 14 “Bits” that you add to appliances and other items in your home. With some handiwork, you’ll soon have the Internet of Things throughout your house, and you can control it all with your iOS device. [$249 pre-order at littleBits]

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Logitech Keys-To-Go: The $70 Keys-To-Go is a portable stand-alone keyboard that’s extremely thin and lightweight like the iPad Air 2. Keys-To-Go weighs a scant 6.35 ounces, and is barely a quarter of an inch thick, so it won’t take up a lot of room in your bag. It’s covered in FabricSkin and there are no nooks and crannies, so if you’re at the coffee shop and you spill your latte on the keyboard, all you need to do is wipe it off. In its review of Keys-To-Go, TUAW says the Bluetooth connectivity works quickly and easily. [$70 at Logitech]

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Orbotix Ollie: Originally called the 2B, the $99.99 Ollie is a new robotic toy from the makers of the Sphero. This time, the robot is tube-shaped and comes with a set of wheels that make it go as fast as 14 miles per hour. Ollie is durable enough so that you can off ramps and make it spin, and the iOS app shows you how to do more tricks. In a review, Time called the Ollie durable, but “even more niche than Sphero.” [$99 at Amazon]

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Parrot Bebop Drone: You can get a bird’s eye view of the landscape around you with the Bebop Drone. It has a 14-megapixel fisheye camera so you get a wide angle view, and image stabilization makes sure your videos and pictures don’t suffer from the shakes. The drone uses Wi-Fi to connect to your iOS device. The Next Web says that the controls require practice, but it’s “definitely suitable for beginners.” [$500 at Apple, shipping in 1-2 weeks]

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SteelSeries Stratus XL: When the gaming gets serious, the iPad’s touch controls can be frustrating. Times like these require a dedicated controller like the $70 Stratus XL. It connects to the iPad or iPhone via Bluetooth and has two joysticks, a D-pad, four action buttons, and four shoulder buttons. Most importantly, it’s comfortable in your hands, making it easier to perform precise movements while you’re getting your game on. Our sister site TouchArcade went hands-on with the Stratus XL earlier this year, and said it felt great when held due to its large size, which is similar to a standard console controller. [$70 at Apple]

Out of ideas?

Still stumped about finding just the right gift? You can always turn to gift cards. Apple offers Apple Store Gift Cards that can be used at any retail Apple Store or on the online Apple Store.

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You can also buy iTunes Gift Cards that are redeemable in the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or Mac App Store.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.




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‘Iconic’ Coffee Table Book Updated With More Photos, Special Edition w/Pulsing LED Sleep Light [Mac Blog]

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Jonathan Zufi’s gorgeous coffee table book “Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation“, about 30 years of Apple design, has been updated just in time for the holiday shopping season. The new book includes many more photographs, with a particular focus on prototypes. There is also a new cover, and several new special editions.

“ICONIC: The Classic Edition” is similar to the original $75 book, updated with 16 additional pages of pictures as well as an updated cover featuring the original Macintosh 128K. It’s available for $55 on Amazon.

“ICONIC: Classic Plus Edition” is the same book but with a special black slip cover with ICONIC foil stamped on the front to protect it and give it a unique look. It’s available for $99 from the Iconic website, shipping in early December.

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ICONIC: Ultimate Edition” includes a special white clamshell case with a custom embedded LED that pulses like a sleeping Apple notebook when moved, though, sadly, current generation Apple notebooks no longer pulse when sleeping. The Ultimate Edition is available from ICONIC’s website for $250, shipping in early December.

The new Ultimate Edition of ICONIC is offered in a white Cromwell Aristo Grain clamshell case with a custom PCB designed to pulse an LED embedded inside the case itself.

The circuit is powered by the high-performance, low-power Atmel 8-bit AVR RISC-based microcontroller which combines 1KB ISP flash memory, 32B SRAM, 4 general purpose I/O lines, 16 general purpose working registers, a 16-bit timer/counter with two PWM channels, internal and external interrupts, programmable watchdog timer with internal oscillator, an internal calibrated oscillator, and 4 software selectable power saving modes.

The book includes photographs of rare Apple products like the Apple II, a circuit board from the Apple I, the “Flower Power” iMac G3, and an Apple Lisa 2. It also features more modern products like iPods, and also offers an entire chapter on packaging. The book has little text, but it does offer forewords and introductions from original Apple employees like Daniel Kottke and Steve Wozniak.




MacMall Kicks Off Black Friday 2014 Sale on Macs, iPads and More

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MacMall has kicked off its 60 hour Black Friday 2014 sale on an array of Apple products both online and in its retail stores. Deals will last through 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday, November 28.

MacMall will be discounting its stock of MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro computers by $50 to $200, depending on configuration. Unlike other resellers, MacMall offers Apple computers with a variety of custom configurations, similar to the online Apple Store. MacMall is also offering the Mac Pro for up to $600 off, the Mac mini for up to $60 off, and the iMac for up to $120 off. The new iPad Air 2 will also see discounts of up to $75 off.

We’ve listed a sampling of the discounts on products of interest below, but MacMall’s full range of discounts can be found on its website.

2014 Retina MacBook Pro
13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB128GB – $1,197, $102 off
13-inch 2.6GHz/8GB/256GB – $1,397, $102 off
13-inch 2.8GHz/8GB/512GB – $1,697, $102 off
15-inch 2.2GHz/16GB/256GB – $1,829, $170 off
15-inch 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB – $2,298, $201 off

2014 MacBook Air
11.6-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/128GB – $798, $101 off
11.6-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB – $998, $101 off
13.3-inch 1.4GHz/4GBGB/128GB – $898, $101 off
13.3-inch 1.4GHz/4GB/256GB – $1,098, $101 off
13.3-inch 1.7GHz/8GB/256GB – $1,368, $81 off

iPad Air 2
16GB Wi-Fi (Gray) – $459, $40 off
16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular (Gray) – $589, $40 off
64GB Wi-Fi (Gray) – $559, $40 off
64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular (Gray) – $679, $50 off
128GB Wi-Fi (Gray) – $649, $50 off
128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular (Gray) – $754, $75 off

2013/2014 iMac
21.5-inch 1.4GHz/8GB/500GB – $998, $101 off
21.5-inch 2.7Ghz/8GB/1TB – $1,198, $101 off
21.5-inch 2.9Ghz/8GB/1TB – $1,398, $101 off
27-inch 3.2Ghz/8GB/1TB – $1,698, $101 off
27-inch 3.4Ghz/8GB/1TB – $1,878, $121 off
27-Inch Retina 3.5 GHz/8 GB RAM/1 TB – $2,348, $151 off

2013 Mac Pro
6-core 3.5GHz/16GB/256GB – $3,698, $301 off
4-core 3.7GHz/12GB/256GB – $2,798, $201 off

2014 Mac mini
1.4GHz/4GB/500GB – $468, $31 off
2.6GHz/8GB/1TB – $658, $41 off
2.8GHz/8GB/1TB – $948, $51 off

MacMall will be discounting all original iPad Air models by $30 to $40, all iPad mini 3 models by $25 to $30, all iPad mini 2 models by $20 to $25. and all original iPad mini models by $10 to $20.

The site is also offering discounts on several different Mac and iPad/iPhone accessories, such as the LaCie 20TB Thunderbolt External Hard Drive, which is available for $1,119.99, a discount of $779, and the ASUS 31.5-inch 4K monitor, available for $1,469.99, a discount of $530. A full list of MacMall’s accessory deals can be found in the Black Friday section of its website.

In addition to offering a large range of different Mac configurations, MacMall only charges sales tax in states where it has retail stores — California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, Tennessee, Minnesota, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin — making it an attractive choice for shoppers looking to score a solid deal on a Mac or iPad.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with MacMall.




Fantastical for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Up to 65% Off for Black Friday [iOS Blog]

fantasticalWith Black Friday quickly approaching, retailers and app developers alike are beginning to offer deep discounts on their products. Flexibits has decided to kick off its holiday sales a bit early, and is now offering its popular Fantastical line of apps at ultra low prices.

Fantastical 2 for the iPad has been discounted from $14.99 to $4.99, which is 65 percent off. That’s the lowest price Flexibits has ever offered on the iPad version of the app. [Direct Link]

Fantastical 2 for the iPhone is available for $1.99, down from $4.99, which is 60 percent off. [Direct Link]

Fantastical 2 for Mac is available for $9.99, down from $19.99, which is 50 percent off. [Direct Link]

For those unfamiliar with Fantastical, it’s designed to be a replacement for Apple’s standard calendar app, providing event scheduling, reminders, and more. Fantastical’s major claim to fame is its ability to automatically create events, reminders, and tasks with conversational language, such as “Lunch with Elon in Palo Alto on Friday.”

Flexibits is also offering its Chatology app for Mac for 50 percent off, dropping the price from $19.99 to $9.99. Chatology is an app that’s designed to make it easy to search through Messages.




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Natalie Portman may take on a role in Universal’s upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, reports Deadline. It is not clear what part she may play, but there are said to be several female roles in the movie, including the part of Steve Jobs’ daughter Lisa Brennan….


Foxconn Rumored to Produce Sapphire Displays for Apple’s Next iPhone

Foxconn Technology Group, Apple’s main iPhone assembly partner, is reportedly gearing up to produce sapphire displays for Apple’s next generation of mobile devices, according to a report by China Economic Weekly cited by Focus Taiwan. Foxconn has rep…


Apple Reportedly Relying More Heavily on Samsung for iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Components

Industry sources indicate Apple is planning to lean heavily on Samsung as a component supplier for both new iPhone 6 builds and the upcoming Apple Watch, reports BusinessKorea (via G for Games). If true, this would be a marked change from Apple’s repor…