Your holidays need not prove stressful. Here are four options, covering varying budgets, that are for perfect gift ideas for the Apple technology fan in your life.
SEE: Tech gifts 2018: The top picks (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Zendure Apple-Certified Lightning Cable
Gifts that duplicate a possession a recipient already owns are typically to be avoided, unless you're discussing charging cables. It's hard to have too many Lightning cables—Apple users need them for their car, office, and home. Zendure's Apple-certified Lightning Cable (Figure A) is a braided model whose plug bodies fit most cases and boasts strong internet reviews. The company is working hard to develop a reputation as a manufacturer of super durable cables—just watch the testing video for its new SuperCord to dispel any doubt.
The firm's standard Lightning cable remains a proven option. The durable cable is constructed of tangle-free nylon sporting an aluminum blend for endurance. The cable even has an 18-month warranty. At $16.95 for the foot-long model and $17.99 for three-feet versions, the item is perfect as a stocking stuffer or simple but thoughtful gift for coworkers, colleagues, and family.
SEE: Gift Guides for Techies (TechRepublic Flipboard magazine)
Airpocket travel case
Air pockets are a turbulent event that travelers hope to avoid. An Airpocket travel case (Figure B) can help Apple users organize and safely store and transport a variety of iPhones, iPads, cables, chargers, and corresponding accessories.
The $68 protective neoprene case fits inside an airplane seat-back pocket and, at 12-inches long by 10-inches high and 2.5-inches wide, typically fits inside a standard messenger bag or backpack. A shoulder strap is also included if travelers want to carry the case separately.
Someone might not immediately believe they need the Airpocket, but it's an item the recipient is likely to press into immediate service, making it a great addition to anyone's holiday gift list.
SEE: Photos: Our top choices for tech gifts (ZDNet)
Some Apple users, particularly the budget-minded, may feel obligated to use the wired headphones bundled with iPhones, making Apple's $159 AirPods (Figure C) a great gift.
Apple's wireless Bluetooth headphones can connect to compatible Apple devices, including iPod Touches, iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches. The included case serves as a charger, while the device delivers high-quality sound reproduction and includes dual beamforming microphones to assist when making calls or using Siri.
An Apple technology user may not think to purchase AirPods (or the Airpocket) for themselves, yet the item is likely to be used every day by the recipient of this gift.
SEE: Photos: The best iPhone X cases for business and personal use (TechRepublic)
The $349 Apple HomePod's (Figure D) biggest challenge is it must be heard to be believed. The hi-fi Bluetooth-connected speaker sounds incredible, whether used in an office or a home.
There's a ton of technology packed in this little speaker (it's approximately seven-inches high by six-inches wide), which sounds larger than it is. With numerous speakers and microphones, the HomePod is a great option for audio playback wherever an Apple device, including a Mac or an Apple TV, is used. With its integrated Siri support, users can also set reminders, execute voice commands, and tweak playback preferences simply by talking to the speaker. If your gift recipient is particularly interested in music, the HomePods can even be paired to create compelling stereo environments.
It's likely that someone using other Apple technologies will gracefully receive and quickly deploy a HomePod.
- High-end holiday tech gifts: The top picks (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Photos: Best holiday tech gifts under $50 (TechRepublic)
- Photos: Top tech gift ideas for gadget lovers (TechRepublic)
- Holiday Gift Guide 2018 (CNET)
- Mozilla's holiday buying guide ranks gifts based on how well the product respects your privacy (Download.com)
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.