Hardware

The best gifts for Apple professionals in 2017

This guide will help you find just the right gift for the Apple techies and business professionals in your life.

While the Apple professional in your life may already have the perfect iPad, iPhone, or Mac, here are a variety of popular related gifts most Apple fans are sure to enjoy.

SEE: Gift guide 2017: Wearables, STEM toys for kids, and top tech picks for teens and adults (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

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Apple's AirPods

Image: Apple Inc.

Apple's AirPods are more than just wireless earbud-type headphones: Priced at $159, AirPods connect to iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads, and Macs. The headphones use high-tech features (optical sensors and a motion accelerometer) to detect when one or both are in the ear, and they automatically route audio and engage the built-in microphone accordingly. The mic filters background noise to help improve audio quality, while the AirPods are controlled using Siri.

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Apple TV

Image: Apple Inc.

Some Apple users overlook or aren't aware of the many advantages that come with deploying an Apple TV ($149) or Apple TV 4K ($179) to their home or office. Apple TVs provide easy access to iTunes rentals and purchases as well as streaming services on large-screen TVs. The devices also enable extending an iPhone's, iPad's, or Mac's screen to a large TV or display.

Siri's value on an Apple TV is easy to underestimate; the search assistant is particularly helpful when navigating entertainment options. Apple TVs simultaneously integrate a user's iTunes account—including music, movies, television shows, and entertainment-related apps—with their TV or large display, making the item a great gift. Many consumers subscribe to multiple streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, and Hulu, while also using an iTunes account to purchase movies and television shows. On an Apple TV, Siri can search for a movie or TV show across services and quickly determine whether you can stream the program using an existing subscription account or confirm the need to rent or purchase the title.

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Apple Watch Series 3

Image: Apple Inc.

The Apple Watch Series 3, which starts at $329, makes an outstanding gift for iPhone users. Watch Series 3 models connect to cellular networks for data access, thereby eliminating the need to carry an iPhone when exercising and performing other activities. Many iPhone users are unlikely to part with their smartphone anytime soon, but the Watch is an elegantly designed extension that tracks fitness, receives notifications and alerts, stores and plays music, and more. And in the event a user doesn't need the Series 3's faster processor and iPhone-free operation, you might consider an Apple Watch Series 1 model, which starts at $249.

SEE: The year's best gifts: Our favorite tech for work and play (ZDNet)

Not every Apple gift needs to be electronic—some of the best gifts don't need to plug in or require a battery.

Books always make great gifts, whatever the occasion. Check out TechRepublic's best books for Apple aficionados for seven options, including Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company.

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Moleskin Notebook

Image: Moleskine

The correlation between Apple users and professionals possessing creative proclivities is well known, so what better gift for such personalities than a classic 5" x 8.25" Moleskine Notebook? I recommend the standard black model with lined pages and a hard cover.

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Moleskin pencils and pencil sharpener kit

Image: Moleskine

The $19.95 notepad is nicely supplemented by Moleskine's $16.95 old-school Moleskin pencils and sharpener kit.

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Moleskin Smart Writing Set

Image: Moleskine

Moleskine also offers the Moleskine Smart Writing Set. For $199, the set pairs a paper notebook and smart pen that work with a Moleskin iPhone app to transfer diagrams, drawings, notes, and sketches from the printed page to the digital screen.

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Timbuk2 Closer Case attaché

Image: Timbuk2

For Apple users owning a 12- to 15-inch Macbook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, the Timbuk2 Closer Case is a handy attaché that is available in a variety of colors. The manufacturer includes a lifetime warranty, which makes this $159 bag a wise investment. Considering the weatherproof bag contains multiple pockets for accessories and a separate, padded storage compartment that protects the Mac laptop, it's likely that recipients will use the Closer Case every day.

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Aurora HDR 2018

Sometimes gifts are thoughtful because they encourage the recipient to continue developing a skill or discover a previously unexplored interest. Aurora HDR 2018, just named a Best of 2017 app by Apple, provides Mac users with an easily learned but powerful photo editing tool for a special price of $79. For more information on Aurora HDR and its capabilities, check out TechRepublic's article.

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iTunes gift card

Image: Apple Inc.

If you're not sure what the Apple professional in your life truly desires, you can't go wrong with an iTunes gift card. From $10 on up, you can even email an iTunes gift to a recipient, who can use the gift card to purchase apps, iBooks, music, movies, TV shows, rentals, and more.

Also see

About Erik Eckel

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 o...

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