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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The $19.95 notepad is nicely supplemented by Moleskine's $16.95 old-school Moleskin pencils and sharpener kit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 2017's best tech gifts for the holidays (TechRepublic)
- Photos: The best last-minute tech gifts under $50 (TechRepublic)
- The best gifts for Apple users in 2016 (TechRepublic)
- Photos: Useful tech accessories for iPhone X (TechRepublic)
- Photos: The best iPhone X cases for business and personal use (TechRepublic)
- 2017 Holiday Buyer's Guide (CNET)
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.