Snow Gift Guide

Shopping days are quickly winding down as the holidays approach, and at 9to5Mac we are here to help with some inspiration for the Apple fans, tech enthusiasts, or new tech users in your life. So far we have heard from Jordan, Michael, Ben and Zac on their last minute gift ideas.

1Password:  

1Password is a powerful password management system that allows users to create strong, secure, and unique passwords for all of their accounts. All the user has to do is remember their Master Password, which will allow them to view all of their saved passwords. This might not sound like the coolest gift right away, but it will become a lifesaver for both the recipient and the giver who does not want to receive phone calls every couple of days regarding password issues.

If you spend about five minutes going over how to use it, it is very simple and easy to pick up. It is available for Macs and for iOS devices and will wirelessly sync your stored data via Dropbox or iCloud. For even more details on exactly what the software does, check out our in-depth review for the Mac and for iOS devices. (You can even pick up 1Password for iOS today for ten bucks thanks to AppSanta.)

[for Mac $49.99 on sale for $34.99, for iOS device $17.99]

Airport Time Capsule:

Screenshot 2013-12-19 22.34.06

I agree with Zac that an external hard drive is not a sexy gift, but the Airport Time Capsule is an extremely practical gift. It is an external hard drive and wireless router that is really easy to set up. There is nothing worse than losing all of your documents and precious family photos.

Working with Time Machine on your Mac, the Time Capsule will automatically back up the machine wirelessly. Many times I have worked with people who bought USB external hard drives to use with their machine which ended up not doing them any good because they barely plugged the drive into their machine. The Time Capsule eliminates the need for the user to plug it into the computer as it is constantly on the network. It is also an 802.11ac router with triple the speeds of an 802.11n router. Another benefit for parents is that they can use the Airport Time Capsule to their advantage and limit the amount of time their children are using iPads or iPod Touches.

[2 TB $299 on sale for $277.99, 3 TB $399 on sale for $389]

Portable Chargers: 

Screenshot 2013-12-18 22.59.16

My least favorite thing is to be out and about running errands with my cellphone or digital camera on the verge of dying. At all times I carry the Halo 3,000 mAh portable charger with LED flashlight in my purse. It charges iOS devices, Android devices, digital cameras, and tablets.

When I need to use it, I can fit it in my pocket with the cord plugged into my phone, which allows me to charge my phone while using it. The Halo can charge one device while being recharged itself with the split charging cable that has adapters for micro USB, mini USB and 30-pin connectors. It does not come with a Lightning adapter, so you would need to get a Lightning cable, which is on sale at Amazon for $17.99. It provides an additional 3 hours of usage time for tablets on average, and for phones it provides 1 additional phone charge.

[set of 2 for $61 on sale for $54.96]

For the fashionistas in your life that only carry a clutch with them, upgrade their clutch to the Power Wallet 3000. This is what I use when I go out in the evening and I do not want to carry my big purse with me. It has room for cash, photo ID, and 5 slots for credit cards, though it can easily hold more than one in each slot. It is made out of faux-leather and has a gold finish. It adds up to 12 hours of additional talk time for cell phones and comes with an adapter for micro USB and 30-pin connectors. Since it does not come with a Lightning adapter, you would need to get a Lightning cable.

[$66, on sale for $59.96]

JayBird BlueBuds X Sport Bluetooth Headphones

Screenshot 2013-12-19 22.57.53

These are my favorite Bluetooth earbuds. I dislike corded earbuds because they constantly get tangled with the cords, prevents me from using them. Many corded earbuds are also too long for usage while cooking dinner or working out at the gym.

The Jaybirds allow me to talk on the phone while cooking dinner, or enjoy my workouts at the gym without getting frustrated by the cords. They fit securely in my ears and stay in place. They come with a variety of different sized cushions to get the best fit possible. Calls sound amazingly clear and by eliminating white noise, and music has a clean rich sound. They are easy to pair to with iPhones and iPods and have an eight hour battery life, which on average lasts me about a week.

[$169 on sale for $138]

 Philips Hue:

Screenshot 2013-12-19 23.26.08

These wireless light bulbs are controlled by an app on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac. They are nice bright light bulbs at 600 lumens, and can produce any color. You need to get the Starter Pack that comes with three Hue light bulbs and the bridge, but can add up to another forty-seven light bulbs to the system for a total of fifty.

You can remotely control the bulbs from wherever you are. While I am on vacation I like to set them on a timer so they go on and off automatically for a couple of hours in the morning, and a couple of hours in the evening. Using the Philips Hue app, I can set my lights to go on automatically when I get home by setting up a geofence. Each morning my lights gradually turn on and match a photograph I took of the sun rising above the Dead Sea, which helps me wake up peacefully each morning.

[$199.97]

Disney Friends of Hue StoryLight:

Screenshot 2013-12-19 23.44.24

Just because the adults can have all the fun with the Philips Hue, does not mean the children need to be left out. The children’s version comes with a lamp shaped like Mickey Mouse and interacts with the Disney Storytime app. When reading the book, the light changes color each time the page is flipped to match the color and mood of the story. Three Disney books are included for free and there are a total of forty available as in-app purchases.

[with Philips Hue bridge $159.95, without Philips Hue bridge $109.95]

Let us know in the comments if there are any great gifts or apps you recommend or are hoping to get this holiday season. Make sure to follow 9to5Toys for the latest deals.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

One Response to “Sarah’s holiday gift guide – gifts that are fun and useful”

  1. Can i use TC as an external HD? or is it limited to backups only?