9to5 Guide: Hello, new iPad owner! Here are the best accessories to buy right away

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It’s Christmas Day, and if you were especially nice this year, you may have just found a new iPad under your tree. Apple’s tablets are able to do incredible things right out of the box, but they’re also easily damaged, and there are accessories that really help to expand their capabilities. If you want to make sure your iPad performs at its full potential, it’s a good idea to protect it and accessorize right away.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help new iPad owners choose the best accessories across a variety of different categories. Our top picks range from stands and cases to speakers, keyboards, game controllers, and much more. We also explain what’s near-mandatory, what’s optional, and what you can safely skip. Read on!

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9to5 Guide: Hello, new iPhone / iPod owner! Here are the best accessories to buy right away

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There are few things better than finding a new iPhone or iPod under your tree on Christmas Day. If you received an iPod, you’ll find enough in Apple’s box to start enjoying music, videos, and/or apps right away. iPhone users get all of those great features plus cellular telephone and Internet access. But these devices suffer from the same weaknesses: they’re fragile — the reason roughly 80% of iPhone owners use cases — and they depend upon external accessories for quite a few things. If you want to make the most of your Apple device, you’ll want to accessorize (and app-cessorize) it right away.

Our best iPhone accessory recommendations are similar across all current models. But they vary considerably from small to medium to big iPods. Read on for all of our top picks!

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The best iOS app sales/freebies for the holidays: GTA, Day One, Infinity Blade, Rayman, Tweetbot, Batman, many more

From 9to5Toys.com:

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We have seen a massive selection of iOS apps and games go on sale over the past week or so. Now that Apple has locked price changes on the App Store until December 29th, we thought we would put together a master list of only the best apps on sale for the holidays.

You can grab iTunes gift cards for 15% off right now to get even deeper discounts on iOS apps, music and movies. Head below for the best iOS price drops of the season:

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Apple Stores now sell these iPhone app-enabled Christmas lights in time for the holidays

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Over the last week or two Apple Stores started stocking these new app-enabled Christmas lights from Lumenplay both online and in retail stores. Similar to other app-controlled lighting systems, Lumenplay comes as string lights perfect for Christmas trees or outdoor decorations as we move into the holiday season, opposed to the traditional lightbulbs from Philips and others. Read more

Cyber Monday: The best iPhone, iPad, & Mac accessories on sale today

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A ton of great deals on accessories for iPhone, iPad and Macs have gone live today for Cyber Monday in addition to the many Black Friday deals still running from the weekend. Today is your last chance to get in on most of these discounts and in some cases might be your last chance to get your hands on these products before the holidays.

Head below for our roundup of the best deals available today on cases and accessories for your Apple device.  Read more

Roundup: The best iPad, iPhone, Mac, iTunes, Beats, and other tech Black Friday deals

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Black Friday can be absolutely overwhelming. Every retailer is vying for your attention and money. That’s why we’ve vetted each and every major Black Friday ad to find only the very best deals.

Remember, this master list was curated from pre-announced deals. We fully expect many retailers to hit us with surprise deals throughout the next week. That’s why it’s important you follow 9to5Toys on Twitter/Facebook, and sign-up for our email newsletter. The 9to5Toys team is going to be working around the clock to bring you the Black Friday deals you can’t afford to miss.

Continue on for the definitive Black Friday 2014 ‘Best Of’ list… Read more

iTunes Radio is ad-free for all & offering $5 iTunes credits today courtesy of Verizon

iTunes Radio, Apple’s ad-supported Internet radio service, is today available with “limited interruptions” courtesy of Verizon. That means that you won’t be seeing the normal ads you’re used to on the service and instead just a message from Verizon that states, “Enjoy with limited interruptions courtesy of Verizon.” The company is also handing out $5 iTunes store credits through a banner ad on iTunes Radio (pictured above).

It’s not just for Verizon customers, however, as the offer comes today only as part of Verizon’s “Connection Day” promotion offering free digital content and services to all users, not just Verizon customers. Read more

Parallels Desktop 10 Black Friday bundle: 1Password, Camtasia, CleanMyMac 2, Gemini, and more for $50 upgrade/$80 new ($285 off)

From 9to5Toys.com:
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Starting this evening and running through Black Friday weekend, Parallels is running a special bundle of Mac apps for free when you upgrade to Parallels 10 for $49.99 or buy it new for $79.99. The bundled apps 1Password password manager, Camtasia screen recorder, CleanMyMac 2 file organizer/remover, Gemini file de-duplicator, Acronis True Image backup and restore software and a 2 year subscription to Parallels Access which allows you to run parallels VMs remotely on iOS and Android devices. Not a bad deal at all of you need any of these other apps.

Parallels 10 was announced in August and we reviewed it shortly thereafter noting it was the best way to run Windows and Linux VMs on a Mac.

Not sure you are into Parallels? Grab a 14 day free trial here. Just want Parallels in a shiny box? Amazon has it for $62. More info on the bundled apps below:

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iFixit: How to fix your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus in 21 easy guides

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iFixit gave Apple’s iPhone 6 a repairability score of 7, the highest ever for Apple’s flagship and most popular device in their September teardown.  That bodes well for folks who want to take their iPhone repairs into their own hands, though perhaps it’s best to give the Geniuses at Apple a chance to gift you an out of warranty repair before getting your hands dirty.

In any case, today iFixit announced an updated library of 21 repair guides for the iPhone 6 (and 14 for the 6 Plus). The new guides cover everything from replacing the battery to speakers to the glass panel and everything in between. The tutorials walk you through the process and also conveniently provide links to purchase any necessary tools you might not have (hit up their Amazon store for some hefty discounts).

As with any iPhone take-apart, be very careful and be prepared to forfeit your warranty if you screw up.
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Trade-in service Gazelle begins selling certified pre-owned iPhones and iPads

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Gazelle has long been a popular choice for conveniently turning a used iPhone or iPad into cash, and today the electronics trade-in service announced its own certified pre-owned store for buying “gently used devices” at a discounted price. While the pre-owned store lists categories including iPhone, cell phones, iPads, and tablets, Gazelle inventory is currently limited to pre-owned Apple devices including iPhone 4 and up, iPad 2 and up, and iPad mini. Read more