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There’s no need to go straight to stuffing your stockings with socks and other boring go-to but boring gifts. If you have an Apple lover on your list, there are a ton of great must-haves for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users that can be had for under $10, $25, or $50. And if you’d rather let them decide, stick with a gift card that any Apple product user can take advantage of from places like iTunes and Amazon.

Head below for our roundup of the best stocking stuffers for Apple lovers at every price point: expand full story

Leapfrogging the one-device HomeKit “smart plugs” previously released by iHome, ConnectSense has debuted the Smart Outlet with Apple HomeKit ($80), which combines two Siri-controlled wall power outlets with a 2.4-Amp USB port. Using Wi-Fi, the Smart Outlet lets you separately monitor and control each of the three-prong outlets, while the side-mounted USB port has enough power to refuel any iPad — including the iPad Pro — or iPhone at full speed.

Designed with a subtle light bar running across the top, bottom, and front, the Smart Outlet easily replaces a single three-prong outlet, plugging in and covering the existing wall plate with no need for special wiring. ConnectSense notes that Apple’s HomeKit provides end-to-end security for its monitoring and control features, enabling you to safely use Siri or a free app for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to turn off lights or activate connected devices from afar. When paired with other accessories, HomeKit also enables you to create “scenes,” simultaneously turning off your lights, locking your door, closing your garage door, and setting your thermostat. A gallery is below…

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A few weeks ago we noticed that Google has started testing pre-release versions of Chrome through Apple’s TestFlight beta distribution service, and today the version in testing then has been released to everyone through the App Store. The latest version of Chrome for iOS takes advantage of Apple’s new pressure sensitive iPhone 6s displays and offers even more hardware keyboard shortcuts that will benefit iPad users. expand full story

The developers of the UI design tool Sketch have announced their decision to exit the Mac App Store, following in the footsteps of many other software makers, such as Panic.

The company cited a number of factors that contributed to this decision, including strict limitations placed on apps sold through the digital storefront—the same reason Panic gave for Coda’s removal.

So as not to leave its customers hanging without the ability to update, Sketch will allow App Store customers to move to the direct-sale version of the app.

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While Apple’s Christmas ad brought Stevie Wonder and Andra Day together this year for a warm performance of ‘Someday at Christmas’, Microsoft decided to take to the cold streets of New York City this year for their holiday commercial … right in front of the iconic 5th Avenue Apple Store. Taking a rather cheeky approach to celebrating the season while naming the competition, Microsoft Store employees from a nearby location traveled down the block to sing ‘Peace on Earth’ to “some old friends” decked in red shirts … Apple Store employees. expand full story


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