MacMost Now 791: Apple Gift Guide 2012

Check out some gift ideas for Apple fans that cost less than $100. See Gary's picks for his favorite iPhone cases to give as gifts. Consider ideas like AirPrint printers, iPhone tripod adapters and the Apple TV. Also get some other ideas that are fun and unusual, in addition to being practical.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 791: Apple Gift Guide 2012.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at holiday gift ideas for Apple fans.

So in trying to keep the gift ideas relatively inexpensive at less than a $100, sometimes a lot less, let's start with iPhone cases.

Now in general I don't like iPhone cases. There are too many companies making too many types of cases. But I do have two cases that I really love and think would make great gifts. Not just because they are a case which is kind of a practical thing but because they are neat in some way. The first one is the brick case. I love the brick case because the back is basically Lego. You can attach Legos to it. So if you have spare Legos lying around the house you can decorate the back of your brick case with cool Legos and also you can make useful things. Like for instance you can build little stands or tripods for your iPhone to be able to stick right to. Now I have the one for the iPhone 4 and 4S but they should be coming out with the iPhone 5 case any day now, maybe by the time you see this.

Now the case I actually use is the BookBook by Twelve South. So this is a leather case that is basically on one side you fit your iPhone and the other side is a wallet. So you can carry your wallet and your iPhone in one. It is a little bit expensive because it is made out of really good leather. There are a lot of rip off cases that are way cheaper but believe me they are well cheaper because the materials are not as good. The cool thing about this case is not only can I, instead of carrying a phone and a wallet, just carry one item but if I loose may wallet or my phone I can use the Find My iPhone functionality to find it. Now if somebody steals it probably not, but if say I just happen to drop it somewhere, leave it in my car, or leave it at work or something like that then it would be easy to find the entire thing. I kind of like the whole feel and look of it and when I use this case and I take it out to pay for something with my card everybody always asks me about it as it is very cool. This would make a great gift item because it is kind of cool.

Now this year Apple came out with a new design for the ear buds. These are the ear pods and you get them with the new iPhone 5. You also get a cheaper version if you get an iPod, one that doesn't have the controls here. So these are only $29 and I really like them. I think they feel better in my ears and they sound better than the previous generation. So they might make a good gift for someone that isn't getting a new iPhone 5 but maybe has an older iPhone or iPod and you want to get them this functionality. It is even good for someone with a Mac because the controls here will work on a Mac and there is a microphone in them. So you can actually use these with your Mac as kind of a headset and have better Skype conversations or face time conversations using these instead of the built in speakers and microphone in your Mac.

Now more and more people use their iPhones for not only taking photos but also taking video. The idea of even hooking up to a tripod is even more appropriate. However there is no tripod adapter, no little screw on the iPhone of course. So you need something that will connect your iPhone to a standard tripod. There are tons of different ones if you search Amazon for basically a tripod adapter for the iPhone. Once you get one of these, they are light and easy to carry, and then you can use it on any tripod or sometimes you buy it with a tripod, and now you can take much better videos. Anybody that you know that likes to take pictures or videos with their iPhone this might make a good and very inexpensive gift. A lot of these are priced at under $20, sometimes even under $10.

Now on the more expensive side, the one thing you might want to think about is a printer. You see if you want to print from the iPad the easiest way to do it is to have an air print compatible printer. Now Apple has a ton of them listed now. When this first started remember there were about a dozen. Now there seems to be a lot of them by a lot of different manufacturers and some of these are priced under $100. This might be a kind of practical gift to get someone an air print printer so that they can print directly from their iPhone and iPad.

Apple has the Time Capsule and the Airport Extream. Neither of which make good gifts because they are a little expensive and they are just practical items. But the Airport Express Base Station is a little bit different because is has audio output. What people use this for a lot is to hook up their computer network to a stereo system. So you have a cool stereo system in your house and you hook up one of these to it and now it is an air play device. You can go to your iPhone and play a song from your iTunes collection over your stereo wirelessly. Not only that because it is air play you works with other things. You can use it with Pandora and Spotify for instance.

Now for basically the same price you can take it one step further. For $99 you can get an Apple TV. This is a really cool gift because it is all about fun. It is all about projecting your iPad or iPhone screen or your Mac screen onto your TV which is a lot of fun for playing games, showing videos. Of course you can also use it to rent videos, watch UTube, all sorts of stuff. So this is the one Apple device that is purely centered around entertainment and I think makes one of the best holiday gifts in the entire Apple catalog.

Now going back the other way to very inexpensive gifts you can go to the iTunes Music Store and give items to people. So for instance you can pick a single song and when you go into that song not only can you buy it for yourself but you can also Gift This Album to somebody. So you can gift a single song or you can gift an entire album of songs. You can even create a custom playlist. Create a custom playlist of songs you have purchased on iTunes and then gift that playlist as an album to somebody. That's makes it kind of personal. Like creating a mixed tape but creating it legally and giving someone a gift at the same time.

You can also gift an App as well which is really cool especially for kids if they have an iPod Touch and iPad and things like that. Somebody you know you can give them a cool App as a gift and it will only cost you 99 cents in some cases.

Now unfortunately you can't gift books or Mac Apps yet but you can give somebody an iTunes gift card. An iTunes gift card will work on anything that Apple sells electronically like music, movies, Mac Apps, books. It basically adds money to your account so you can use it there. So that is always a good option. If you get a physical one, like if you go to the store and pick one up, then it is something nice to put in a holiday card as well.

So I hope you found this look at gifts for Mac fans useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost now.

Comments: 8 Responses to “MacMost Now 791: Apple Gift Guide 2012”

    John M. Hammer
    6 years ago

    The AppleTV makes an especially great gift for a Mac or iOS user who doesn’t already have one. It’s pretty sweet for someone with an HDMI TV set even if they don’t have any other Apple product, as it can set them up with YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and movie rentals for their big screen. I’ve found deals as low as $50 today (“Black Friday”) on 3rd-gen AppleTV units, making them a very reasonable xmas gift even for people you don’t like that much!

    6 years ago

    Gary what store sales the iPhone wallet?

      6 years ago

      Do you mean the Twelve South Book Book that I show in the video? It is for sale in a variety of stores. But why not order it directly from their web site?

    6 years ago

    I just ordered the Book Book for my iPhone 5 and included a comment and your link on my order. Thanks Gary

      6 years ago

      Cool, thanks. Since making this video I got the new one for the iPhone 5 too. They made some great improvements like having the phone snap into place instead of slide in. You can get to the buttons easily. And there is a hole for the camera which wasn’t there before.

    John R. Nyquist
    6 years ago

    Ordered my BookBook today, great gift guide Gary!

    6 years ago

    if I’m in an area with no internet service will the apple TV device still work with a movie loaded onto my iPhone?

      6 years ago

      In most ways, no. You can’t stream a video from your iPhone to your Apple TV, with or without the Internet. You can do it from a Mac to Apple TV with only a wifi network (no Internet needed). And you can use AirPlay to mirror your iPhone’s screen to your Apple TV and show a movie that way, as long as they are both on the same wifi network (no Internet needed). But that may not work for protected videos like movie rentals and such. And other apps may block that too.

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