Believe it or not, Black Friday has already come and gone. Pretty soon the Christmas season will begin, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much.
Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category.
From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts for people who are like, totally into their iPads. Totally.
This is the last stand your iPad-owning pal will ever need. It folds up small enough to — literally — slip into a pocket, and yet expands to make a rock-solid base whether it’s on your knee or a kitchen table. You can prop up the iPad for TV watching, or stick it to the nano-sucking surface of the pivoting pedestal on top.
Seriously. I have one, and I’d buy another if this weren’t so ridiculously easy to carry everywhere with me.
The iNotebook is a paper pad and pen which captures everything your write and converts it into iPad-friendly files. It even stores up your writing and doodles so you can use it for hours before you need to beam the results to your tablet.
There’s also a free companion app which lets the owner organize the piles and piles of virtual paper you’ll inevitably end up generating.
When it comes to photo accessories, the iPhone gets all the love. But these neat clip-on lenses also work great on the iPad — or even phones and tablets from non-Apple sources.
Like the little magnetic lenses, these come as individual pieces. Unlike the magnetic lenses, these clip in place without needing to glue a sticky metal donut around the lens first.
You can choose from fisheye, polarizer or kaleidoscope effects for $20 each, or buy all three for just $45.
Perfect for the traveler, the Able Planet headphones not only sound amazing when switched off, they knock out all the annoying background hums when switched on, so your traveling giftee can enjoy in-flight movies on their retina screen, and with clear, open sound.
Click, clack CLUNK! That’s the sound I imagine the Transformer-like Elecom keyboard case makes when it unfolds. Bluetooth, full-sized and featuring a built-in stand — this case is pricey, but the mobile iPad typist in your life will love you for it.
It might be ugly, but cases don’t get more useful than the Clutch. The shell case mates with a cylinder which doubles (or is that “triples”?) as a stand, a handle and a secret stash box.
Styluses are great iPad accessories, and for painters, the brush-like Nomads are fantastic — I have a stack of them here in Cult of Mac’s Spanish HQ. Just don’t use them with real paint.
You probably have an iPad-owning relative who still thinks in faxes and paper. This is for him. The xPrintServer hooks up to your home router and instantly transforms any wireless or network printers into AirPrint-compatible printers.
It even has its own USB port should your printer be a non-networked model.
On the other hand, you could save yourself $95 and buy them Instapaper instead
Bluetooth connectivity, ten-hour battery, stylish good looks and even a mic for making and answering phone calls. The Edge will sound a hell of a lot better than even the iPad Mini’s speakers.
In my home, “things that go bump in the night” means “iDevices that I knocked off the night stand.” If I had an iPad Mini I would wrap it in this TPU case every night as I put on my own pajamas, trusting that its swappable bouncy corners would take the sting out of my hard tiled floor.
This is the case the iPad wears to relax, and it will therefore be the gift that gets used the most on Christmas day. It’s a stand, it hangs off the ‘fridge (thanks to its crazy-strong magnet), it wraps around your thigh while you read and it even makes a great place for the cat to snuggle up. I have one, and I love it.
If you ever use your iPad to watch movies, try a Big Jambox. This $300 brick gets loud enough to make the neighbors hate you, and its Live Audio processing might make you think that those same neighbors are trying to bang down your door. Good for music, too, if you like it loud, but for quieter podcast and audiobook listening, it’s really overkill.
Rickshaw makes great bags (I use one daily), and great iDevice accessories. This pouch is a simple sleeve, which is probably all you need for an iPad Mini when you toss it into a backpack — any always-on case kind of defeats the point of the tiny iPad.
Better still, you can customize the heck out of it, choosing the color of the case, the lining, the trim and even the label. Thus, it’s even a great gift for someone you hate: just pick the worst color combo you can come up with.