Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here, 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 that cost less than $30. Yes, that means you are cheap, and — seeing as you still haven’t bought anything despite it being almost Christmas — lazy.
The Nibbles cord winder comes from the same folks that brought us the excellent SoundJaw for iPad. You know those handy fold-out cable-winders on the MacBook power bricks? Nibbles brings the same thing to the iPad charger, only it does it whilst looking like a tiny plastic fish. A fish that wants to eat your cable.
Nibbles come in green, two blues, red or orange, and will work with your iPad adapter, wherever you are in the world (the iPad chargers use interchangeable tips to fit various countries’ sockets). Is it necessary? Nope. But if you cared about buying your giftee a proper, well-thought-out present then you wouldn’t be waiting until the last minute like this, would you?
Whooz is probably a play on “whose.” The stickers let you color-code your various iChargers so you know whose is whose, or which is which. The packs can be had for the iPhone or iPad chargers (U.S iPhone bricks only) and come with cute character designs to help differentiate them.
And if you have an iPhone and also an uncommon fear of faces, you can opt for the plain colored stickers, although I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just use electrical tape. Probably because electrical tape would make for a really weird christmas gift, I guess (unless you’re buying it for a dominatrix).
Yes, you could buy your last-minute friend a pair of Apple’s new lightning camera connectors, but that would cost $50. Better to grab this old-style camera connection kit with a Lightning plug for the newest iPad and iPad mini.
It even beats out Apple’s offering by offering a slot for microSD cards along with the regular SD and USB holes. And remember — nothing says “I love you” like an almost-certainly unlicensed white plastic adapter.
The Camelapse is little more than a modded kitchen timer with a tripod mount up top. Wind it up, set your iPhone (or small compact camera) on top and let go. The box will slowly rotate, letting you grab some great time-lapse videos that pan across the scene ahead. Note: You’ll need an app to actually snap the time-lapse pictures for you.
This cable looks like an ordinary USB-to-30-pin dock connector — and it is! But flip the awkward, oversized and outdated connector up to reveal a microUSB plug, ready to charge pretty much any non-Apple mobile device you own. Combine this with Apple’s own USB-to-Lightning adapter and you have all your charging needs covered.
This probably isn;t the best stylus to actually use (I’d check the Wacom Bamboo or one of the crosshair-style models out there), but it will sure be the best to unwrap on Christmas morning. Shaped like a fat pencil, the Alupen comes in a juicy rainbow of colors, feels amazing in the hand and has packaging worthy of Apple. All for just $25.
The Mona, which will make the adults at your little festive gathering chuckle with schoolboy glee when they see it, is a super lightweight iPad stand. It has the great feature of being even more stable in portrait than landscape mode, making it a perfect always-in-the-bag companion for a Bluetooth keyboard.
The Glif is the granddaddy of iPhoneography accessories, as well as being one of the first Kickstarter success stories. Now ready for the iPhone 5, the Glif is a little bracket which will acts as a go-between in iPhone/tripod transactions (it works great with the Camelapse, above), and will also work as a standalone, uh, stand.
And if you’re feeling generous, it has its own set of accessories (the Ligature and the Serif) which can be purchased along with it in kit form.
Magnets and rope. These are the perfect way to despatch a marauding robot (whilst making it look like a suicide), but they are also good for hanging photos on walls.
Hammer in the pin, hang the metal rope and then stick the photo(s) to it using the magnet(s) provided. Ideal for those running out of fridge-door space.
If your iPad Mini or iPad 4-owning giftee already owns a camera connection kit, then you might be better off buying them Apple’s 30-pin-dock-to-Lightning adapter (which will work with most USB accessories). If not, then grab them this little cable, which will slurp photos from any SD card into the iPad’s camera roll.
Thus, the lucky recipient can edit their Christmas photos on the big screen while the rest of the family snoozes after lunch.
This little wonder clips over the iPad’s rear-firing speaker and points the sound forwards, towards the listener. It’s great for watching YouTube movies (for actual movies, you should either switch to headphones or a big speaker), but it;ll come into its own during all the festive Skypeing that’ll be going on on Xmas day.
You see, with the SoundJaw in place, the iPad’s volume can be turned down a few notches. This means that the Skypee’s voice is sent directly to the ears of the Skyper, and not scattered around the room to annoy you, the generous gift giver.
And if you order two, you get free shipping. Trust me — you’ll want one of your own.
The Magic Wand is an aluminum tube which grabs the cylindrical battery holders of Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard and Magic Trackpad and holds the two together. A plastic I-beam secures the adjoining edges, turning the whole thing into a solid unit.
It’s ok on the desk, but it’s really useful if you use, say, an iPad Mini as a media center and need to control it from your lap.