Best gifts for iPad fans [Gift Guide 2018]

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iPad gift guide 2018
Buying for an iPad fan? Start here!
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The holiday shopping season has rudely crept up on us, which means it’s time to start buying for friends and loved ones who have been good this year. Fortunately for you, Cult of Mac is here to help.

Gift guide 2018 bugOur gift guides are full of great products Apple fans are sure to love. We’ve hand-picked awesome accessories and glorious gadgets that we all use and recommend, so you know your money is being well-spent.

This guide focuses on the iPad lovers in your life, and there’s something to suit every budget.

Like everything else, the new Apple Pencil is better.
Like everything else, the new Apple Pencil is better.
Photo: Andrea Nepori

Apple Pencil is the perfect companion for iPad

Apple Pencil is an essential accessory for any iPad owner who likes to write and draw. It’s also the best stylus money can buy for iOS, offering incredibly accuracy, terrific pressure-sensitivity, and great battery life.

If you’re gifting an Apple Pencil, however, be sure to purchase the right model. There’s a new version for the latest lineup of iPad Pros, while earlier Apple tablets will only work with the original. — Killian Bell

Buy From: Apple

AirPods in case
AirPods are for everyone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

AirPods should be on everyone’s shopping list

Apple’s on a mission to eliminate the headphone jack entirely, which means wireless headphones are the way forward. And they don’t come much better than AirPods for those who use iOS devices.

AirPods offers super-simple connectivity, great sound and reliability, and terrific battery life. They also come in a handy charging case that keeps them safe while they’re rolling around in the bottom of a bag.

No matter who you give AirPods to, or what they’ll use them to listen to, they’ll be delighted. — Killian Bell

Buy from: Apple

Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit teaches muggles to code
Progammus Swiftus: Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit teaches muggles to code
Photo: Kano

Learn to code with your very own Harry Potter wand

Want to learn some coding magic? The Harry Potter Coding Kit helps kids learn how to build their own apps. They’ll assemble their very own sensor-filled, gesture-sensing wand, which they can then use to complete 99 different coding challenges on a companion iPad app.

It’s a great way of getting young people into basic programming — although we totally wouldn’t blame you if you took it for a spin yourself! — Luke Dormehl

Buy from: Amazon

OtterBox
Shattered screens could be a thing of the past.
Photo: OtterBox

The case that keeps working ‘drop after drop’

The new iPad Pro, depending on your storage needs, is a pricey investment that you can’t afford to break. OtterBox, the makers of well-regard rugged smartphone cases, has designed cases for the latest models that promise to protect them “drop after drop.”

The Defender Series offers a triple-layer design that includes an outer slipcover and hard shell to absorb impact. It also has a built-in screen protector to keep out dust and prevent scratches. And yes, the Apple Pencil still magnetically attaches and charges on the side of your device. — David Pierini

Buy from: OtterBox

The UE Boom 3 Bluetooth speaker packs great new features into a sophisticated package.
The UE Boom 3 Bluetooth speaker packs great new features into a sophisticated package.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

This Bluetooth speaker will blow you away

Ultimate Ears’ Boom 3 takes a great Bluetooth speaker and makes it better — and cheaper!

About the size of a 16-ounce beer, the cylindrical speaker pumps out quality audio and works like a charm. A new Magic Button puts Apple Music playlists conveniently at your fingertips, and the speaker works with UE’s optional (and highly recommended) Power Up charging dock.

Plus, these dust-proof, waterproof and drop-proof speakers can take just about anything your adventurous lifestyle can dish out.

Want to crank things up to 11? The tallboy-size Megaboom 3 sounds even better (but isn’t as portable). Pro tip: Pick one up at the Apple Store if you want the limited-edition blue colors (Denim and Cloud), although you’ll pay the full $149 list price there. — Lewis Wallace

Buy from: Amazon

SteelSeries Nimbus controller
Every game is better with physical controls.
Photo: SteelSeries

SteelSeries takes mobile gaming to the next level

For those who play games on their iPad, the SteelSeries Nimbus wireless controller is a must.

Its traditional design makes it a joy to hold even for long periods, while its built-in battery keeps going for up to 40 hours on a single charge — and can be topped up with a Lightning cable. It has all the buttons required for iOS games, pressure-sensitivity for precise control, and console-style analog sticks.

What’s more, the Nimbus is compatible with almost all Apple devices, including iPhone, iPod touch, macOS, and even Apple TV. — Killian Bell

Buy from: Amazon

Anker ultra-slim iPad keyboard
Slim, lightweight, and affordable.
Photo: Anker

An affordable keyboard that’s good for everything

This Bluetooth keyboard from Anker is perfect for pairing with an iPad (or any other device) when on the go. It offers a full function row (with media controls and escape key), allowing full keyboard functionality.

Its rechargeable battery lasts for six months of daily use and can also be charged while in use. The slim design fits in almost any backpack or computer bag while leaving each device free from bulky cases.

Don’t be put off by its affordable price tag; this keyboard is a joy to type on — even all day long — and well-built. — Ian Fuchs

Buy from: Amazon

Dodocase Durables Sleeve
All around protection for every situation.
Photo: Dodocase

A handy iPad carrying case

Even people who don’t place their precious iPad in a bulky, bulletproof case need some protection once in a while. The grab-and-go Durables Sleeve from Dodocase does the trick. Craftily constructed with a waxed canvas exterior, a contrasting cotton twill interior, a snap closure and a comfy leather grip, these slim cases perfectly swaddle iPads of all sizes. — Lewis Wallace

Buy from: Amazon

abovetek ipad stand
This iPad stand could have been made by Apple.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Turn any iPad into a tiny iMac

Ever looked at your iPad and thought “It’d be rad if it looked like a tiny iMac”? No? It doesn’t matter, because you’ll love the Abovetek iPad stand anyway. It’s a super-sturdy aluminum bracket with a set of rotating, silicone-lined jaws that clamp the iPad gently but firmly into place.

You can use it in portrait or landscape, at any angle you like, and there’s even a hole to pass cables through. It’s the best desk stand I’ve ever used. — Charlie Sorrel

Buy from: Amazon