Get a pair of great Mac apps for the holidays

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12min Micro Book Library
Save big on a huge library of condensed books, and a powerful tool for mapping and optimizing WiFi coverage.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

It’s clear that the holidays are going to be a little bit different this year. So why not do gifts a little differently, too? We’ve rounded up a pair of great Mac apps that offer quick reads and optimized WiFi, like digital stocking stuffers for your friends, family, or just for yourself.

Get a great computer and save dough with refurbished Macs

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Apple MacBook Pro 13.3-inch: Save money on refurbished Macs, from MacBook Pro to MacBook Air, Mac mini and iMac.
Save money on refurbished Macs.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

There are plenty of reasons we might want another computer. If you’re not saving up for one of the new Macs with the M1 chip inside, you can save some scratch with one of these four refurbished Macs.

Going with a refurb means some tradeoffs: Most of these won’t run the new macOS Big Sur, for instance. (You can check compatibility on Apple’s site.) However, they can deliver things you just can’t get anymore. The MacBook Pro, for instance, comes with a built-in SuperDrive.

Apple extends return policy for holiday shoppers

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Apple gifts bought now can be returned in January.
Apple gifts bought now can be returned in January.
Photo: Apple

For the next month, you have a lot longer to return items purchased from the online Apple Store.  This is intended to allow shoppers to buy holiday gifts now and not have to worry about returns until January.

Holiday shoppers should also be aware that Apple offers free two-day delivery on items bought through its website.  Returns are always free.

Apple Watch makes more holiday wish lists than iPad or MacBook

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new Apple customers
Is an Apple Watch on your wish list? You're not alone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

More people are hoping for an Apple Watch than an iPad or MacBook this holiday season, a sign of the growing popularity of this wearable.

That said, plenty of people want this company’s tablets and notebooks too. And a shiny new iPhone is the item Apple fans are wishing for the most . 

Tim Cook says Apple Watch sales ‘off the charts’

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Apple Watch Series 2 waterproof
Apple says the Apple Watch set a sales record for the first week of holiday shopping.
Photo: Apple

A day after a gloomy third-quarter sales report about the Apple Watch, CEO Tim Cook says the device is already having a record holiday as one of the season’s most popular gifts.

He shoppers bought a record number of Apple Watches during the first week of holiday shopping, and the wearable is on pace to have its best quarter ever to close out 2016.

iPad tops Best Buy survey of most desired tech gifts

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Best Buy is preparing for shoppers wanting iPads.
Best Buy is preparing for shoppers wanting iPads.
Photo: Apple

Want the new iPad or MacBook for Christmas? You’re not alone. Big box store Best Buy found the iPad the most desired tech gift this holiday season, according to a survey of 2,000 people.

The MacBook came in third behind the Bose QuietComfort noise cancelling headphones. Of the 15 tech items listed, the Apple Watch ranked 12th.

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U.S. Tablet Ownership Jumps 19% During Holidays

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ipad

Tablets — especially iPads — were hot holiday gifts. A new survey finds that in about just one week, the percentage of U.S. consumers owning a tablet almost doubled to 19 percent, up from 10 percent prior to Christmas Day. That portion was even higher as you go up the income and education scale.