Tech the halls: Apple for the holidays
As stocking stuffers go, let’s all agree that a geeked-out MacBook Pro or iPhone X won’t make the cut this holiday season. But don’t despair — there are plenty of (somewhat) affordable options that will still satisfy that Apple craving for family and friends.
Let’s start at the top ...
Apple Watch. Initially intended as an iPhone accessory, Apple Watch makes a great add-on for any iPhone user who doesn’t already have phone-in-hand most of the day. For most people, the $249 Apple Watch Series 1 is a fine gift, although the $329 Series 3 is faster and brighter and doesn’t need the iPhone to track a run or bike ride via GPS. Consider the $399 Series 3 with cellular access only if you’re certain the recipient will make use of the watch while out and about without the iPhone, since its data plan costs $10 extra per month.
Apple TV. Although now a few years old, the $149 fourth-generation Apple TV still makes a great gift for anyone who watches TV shows and movies from Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and other Internet streaming video services. For most, the $179 Apple TV 4K is overkill, since its support for 4K video and HDR color require a compatible 4K HDR TV purchased in the last year or so. And if you’re looking for a related stocking stuffer, search for silicone cases that protect the brittle Siri Remote and make it easier to orient in the dark.
AirPods. They are Apple’s most surprising hit of 2017. AirPods are svelte wireless earbuds that pair quickly and seamlessly to all Apple devices logged in to the same iCloud account. They are light, stay nicely tucked in the ear and are comfortable even for those who couldn’t wear the wired EarPods. At $159, AirPods are still less expensive than many competing wireless earbuds.
… and work our way down.
Apple Watch Bands. There are now dozens and dozens of bands for Apple Watch, a virtual potpourri of colors, styles, fabrics, metals, loops and buckles. From $49 to nearly $500, there’s a band your Apple Watch wearer covets this holiday season.
iPad Covers and Cases. Designed by Apple and a host of third-party manufacturers, iPad covers and cases show more expression than every before. Whether for durability or design, as new or replacement, these form-fitted covers represent the perfect gift for your iPad user.
Chargers, Cables and Adapters. While not exciting, all are certainly useful. Apple’s minimalist design and focus on USB-C and Lightning ports means that many users would appreciate extra cables or adapters. First, do your research — ask your gift recipients what they find most annoying about their current cable situation. They might want an extra Lightning to headphone adapter, a USB-C to USB-A cable for connecting some peripheral, or an HDMI cable to run a big-screen TV. You just never know! Or, giving someone a second iPhone, Mac or Apple Watch charger could help reduce battery anxiety or make it less likely he or she would forget to pack one while traveling.