I personally think that Christmas has become too much about spending money, while at the same time it’s hard not to without becoming the Grinch. Worst of all are the people who already have everything, making gift finding a nightmare. This year I’ve bought a few mobile device accessories to solve exactly that problem, and thought I would share five accessories that I think make good, and unique, gifts – just in case you’re still shopping this close to Christmas.
In my experience, few iPad users have a stylus. In the average consumer world, not many people know they exist, and chances are that it says Griffin or some other average quality brand on it if they do have one. My favorite stylus right now is the Maglus, specifically the new version with interchangeable tips. At €25 it’s great value for a quality stylus and extra tip, and the magnets make it extra useful for iPad users who have the Smart Cover (note: won’t stick to iPad mini Smart Covers). It’s a high quality stylus, made of aluminum, and it just gives off the feel of a quality product- which is definitely preferably over the “plastic fantastic” more generic styli you find in your local electronics store.
The tiltpod is a weird little keychain-sized camera/iPhone tripod that you really have to see in action to realize the usefulness of. After I reviewed it, I ended up buying several to use as Christmas gifts. They’re actually extremely useful, and are well worth the $15 price tag. There’s an iPhone version and a generic camera version, and both will find their way under a tree this year as gifts from me.
The PadPivot is a tablet stand/leg holder (!) accessory that I’ve been dragging my feet with getting since it came out. I still don’t have one, and with the new iPad mini I don’t think I’ll end up getting one, but it’s still a great accessory- one that was updated to version 2 not long ago. It was on sale during Thanksgiving for $20, but is not back up to $40. Still not the most expensive gift out there, and a must-have for those that use their iPad rested on their leg.
Most people have speakers, a lot less have portable speakers. You can get some semi-decent pocketable speakers for next to nothing these days, and some of them are actually quite good. The X-Mini speakers have been around for a while, and get fairly good reviews. I gave away one as a Christmas gift once, and was told the recipient went out and bought another. Higher up on the price scale you find an interesting newcomer from Ultimate Ears, which is now owned by Logitech: the UE Mobile Boombox with Bluetooth.
Bluetooth dock connector adapters
It’s only been a couple of weeks since I wrote about how I’m glad the Pear Bluetooth adapter for 30-pin docks never came to be. It’s a product that tried to go the crowdfunding way to raise cash for a concept that already exists, and almost succeeded because people had no idea it does. Luckily, the fact that so few know they exist, make these things great Christmas present for anyone who has a speaker dock with an Apple 30 pin connector- especially if that person also has the iPhone 5, iPad mini, or iPad 4, all of which use the new Lightning connector.
Like I mentioned back in the other article, you can find these adapters in all sorts of places- several of the electronics stores in the small Norwegian city I live in have them. Just to provide some actual links, there’s the dockBoss air for $35, and any number of them on Amazon, like this one. No batteries, no cables, just a $20-30 accessory and that old $??? speaker dock is suddenly compatible with not only Lighting connector Apple devices, but also Android, Windows Mobile, and so on.