To provide gift ideas for our readers this holiday season, we here at MacRumors have written gift guides based on our own experiences with products we like and recommend to others. If you want to catch up, here are links to the guides published so far: Juli Clover, Joe Rossignol, and Mitchel Broussard.
Here’s my selection of gift suggestions based on products I own, use often, and recommend to anyone looking for gift ideas for friends or family:
I first heard about Elevation Lab’s iPhone dock through the company’s Kickstarter in 2011 and I backed the project there in order to receive one before they were commercially available. The dock, which is made out of a block of solid aluminum, was intended to be heavy enough to easily remove an iPhone with just one hand, and its design complemented Apple’s existing products beautifully. I have two Elevation Docks – one at my desk in front of my iMac and another on my nightstand – that I use every single day with my iPhone 6s. Elevation Lab currently offers the Elevation Dock 3 for the iPhone 6/6s and 6 Plus/6s Plus models. It’s pricey at $89 but I recommend it if you’ve got someone who appreciates the Apple design aesthetic and needs a solid, well-made iPhone dock.
I use my iPhone almost constantly most days and I’m oddly paranoid that the battery will die when I actually need it to make an emergency call or something else important. To allay this fear, I like to carry the means to charge my iPhone anywhere. However, I also like to streamline what I carry and prefer multipurpose items when possible, and a combination back-up battery and AC charger made sense. My search led me to Fluxmob’s Bolt, which is both a 3,000 mAh battery and an AC charger thanks to its built-in prongs, which stay hidden until you flip them out. The Bolt offers pass-through charging, which means that it can charge both its internal battery and and a connected iPhone at the same time when it’s plugged into an outlet, so I never have to worry about charging its battery separately. The Bolt, along with a retractable Lightning cable, are staples in my purse.
At $49.99, it’s a reasonably-priced gift for any heavy smartphone user on your gift list. Fluxmob also makes the Bolt2, a larger model with two USB ports and a 6,000 mAh internal battery that costs $79.99.
I still have one of Apple’s iPod Hi-Fi speakers use it regularly with my iPhone. Though it can run on batteries and is meant to be somewhat portable, it’s not something I can throw in my bag. Jawbone was one of the first companies to release a portable Bluetooth speaker and I loved the idea and its design and bought one a few years ago and it’s still one of my most-used accessories. I bring it with me when I travel and have even had family members ask me if I could „accidentally“ forget it when I left.
Jawbone no longer makes the original Jambox that I have but you can buy a refurbished one directly from Jawbone for $47.99. The company now makes a smaller Mini Jambox (pictured above) and an extra-large Big Jambox, which cost $129.99 and $199.99 respectively at Jawbone’s site at the time of this post.
LG Pocket Photo printer ($120)
Though it pains me to admit it, I’m old enough to remember Polaroid cameras and the grainy, chemical-laden instant photos they could print. With my iPhone as my main camera, I wanted something that could duplicate that ability to quickly print a photo and found LG’s Pocket Photo printer. It connects to an iPhone via Bluetooth and is managed through LG’s Pocket Photo app. It uses inkless paper made by Zink and is small enough to throw in the small messenger bag I normally use every day. It prints 2-inch by 3-inch photos on paper with a peel-and-stick back so they can easily be used for scrapbooking, journals, greeting cards, and more.
LG doesn’t sell its Pocket Photo models directly in the US but you can get the latest PD251 model from Newegg for $119.99 (I have the previous generation PD239 model in a glorious Hello Kitty limited edition, thank you very much).
Fitbit One ($100)
Though the iPhone has step-tracking capabilities, I don’t carry it in a pocket consistently enough to use it as a step tracker. Also, I’d prefer my step tracker to be small and unobtrusive and as accurate as possible. After trying a wrist-based tracker, I switched to the Fitbit One a few years ago and it’s become an accessory I use every single day and even remember to clip to my pajamas to track my sleep. The companion Fitbit app is easy to use and I like the community aspect, particularly the challenges you can complete with friends, which are surprisingly motivating. I’m not fanatical enough about tracking my steps to take a walk just before midnight to meet my daily goal, but it does help me be cognizant of how active, or inactive, I am every day and plan something to increase my activity if I can.
The Fitbit One costs $99.95 directly from Fitbit, but it’s usually around $89 at Amazon.
We have a few more gift guides to publish, so stay tuned. In the meantime, feel free to add your own suggestions or find even more ideas for your own gift shopping lists with our MacRumors gift guide that was curated by readers.