Like most of you, I'll be taking a little time off around Christmas to spend with my kids and family -- but before I hand the reigns over to my more-than-capable co-blogger, David Morgenstern, I wanted to leave you with a list of some of my favorite gift items for the Apple-lover on your Christmas list.
Products like the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air are a given if your special person doesn't already own one already, so I won't waste time by adding them to my list. The following items are a little more eccentric and unique, like that special Apple nerd on your Christmas list.
Power2U ($29.99, above) is a combo AC/USB wall outlet from Newer Technology. Let's face it, everything charges by USB these days and your desk (and kitchen counter) is probably crawling with a tangle of wall-warts and USB charging cables. The Power2U helps you clean up the mess by replacing a standard wall outlet with one that includes two USB ports that provide 10 watts of power each -- meaning that it will make quick work of charging your iPad. The Power2U (get it?) outlet is a great way to remove the counter clutter and get way more value from your AC outlets. Now, if they'd only make a four-banger, I'd be all set.
PlugBug ($34.99, above) from 12 South is a 10W USB wall charger that piggybacks onto the stock Apple MacBook Power adapter, creating an all-in-one, dual charger for your MacBook and your iPad or iPhone (or any USB device). I always carry a PlugBug in my bag attached to my MBA AC adapter and it has saved my bacon a few times when I discovered my iPad completely dead and without its 10w charging brick.
Grablet ($39.99) is a The Grablet is a unique iPad accessory that enables you to easy hold onto the iPad without strain or risk of dropping it. It's simple to install and use and is much more comfortable than holding the iPad in your hand. An artist friend complained that the iPad was a little heavy for her thumb and her fingers would get strained over an extended period of time from holding the iPad from the side with a pinching motion. The Grablet eliminates that problem. When administering a survey on the iPad recently the Grablet made it easier to show the display to the user. The quality of craftsmanship is what makes the Grablet a success.
NuScribe ($14.79) 2-in-1 touchscreen stylus and pen gives you the best of digital and traditional writing tools in one sleek implement. Its precision, soft rubber nib glides effortlessly across the iPad screen allowing you to navigate, draw, sketch, take digital notes, even turn pages in iBooks. The NuScribe stylus is my go-to device with apps like ArtRage, Inspire Pro, SketchBook and Adobe Ideas on my iPad 2. Well done.
The Oona ($29.95) is a brilliant solution for mounting your iPhone (or other smartphone) in your vehicle or for using it on your desk. Borne from a successfully-funded Kickstarter project, the Oona has to be one of the most versatile accessories that you can buy. It works as a tripod stand, desk stand, night stand and as a windshield attachment in several configurations. Good stuff.
Olloclip ($69.99) super-charges your iPhone camera. Just attach this easy-to-use kit to your iPhone 4 or 4S use the three included lenses (fisheye, wide-angle and macro) to push the boundaries of mobile photography. Every iPhone 4S owner should have one of these to realize the true power of its improved camera. The Flickr group is cool too. (pic: macgasm)
LandingZone dock for MacBook Air ($159, above) is a Kickstarter project that will be funded on January 1. The LandingZone is a multi-port docking station for the 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air and is my favorite Kickstarter project of the year. I'm really excited to see how these turn out and can't wait to get mine.
dsptch's parachute cord wrist strap ($28 plus $5 S&H, above in olive). Ok, while not exclusively an Apple thing, many people still tote compact and semi-compact digital cameras with them and this strap is the top of the line when it comes to such things. Made from commercial Type III 550 parachute cord this strap is truly all weather and will not rot or mildew. It includes mini loops to attach to micro 4/3rds and point and shoot cameras and is adjustable for various wrist sizes.