Best Gifts for iPhone Users

Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for someone else, gifts that compliment your most personal device are a great way to spread holiday cheer all year long. These 10 gifts for iPhone users are sure to delight any recipient every time they pick up their iPhone.

10 PopSocket Phone Stand/Grip – $7.50 – $15

Best Gifts Under $20

The PopSocket became wildly popular in 2017 as a way to both hold your phone more securely, as well as prop your phone up on a desk or table. The collapsible button adds a small pop-up grip to the back of your smartphone, allowing for more controlled grip by placing it between your fingers. When not in use, it collapses down to just a few millimeters thick to minimize added bulk. PopSockets are available in a multitude of colors, from $7.50 – $15.

9 Nomad Horween Leather Folio Wallet Case – $37.49

The Nomad leather folio is a combination wallet and iPhone case for iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, or 8 Plus. The American made leather is designed to patina beautifully over time, allowing each case to take on a unique and personal look. Additionally, the wallet can hold three to six cards, and the entire thing will protect your iPhone at the same time. Get the Nomad Horween Leather Folio Wallet Case Here for $37.49.

8 Mini Qi Wireless Charging Pad – $19.99

If you or someone you know recently upgraded to the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, or sport and Android phone that supports wireless charging, this wireless charging pad is a great gift idea. Using the Qi (pronounced chee) standard, this allows for recharging our device without plugging it in. A great option for reducing cable clutter on a desk or nightstand. Get yours here for $19.99

7 USB Solar Charger & Battery – $19.99

This solar charger can act as emergency power, no matter the situation. With a built-in 5000mAh battery, it can recharge an iPhone nearly 2 full times on a single charge, and its built-in battery can recharge with in sun without needing an outlet. Perfect for camping or long days outdoors without access to power. Pick yours up today for $19.99.

6 Anker PowerLine+ 10ft Lightning Cable – $17.99

Apple’s Lightning cables have long been a pain-point for iOS users, due to their relatively short length and their fragile construction. With the Anker PowerLine+ 10ft Lightning Cable, you get 3x more distance from an outlet than Apple’s standard cable, and the braided cable housing is much more resilient to everyday wear and tear. If you or someone you know is dealing with a frayed Lightning cable, this is the way to go ($17.99).

5 LimeLens Smartphone Camera Lens Set – $17.99

We all love taking photos with our smartphone, but sometimes focusing close up, or getting an entire setting in view can be a challenge. This clip on lens allow for extreme close-ups (macro), as well as ultra-wide fisheye shots, and everything in between. This clip on lens comes with 10x macro, wide angle, fisheye, and 1.5x telephoto lenses for diversifying your photo game. Get it here – $17.99.

4 Hoverdock for iPhone – $27.95

Whether it’s the latest and greatest iPhone or an iPhone 5, this dock will work with any lightning equipped iPhone. Using an existing lightning cable, the underside of the dock offers retractable cable storage for a tidy workspace. The sturdy base and rubber bottom will keep an iPhone in place, floating above any surface, away from spills. Using the dock is also a great way to maximize the life of the light cables and keep them from fraying or splitting with extended use. Get it here – $27.95

4 SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive – From $39.99

Quickly free up space on an iPhone by storing photos and videos on an external drive. Great for anybody battling a 16GB iPhone, or the selfie queen in the house, the iXpand Flash Drive and iXpand Drive app allow for offloading your photos, videos, and music storage in a convenient flash drive. With both Lightning and USB-A ports, moving files from an iPhone to a computer couldn’t be easier. The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities. Get one today, starting at $39.99.

3 Scosche Magic Mount – $19.99

Your iPhone is likely your GPS and form of entertainment while driving, but fiddling with clips and latches can be a hassle. The Magic Mount uses a thin metal plate on your smartphone and a magnet in the mount to hold your phone securely in place without the need to press clamps or springs. The entire mount suctions to your windshield, while the plate can be stuck to the back of you device or its case. A great gift idea for anybody that spends time behind the wheel. Get it on Amazon for $19.99.

2 Ultimate Ears Boom 2 Bluetooth Speaker – $123.99

This 360º wireless speaker pumps out huge sound without distortion. Offering well rounded sound that fills the room. The built-in microphone allows for phone calls, and can also be used for talking to Siri. The IPX7 waterproof design and 15 hours of battery life make it the perfect companion, anywhere you go. Get it here for $123.99.

1 Beats X Wireless Earbuds – $99

The iPhone is an extremely popular workout companion, and so are the Beats X Wireless Earbuds. These sport earbuds offer a comfortable neck strap, in-ear tips for improved noise isolation, in-line controls for volume and audio control, and feature Apple’s W1 chip for easy pairing. The Beats X are charged over a Lightning cable, meaning you need one less cord when traveling, as well. Get the Beats X Wireless Earbuds for $99.

from Ian Fuchs – iDrop News https://www.idropnews.com/holiday-gift-guide-2017/best-gifts-for-iphone-users/55899/

Best Tech Gifts Under $100

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and with that comes finding the perfect gifts (at the right price). These gifts are all under $100 and are sure to please the technology enthusiasts in your life.

10 Aukey White + RGB Touch Light – $25.99

This small light is perfect for adding a splash of color to your desktop, and offers three levels of white light, making it great for a nightstand too. The touch sensitive base means no hunting for a switch or dial – simply tap and the light comes on. Add a touch of modern lighting to you desk – pick one up here for $25.99.

9 XtremePro 4K Ultra HD Action Cam with Mounts – $69.99

If you’re shopping for an adrenaline junkie, this 4K action camera is a great gift for capturing the most extreme moments. Whether it’s skateboarding, surfing, or hitting the slopes, the included mounts can attach to almost anything you come up with. The camera’s rugged design allows for impact resistance, and can be submerged up to 98 feet. Available here for $69.99.

8 Anker Ultraslim Bluetooth Keyboard – $16.99

At just over $20, this Bluetooth keyboard is a perfect for pairing with an iPad, iPhone, or Mac (as well as Android and Windows, too) when on the go. Its rechargeable battery lasts for six months of daily use, and its slim design fits in almost any backpack or computer bag while leaving each device free from bulky cases. Get it here.

7 Fader Stealth Drone – $99.99

Drones are a hot gift for 2017, offering the freedom of flight without ever leaving the ground. With the built-in 720p HD camera, you can capture high definition visuals from the air, controlled by a simple remote control. The Fader Stealth Drone mini drone is great for beginners and advanced users alike, and won’t break the bank. Get it here.

6 Mpow Bluetooth Over Ear Headphones – $35.99

Give the gift of a quality listening experience with these over ear headphones from Mpow. With a solid build, impressive sound, and passive noise isolation, these are great for at the gym or the office. The foldable design and included carry pouch allows for them to fit in a backpack without risking damage, and doubles as storage for the included 3.5mm cable and charging cord. Get them here.

5 GorillaPower 5-Port USB Power Dock – $56.99

Living the multi-device life is great until it comes time to charge things. With the GorillaPower 5-Port USB Power Dock you can charge up to 5 devices from a single outlet. Additionally, the dock includes 2 traditional outlets on the back for charging non-USB devices (like a MacBook). The GorillaPower dock also offers surge and overheat protection, ensuring that your devices are safe when powering up. This is a great option for developers or tech enthusiasts with a large collection of devices. Get it here.

4 Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker – $47.99

With the JAMBOX, you can bring your music with you and get the party started on the beach, in the backyard, by the fire, or around the Christmas tree. The small JAMBOX Bluetooth speaker offers clear audio, whether it’s your favorite Christmas tunes, or the phone call to a loved one on Christmas day. The built-in battery offers up to 10 hours of playback, perfect for any occasion. Get it here.

3 Finch or Sidewinder 10,000mAh Charging Backpack – $49.99

Having a stylish and convenient way to carry your tech is almost as important as the tech you carry. With the Finch and Sidewinder charging backpacks, you get that stylish look, ample storage, and the added bonus of spare power for your gadgets. The built-in 10,000mAh battery is enough to charge an iPhone or iPad multiple times, and even has enough juice to recharge a USB-C or Thunderbolt equipped MacBook or MacBook Pro with power to spare. With the Finch or Sidewinder charging backpack, there is no excuse to have a low battery. Get it here.

2 Philips Hue 4-Bulb White Starter Kit – $99.95

The Philips Hue line of products have become the standard for most smart home lighting. With the Hue 4-Bulb Starter Kit, you can start your collection of smart lighting, and start automating lamps, patio lights, or any other standard light fixture. Additional white or color bulbs can also be purchased in the future for an ever-expanding smart lighting solution. With full HomeKit support, as well as support for Google Assistant and Alexa, the Hue lights are a perfect compliment to our #1 suggestion, as well. Get your starter kit here.

1 Amazon Echo Dot & Echo – $49.99 – $99.99

Amazon refreshed their Echo lineup this year, and improved the speaker in the full-sized Echo while they were at it. The new Echo offers all the things you’d expect out of a digital assistant, and comes in both cheaper and smaller than its predecessor. The Echo is the perfect kitchen or office companion, and is a nice in-home Speaker, as well. The Echo Dot is great for a nightstand or connected to a home entertainment system. Get the Echo for $99.99 on Amazon, or Amazon’s smaller Echo Dot for just $49.99.

from Ian Fuchs – iDrop News https://www.idropnews.com/holiday-gift-guide-2017/great-gifts-100/55759/

Best Tech Gifts Under $20

Getting gifts for your family or friends shouldn’t be stressful, and shouldn’t break the bank. If you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffers, here are 10 great gift ideas for $20 or less.

10 4-in-1 Clip-on Smartphone Lens – $18.49

We all love taking photos with our smartphone, but sometimes focusing close up, or getting an entire setting in view can be a challenge. This clip on lens allow for extreme close-ups (macro), as well as ultra-wide fisheye shots, and everything in between. This clip-on lens comes with 10x macro, wide angle, fisheye, and 1.5x telephoto lenses for diversifying your photo game. Get it here.

9 XXL Shower Speaker – $19.99

Take singing in the shower to a whole new level by bringing your music INTO the shower with you. The XXL Shower Speaker is IPX4 waterproof, includes built-in controls for play/pause and volume, and works over Bluetooth keeping your phone safe and dry. It’s the perfect companion for getting your day started. Get it here.

8 Aluminum Fidget Spinner – $12.99

Fidget spinners make a great gift because everyone can find a time to enjoy them. The small size and solid build make them a pocketable toy to help with focus, or give you that much needed distraction while working on a project or assignment. Available in either black or silver, this is a gift that anybody can enjoy. Get it here for $12.99.

7 Mini Qi Wireless Charging Pad – $19.99

If you or someone you know recently upgraded to the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, or sport and Android phone that supports wireless charging, this wireless charging pad is a great gift idea. Using the Qi (pronounced chee) standard, this allows for recharging a device without plugging it in. A great option for reducing cable clutter on a desk or nightstand. Get yours here for $19.99.

6 USB Solar Charger & Battery – $19.99

While we’re on the topic of recharging batteries, this solar charger can act as emergency power no matter the situation. With a built-in 5000mAh battery, it can recharge an iPhone nearly 2 full times on a single charge, and it’s built-in battery can recharge with in the sun without an outlet. Perfect for camping or long days outdoors without access to power. Pick yours up today for $19.99.

5 16-Color LED Bulb with Remote – $9.95

Lighting is often under-appreciated, but can have a dramatic impact on making your office or living room have that distinctive feel. These color-changing LED lightbulbs can shift the mood of a room with a simple click of a button. Want a warmer feeling, try yellow or orange. Want something subtle and cool, give blue a try. Having a living room dance party – let the strobe effect get things started. Get yours here today for $9.95.

4 Flexible Tripod for Smartphones & Cameras – $8.99

Whether you’re an aspiring vlogger, want to take cool time lapses, or just want less shaky photos, this flexible tripod is a great option for getting better shots. The flexible legs can wrap around a handle, post, any stable object, or can be placed on a desk of table to get that perfect picture or video. The included clip can be expanded to fit a wide range of smartphones, or can be removed to mount to small point-and-shoot cameras. Grab one here for $8.99.

3 Anker PowerLine+ 10ft Lightning Cable – $17.99

Apple’s lightning cables have long been a pain-point for iOS users, due to their relatively short length and their fragile construction. With the Anker PowerLine+ 10ft Lightning Cable, you get 3x more distance from an outlet than Apple’s standard cable, and the braided cable housing is much more resilient to everyday wear and tear. If you or someone you know is dealing with a frayed Lightning cable, this is the way to go. Get it here.

2 PopSocket Phone Stand/Grip – $7.50 – $15

Best Gifts Under $20

The PopSocket became wildly popular in 2017 as a way to both hold your phone more securely, as well as prop your phone up on a desk or table. The collapsible button adds a small pop-up grip to the back of your smartphone, allowing for more controlled grip by placing it between your fingers. When not in use, it collapses down to just a few millimeters thick to minimize added bulk. PopSockets are available in a multitude of colors, from $7.50 – $15.

1 Scosche Magic Mount – $19.99

Your smartphone is likely your GPS and form of entertainment while driving, but fiddling with clips and latches can be a hassle. The Magic Mount uses a thin metal plate on your smartphone and a magnet in the mount to hold it securely in place without the need to pressure clamps or springs. The entire mount suctions to your windshield, while the plate can be stuck to the back or you device or its case. A great gift idea for anybody that spends time behind the wheel. Get it here.

from Ian Fuchs – iDrop News https://www.idropnews.com/holiday-gift-guide-2017/best-tech-gifts-under-20/55741/

Interface: 61. A Missing Feature

http://interface.fm/61

Chase is unhappy with how iOS 11 has changed some previously expected behaviors. Now his wifi might be on, or might be off, or might just not be connected right now. Ian makes assumptions about how people probably don’t know how to use their iPhone. Andrew thinks it all makes sense, but he’s a power user… 🤷‍♂️

via IFTTT

Review: Smartomi Ace – Affordable, Truly Wireless Earbuds

Last year, Apple announced the AirPods and set in motion a massive wave of other “truly wireless” headphones. While a few others existed before, there has been a huge influx of AirPod competitors, all fighting for your precious pocket space, and the prized spot as your go-to earbuds.

Overview:

The Smartomi Ace Wireless Earbuds ($49.99 on Amazon) are compact wireless earbuds that fit snugly in your ear without looking gaudy, flashy, or obnoxious. Unlike Apple’s AirPods, the Ace are true in-ear buds, allowing them to deliver deeper bass and provide greater noise isolation.

The most important feature of any pair of headphones or earbuds is how they sound, and I was completely shocked at how good these $50 buds sound. At near max volumes, the Ace did have slight distortion, but between 40% and 80%, they offered full sound with solid bass, clear mids, and crisp (but not piercing) highs.

From a fit standpoint, the Ace sit in your ear canal and the included rubber tips ensure a great seal, which helps in delivering the full sound, and also helps keep external noise out. The body of each Ace is also very compact, less and 1/2” thick, and no larger than a nickel around. While many competitors clock in at near walnut size, while these are closer to acorn size.

In my personal testing, I did find the Ace to be a little uncomfortable for long periods of time, but every ear is different. If the AirPods or EarPods don’t fit your ears well, odds are these might be just what you need.

The final component of the Smartomi Ace to consider is connectivity and control. Pairing the earbuds is fairly easy. Remove both from the charging case, press the multi-function button on both, and they will connect with one another, then appear on your devices Bluetooth list for pairing. After you have successfully paired them to each other and your device once, any time in the future when you remove both from the case, they will connect to each other and your device automatically.

Once connected, clicking the button on either Ace earbud will pause or play your music, podcast, or other media. Activating Siri (or other device assistant) can only be done via the left earbud with a long press on the button. Audio from Siri (or other assistant) and phone calls are also limited to the left earbud only, which I have noted was a huge frustration with another pair of fully wireless earbuds.

Phone call audio was also occasionally frustrating, due to the way the microphone is placed on the earbud. Even slightly noisy environments or calls in moderately windy areas resulted in the person on the other end asking me to repeat myself more than once. When listening to music or podcasts, on more than 1 occasion, the right earbud would drop out briefly. This is presumably due to the way the left earbud relays audio from the phone to the right earbud, but when my phone is within 3 feet of the earbuds, it’s annoying and seems like a design flaw.

Verdict:

Rating: 3.5/5

Overall, the Smartomi Ace truly wireless earbuds sound good, isolate outside noise, and are very affordable. They aren’t great for phone calls or interacting with Siri, especially in areas with background noise. The battery case is a little bulky for some pockets, but offers multiple recharges for the earbuds on a single charge of the case. Connectivity isn’t bad, but physical or electrical interference may cause occasional drops in sound on one or both earbuds.

Pros

  • Isolates outside noise
  • Solid, full sound
  • Good battery life
  • Incredibly small
  • Good price

Cons

  • Mediocre microphone quality
  • Occasional flaky connectivity
  • Can get uncomfortable after extended use

If you’re in the market for truly wireless earbuds, but don’t want to spend the money on AirPods or find that Apple’s earbuds don’t quite fit your ears, the Smartomi Ace are a great option. Check them out today, only $50 on Amazon.

from Ian Fuchs – MacTrast