Whether you’re shopping for gadgets for family and friends, or are looking to buy something fun for yourself this holiday season, our guide has 25 great Christmas gift ideas that’ll fit a wide variety of budgets.
Our Christmas shopping ideas cover iPhone, iPad, Mac and even the Apple Watch. Here are our top picks for the 2016 Christmas holiday season.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
Apple has refined the iPhone in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models. The headphone jack might be gone, but Apple’s added two new colors — Black and Jet Black.
Apple’s increased the capacity, so you can now have a 256GB phone, perfect for all app addicts! The iPhone is also now water resistant, and on the Plus model sports a fancy dual camera (perfect for Portrait photos).
This is the phone to have for 2016!
MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
We talk all the time on the podcast about how we still use Macs quite a bit. Some of our most important work is done on a Mac.
This year, the laptop to get is the MacBook Pro with built in Touch Bar. This new laptop has a beautiful screen, an enormous trackpad, Touch ID built in for using Apple Pay, and of course the Touch Bar, which’ll give you app specific functions on a super useful strip at the top of the keyboard.
The laptop comes in both 13″ and 15″ configurations and is sure to help you get a lot of work (and play) done.
Apple Watch Nike+
Many of us at the App Factor fell in love with the new Apple Watch Nike+ this year. So much so that we sold off our old fitness trackers and went all in with the Apple Watch.
The new series 2 watches feature great water resistance, built in GPS (so you don’t have to take your phone on runs), and with the Nike+ versions you can choose from 4 exclusive Nike bands which also include 2 fantastic Nike Watch faces.
The watch is a lot speedier, especially with watchOS 3 and anyone who receives this as a gift this holiday season is sure to smile!
Magic Mouse 2
Steven Aquino – There’s great irony in the fact that I love my iOS devices for their Multi-Touch screens, yet I prefer a mouse to a Multi-Touch trackpad on macOS. Maybe that makes me old, but I do. My go-to mouse is Apple’s Magic Mouse. I have the old version that uses AA batteries, but it still works great. I love the way it feels in my hand and its Multi-Touch gestures. (Smart Zoom in Safari is magnificent.)
Logitech Create iPad Pro keyboard case
We’ve tried a number of keyboard cases for the iPad Pro, and we absolutely love the Logitech Create. The case adds a bit of bulk to the iPad Pro, but you also get a really great backlit keyboard, and easy connection to the iPad’s Smart Connector.
The angle that the iPad sits at is perfect, and the function keys at the top of the keyboard are very useful for changing screen brightness, volume, locking the iPad, multitasking and more.
Peel iPhone cases
Steven Aquino – I first heard about Peel on Facebook. I like minimalist cases, so after perusing their website for a while, I bought one. It’s really thin around my iPhone 7 Plus, by far the thinnest case I’ve ever used. You can get them in a range of colors for iPhone 5 and newer.
Sabrent 60 Watt Rapid Charger
Chad Garrett – If you are like me and have lots of devices hanging around, then this rapid charger is a life saver! I plug all of my devices into this thing and it charges them like a dream. No more need to have a clunky power strip with adapters, just plug your USB devices directly into this things and enjoy!
TRENDnet TEW-737HRE Range Extender
Chad Garrett – When we moved to our new house, the wireless router didn’t quite make it upstairs to my daughter’s bedroom. With this little guy- problem solved! Easy to set up (if you know your router admin login anyway…) and works like a charm. It literally assumes your networks SSID and extends the signal. Easy to setup and reliable.
JOBY GripTight GorillaPOD
This is a carry over from last year’s guide, which also has some great gift ideas! The JOBY GorillaPod is a fantastic tripod if you’re taking videos or photos and really need a stable iPhone. Keeping your phone still will do wonders for the quality of your photos/videos.
There are many configurations of the GorillaPOD, and we really enjoy how it accepts many different mounts, and how flexible the tripod legs are. A good starting point is the GripTight GorillaPOD, which comes in smaller and larger phone configurations.
Audio Technica ATR2100-USB
If you’re looking to get into podcasting, record vocals or instruments into GarageBand, and a bunch of other applications, this mic is perfect. The best part? It’s less than 100 bucks!
Mpow Bluetooth FM Transmitter
Admittedly, my car doesn’t have a radio with a Bluetooth connection built in, and it also doesn’t have an AUX in! I went scouring the internet for the best Bluetooth to FM transmitter, and found the MPOW.
This little device was praised by the Wirecutter, and has worked flawlessly for a long time. For around 20 bucks you can transform your car’s stereo into something that can stream music and podcasts via Bluetooth.
Jaybird X2 Sport Bluetooth Earbuds
It’s the holiday season, and as of this posting we still haven’t seen the Apple AirPods ship yet. Thankfully, there are lots of other great bluetooth headphone options out there.
A pair that I’ve used for a while is the Jaybird X2 Sport headphones. They come with a number of different earbuds so they fit great, and they have a signature Jaybird rubber piece that fits in your ear so they’re less likely to fall out. Music and podcasts sound great out of them, and they have pretty great battery life as well.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones
If you’re looking for headphones for your Mac that are perfect for listening to music, and are super durable, you have to check out the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones.
These headphones can be worn for a long time and are comfortable. They have nice punchy bass, crisp highs, and are only around 100 dollars.
Play-Doh TOUCH Shape to Life Studio
For the kids in your life, check out the Play-Doh TOUCH Shape to Life Studio. I saw an Apple rep demoing this product at the Apple Store the other day, and thought it was very cool.
What the Shape to Life Studio does is let you create lots of little creatures that come alive when using the Play-Doh TOUCH app. You scan a creature that you made, and then virtually play with them in worlds inside of your iPad or iPhone.
Apps and movies
In keeping with tradition of our gift guides, we wanted to include some of our favorite apps and movies to wrap up our Christmas gift ideas. Don’t forget, you can gift apps, movies, music, books and more right from their respective app stores.
All you’ll have to do is navigate to the item that you want to gift, tap on the share button (the button that looks like a square with an up arrow), and then tap on Gift!
Here are some of our favorite apps and movies that we enjoy quite a bit over at the App Factor.
- Timepage – Calendar by Moleskine – Fantastic calendar app, with a great design. $4.99 – Buy Now
- Todoist – One of our favorite task manager apps, available nearly everywhere. Free with sub for premium features – Buy Now
- 1Password – Amazing password manager that’ll make your life a whole lot easier! Free – Download Now
- Day One – One of the best journaling apps. $4.99 – Buy Now
- Overcast – One of our favorite apps for playing podcasts. Free – Download Now
- Tweetbot – One of our favorite Twitter clients. $9.99 – Buy Now
- Home Alone – One of the most quotable holiday movies of all time. Here’s to you Kevin McCallister! – Buy Now
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens – It’s no secret we’re big fans of Star Wars over at the App Factor. While you’re waiting to watch Rogue One, check out the latest in the Star Wars saga. – Buy Now
- The Secret Life of Pets – The latest movie from the creators of Despicable Me and Minions. This is a great movie for kids and adults alike! – Buy Now
- Jingle All the Way – Schwarzenegger and Christmas. Do we need to say more? – Buy Now
- Elf – Will Ferrell grows up as an elf, and then gets dropped into NYC when he grows up. Hilarious, and a holiday favorite. – Buy Now
Christmas Gift Ideas 2016 – What are your favorites?
We’d like to thank you for reading the App Factor this year, and hope your holiday season is incredible! What’re your favourite Christmas gift ideas for 2016? Let us know in the comments section below!