Jeffrey Schoenberger

Unique, Functional Apple Gifts


We Mac users got our Christmas presents early this year: iPhones in September and iPads in November. The only Mac users waiting for new big-ticket items are those itching to buy Mac Pros sometime in December. And while we techies generally prefer to buy our own smartphones, tablets, and computers, that shouldn’t stop us from suggesting to our friends and loved ones accessories to make our Apple world more magical. Here are some ideas to put on your gift list or to buy for the Apple user in your life.


The only reality TV show that I’ll admit to watching is Shark Tank. If you’re not familiar with the show’s premise, hopeful entrepreneurs pitch their ideas or products to self-made millionaires, with the objective of gaining a cash investment and business mentor. One product highlighted on episode 510, which aired November 22, is called Pursecase. It’s a wallet case/clutch for an iPhone. This ladies’ case holds your iPhone, a little cash, and a couple of credit cards. The flip pouch on the back of the case even has a makeup mirror. Your iPhone is usable through the case and it means that everything a you need for a night on the town is in one small package. It’s a great gift or stocking stuffer for $29.

For men, assuming you don’t need a makeup mirror, there are several models of wallet cases. My preferred one is from Speck, who has been making iPhone cases for years. The SmartFlex Card will hold three credit cards or ID and a couple of cash bills. It’s $35 at Speck’s website or $25 at Amazon.


One of the iPad’s greatest advantages is its versatility. In the three and a half years since the iPad launched, we’ve seen it supplant computers for many, introduce technology to folks previously uninterested in computers, and bring the power of computers to new environments. One of the newest places that iPads find themselves is in the kitchen. The danger of bringing your iPad into the kitchen is covering it with ingredients. The Orange Chef makes a variety of iPad-based kitchen accessories to help you whip up an amazing batch of Christmas cookies. Among their many products are a scale that talks to your iPad, a dishwasher-safe iPad stand, and my personal favorite, disposable iPad protective covers. These covers, $20 for a pack of 25, are resealable bags that protect your iPad from flour, sugar, eggs, and the other ingredients in Christmas baking. You can keep your iPad right on the counter while baking without fear of getting it messy. The sleeves are available directly from The Orange Chef, and also from Amazon.

In addition to a baking accessory, if you’re looking for an excellent set of recipe apps, made for Mac, iPad, and iPhone, take a look at Paprika. Shawn Blanc’s new website, The Sweet Setup(, recently reviewed the Paprika set of apps, declaring them the best recipe managers for Apple’s platforms. Buying all three apps (Mac, iPad, and iPhone) would normally set you back $30 total. As of this writing, November 27, all three apps are on sale for a total cost of $16.

Giving eGifts

Over the past couple of years I’ve tried to reduce the number of “things” that I own. For younger generations, an interesting shift has occurred. Younger people are less interested in the ownership of content than in access to it. Think about the difference between owning DVDs and CDs versus a subscription to Netfix, Pandora, or Spotify. I’m not arguing that younger people are less materialistic, only that they’d prefer gifts that don’t necessarily add to their collection of physical “stuff”. The BBC did an article on this topic back in 2010.

Naturally, Apple is overjoyed to sell you electronic goods from the iTunes and App Store. But, what if you want to gift someone an album or iApp? Apple has you covered. Take a look at this Apple support article on how to give that special someone music, movies, TV shows, or iApps from iTunes or your iOS device. If your recipient has multiple Apple devices, for example a laptop and an iPad, then gifting an iTunes copy of the HD Die Hard movie collection, $40, makes more sense than giving the same collection on Blu-Ray, $18. The iTunes version is more expensive, but you can watch it anywhere you have reasonably fast Internet. Finally, if your recipient has an AppleTV, $100, he can watch those HD movies on his big screen TV without any additional media to keep track of.

The only downside of e-gifting is that, unless you’re a creative person, there’s nothing for the recipient to unwrap on Christmas morning. But, of course, you could always make something interesting to represent the gift.


Hopefully this article has given you some good gift ideas for the Apple user in your life. As always, feel free to reach out to me at jschoenberger{-at-} or Twitter @jrsch.

One More Thing…

We’ll hopefully be launching a Mac section to our Affinity Consulting blog very shortly – January 2014 at the latest. Here’s the RSS link to our blog. For you that means more articles, more often, though probably shorter. Please let me know of anything you’d like me to cover.