- 1 Android Devices
- 2 Accessories
- 3 Other Stuff
- 4 Conclusion
Last year, we put out a gift guide with all of our recommendations for the holiday season, but we made one mistake: we released it on December 20th, just five days before Christmas. What were we thinking? I honestly have no idea. This year, we decided to try to be a bit more helpful and put something out at least a couple of weeks ahead of time. You're welcome.
Without further ado, here is the Android Police Holiday Gift Guide for two-thousand fourteen. This is the stuff you (and/or someone on your list) want. Let's go.
Amazon Fire TV Stick ($25-40). There's a lot to love in the set-top box market right now, but I think Amazon's Fire TV Stick easily offers the most bang for your buck. Even at the full $40 price tag, this is one hell of a streaming stick - it's basically Fire TV in a much smaller package. If you happen to catch it on sale for $20 or $25, it's an absolute steal. I highly and readily recommend it. If you get this and Chromecast, all of your streaming needs should be covered without needing to spend more than $50.
Nexus 6. Nexus 6? Nexus 6 (money). Listen, I get that a big phone isn't for everybody, and to them I say buy a Moto X, because it's the second best Android phone you can get at the moment (unless you're on Verizon, in which case go get a DROID Turbo). To everyone else, I say buy a Nexus 6.
Samsung's Note 4 is shipping with buggy and poorly-performing software at the moment (even after the OTA, my AT&T Note 4 still kind of sucks), and despite being a very respectable phone in some important regards, at the end of the day I still find I care about usability above all else on my smartphone. I also don't want to have to work at making my smartphone usable - I have better things to do.
I take my Nexus 6 out of my pocket, the display automatically turns on, and I can just dismiss or tap on a notification right from the lock screen. Note 4? Take it out. Hit the power or home button. Unlock it. Pull down the notification bar. It's these little things that matter to me - these nods to user experience and seamlessness as opposed to yammering about "flexibility" and "powerful" features I couldn't give two shits about.
Yes, the screen could be brighter (and less yellow). Yes, the battery life could be slightly improved (personally, I find it's mostly fine). And the camera isn't really any better than anything else we've seen in the past year - it's decidedly normal as high-end phones go. But here's the cold, hard truth for the naysayers: so far as I can tell, the Nexus 6 isn't really bad at anything. It's extremely fast, good-looking, and it actually seems like a quality piece of hardware. This is by far the least compromise-ridden Nexus phone since the original Nexus One (which, coincidentally, was also quite expensive, at $530), and I would be perfectly content to see the Nexus line continue on in this no-nonsense fashion, with OEMs having a much larger say in the hardware design, as was clearly the case with the Nexus 6.
iPad Air 2 ($499-expensive). Yes, I am breaking the gift guide by putting this here. Why? Because as you'll notice, none of us recommended the Nexus 9 (edit: Cameron recommended it, but don't listen to him), because it's not exactly great. In fact, I'd argue no Android tablet is. The Shield Tablet is a lot of bang for your buck, but the screen kind of sucks and the battery life isn't spectacular (standby is bad in particular) and it's heavy, thick, and kinda ugly.
The iPad Air 2 doesn't run Android and I don't really care that it doesn't run Android, because as far as I'm concerned, it's either this or a Galaxy Tab S if you're in the market for a premium tablet at this point, and I'm not too hot on the Exynos processor / 16GB of storage / Samsung's update track record that you get with the Tab S 8.4. The 10.5 is also just too big, and I'm not sure I want an 8.4" tablet, either, it's a hair too small. The Nexus 9 is the right size, but pretty much the wrong everything else.
The Air 2 is reliable, predictable, and very fast. iOS still has some tablet experience apps lacking Android equivalents, too, and while Android tablets do have some advantages (like a better Gmail app BY FAR), the iPad remains a no-brainer for me. If it's my money being spent on a tablet, I'm going to buy the one I know is going to live up to a standard of quality - the iPad has been the gold standard in tablets since it was unveiled, and that hasn't changed. I don't see it changing any time soon, either.
I'll be honest here - all the devices I would recommend are listed above or below this section by my colleagues. Since I can't put Nexus Q on this list because there's some kind of rule about suggesting gifts that aren't actually available for sale, I'll defer to everyone else's recommendations, particularly the Nexus 6 and Moto X. Having experienced both, they are both great devices, and with Moto's penchant for quick updates, you'd be well-served to get either according to your screen size preference.
Moto X 2014 ($499 unlocked). I really like the Nexus 6, but I know a phone of that size isn't for everyone. The new Moto X has more universal appeal at 5.2-inches. This device is blazing fast, already has (or is getting) Android 5.0, and it can be customized to your heart's content. There's nothing like handsome wood paneling on a phone, right? Motorola's custom features like Moto Display and Moto Actions are simply fantastic. I miss them when I use a different phone. The battery life is more than sufficient too--it gets through a whole day without issue.
NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet ($299-399). Though it's only NVIDIA's second mobile hardware entry, the SHIELD Tablet is clearly a cut above its competition. Between fantastic hardware specs, a solid build, a great price, clean Android software (plus some gaming-centric add-ons), and rapid updates, the SHIELD is an excellent mid-sized tablet all on its own. If you're buying for a gamer you can add in the $60 NVIDIA controller, and if you really want to spoil them, spring for the LTE model. And yes, I think it's better than the Nexus 9.
Last Year's Nexus. The Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9 are the current hotness, but despite coming out a year later, they're not replacements for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013). They're significantly larger, and their price tags are as well. I still turn to last year's Nexus products as my primary Android gadgets, and at no point in regular use do I actually yearn for more pixels or additional processing power. They run Android Lollipop just fine, and aside from a couple scratches here or there, they remain just as capable as they were in 2013. If you're willing to hunt around, you can snag a Nexus 5 for under $300 and a Nexus 7 for less than $200, mere fractions of what a 2014 Nexus will run you.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - I have a lot of trouble recommending something with TouchWiz and a physical home button, but I didn't want to be just another person recommending a Nexus or Moto X. Still, you've got to hand it to Samsung for packing together some legitimately useful features (especially with the stylus), a great screen, and battery life that's hard to beat. If the person you're buying for needs a phone that lives 2-3 days on a charge, or they would just get some value out of the stylus, the Note 4 is a pretty valid contender. Plus, Lollipop will probably start rolling out to international models in late December or January.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 - This is, frankly, the single best Android tablet money can buy. It's the right size, the screen has to be seen to be believed, it's fast, and the hardware is top-shelf. When it comes to Android tablets, there's Samsung and there's everyone else. The Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is a perfect case study as to why that's true. Whether you want a tablet for video, reading, gaming, or anything else for that matter, this one will fit the bill. It's available in WiFi-only, or you can get an LTE model if that's more your speed. Sure, Touchwiz isn't perfect and some people hate physical buttons, but all things considered, you simply will not find a better Android tablet at any price.
HTC Desire EYE ($550 without contract, $0 with contract). This may be a bit of an unorthodox recommendation on my part, but despite not being a Nexus device or a flagship, the EYE deserves to be in the running for your holiday shopping. The front 13MP camera will make any frequent self-ster happy (even our parents are taking selfies now, so yeah, that should be just about everyone), the specs are somewhere in the higher mid-range (2GB RAM, 1080p 5.2" display, Snapdragon 801), it has an IP67 water-resistance rating, and it comes with HTC's signature BoomSound speakers and its clean UI design on top of Android (KitKat for now). Basically it's a capable smartphone that ticks all the boxes without being too big.
Android Wear Watch ($200+). There are a few Android Wear watches to choose from at this point, and I'm not going to tell you which one you should pick, as it really depends on what you want from a smartwatch. What I will tell you, however, is that Android Wear is pretty great. I imagined this being one of those things I bought for AP stuff and wouldn't really like all that much, but after having my G Watch for a few months, I absolutely love it. I can't imagine going back to life without it.
Seek Thermal ($200). If you want to give someone a gift they'll remember, boom: here it is. Seek Thermal is a one-of-a-kind true infrared camera that costs just $200 - far less than any similar sensor - and uses your smartphone as the power source and viewfinder. The app's most recent update is giving some people issues, but the Seek is so cool that I'm tempted to say it's worth riding out.
There are real applications for this thing, too - it's not just a [very] fun toy. Examining how your cookware or grill heats, identifying hot water pipes, finding wall studs, and searching your backyard for warm-blooded critters are all fantastic examples of the Seek Thermal in action.
The rub here is compatibility - Seek Thermal will only work well if your phone's USB port is on the bottom of the device (orientation issues otherwise) and is such that the widest part of the connector is the one pointing toward the rear of the device. So, that means it doesn't work with Nexuses, most HTCs, poorly with most Sony phones, and probably others I'm not remembering. You can use an OTG extension cable and tape or something to secure it, but that's kind of a pain in the butt. Samsung and LG phones, though, are generally good to go - just make sure your model has USB OTG. Seek also sells a Lightning port model.
Yes, it's a gift not everyone can use, but if you know someone who can, this is one of those "wow that's cool" kind of things. Most people have no idea it exists, and this is the first time in history an IR camera has been so affordable and readily available to consumers.
Motorola Turbo Charger (if applicable) ($35). You might already have this if you own a Nexus 6. If not, and you have a phone that's compatible, absolutely get the turbo charger. I was suspicious at first, because honestly 15 minutes for 8 hours of usage sounds like a gimmick that could never materialize. While it may not live up to that claim with my personal usage, the turbo charger does live up to its name - it's crazy fast at charging your device, particularly if you're running low on power. If you constantly find yourself forgetting to charge your phone until the last moment before you leave the house, this is for you.
TYLT Vu ($70). Even after a year, the Vu is still my favorite wireless charger. This is a Qi charger that gets it. The Vu is a stand for your phone, but it also charges it. Simple, right? You'd be surprised how many companies get carried away and screw things up with magnets or other gimmicks. The Vu has worked with every device I've tried and the multiple coils properly accommodate even the largest phones. It's pricey, but it will last you a few years... unlike that 2013 Nexus charger that doesn't work with the Nexus 6, Google. ಠ_ಠ
Anker Multi-Angle Portable Stand ($10). I've tried tablet and phone stands from a handful of vendors, but the amazingly reliable and thrifty Anker has won out again. This metal and plastic stand can hold even the heaviest phones and tablets without a wobble, and the adjustable arm can move to accommodate any head angle or table height. I've used it on everything from a hotel desk to a United drink-holder, and it's still going strong. This thing is just ten bucks, and it's also available in black - perfect for bosses or coworkers.
Seagate Wireless Plus ($149+). Seagate makes plenty of hard drives, but this particular one doubles as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Instead of moving files around between each of your mobile devices, you can connect them to the Wireless Plus and get access as long as they're in range, no Internet connection required. The product came out in 2013, but this year Seagate updated the Android app with the ability to stream to Chromecast and Roku. Sure, the app could use some work, but with the ability for the hard drive to automatically sync with Dropbox or Google Drive, this remains a solid backup and media-streaming solution all wrapped up in one.
Moto 360 ($249) - It's no secret that I've been the most outspoken fan of Android Wear since the beginning, and I still love it. Among the choices out there, the Moto 360 is still the most stylish out of the lineup. There will certainly be better options by the middle of 2015, but if you're determined to put Wear on somebody's wrist this month, the Moto 360 is the one I would want to get. Since the first couple of firmware updates, the performance issues are gone and I regularly get 2 days and change between charges (with ambient mode turned off). I know it's weird to recommend looking for refurbs (or used) for a wearable, but it might not be a bad idea given that the Moto 360 hasn't been discounted. Regardless of which watch you choose, plan on replacing it next year.
Wingz Bluetooth Earbuds ($40) - I have owned these for a while and absolutely love them. I walk a lot, and whenever I'm on foot and away from the house, I'm wearing these ear buds. The battery life is great, they sound good, they're sweat- and water-proof, and most importantly, you don't look ridiculous when wearing them. That alone gives them a one up over many of the Bluetooth ear buds on the market right now.
Plantronics Backbeat Fit ($120). I featured these in my "Stuff I Use" post and I should have a full review up soon. But the gist is this: if you're an active person or you're trying to gift an active person, you can't possibly go wrong with this headset. It stays still while running, moving, and sweating (yes, even like a pig). Its sound quality (for the non-audiophile) and design/build are fantastic. I love mine and I'm sure you/your giftee will love it too.
Like last year, we wanted to include some other random stuff. More accessories? Maybe. Apps? Probably. Something completely unrelated to Android? Count on it.
- Arq Dock ($30). I'm a big fan of the stuff that 2040 Design Studio puts out, but I think the Arq dock is probably my favorite. It's a simple idea with fantastic execution: a dock with an opening for either microUSB or Apple Lightning cable, which can be height-adjusted for different devices and cases. It also has the company's PuGoo on the bottom, which holds it in place and prevents it from moving while taking the device off the dock. It's a crazy versatile little dock. While this one is normally $30, 2040 has hooked us up with a special link just for AP readers (Sorry guys, this deal is US Only) – you can get an Arq dock for $15, MODO for $15, and/or Capta for $5. Supplies are limited, however, so jump on this deal before it's gone. Any of these will make great stocking stuffers!
- Acer Chromebook 13 ($219-329). I realize that people are torn on the whole Chromebook thing, but I've really grown to love my Acer Chromebook 13. In fact, I haven't touched my Windows laptop since I got it. It's not a powerhouse like my desktop, so I have to keep an eye on how many tabs I have open and the like, but it's still a killer laptop for the price. The display isn't the best, but I've heard that the Toshiba Chromebook 2 has the best screen in the Chromebook market if that's what you're after.
- Nexus 9 ($399-599). Let me just say this as simply as I can: I love my Nexus 9. The size is perfect, the 4:3 aspect ration is fantastic on a tablet, and I basically love everything about it. If you're on the fence, don't be. It's definitely my top pick for best Android tablet, though SHIELD Tablet is a very close second.
- A Bluetooth Speaker (Varying prices). I've been recommending Bluetooth speakers for a while now, and that's not going to change any time soon. If you don't have one, now's the time to get one - there's something at essentially every price point. Here's a quick rundown of my favorites: $50 - G-Project G-Drop, waterproof and good sound; $99 - G-Project G-BOOM, huge speaker that sounds amazing for the money; $200 - Ultimate Ears BOOM, once again, the best that I've tried; Fugoo's offering is also an excellent choice at this price point.
- A Portable Charger (Varying prices). Again, this is a must. Charger tech is getting better and better, and prices are getting lower and lower. The UNU Superpak is a good example of this - it's 10,000 mAh for just $40. That's hard to beat.
Milwaukee Fastback or Fastback II utility knife ($13-30+). OK, so I open a lot of boxes as part of my job (and just generally, b/c Amazon) sometimes, and even a well-sharpened Swiss army knife is no match for a fresh razor blade on a good box cutter. The thing is, I hate box cutters. The spring slide mechanism, the grease, and taking them apart to replace the blade, it all just sucks. Then I saw the Milwaukee Tools Fastback, and that all changed. Not only does it look really cool, it seems almost indestructible. Blade replacement is 100% tool-free and dead simple, and the flip-out action makes it way easier to one-hand. Because the flip isn't a spring or torsion bar system (just gravity), there's really nothing to break, either. And if you get the Fastback II, you get a little storage area in the knife for a second blade. Finally, there's a built-in wire stripped groove and a gut hook that you can use while the blade is folded. Seriously, this may be the most amazing utility knife ever created. Oh, and if you want to travel with it and forget to pack it in your checked luggage, just take out the blade and it's carry-on ready. Easy.
Transcend USB 3.0 SD card reader ($7-9). Most laptops have SD readers built-in nowadays, but I always keep this handy to use with my desktop or in the event my janky old laptop's card reader breaks when I'm traveling. USB 3.0 and SDXC support means it can transfer data crazy fast, and it's really not much bigger than any old thumb drive. It's a handy, cheap tool - might make a good stocking stuffer.
iFixIt Pro Tech Toolkit ($65). I think everyone should have a precision toolkit. I think a precision toolkit is way more useful than a big mechanic's set because of the number of gizmos, gadgets, and doo-dads we deal with these days. This iFixIt kit has all kinds of awesome stuff - multiple precision tweezers, a razor knife, adjustable ruler, anti-static strap, plastic pry tools, iFixIt's awesome "spudger" set (basically, metal tools to twist, pry, and slide things open), and a 54-bit precision bit driver kit with a flexible shaft extension for getting around corners and such. For $65, this makes a great gift for any techie without necessarily being overkill.
Moto Stream ($50). The Moto Stream is probably the best little Bluetooth receiver on the market, mostly because it's a Class 1 receiver that makes use of the maximum range available for a Bluetooth connection. It also just looks really cool. I'm hesitant to say it's an easy buy at $50 (I got mine for roughly half that during a sale), but for the right person, this could be a great present.
Sony CyberShot DSC-RX10 digital camera ($1000). OK, am I really recommending a year-old camera on a tech website? Isn't that, like, too old? I'll say this right now: if Sony came out with a successor to the RX10 today, I probably wouldn't bat an eye, because there's no way they could improve it enough to pry this camera out of my hands. Yes, it's a fixed lens. Yes, the sensor is kind of small. Yes, the camera is kind of big. No, it can't do tethered shooting. And no, it doesn't do 4K video. The RX10 was $1300 when it came out a year ago, and has dropped to $1000 at most retailers today, but I believe it's still in a league of its own. A constant-aperture f/2.8 lens with 8.3x zoom (24-200mm equiv.) gives the RX10 a leg up on literally every other fixed lens camera remotely in its price range. Having a lens capable of shooting at f/2.8 while zoomed to 8.3x is simply invaluable, I can't put a price on that kind of convenience. The LED digital viewfinder is great. It can record 50Mbps XAVC S video in 1080p at 60FPS. It's built like a tank. It has 3.5mm audio line-in and out, HDMI out, charges via microUSB, and sports a built-in neutral density filter that can be invaluable for video. The closest competitor the RX10 has is Panasonic's FZ1000, which is overall a faster, more advanced camera, but still lacks key features of the Sony (smartphone control app for transferring photos or remote shutter being a big one for me). At $1300, the Sony was a great buy. At $1000, it's a truly excellent one.
Really, my question is what can Sony introduce in a successor that is truly interesting yet given the available technology? 4K 30FPS video is obvious, but until we're at 60FPS with much higher bitrates, 4K video on most consumer cameras is still just an incremental improvement in most situations. A faster processor, maybe a quicker shutter (the RX10 tops out at 1/3200 sec), and... that's really it. I don't see many ways the RX10 could be greatly improved in the next generation, not enough to make it a buyer's regret scenario.
- Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Tablet (from $85). I'm going for the unrelated-to-Android category for my "other stuff picks," starting with the drawing tablet I just picked up a month or two ago. I upgraded to this from the Wacom Bamboo which I used primarily for photo retouching. The Intuos comes in two sizes, and also has a non-touch variant. I've got the medium version, but for the price-conscious tablet user the small version is still big enough for plenty of doodling. As the name implies, the tablet uses a pen (of course), but also has "touch" functionality, making it like a gigantic track pad, if you're into that kind of thing. Wacom also sells a wireless kit for the tablet that's totally ingenious - it works with a tiny USB dongle, which tucks into the tablet itself when not in use. All you need to do is attach a wireless module (which also has its own slot, so the tablet's form factor isn't affected) and plug in the dongle and you're ready to go.
- Illusive: Contemporary Illustration Part 3 ($165 new/$52 used). This is the first physical book I've bought in months. If you're into illustration or just want a big heavy awesome book for your coffee table, this one is awesome. It contains tons of really brilliant contemporary illustrators, representing a huge variety of styles. It's great to pick up for inspiration or just some pretty images.
- LG G Watch R ($299): I love Android Wear, and I didn't think I would. I'm not really a watch person, but Wear has ended up being super-cool and useful in my life. I don't have to check my phone when it goes off, I just glance at my wrist. Smartwatches are also great for accessing lists and notes on the go. Of all the watches I've used, the G Watch R has the best mix of price, performance, and looks. It's not as attractive as the 360, but battery life is way better. That completely round screen is nice too.
- POGO Stylus ($20): I don't need a stylus to use a tablet, but sometimes I like to have one. I've owned a few over the years, but my favorite so far is the POGO. They're not too expensive, and the soft foam tip won't mess up your screen. The metal body is sturdy too. I think some people expect these tools to immediately add pressure-sensitivity to their screens, but if you know what to expect going in, I think you'll be pleased with the POGO.
- Chromecast ($35): It's hip to be over the Chromecast, but I still like mine. You don't have to embed yourself with a new ecosystem or learn how to use it. A Chromecast simply works with the apps you already have on your phone. It's a fine media streamer, but the screen mirroring is also really neat (as long as you have a supported device). You can often get it super-cheap too.
- Anki Drive ($150): I didn't expect to like Anki Drive, which debuted recently on Android, but it turns out to be really neat. These are physical toy cars that race around a special track on your floor. Each one is a tiny rolling Bluetooth radio that pairs with your device so you can control the action. The cars have a variety of weapons you can use to take out the other car and win the race. You don't have to worry about the minutiae of steering, though. Most of that is handled by the car's AI, which is pretty impressive. The starter kit is expensive, but 'tis the season.
NES30 Bluetooth Controller ($35). I've been using this nifty little controller more or less continuously since my review. It's a great companion for a mobile gamer: the NES shape makes it surprisingly portable, and the extra face and shoulder buttons mean it works well with a wide variety of mobile games. You may or may not like the 80's style, but it will certainly be a conversation piece. Works with iOS, Windows, and OS X for games that support generic controllers.
ASUS MB168B portable USB powered monitor ($150-300). It's safe to assume that if you're reading this, you might be buying gifts for geeks. If you know that the person you're buying for is a dual-monitor enthusiast, they'll love this USB-powered monitor. (My dad, a courseware developer for VM Ware, uses it on every trip.) Just plug it into your laptop and you've got extra workspace wherever, no power outlet necessary. I recommend getting a stand (like the Anker model above!) as the included protective case/tripod is kinda flimsy. Spring for the 1080p model if you're feeling generous.
Roku ($40-$100). My colleagues prefer the Chromecast or the Fire TV Stick, but for sheer flexibility you can't beat the Roku. This set-top box is well-established, so it's got channels for basically every kind of content, including both Google and Amazon video - something you can't get with anything else at this price. The fancier models include a very handy headphone jack on the remote control for roommate-friendly listening.
Parrot Rolling Spider Mini Drone ($100). The full-fledged remote drones are still pretty pricey, at least for models that are any good. But this cute little $100 flying drone includes protective frame that doubles as a non-powered wheel for fun wall and ceiling maneuvers, and can be remotely detached for free flying. There's no remote video recording, but you can shoot some low-res photos. Note: this drone requires a smartphone or tablet with Bluetooth 4.0 Low-Energy support.
Ichiban Toys custom LEGO sets ($20 and up). You're never too old for LEGO, and though the newer sets on toy store shelves are either too kiddie or too expensive, these unofficial kits will make any grown-up geek smile. They're made out of real LEGO pieces (not knock-offs!), and unlicensed likenesses from Star Trek, James Bond, Batman, Aliens, Serenity, and Mass Effect (along with some more conventional stuff like sports cars and planes) mean you can find something for almost any sci-fi or action fan.
- Moto 360 ($249.99). Many people were disappointed by the Moto 360. I was not one of them. As someone who is put off by most of the watches advertised for men, the Moto 360 offers a simplicity that I've been yearning for, and it's not at all uncommon for me to hear someone compliment my watch. Unlike Cody, I was never particularly excited about Android Wear, but since the day I strapped on the Moto 360, it has been a welcome addition to my life. There are a number of options out there by now, but if you want a smartwatch that looks like an accessory first and a gadget second, this really is the way to go.
- A Dual USB Flash Drive (various prices). There's a good chance the phone you bought this year didn't come with a MicroSD card slot, but it does have a MicroUSB port, and you're not limited to only using it for charging. A number of dual MicroUSB/USB flash drives have hit the market, and this has driven the prices down. You can pick up the peculiarly-named Leef Bridge or select something more traditional sounding from the likes of SanDisk, Kingston, Sony, Patriot, and others.
- Amzer Foldo Stand ($10) and Eagle Pod Stand ($25) - I mentioned both of these in my "What We Use" post, and I stand by them. They're both inexpensive, stable, and very portable. I've yet to find another stand that hits all three of these points so effectively. These wouldn't be bad options for a Secret Santa.
- Pugoo Pads ($6) - The Pugoo Pads are certainly oddities, but they are very handy as a makeshift mount and for various DIY projects. They are almost like portable glue. Even though the pads are sold as fairly large sheets, they can be cut down to smaller sizes. They are very reusable after a rinse with water, and stick to just about anything (excluding the dashboards of some cars... damn you, Nissan).
- Google Play Gift Cards ($10/$25/$50) - I know, people think gift cards are dumb. I'll admit it, they sorta are. I'd rather just have the cash to spend the way I want. However, a lot of people are inexplicably resistant to buying apps for their phone or tablet, perhaps fearing that they'll burn through their family fortune with IAPs. Instead, they force themselves to deal with free apps that are often flooded with ads or lacking features that are only available in a premium version. I'm not saying free apps are bad, but there are times when the best experience costs a couple of bucks. It might sound crazy, but once somebody brakes the seal, they realize that a couple of bucks here and there is worth it. If nothing else, point them to a couple of great games to get them started.
- MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths ($6) - If you're like me, you like to keep a microfiber cloth handy for cleaning off your touch screen when it becomes soiled in fingerprints after a few days of heavy use. These cloths are cheap and work great.
- Victorinox SwissChamp ($85 - $105) - I bought one of these about 6 months ago and love it. It's a quality product and useful, which is pretty much all you can ask from a utility knife.
I'll keep this one short: go check my very recent list of "Stuff I Use." There, that's better, eh? Dozens of recommended gadgets, accessories, and gear. Pick one, pick them all, gift one, gift them all. You're welcome (and probably broke).
Um, the end. Go buy some stuff.