The turkey leftovers have been finished off, distant relatives have made it back to their homes, and the holiday shopping season has officially begun! Knowing what to get for someone, regardless of how familiar you may be with their tastes, can often be a challenge. Thankfully there are people like us putting together handy-dandy holiday shopping guides for you! Whether you’re looking for new hardware and accessories, or just something a bit less impersonal than an iTunes gift card, we’ve got you covered.
Today’s guide is for the health nuts. Those people who get up inhumanly early to exercise, bike and/or jog with regularity, or otherwise make athletic activities a significant part of their day. If you’d like to help the health-conscious iOS users in your life with some handy gizmos, or maybe nab a useful app or two they may not have heard of, check out our list below for some ideas.
The earHero Headphones ($149 - iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) are definitely something to think about for the people on your list who go jogging or biking in busy urban areas. These earbuds are all about safety. They actually allow outside sounds to reach the listener even while in-use, which may sound silly but can make a big difference to someone riding their bike through the streets of a major metropolitan area. Car horns, truck engines, etc, won't be drowned out - which will theoretically make running and biking around town significantly safer. At least from an "almost getting blindsided by an SUV while crossing the street" point of view. Admittedly the sound quality isn't ideal for listening to music, but when safety is a concern I think it's a worthwhile sacrifice. [Our Review]
While the sound quality may not be ideal for music, that's no reason to think that there aren't some worthwhile apps that would pair well with earHero headphones. Take Zombies, Run! ($3.99 - iPhone) for example: it's not about music but about listening for the approaching zombie hordes and running like mad to keep from getting eaten. Then there's TempoRun ($2.99 - iPhone), which is admittedly music-focused but it's more about the tempo than the actual tunes. It allows users to set their own pace by way of adjusting the speed of their music, and even offers streaming radio if they get tired of their own playlist.
Dodo Hardcover Case for iPhone 5 and 5s
Why the Dodo Hardcover iPhone Case ($34.95 to $54.90 - iPhone 5/5s)? Because it's a good-looking and sturdy iPhone case, that's why. It may not be ideal for clipping to a waistband or strapping to a limb, but it offers great protection when tossed in a pocket. And sometimes people prefer to put their iPhone in a pocket (presumably a zippered or buttoned one) when they go running or biking. So the Dodo case will protect their phone, and look good when they take it out for a moment or two during a breather at that little cafe on the corner they like to stop at sometimes. [Our Review]
With such a durable and good-looking case, there's no harm in taking a look at some rather movement-intensive apps. For example, if your recipient were to load up Performance Stretching ($2.99 - iPhone) or Pocket Yoga ($2.99 - Universal) before going for a run or otherwise working out, they wouldn't have to worry much about their iPhone falling out of a pocket and bouncing off the floor. The same goes for Pedometer Pro ($1.99 - iPhone), which will keep track of the user's running information whether they're out on the street or on a treadmill. If the phone happens to fall out of their pocket while in mid-run, the Dodo case will be there to protect it.
Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL
On the more literal side of things, we have the Adidas MiCoach SPEED_CELL ($70 - iPhone). It's a tiny stat-tracking gizmo that measures speed, distance, steps, stride rates, and more, and clips right on to a shoe's laces or can be placed into a special cavity found in specific brands. Just sync it up with an iPhone and start running! [Our Review]
Then there's the RFLKT+ ($129 - iPhone); an iPhone-powered bike computer. The RFLKT+ clips on to a bike's handlebars and displays app data (and controls music playback) straight from the iPhone - transmitted wirelessly over bluetooth, of course. In other words, users can clip their iPhone somewhere or stuff it in a secure pocket or something, then control everything from this tiny display mounted in front of them. Yes please!
The FitBit Force ($129 - iPhone) is another worthwhile stat-tracker to consider. This little watch-like thing can be worn all day and night - keeping an eye on calories burned, steps taken, sleep, and more. Those stats can then be wirelessly synced to an iPhone, where users can monitor their progress in real time and even set personal goals to try and beat. It also supports a sizable number of third-party fitness apps. Oh, and it tells time.
Bike2Power BikeCharge Power Pack
For the very active bike riders who tend to stay out for hours at a time, there's also the Bike2Power BikeCharge Power Pack ($59 - iPhone). This durable all-weather battery backup attaches to the user's bike and can be hooked up to a number of iOS devices (yes, even an iPad) when needed. If they're out for a while and need more juice for music on the ride back, they're covered. If the forgot to charge their iPhone and need to call for a pickup due to inclement weather or exhaustion, no problem. Of course if they stay out even longer after recharging their stuff, that's another matter entirely.
With that in mind, how about an app like gMusic 2 ($1.99 - Universal) for all their audio entertainment needs? It allows users to stream their entire Google music collection, and if they burn out their phone's battery in the process of listening to Queen on repeat they can easily charge it back up again with the Bike2Power. Anything they'd be using while out on the road would be a good fit really; from Cyclemeter GPS ($4.99 - Universal) to MotionX 24/7 - formerly MotionX Sleep ($0.99 - iPhone).
Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated fitness app ideas.