This is it - the end of our strange and wonderful shopping journey for the year. We know it can be tough to know what to get for someone for the holidays - anyone, really, regardless of how well you know them. We'd like to think that these shopping guides have been of some help. Even if you didn't go after anything on these lists there's the chance that something sparked an idea, which resulted in a successful gift. At least that's what we'd like to think.
Today’s guide is for the intense “power users” you may know. Business folks, diehard Apple fans - anyone who tends to push their device’s battery to the limits every day, mostly. If you’re looking for something to make their trips easier, help out at the office, or even just keep their iPad running for a few more hours, check out our list below for some ideas.
iKit NuCharge Battery Case for iPhone 5
The iKit NuCharge Battery Case ($89 - iPhone) is a compact, lightweight case that allows users to charge their phone on-the-go. It's pretty much perfect for commuters, travelers, and anyone who spends large chunks of time away from their charger, really. It's a great way to keep a phone working so no important calls are missed, or even allowing for enough time to watch Home Alone while waiting at the airport. [Our Review]
The NuCharge case is a great all-around piece of hardware to have, but it pairs particularly well with essential work-related apps like Triage ($0.99 - iPhone), Appoint ($3.99 - iPhone), and Reeder 2 ($4.99 - Universal). You won't have to worry about running out of juice while answering important emails, last-minute changes to an itinerary, and keeping up on feeds.
ZaggKeys Cover for iPad Mini
If you've got an iPad Mini and plan to use it for anything other than basic web browsing, email reading, and gaming, then you'll probably want to check out the ZaggKeys Cover for iPad Mini ($99 - iPad Mini). It's well-built, has a sturdy hinge, is slim enough to be conveniently portable, allows users to place their iPad in backwards (i.e. they can use the iPad without awkwardly leaving the keyboard open or separating it entirely), and the keys are backlit. Kind of a no-brainer for any iPad Mini owner, really. [Our Review]
With a fancy iPad Mini keyboard like this, why not consider a writing app or two? Write for iPad ($1.99 - iPad) is a good coice for someone looking to write just about anything on the go, while Infinite PDF ($9.99 - iPad) offers up an extensive suite of PDF managing tools. It's a combination that's handy for presentations, setting up book layouts, and so on.
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($99 - iPad) is one iPad keyboard that I'm particularly fond of. It offers some decent screen protection, pops on and off easily but is also strong enough not to accidentally fall off on its own, and makes for an incredibly sturdy stand. This is another one that's idea for anyone who does a lot of writing for any reason, as well as for those who like to give presentations with their iPad [Our Review]
With those two factors in mind (presentations and writing), why not think about OmniPlan 2 for iPad ($59.99 - iPad) or Air Display 2 ($9.99 - iPad) as a digital pack-in with your gift? OmniPlan is ideal for organizing large projects and managing teams down to their smallest details. Air Display, on the other hand, would go incredibly well with the Ultrathin's functionality as a stand and allow the user to turn their iPad into a second computer monitor.
Dodocase Folio for iPad
Let's take a step back from all the super-intense stuff for a moment and appreciate the Dodocase Folio for iPad ($124 - iPad). It's a very sturdy, functional, and elegant case that would look great on any professional's iPad. It includes large pockets on the inside flap for notes and such, a little spot along the fold for a pen or stylus, and has this marvelous "old book" appearance when closed. It makes the iPad a bit more bulky, but it's still ideal for anyone who prefers to stay organized (and look good while doing it!). [Our Review]
SanDisk Wireless Media Drives
The SanDisk Wireless Media Drives ($50 to $100 - iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) serve as an ideal alternative to cloud storage. They vary in price and available storage space, but any of them can be useful in a variety of situations. Loading up a bunch of movies to stream to an iOS device later (thus sparing the device's own storage space) is only one example. The drives also allow users to upload their own media files from their device - so tons of photos from a family trip, video from an on-location film shoot, and more can all be transferred with little effort or fuss. [Our Review]
You might want to consider including It's Playing Pro ($4.99 - Universal) with one of those drives, as according to our own Jeff Scott it's actually a much better app to use for streaming video playback than the suggested official SanDisk app. Say&Go ($0.99 - iPhone) is another good fit, since users would be able to record all the voice memos and notes they could stand without worrying about using up their device's storage. Photo apps such as FancyCam ($1.99 - iPhone) are also a great fit due to the photo/storage combo.
NeatConnect Cloud Scanner
Whether working from home in a personal office or on a trip with a portable one, the NeatConnect Cloud Scanner ($499 - iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) is definitely something to consider. This wireless document scanner doesn't require the use of a computer of any kind. Instead, it can scan and upload documents (saved as PDF, JPG, and more) directly to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. This means it would be a snap for someone to scan a few receipts to load onto their iPhone for expense tracking, or important paperwork that they'd be able to transfer to their iPad and fiddle with. Greyscale, color, black and white, or two-sided - it makes no difference to this scanner. [Our Review]
So why not include something like Polaris Office ($0.99 - Universal) with it? This mini office-on-the-go app even supports Dropbox file transfers, so it'd be a snap to upload documents with the NeatConnect and then download them straight to Polaris Office. PDF Expert 5 ($9.99 - iPad) is another great fit, what with it being newly redesigned for iOS 7 and receiving a sizable amount of new features - namely the Review mode that allows users to edit and make notes on PDF files.
Dropcam Pro ($199 - iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) isn't about productivity, but about peace of mind. The camera connects to a home network and can be accessed through an iOD device in order to watch the house while on a trip, keep an eye on the kids or pets from work, and plenty of other scenarios. Setup is easy, video streams can be kept private or shared with specific individuals (or made entirely public if one so chooses), and the app even knows to turn the camera off once the user comes home. Of course you'll also want to grab the free official Dropcam app to go with it. [Our Review]
Feel free to peruse our Editor’s Choice selections for more top-rated office/travel/business-friendly app ideas.