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Holiday shopping in today’s tech-driven world can be a daunting task, but never fear, iDB is here to help! Using our extensive product knowledge, we’ve put together a series of holiday gift guides with great gift ideas for a wide variety of ages, tastes, budgets and more. Today’s guide focuses on music lovers.

Jamstik 7 Smart Guitar

The Jamstik 7 is a travel-size MIDI guitar that will revolutionize how you learn to play and produce music. It easily connects to your phone, tablet or computer, and the built-in sensors detect the placement of your fingers, giving you instant feedback. And because the Jamstik is a MIDI controller, you can pair it with a plethora of apps and make it sound like almost any instrument you can think of.

Buy for $200

Korg microKEY2 49-Key Keyboard

Whether they know how to play the piano, or have an interest in learning, the Korg microKEY2 makes for a great gift. It comes in a handful of key configurations, but we are pointing to the 49-key setup for its balance of scale and portability. I like that the keyboard has built-in mod and pitch wheels, one-touch octave up and down, and that it easily connects to Mac and iOS devices.

Buy for $135

Artiphon MIDI Controller

Give the gift of music. It’s such a cliche saying, but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a product more deserving of it than the Instrument 1 from Artiphon. It looks like a portable guitar, but it’s so much more than that. Hook it up to any iOS or Mac device, and you have a guitar, bass, violin, drum—you name it. Features include 2 stereo speakers, a headphone jack and up to 6 hour battery life.

Buy for $420

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Want to lay down the vocals for a track, or perhaps start a podcast? You’re going to need a microphone. And I don’t know of one that offers more bang-for-your-buck than the Yeti from Blue. It has 3 condenser capsules that can record in almost any situation, onboard gain control and mute, and since it’s connected and powered via USB, it’s very plug-and-play friendly.

Buy for $100

Edifier S350DB Speaker System

Every music lover needs a solid 2.1 system, and the one I really like right now is the S350DB from Edifier. Whether you’re hooking it up to a record player or a computer, the S350DB looks great and sounds even better. Features include built-in Bluetooth for streaming, tons of input options, a thumping 8-inch subwoofer and a wireless remote. Plus Edifier includes a 2-year warranty.

Buy for $300

ROLI Beatmaker Kit

For the person that would like to experiment with making music, but doesn’t know where to start, or for the pro that wants a more portable setup, there’s the ROLI Beatmaker Kit. With the Lightpad M + Loop Block bundle, you can create entire soundtracks. The Kit comes with a plethora of software, and the optional Melodics subscription service, which offers 30 courses and 400 lessons to explore.

Buy for $300

Marshall Major II Bluetooth Headphones

Of course you could get them a pair of Beats or Bose headphones, but I really like these from Marshall. The company is an absolute legend in the speaker/amplifier game and I really like the blend of modern and vintage in this iconic design. These headphones are also comfortable to wear for long periods, fold for easy storage, offer up to 30 hours of playback, and sound good to boot.

Buy for $80

LifeProof Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Buy for $55

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator

Don’t let its size or barebones-look fool you, this pocket synthesizer is capable of creating an entire song. Features include a 16-step sequencer, pattern chaining, drum machine and a wide variety of sound choices. It’s perfect for amateurs who like to tinker, or pros on-the-go. I especially like this bundle because it comes with batteries and a silicon case to make it look like a more finished device.

Buy for $89

Also be sure to check out our other gift guides:

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Holiday Gift Guide 2023: 30 Best Tech Gifts For Christmas And New Year’s

It’s that time of the year again. With cold weather and streets lighting up with stars and decorations, the festive season is officially upon us. However, just when the world started to open up and recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, a new variant of the virus has brought back panic and delayed everyone’s plans to get back to a sense of normalcy. Yet, here we are, continuing to survive the pandemic, in hopes of a better world. While there’s no denying the fact that the past few months have been hard for many of us, we should look at the bright side and cherish those close to us. With the holiday spirit in mind, we have prepared a list of tech products you can gift your loved ones during Christmas or New Year’s in 2023. Let’s dive in and check out this curated holiday gift guide.

Best Tech Gift Ideas for Christmas and New Year (2024)

We have divided this 2023 holiday gift guide into five sections based on the price range of tech products. You can use the table of contents section below to skip to the section that suits your planned budget. With that said, let’s jump right into the list.

Best Tech Gift Ideas Under $50 Wyze Bulb Color

If you know someone who’s getting started on building a smart home ecosystem, Wyze’s smart bulb might just be the practical tech gift that will make their life easier. Other than offering over 16 million colors to choose from, Wyze’s smart bulb is bright enough at 1,100 lumens. You can even set up routines to automatically toggle the light on sunrise and sunset after pairing the bulb with Alexa or Google Assistant. In case your budget is flexible, you could also look at premium offerings such as the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance bulb ($49.97).

Buy from Amazon: ($14.00)

LIFX 40″ Color Zones Lightstrip

Buy from Amazon: ($47.59)

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

Converting a regular TV to a smart TV is no longer a hassle, thanks to streaming sticks. Those looking for an affordable option to access all the best streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Peacock, and more should consider Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K. You also get support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos here, provided your TV hardware supports it. If you prefer Google TV over Fire OS, you could consider purchasing Chromecast with Google TV.

Buy from Amazon: ($29.99)

Echo Show 5

Here’s a tech gift for those who like to stay organized. Echo Show 5 is a compact smart display to stay in the loop with the latest news, your alarms, timers, and more. Powered by the Alexa voice assistant, you can use the Echo Show 5 to view your photos, control Alexa-enabled smart home devices, and perform video calls. Echo Show 5 is an ideal bedside table companion, and you even have the option to close the camera shutter for greater privacy. This could be the perfect holiday gift for your family to use in the kitchen or dining room.

Wyze Smart Plug

Don’t want to splurge on a new smart home device while your existing gadget is working just fine? Wyze’s smart plug has got you covered. With this smart plug, you get the flexibility to control your connected devices remotely. There’s also a convenient ‘vacation mode’ that you can use to randomly switch on devices to keep intruders at bay. Wyze plug doesn’t require a hub and works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.

Buy from Amazon: ($19.97)

Apple AirTag

We’ve all misplaced valuable items and spent hours searching for them. If you know a forgetful friend (or you are that friend), it’s time to gift them an AirTag. For the uninitiated, the AirTag is Apple’s smart item tracker to help you keep track of your items and find them if lost. Integrated to Apple’s Find My network, Apple has also released an Android app to detect unknown AirTag devices. If your friend is not in Apple’s ecosystem, Tile Pro is the best AirTag alternative for them.

Buy from Amazon: ($29)

Mooas Cube Timer

Buy from Amazon: ($14.99)

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: 3 Month Membership

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the ultimate holiday tech gift for the gamers you know. Purchasing Game Pass Ultimate membership gives them access to over 100 high-quality games accessible from console, PC, phones, and tablets, along with EA Play membership. Game Pass Ultimate is a no-brainer for Xbox fans and if you know someone who has been eyeing a subscription for a while, make them happy with a subscription gift this Christmas.

Buy from Amazon: ($44.99)

Best Tech Gift Ideas Under $100 Echo 4th Gen

If you’re planning to gift a smart speaker to your loved ones this holiday season, Amazon’s 4th-gen Echo speaker is something to consider. With Amazon Echo, you can stream music via leading music streaming services, including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, SiriusXM, and more. You can even stream lossless audio with Amazon Music HD. Echo speaker is a good starting point for anyone planning to enter Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

Capturing memorable moments is an integral part of celebrations and the Christmas holiday season is no exception. While we usually rely on our smartphones or DSLR cameras for taking photos, you could consider switching to Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 11 camera. It will allow you to instantly print photos your family will treasure for years to come. Starting at $69, the Instax Mini 11 is available in multiple attractive colors, including Lilac Purple.

Buy from Amazon: ($69)

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 Instant Camera

Another instant camera worth considering is Fujifilm’s Instax Square SQ1. The camera captures square images in a 1:1 aspect ratio and is 1.5 times bigger than the mini print. Activated by twisting the lens, Square Q1’s selfie mode lets you capture bigger selfies than the company’s Mini series. Instax Square SQ1 is available to buy in Orange, White, and Blue color variants.

Buy from Amazon: ($99.95)

iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit

Buy from Amazon: ($69.99)

Logitech G502

Often regarded as the best wireless gaming mouse, the Logitech G502 Lightspeed offers you up to 25,600 DPI, a 1 ms response rate, and 11 customizable buttons. G502’s Lightsync RGB tech automatically reacts to your gameplay, audio, and screen color. The mouse lasts up to 60 hours on a single charge, making it an ideal tech gift for your gamer cousins.

Buy from Amazon: ($96.97)

Royal Kludge RK84

Royal Kludge’s RK84 is a known name in the mechanical keyboards community, mostly due to the sheer set of features it offers for the money. Featuring TTC switches, the hot-swappable board offers 84 keys and supports Bluetooth 5,0, 2.4GHz dongle, and USB-C for wired mode. Equipped with a 3,750mAh battery, the company promises up to 200 hours on a single charge. Overall, the RK84 is the perfect gift for a beginner mechanical keyboard enthusiast.

Best Tech Gift Ideas Under $250 Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 needs no introduction and is often regarded as the best noise-canceling headphones in the market. The key features of the headphone include touch controls, wear detection, adaptive sound control, and more. It even supports a smart listening featrue that automatically balances the noise-canceling levels based on your surroundings. With 30-hour battery life on a single charge, the WH-1000XM4 might be the best tech gift for your frequent flyer relative this holiday season.

Buy from Amazon: ($248)

Sony WF-1000XM4

Those who prefer the compact nature of AirPods-style truly wireless (TWS) earbuds should look at Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds instead. The Sony WF-1000XM4 uses 6mm drivers and equips Sony’s V1 integrated processor with a QN1e chip. You also get IPX4 water resistance and 8 hours of battery life on a single charge (24 hours with case) on this one. Furthermore, charging the earbuds for 5 minutes gives you up to 60 minutes of playtime.

Buy from Amazon: ($248)

Samsung T7 Touch 1TB SSD

Buy from Amazon: ($149.99)

Kindle Paperwhite

Know a bookworm in your family? Gift them a brand-new Kindle Paperwhite to help them access their favorite books on the go. Featuring a 6.8-inch display with adjustable warm light, Kindle Paperwhite lasts up to 10 weeks on a single charge. Although you would save $20 on an ad-supported version of Kindle Paperwhite, I’d recommend going for the ad-free version where you can set book covers as the lockscreen image.

Buy from Amazon: ($159.99)

eufy RoboVac 11S

Doing chores is often a redundant and boring task, but it doesn’t have to be. Enter eufy RoboVac 11S, a robot vacuum cleaner that reaches difficult corners and rolls over carpets to do the cleaning for you. Featuring 1300Pa of suction strength, the RoboVac 11s is relatively silent at 55dB noise level. The vacuum cleaner offers 100 minutes of usage on a single charge, making it the ideal gift for parents.

Razer Kiyo Pro

Know a friend who always shows up on video calls with a grainy feed? Consider gifting them a webcam this holiday season. Capable of 1080P 60 FPS and 30FPS HDR footage, Razer’s Kiyo webcam features a 2.9μm sensor with an adjustable field of view and is the perfect holiday season gift for live streaming and video conferencing. You also get a privacy cover to close the camera when not in use.

Buy from Amazon: ($222)

Best Tech Gift Ideas Under $500 GoPro Hero 10

Travel enthusiasts and vloggers are likely to appreciate GoPro Hero 10 as a Christmas tech gift in 2023. The Hero 10 features a 23MP sensor and is capable of recording 5.3K videos at 60FPS and 4K videos at 120FPS. Alongside HyperSmooth 4.0 stabilization with 45° horizon leveling, you also get 8x slow-motion recording at 2.7K resolution here. You also have the option to use your GoPro as a webcam and live stream 1080p footage.

Buy from Amazon: ($399)

Oculus Quest 2

Buy from Amazon: ($299)

Nintendo Switch OLED

As a long-awaited upgrade, Nintendo released the OLED version of the Switch gaming console earlier this year. Other than the 7-inch 720p OLED display, the Switch OLED comes with 64GB of internal storage and a dock with a wired LAN port. Since the launch, the new Switch OLED has been selling like hotcakes and is guaranteed to make a gamer happy.

Buy from Amazon: ($349)

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series 7 is a substantial upgrade for anyone switching from older Apple Watch models except Series 6. The company has finally added a QWERTY keyboard alongside a larger screen, a brighter always-on display, and 33% faster charging this time around. Needless to say, you won’t go wrong gifting Apple Watch Series 7 to your fitness enthusiast family members.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic

While the Apple Watch is undoubtedly the best option for iPhone users, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the best of what the Android world has to offer. Featuring Google’s latest Wear OS 3.0 with Samsung’s One UI on top, the Galaxy Watch 4 also offers body composition measurement among other standard health features like heart rate monitoring and SPO2 blood oxygen monitoring. That said, do keep in mind that the Galaxy Watch 4 won’t work with iPhones.

Buy from Amazon: ($319)

Best Tech Gifts That Cost Over $500 MacBook Air (13-inch)

Although Apple launched 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros earlier this year, the 13-inch Retina display MacBook Air is still a solid deal. Featuring the Apple M1 chip, you can expect up to 18 hours of battery life on this machine. MacBook Air has Touch ID for authentication, and the base variant with 256GB storage starts at $899. That makes it a great gift for students and working professionals alike during the holiday season.

Buy from Amazon: (starts at $899)

iPad mini (6th-Gen)

Buy from Amazon: (starts at $494)

Galaxy Z Flip 3

Rather than being just a foldable phone, the convenient Galaxy Z Flip 3 has evolved to be a style statement among the fashion-focused. The device features a 6.7-inch display along with a 1.9-inch cover display. The camera setup consists of a 12MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide sensor with 10x digital zoom, and a 10MP selfie camera. The 3,300mAh battery on the Z Flip 3 supports 15W fast charging.

Buy from Amazon: ($849.99)

Google Pixel 6

After months of anticipation, Google unveiled the Pixel 6 series a couple of months back. Under the hood, the Pixel 6 packs Google’s first in-house Tensor chip. The Mountain View giant finally upgraded the camera setup with a primary 50MP f/1.85 Samsung GN1 sensor and a 12MP f/2.2 Sony IMX386 wide-angle lens. While I think Pixel 6 is better value for money than the Pixel 6 Pro, you can checkour Pixel 6 vs Pixel 6 Pro comparison to make an informed decision based on your needs.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Launched at this year’s Surface event, you can use Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio as a traditional laptop, a tablet, or unlock a tablet-like experience for drawing using the pull-forward display. Surface Laptop Studio supports Surface Slim Pen 2 and magnetically attaches to the side. Powered by Intel 11th-gen i5-11300H and i7-11370H processors, you get up to 4GB Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics here.

Buy from Amazon: (starts at $1299)

Perfect Tech Gifts for The 202 Holiday Season

10 Great Gift Ideas For Travelers

Welcome to the latest edition of iDB’s ongoing Gift Ideas series, where we provide curated roundups of some of our favorite products. Throughout the year we cover and test a number of devices and accessories, so we decided to use that experience to help those searching for the perfect present. Today’s roundup is focused on gift ideas for folks who like to travel.

Twelve South PlugBug Global Adapter

If the person you’re shopping for is an international traveler, the PlugBug from Twelve South makes a great gift. This portable adapter comes with five snap-on international plugs so you can charge your MacBook and other Apple devices in a number of countries including the UK, Australia, China and Japan. If they’re an experienced traveler, chances are they already have some adapters, but we’re going to bet they’re not as sleek or seamless as the PlugBug.

You can buy the Twelve South PlugBug for $45.

Apple Watch Series 2 42mm

For most folks, the Apple Watch is a nice gadget, but for travelers, it’s an essential one. Picture this, wearing the Watch you enter the airport. You use it to show your boarding pass, pay for your coffee at Starbucks and buy a sandwich at the terminal cafe—all without having to take out your phone or wallet. These are just a few examples of how Apple’s wearable can come in handy while on-the-go. I can’t think of a better gift for a frequent traveler that doesn’t already have one.

You can buy the Apple Watch Series 2 Aluminum for $399.

Alternative: if you really like the person, get them a Stainless Steel model (shown above).

JOTO Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch

Whether you’re headed to the beach on vacation, or just to the city on a boring business trip, a waterproof pouch can really come in handy. It’s built for your smartphone, but it can also store other important things such as plane tickets, passports, your wallet and more. We like this pouch from JOTO because it’s dirt/snow/waterproof up to 100 feet, touch-friendly, fits a number of devices, and it has a 4.6 star Amazon rating on some 17K reviews. It’s not super attractive, but it’s cheap and packable so you can pull it out in a pinch.

You can buy the JOTO Universal Waterproof Pouch for $8.

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

We recommend Bluetooth headphones more often then not, because wireless is clearly the way everything is headed, but I’m not sure there’s a more popular pair of headphones among travelers than the Bose QuietComfort 25s. They fold up for portability, they sound great, and best of all they feature Bose’s patented noise cancelling technology that can virtually silence a noisy airplane cabin. There’s also an inline microphone for fielding phone calls, a built-in remote for media playback, and Bose includes a nice carrying case.

You can buy the Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones for $300.

RAVPower 26800mAh 3-port Portable Charger

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: a good portable charger always makes a great present. There are tons of them out there, but for our travelers gift guide we’re recommending this one from RAVPower. It has a HUGE 26800mAh power bank that’s capable of fully-charging an iPhone 9 times, it has 3 high-powered USB ports, and iSmart 2.0 tech for fast, safe and reliable charging. All of this is fit into a package that is just a bit larger than a TV remote.

You can buy the RAVPower 26800mAh portable charger for $50.

Twelve South BookBook Travel Journal

Twelve South’s BookBook Travel Journal has popped up in a few of our gift guides this year, but this thing was made for travelers. It looks like a large hardback book, but it’s really more like a small bag, and honestly I think it could replace a carry-on for a lot of folks. It features a zippered closure, a large interior pocket and several smaller pockets for carrying various items. Use it store your iPad, headphones, portable charger, cables, adapters and other important things like your passport or wallet.

You can buy the Twelve South BookBook Travel Journal for $98.

Victorinox Swiss Army Spirit X Multitool

I really like giving multitools as gifts in general, but they really come in handy while traveling. You want to get a solid one—not the plastic ones you see in checkout lines at the grocery store—and we really like the Swiss Army Spirit X. It’s made of stainless steel and features 22 tools including screwdrivers, wire cutters, bottle openers and more. Plus it’s made in Switzerland by perhaps the most renowned name in multitools: Victorinox, and comes with a lifetime warranty.

You can buy the Swiss Army Spirit X for $75.

Alternative: if the gift recipient needs something more TSA-friendly, check out the bladeless Swiss Army Jetsetter tool.

Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 Duffel Carry-on

A good carry-on bag makes a great gift if the traveler you’re shopping for needs a new one. Now luggage is very subjective, as people have different aesthetic tastes, but you should be ok if you go with solid colors and premium materials. All of Tom Bihn’s bags meet those requirements, but we really like the Aeronaut 30 duffel. It has a large main compartment, easy-access end-pockets, and can be held and carried in a variety of ways. All of this is wrapped in high tenacity nylon with YKK Aquaguard coil zippers and duraflex buckles—translation: this bag was built to last.

You can buy the Tom Bihn Aeronaut bag for $285.

Alternative: there’s a bigger Aeronaut bag available for just $10 more, but it skirts the line for carry-on size.

Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Hydro Flasks also make great presents. They are essentially vacuum-insulated water bottles that can keep a liquid hot for up to 6 hours or cold for up to 24 hours. They look great and are super durable. You can use a nice water bottle really anytime, anywhere, but as you can imagine they really come in handy while on-the-go. The Hydro Flask also features a wide-mouth opening for smooth drinking, and comes in various sizes and colors.

You can buy the Hydro Flask Water Bottle starting at $30.

iPad Pro 9.7-inch 128GB

Like the Apple Watch, the iPad is another device that really shines on the road. More specifically, we like the 9.7-inch iPad Pro for its combination of power and portability, and recommend getting a larger storage capacity like the 128GB model so it can store enough movies and TV shows to get you through a long flight. I doubt you need any further convincing here, but just in case the iPad also plays games and music, can read millions of e-books, and offers thousands of apps to help you get things done.

You can buy the iPad Pro 9.7-inch 128GB for $630 (sale price).

Also be sure to check out our other gift idea roundups:

Play Your Music Wirelessly With The Blackberry Music Gateway

What is Blackberry Music Gateway?

Previously, we had to connect our devices to a speaker through a cord to hear the music. This, many times, prevented us from being able to charge said device, go in the other room to answer an email with it, or do other things with the device being used. Cords were a way that tied down that device, forcing you to interrupt the music session when needed. While this may be just fine for someone blasting music to their own delight at home, for individuals at parties, this just isn’t acceptable. Blackberry Music Gateway solves this problem by allowing individuals to have a device connected to their speakers, sort of as a connection portal (or Gateway) that connects the device holding the music, with the gadget playing the music.

The good thing about this device is that you don’t need to own a Blackberry to connect to it. As long as your mobile devices support bluetooth or NFC, you can easily pair it with the Gateway and blast your music wirelessly. And yes, when I say “mobile devices”, it includes your laptop as well.

How Do I Set it Up?

First off, you need to ensure that you have your device connected before connecting to the speakers. To do this, ensure that your Gateway is in some sort of power source. This can be a laptop if you are on the go (through the USB port), your car headphone jack, or even an outlet if you’re stationary. From there, you should see a light on.

You should expect to see either a blue, red, or green at any time through the life of your Blackberry Music Gateway.

Green always means that it’s powered on.

A red light always means you don’t have a connection. If it’s flashing quickly, this should be an alert to you that you lost your connection. If blinking slowly, this simply means you haven’t attempted a connection just yet.

The next color is blue, if this is blinking fast, then good news, you’re connected. If not, then it’s still good news, this means your Gateway is playing a song/sound. If mixed with red, this means it’s currently attempting to connect.

After the Gateway is plugged to a power source, press the top of the Gateway device, you’ll then have to go on to your Blackberry (or any other mobile device) and activate Bluetooth. Once Bluetooth is activated, you should be able to see the name “BlackBerry Music Gateway” in the list. At this point, once it is selected and paired, the light should be Blue.

To pair with NFC, Near-Field Communication, power the Gateway on, press the top of the Gateway, and activate NFC on your BlackBerry. From there, tap the Blackberry on top of the Music Gateway to activate.

My Experience with Music Gateway

During my week with the Blackberry Music Gateway, I found it to be a device fitting for a get-together or even while on the road. When testing it out on multiple platforms (in the car, through a television, and traditional speakers), I found it to be quite useful. iPhone and Mac games were able to have a more amplified sound when being hooked up to the speakers, increasing the gaming experience. When testing it on the Blackberry, that’s where I truly was able to appreciate the freedom of not being tied down by cords when listening to music and doing other tasks.

Conclusion

Do you need a Blackberry to get the best experience? No, not at all. RIM found a great way to make this platform-blind. Consumers will still not have the device on mind though due to the Blackberry name. Many will say, “I don’t have a Blackberry, so why would I need the Blackberry Music Gateway”. This wasn’t necessarily done on purpose or by accident by RIM, the device is made for Blackberry devices. The ability to work on other devices is just coincidence. That being said, paying $50 to not be tied down to cords while using your Bluetooth device is still something I see as not a bad purchase. Let’s just say, once Apple introduces a NFC iPhone, you’ll probably appreciate the purchase even more!

The Blackberry Music Gateway is sold on the RIM website for $49.95.

Ari Simon

Ari Simon has been a writer with Make Tech Easier since August 2011. Ari loves anything related to technology and social media. When Ari isn’t working, he enjoys traveling and trying out the latest tech gadget.

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How To Use Tech In Gift Giving

1. Creating a List

During the holidays, one of the most difficult activities to get out of the way is gift giving. The process is a mix of a guessing game with who should get what, along with a search high and low for the gift, only to guess what their reaction may be in the end. However, technology today has made it a lot easier for the gift giving process to go a bit smoother. Today, we will take a look at how it can assist you in creating a gift giving list, finding the best gift, and paying the least amount possible.

The first line of business for most gift givers is creating the shopping list that you will go by from now until you are finished with holiday shopping. For some people, they are able to get their shopping done by Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, while others wait until the day before the holiday to check everything off the list.

One recommended application for creating the holiday shopping list is Evernote. This application is available on iOS, Blackberry, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux. This means that almost wherever you are, Evernote follows. This is key in allowing you to work on your list even when away from home. Plus, the collaborative features of Evernote make it easy to create group lists. This means that if you have a list for the children, you and your spouse can accomplish tasks together.

A couple of Evernote drawbacks include the pricing. While it’s free, you do have a small free storage allowance, however more storage is as low as $4.99 a month. Alternatives include: Notes app on iOS, Remember the Milk

2. Getting the Best Deals

On your phone, RetailMeNot‘s coupon application allows you to take the popular coupon website’s deals to go with you on iPhone. You can set locations that you want to receive deals from and get alerts when they arrive. The community on RetailMeNot also is allowed to alert users of coupons, however voting allows you to filter the true deals from the tricks. You can also save and share some for later.

Some drawbacks to chúng tôi is that some deals aren’t as drastic as others you can find on other websites, due in part to the website’s focus as a whole. Secondly, RetailMeNot does offer a majority of valid coupons, however it can be a pain having to ensure the deal is truly going to work. Your best alternative would be Passbook for iOS if you have it on your iPhone, though you’ll have to add your own coupons.

3. Finding the Gift and Purchasing

There are a load of shopping options available on iOS. However, what’s important is finding the store that comes with the best benefits for shopping there. Amazon is a popular stop for holiday shoppers, also known as one of the most popular stops for Cyber Monday shopping. The Amazon Mobile application works wonders for accomplishing things on the holiday list while away from a computer.

But, sometimes it isn’t always smart to just go with the store that you always go to. A deal may be hiding in the middle of a store that you may have never been to before. Decide is a great application for situations like this. By scanning the items bar code, you are able to see whether or not you should purchase now or wait on it. You can also see the price of the competing stores. If you want to focus more on price comparisons, RedLaser or ShopSavvy may be great alternatives that are more focused.

Decide for iOS – Buy now or wait? This application helps you decide while also giving you deals and pricing to help.

Image credit: Gift by Big Stock Photo.

Ari Simon

Ari Simon has been a writer with Make Tech Easier since August 2011. Ari loves anything related to technology and social media. When Ari isn’t working, he enjoys traveling and trying out the latest tech gadget.

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Google Insights Show 5 Popular Holiday Gifts

While there are plenty of gift guides to be found on the web, Google is able to offer something more than a prediction of hot gifts for the season; they can tell us what’s actually popular, right here and right now. The Google Insights tool allows searchers to examine data for keyword, and thus product, search trends. From time to time, they also release a list of items that are performing especially well.

On December 8th, they released just such a list on the Google retail blog. In it, they showed five gifts that are seeing a huge climb in popularity this holiday season.

5. Snuggies

This “blanket that you can wear” has more than doubled in searches since we hit the fall season. While a lot of this can be credited to the cold weather, there have been continued surges around the Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

4. Sing-a-Ma-Jigs

The Sing-a-Ma-Jig is on the rise, having doubled in search popularity since July. Not only do they talk, but they even sing gibberish but clearly happy songs when you press on their tummies.

3. Monster High Dolls

While many dolls are seeing increased search volume, “Monster High Dolls,” who are teenage renditions of famous monsters like Frankenstein and Dracula, have seen the biggest boom yet — having tripled in popularity since the beginning of November.

2. The Nerf Stampede

The Nerf stampede is a unique Nerf gun — since it’s battery-powered and fully-automatic. This Hasbro product has seen a 60 percent increase since the beginning of November.

1. Pillow Pets

Maybe it’s a testament to earlier development of multitasking skills that these stuffed animal pillows are seeing such a rise in popularity. They’ve doubled in popularity since the beginning of November, with an especially high Black Friday peak.

These are just a few of the popular products this holiday season. Do your own searches on Google Insights to find the details for other popular items.

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