iPhone in Canada Holiday Gift Guide

It’s only 1 month away from the biggest gift giving day of the year, and we at iPhone in Canada want to help our loyal readers with some last minute suggestions to add to your list to Santa, or maybe to help find that last minute gift for the iPhone lover on your Christmas list.  I thought I would break the list down into some nice categories for everybody depending your budget so that you should be able to spend as little, or as much.  And if any of my friends and family are reading this…

On The Cheap Side

iTunes Gift Cards: When I asked around with my friends and family (As well as some of the wonderful people on Twitter), this was the most requested gift by far.  I’m a fan of gift cards in general, and while I know some people don’t find them as sentimental as other more planned out gifts, I think they are perfect for that person that you just can’t figure out what to get them.  Now that the app store has over 300,000 apps, there is almost no end to what the lucky receiver of this gift can buy.  If they don’t happen to want to buy any apps, they can still use it to buy songs, movies, or even rent tv shows!

Gift an App: For those who find giving a gift card to be too impersonal, then the idea of gifting a specific app might be more up your alley.  You can easily do this by going to the iTunes App Store and finding the specific app you want to give someone and select Gift this App.  You will be billed through your iTunes account and they will receive an email explaining how to get their gift.  I’ve done this numerous times in the past, from giving my Dad the EyeTV app so he can connect to my EyeTV and watch his favourite show, and gifting the MLB.com to my future father-in-law so that he can watch Baseball any time he wants.  I also hear rumours that there will be an Angry Birds Christmas edition that would make for a perfect gift this season.

iLuv  iPhone 4 Spectrum Case: If the iPhone user on your list is anything like me, they will love getting a case for their iPhone for Christmas.  A case can be a great gift that can help add that additional piece flare and personality to their iDevice.  I like the iLuv case as a simple and stylish case to keep your iPhone safe from bumps and scratches.  The link attached takes you to the iLuv website where you can purchase one of their fine cases, but I have an alternative suggestion which might help you save a little bit of money.  Check your local Winners store and see what the have in stock as far as iPhone cases go.  I found one of these cases for $4.99 at my local Winners here.  I know the selections will vary from store to store, but it’s worth a look to find a great deal on a case. They also usually have quite a few great iHome devices on sale at Winners as well.

Mediagate iKit Car Dock: Last year we reviewed the Mediagate iKit FM transmitter, and I think that it is still a great purchase as a gift for anyone who has an iPhone and a car.  I own one myself and have never enjoyed a car adapter more than this one.  It’s easy to use, and it has great signal strength.  I often drive between London and Toronto and this is the first FM Transmitter I have ever owned that I did not have to spend half of the trip switching to different stations.  The best part about this though is the price, it’s only $29.99! I’ve included a link for Canada Computers, but I’ve also seen it at stores such as FactoryDirect.ca in case they run out of stock.  And before you ask, yes it works great with my iPhone 4, however the adapter doesn’t fit perfectly with the Bumper case.

A Little Bit Pricier

Elgato EyeTV HD: The folks at Elgato have developed some really great products if you’re an iPhone user as well as have a Mac.  I received the EyeTV Hybrid as a Christmas present from my parents a couple of years ago and I could not be happier with it, unless of course I upgraded to this HD version.  The exciting part about this for iPhone users is that you can also buy a companion app that allows you to watch your live TV or recorded shows any time that you have your iPhone with you! This is one of the first apps I show people when I’m showing off my iPhone to others.  I’m hoping that once Apple get’s their act together and allows third-party app makers to use Airplay, this could be a great way to get live TV on your Apple TV.

Apple TV: This will definitely be the number one present on my Christmas list this year.  For those that don’t know what this is already, check out our unboxing post, but essentially the small black box allows you to watch any content from iTunes library, Netflix, or Youtube on your HDTV.  Apple recently also enabled the Airplay feature which allows you to stream right from your iOS 4.2 device right to the TV.  The one caveat is that to stream movies from your computer to the Apple TV is that the files have to exist in your iTunes library.  Luckily I found a piece of software called iFlicks which will convert your existing movie files to the proper format, add all of the metadata, and import it right into iTunes without you having to even touch it. All that for $119 is not a bad deal for the movie/TV lover on your list.

The “Holy Crap This Is The Best Gift Ever!” Gifts

Sonos Wireless Music System: For the Audiophile, what could be better than the ability to stream all of your music wirelessly around your house, and even in multiple rooms.  That’s what a Sonos system can do.  Sonos combines amazing quality with ease of use to allow you to stream all of your music to different parts of your house and even have different music playing in each room.  However these systems do not come cheap.  Starting at around $400 for a system that  allows you to connect to your already existing system, to $600 for one with speakers built in, these are not for the faint of heart.  Fortunately after you’ve shelled out all your dough on these systems, you can download a free controller for your system on your iPhone so you can control your music experience right from your phone.

Parrot AR.Drone: I have to admit, that this one is out of sheer “I wish they had this when I was a kid,” but this has got to be one of the coolest iPhone accessories I have ever seen.  Gary wrote a more in depth review about this earlier in the year so I will keep it short in explaining what this is.  It is a remote control helicopter that you control with your iPhone and has a camera on it that sends video back to your iPhone.  I can not think of single little boy (or older boy with a child at heart) that would not be ecstatic about finding this under the tree this year.

I hope I’ve given some people a few good ideas about gifts this year, and if you think that you have some more suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments section.  I will be making a copy of all the comments and printing them off and mailing them to Santa (don’t worry, he’s knows you by your username as well) so don’t be shy on posting any other iPhone related gifts you might want this year! Also don’t forget that tomorrow is Apple’s annual Black Friday sale! I’ve gotten some great deals in the past years on Apple products as well as third-party products that they carry in the store as well!

Happy Holidays from all of us at iPhoneinCanada.ca!!

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Vwgm

    For a great stocking stuffer you can give a little ipad stand for 10$ from Groovystand

  • How is the MediaGate iKit when you’re driving around in the core of Toronto? I bought an expensive Griffin or Belkin fm transmitter last Xmas for $100 and it never works. I don’t blame it as much as the lack of open radio stations and overpowering signals in the city. I’m sure it would work decently on a trip to London as well, but I don’t want to drop any more cash if it’s not going to work in the city where I do 95% of my driving. Just wondering if you use it much around town.

  • How is the MediaGate iKit when you’re driving around in the core of Toronto? I bought an expensive Griffin or Belkin fm transmitter last Xmas for $100 and it never works. I don’t blame it as much as the lack of open radio stations and overpowering signals in the city. I’m sure it would work decently on a trip to London as well, but I don’t want to drop any more cash if it’s not going to work in the city where I do 95% of my driving. Just wondering if you use it much around town.

  • Holly

    Cool! I have never heard of iFlicks before! (Trying the trial version, however a bit of a hiccup, it moved content to the TV Shows section of iTunes, but on the Apple TV2 it’s not showing up…if I can get it to work it sounds like it would be helpful!) Will also be trying out an Elgato product in the future. Going to set up a mac media centre (mac mini), cancel cable and record/watch content via OTA. Do you have a media centre set up? Do you use Plex or Boxee or…?

  • I’ve used it a few times in downtown Toronto, but my mileage has varied depending on the car and the placement of the antenna. In my good ol’ Chrysler Neon I have no problems with it, I just had to change the radio station once (it has a quick scan button to find the best open station) but on other cars it hasn’t worked as well. I think this might have to do with how far away the antenna is from the transmitter though, and if it’s too far away, the other signals will overpower it. But on the brightside, I had a griffin iTrip before and it never worked in Toronto no matter which car I was driving.

    Sorry I can’t be much help on that one!

  • Anonymous

    Iflicks seems very cool. Anyone used it with some good tips. Also what are some of the other software that people are using to do the same thing as iflicks? As far as video conversion from multiple formats for use in iTunes iPad iPhone apple tv.

  • I’ve been using iFlicks for about a month now to convert my .avi files so that they can sync onto my iPad. A great part is that it comes with some applescripts you can turn on that automatically start the process when a video file is put into a specific folder.

    If you don’t care about the metadata (which I do since i’m incredibly anal) you can simply use an automator file to convert files to be playable in iTunes

  • Hi Holly! iFlicks is pretty great, I found it after doing a lot of searching for something that did exactly what it did (i even tried writing the applescripts themselves). I don’t know why it wouldn’t be showing up on the Apple TV, are you making sure to set the video type for apple tv? Also I use Plex for my media server. The sorting it does is fantastic and lets me watch shows like TWiT with its plugins.

    Let me know if you get it working and what the problem was!

  • Slowburn

    I just got was looking thru the Futureshop ad for this week (starting today) & $25 iTunes Giftcards are being sold for $20.

    Great time to stock up on them.

    (I don’t work for Futureshop!!) 😀