Thanks to severe back pain for the past 10 days, I haven’t had the opportunity to get a post out about festive gifts sooner than this. So the ones I’m about to recommend for the geek in your life won’t arrive in time for the big day, but we all love a New Year surprise, don’t we?
iPhone App Coasters
www.iphoneappscoasters.com (not taking any more orders currently)
I ordered a set of these at the end of November as a surprise gift for a friend. A week later I received the news that they wouldn’t be shipped in time for Christmas so a replacement gift was ordered. Less than a week after that, they arrived unexpectedly. So, they became a me-to-me gift.
The cost of a set of six was just £12.99 plus postage and packing, which in total came to around £15. The quality of the images on the coasters are very good and they’re also very well made, with cork backing. Having seen similar coasters in the US for double the price, these are well worth it and the perfect gift for any iPhone fan.
I currently can’t give a rating on this item as I’m still waiting to take delivery, since I only ordered about 10 days ago. But, as a Twitter addict I am so looking forward to having my Magic Mouse glide across it. I’ll give a full review upon receiving mine, but if you are someone you know/love is a Twitterer then they’ll love this. Facebook mousepads are also available and pretty much everything that Meninos sell is Geek Paradise. The Twitter Mousepad cost approximately £12.50 with shipping which is bargainous.
I wrote about Throwboy Pillows earlier in the year – you can see my review here.
These are perfect gifts not only for the Mac Geek, but now they have a bigger selection to choose from including RSS and Chat Pillows, so every geek is catered for. They’re fantastic quality, great to snuggle up with or have on display. Priced at $29 each (+ $8 shipping to the UK).
Now we’ve covered the hardware, what about some great software for your computer and particularly the iPhone to keep you entertained when festivities are over?
CameraBag Desktop for Mac and PC
I reviewed CameraBag Desktop a couple of months ago – full review. It’s making my recommendations list again because originally I gave it a 3/5 rating due to no trial period being initially available, so it was somewhat a blind purchase. However, having used it frequently in recent months I have no regrets about purchasing it. Here’s a couple of photos I’ve taken recently and edited in CameraBag Desktop.
CameraBag is also available for the iPhone and is one of my favourite photo editing apps.
RampChamp.com | iTunes: £1.19
RampChamp is one of the most addictive games I have played on the iPhone – combining great game play with beautiful design. Recently they released a free festive ramp called North Pole which you can download within the app by going to to the add-on tab. After you’ve knocked over fun and colourful characters and objects with the 9 balls you are allocated for each game, you can redeem your tickets for prizes and loot.
I’d have given a full 5 stars to Ramp Champ in my rating if the application was a little more stable. Even after recent updates the app still crashes my iPhone occasionally which is a little frustrating when all you want to do is throw balls at the freaky characters in the Clown Town Ramp! Once these little issues are addressed then it’ll get full marks from me.
Having read the rave reviews, I decided to download this app last week. The warning was that it was insanely addictive. A bold statement, one that it definitely lives up to. The aim is to get the Doodle Monster to jump onto each platform and basically go as far as you can, with springs, trampolines and rocket packs assisting you on some of the platforms you land on. The newest update gives it a snow-mode so it’s fun and festive at the same time.
Outsideapp.com | iTunes: £1.79
The standard Weather app on the iPhone is okay, but it’s a bit limited and a bit boring. I’ve searched for a while for a replacement weather app and last night I found it, Outside in the App Store. Not only is this a very polished and elegant application that uses GPS to find your exact location but it also comes with Push Notifications which will tell you what you want to know, when you want to know it such as when the temperature drops below a number you set, when rain is forecast and more.
You will receive 4 weeks worth of free push notifications and if you want to subscribe for longer then it will cost just 59p for 90 days worth. This has instantly replaced Weather.app on my home screen and seems to be pretty accurate so far.
American Greetings eCards
If, like me, you are a little behind on posting out cards this year by the deadline, then you might be wanting to send an eCard to a friend to wish them a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. American Greetings eCards has a bunch of categories to choose from and you can even build your own card and e-mail it to a friend.
WhatsApp.com | iTunes: 59p
This is an app that is definitely up there on my Festive Survival Kit list. I can’t speak highly enough about this one which just keeps on raising the bar with every update it releases. If you have an iPhone and your contacts have an iPhone then this will replace SMS for you. I wrote a review of it a couple of months ago, but recently it has received some extra features which make this a must-have for your iPhone.
Version 2.3 brought us the ability to send pictures, video (for the 3GS users) and voice memos to others with the application. I use WhatsApp to keep in touch with several of my iPhone using friends and this is particularly useful when one of them is overseas. Sending an SMS/MMS to him would cost me money via the data network. However, with WhatsApp it’s absolutely free. Fantastic application to keep you in touch with friends over the festive period.
So, that about concludes my must-haves for this Festive Season. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!