Time is ticking away before Christmas morning and you may not have all your shopping done. If so, don't despair: here are six great last-minute gifts for the iPod, iPhone, or iPad lover in your life.
1. iTunes Gift Card
You can get these gift cards nearly anywhere: Apple Stores, the grocery store, big-box retailers like Target, and many more places. Denominations run US$15-$100. The cards can be used to buy any content at the iTunes Store, from music to apps, videos to iBooks. Always a solid choice.
2. iPod Shuffle
With a price of just US$49, the iPod Shuffle is practically a stocking stuffer. This tiny 2GB wonder is best for exercisers who don't need to look at a screen (the Shuffle doesn't have one) while using it. This makes a good first iPod or a great second one for specialized uses.
3. Apple TV
Bring iTunes to your living room with the $100 Apple TV. This small set-top box connects to your Wi-Fi or cable modem and lets you play your iTunes music, photos from your computer, and movies you rent or buy at iTunes on your HDTV. The Apple TV also comes pre-loaded with apps that provide dozens of channels of content from HBO, ESPN, the NBA, Netflix, Hulu, and many more.
Related: Apple TV review
4. iPhone or iPad Case
If the people on your gift list already have iPhones or iPads, or if one of those is among the gifts they'll be getting this year, a protective case is a great companion gift. Cases cost from $30-$60 and, at their most basic, protect the device from scratches, dents, and falls. At their most complex, cases complement the features of the device they protect, such as cases that can be propped up to make watching video on the iPad more pleasant.
This hardware/software combination attaches to a Mac and helps you convert video files in the iPod/iPhone/iPad-ready h.264 video, and do it in high-def to boot. The hardware isn't 100% necessary, but it accelerates the converter software 2x-4x, meaning you'll be able to crank out more videos, faster. Expect to pay around US$100 for this one.
6. Fitness Tracker Band
If anyone on your gift list is planning to get into better shape next year, or looking to take their exercise to the next level, these gadgets can help. When worn on your wrist, they track your activity, sleep, heart rate, and include apps that help you count calories. Expect to spend $100-$150.
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While I don't love the 6th generation iPod nano, and it's now been succeeded by the 7th-gen. model, the 6th gen. is pretty versatile--something proved by these nifty case/wrist watches. The nano includes a clock app, so fire that up, put it in a case and slap the band around your wrist and you've got a watch--one that doubles as an iPod, too. This has proved pretty propular, so it may be hard to find. Expect to pay around US$25.
The touchscreen interface on iOS devices is great, except that it requires skin contact to work and that's a no-go in chilly winter months. Enter Digits. These small, conductive attachments to gloves let you keep your hands warm while also being able to use touchscreens. Maybe not the world's greatest fashion statement, but if they keep your hands warm, it might be worth it. Expect to pay around US$15 for these.