The Best Gifts For iPad Owners

Great Things to Buy for iPad Lovers

What do you get for the person who already has one of the coolest gadgets on the planet? How about an accessory for their gadget? There are a number of great gifts for iPad owners ranging from gifts that will help them be more productive to gifts that will help maximize their fun with the iPad. Whether it is for Christmas, Hanukkah, a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation or any other gift-giving reason, you should find something for anyone on this list.

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Apple TV may very well be the best overall accessory for the iPad. With AirPlay, the iPad's screen can be sent to Apple TV, which makes it the best way to connect the iPad to an HDTV. At $99, it might be more expensive than Apple's Digital AV Adapter, which runs between $39 and $49 and lets you connect an HDMI cable to your iPad. But the extra cost is well worth the benefits of a wireless connection, which allows you to freely use the iPad while connected to your TV, and the added benefits of Apple TV, which can stream movie purchases and rentals as well as third-party sources like Netflix and Hulu Plus. More »

Music lovers may enjoy their iPad, but they may not enjoy their iPad's internal speakers. Good for a tablet, they aren't going to match up to a good home stereo system. Luckily, there are any number of good solutions to produce quality sound from your iPad.

One great gift is the Divoom Bluetune Solo.  Not only does it pack a big sound in a small package, the sub-$50 price tag puts it well within the gift range.

iRig

The iPad has created an entire niche of musical equipment accessories that allow various instruments to be plugged into the iPad. Guitar players might be interested in iRig, which will turn the iPad into a multi-effects package, while singers can jump into the fun with iRig Mic. Want to open up a whole new world of fun? iRig Midi allows the iPad to be connected to any midi instrument from keyboards to drum machines to pedal boards.

And for the serious musician (and serious gift-giver), there's the iRig Pro.  This device allows you to hook up almost any instrument to the iPad, which is great for those who want to record both guitar and vocals and get the most out of Garage Band. More »

iPad-Controlled Helicopter

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Who doesn't want to pilot their own helicopter?  There are a number of really good iOS-controlled helicopters on the market, most designed for indoor rather than outdoor flying.   A few good choices are the Syma S107, which is one of the more affordable options on the market, and the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadricopter, which will set you back a few hundred dollars for one of the best remote controlled helicopters on the market.

Did I mention that the iPad's popularity has created entirely new categories of accessories? The iCade is to the arcade game lover as the iRig line of accessories is to the music enthusiast. iCade essentially turns your iPad into an old-fashioned coin-operated arcade, which breathes new life into playing games like Centipede and Asteroids. The accessory works alongside Atari's Greatest Hits, which comes with a free version of Missile Command and in-app purchases for more Atari games.

One of the best moments at the 2013 World Wide Developer's Conference (WWDC) was the announcement of Anki Drive, a racing game completely controlled by your iPhone or iPad.   No, I'm not talking about a game on your iPad. I'm talking about racing cars on a real track you can put down in your house, but instead of some clumsy mechanical control for the cars, they are completely controlled by your iPad. The nifty AI program can weave in and out of cars, and you can even do things such as mount a railgun on a car and blast the competition. At around $200, it's a serious cash investment for some serious fun.

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Are you targeting a budding bartender for a gift?  Or perhaps they just love a really good cocktail?  The Perfect Drink accessory is a great home bartender system that opens the door to thousands of drinks.  This neat accessory hooks up to your iPad and measures as you pour, even alerting you if you overpour and telling you how to fix it.  Perfect Drink can even search for recipes that fit what's available in your liquor cabinet.  More »

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Yes, it's possible to attach an external lens to the iPad, and a Photojojo lens pack is great for budding photographers who want to take their photos to the next level.  This gift won't make any drastic improvement to the iPad camera, but it does open up a new range of possibilities with better zoom, a wide angle lens, a fisheye lens and more.   More »

Mattel has come out with a whole line of apptivity products, including an iPad case made specifically for toddlers. The case is tough and, most importantly, drool-proof. It also covers up the home button, so you can launch an app before you place the iPad in the case and know your child won't be able to close out of it. Mattel even puts out a few free apps to help stimulate your toddler. This makes the case a great gift for your young child, who can now safely have a little screen time or any parent of a toddler.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't recommend an iPad case as a gift. A case is very much a personal item, with each owner having a different idea of what they want from a case. But the Apptivity case is one that can easily go alongside a normal case.

And beyond cases, the Apptivity line has a lot of cool toys that interact with the iPad, such as cars that can be driven on a digital road displayed on your iPad. 

Stylus

Before the iPhone and the iPad, the stylus was a popular accessory to touch screens. Basically a pen for your display, the stylus lost a bit of its style with the rise of the iPhone, which was created with the goal of allowing fingers to be the best form of interaction with the device. But that doesn't mean the stylus became useless. Anyone who likes to paint or draw will love what a stylus can bring to the table, especially when combined with a quality drawing app.

The Camera Connection Adapter may be designed for connecting cameras to iOS devices for the purpose of downloading photos and video to the device, but it actually has some interesting uses beyond just getting your pictures on your iPad. For example, you can use it to hook up a wired keyboard to the iPad, which is great for those times when you want to input a huge block of text, but don't need to do this often enough to buy a wireless keyboard. You can also use it to hook up MIDI devices such as a musical workstation, so long as it supports MIDI over USB. More »

App Store Spending Spree

iTunes

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer? An iTunes gift card is cool for two reasons: (1) it lets you give the gift of apps, music, movies and books and (2) it does away with any worry that the person already has the gift since they can pick out what to buy for themselves. It's especially cool for iPad owners. While most paid apps range from $.99 to a couple of bucks, it can still be hard to press that buy button. But with a little bit of iTunes cash, the person can go on an App Store spending spree.

Buy an iTunes Gift Card from Best Buy

Where's My Water?

Have you run a specific app or game that you think would make the perfect gift? You don't need to give an iTunes gift card to gift an app. Apple makes it rather easy to gift an app to someone, although you will need to use iTunes on your PC or Mac if you have a new iPad or have upgraded to iOS 6.0. (Users still on iOS 5.x can gift an app from their iPad.) To gift an app, simply launch iTunes, click on the iTunes Store, choose the App Store and search for the app you want to give as a gift. Once on the app's detail page, click the down arrow next to the price and choose "Gift This App". More »

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