Get those refresh buttons ready for Geekiest Show Ever 345 — it’s our annual Geekiest Gift Guide, just in time for the holiday sales season. Wacky Wednesday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday —who knows this year?! It seems the sales are going on each day that ends in Y. High-tech, low-tech, there’s bound to be something here for every one of the geeks in your life. We also share some tips that won’t cost you a dime and if you shop with our links, we’ll keep you safe at home and out of the line. Follow us for additional tips and conversation on Twitter @GeekiestShow
Check the Apple Security Updates page to see if your Apple gear is up to date.
Do you use 1Password version 7 on your Mac and wear an Apple Watch? Boy, do we have good news for you! (from iMore)
Disclosure: the link in our show notes is a referral code. If you join Scribd, you’ll get 60 days free and Elisa will get 30 days free. Price is $9.99/month for unlimited reading. Gift subscriptions are $50 for 6 months, or $100 for 1 year. Included in a Scribd subscription are some added benefits called Scribd Perks, including Pandora Plus. Keep an eye out for upcoming sales.
Right now they’re offering a buy one annual membership get one free deal, good until November 30, 2020. The gift recipient has one year to activate the gift. $180/year
Clutch is a lightweight, credit card-sized portable battery. Easily carried in a wallet, tote, or purse. Regular price is $49.99, but it’s currently on sale for $39.99 with free shipping. See Elisa’s review on MyMac.com.
GGMM D3 Battery Base for Dot 3rd Gen
Listener Clive Hammett suggested this WiFi speaker. The regular price is $29.99 and there is currently a 15% coupon that brings the price down and it’s exactly what Elisa is looking for. Thanks, Clive!
Heredis Passion Gift Set for Mac
As we talked about in great detail on episode 341, genealogy is all the rage. Ancestry will probably put their subscriptions on sale during the holidays. The best way to stay updated is to sign up for their emails. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a Mac genealogy program, Heredis has their Passion Gift Set on sale, which Elisa is seriously considering. You’ll not only get the Heredis 2021 for Mac download, but you’ll get a 32GB flash drive and a Heredis mouse pad, with free delivery. If all you want is the software, it’s on sale for $23.99 in the Mac App Store or Heredis website.
Now is a good time to get in touch with loved ones virtually and work on your family tree over Zoom, FaceTime or your preferred video chat app. Here is the link to episode 341 where Elisa reviewed genealogy software and tips. As we predicted, MacFamilyTree 9 is currently on sale for 50% off.
Apple Watch SE: 40 mm Aluminum case (originally $279, look for sales as low as $229)
I am LOVING my new Apple Watch SE! Combined with the larger screen and Space Gray Aluminum case, the contrast really helps to make the display more readable. I debated on getting the Series 6, but when I weighed out all my options, I ultimately decided that it just was not worth the $120 extra (compared to the price of the SE model) for an Always-On Retina Display, ECG, and blood oxygen sensor. (Series 6 costs $399 for the base model.) I appreciate what Apple is trying to accomplish with their wearable tech, but for the time being, I’m going to stick with seeing a physician for my heart and lung health needs that extend beyond self-monitoring with the tools I already have and use.
In watchOS 7 you can now edit each of your activity goals. Apple Watch User Guide has the instructions.
Elastic Apple Watch Bands
Stretchy watch bands are so much easier for frequent hand-washing and also help those of us with metal allergies. I really love this band and design made by Zalaver. The other useful thing about stretchy bands is they are great for kids and people with small wrists. Since my youngest child was recently given an older hand-me-down watch, I got him this Cissden band in navy blue and it fits him well. What’s nice about this particular stretch band is that it has a strip of grippy-like silicone running down the center to keep it from sliding around. I paired it with a “sea blue” Easuny case protector and he really, really likes it. These bands and case covers would make for really great stocking stuffers. The case protectors come three in a pack so you can change the colors to suit your fashion tastes. I am really picky about screen protectors and these barely impact the touch-screen functionality so I’ve been really impressed with them.
If you’re not quite ready to upgrade your Apple TV because you want to wait and see what goodies might still be in Apple’s pipeline, then install a TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter in between your aging Apple TV HD and “dumb TV” to accomplish “shared audio.” It may not be quite as elegant as Apple’s implementation on Apple TV 4K, but for only around $30, it gets the job done with a few tweaks. If you happen to have have any spare bluetooth headsets laying around that maybe don’t have the best battery life, keep them paired to this tiny little transmitter that sets just under the TV. They’ll be fine for watching a few hours of TV when the kids go to bed.
• They definitely stay put. When I read reviews, it was rare that anyone complained about these not staying in their ears. For those who do have trouble, there are hooks you can add on to them that help keep them in.
• Stellar sound. I’m very picky about how things sound. I’m not necessarily an “audiophile” but I do struggle with audio processing at times, so it’s much more helpful when things sound crisp. There are custom settings you can adjust right on your iPhone to get just the kind of sound you want.
• The Spatial Audio feature is really amazing. Listening to shows on Apple TV+ with that feature is a real treat. I hope more media will have it soon.
• Noise cancellation is just: ahhhhhh. When I put them in and play some white noise, music or even just listen to a podcast on low volume, being able to cancel out the constant whirr of my busy household is a great way to reduce stress.
• Self care or adaptation, perhaps both. Wearing them helps me create my own space during quarantine where everyone is stuck sharing the same, small space. I feel it helps from feeling like the walls are caving in.
• Live Listen is an interesting feature that might let me hear better in noisy environments. I’m still putting this to the test and I think it will be even better when I upgrade my iPhone.
• Ear and hearing health awareness
• You always know where you stand when it comes to battery charge percentage for each AirPod and the case and can plan accordingly.
• After extended wear time, ear tip fit can be painful at first. I believe adjustments and tip replacements can help solve this over time. Everyone’s ears are different and fatigue is something to be aware of.
• Battery life is only around 4 hours and many might find that too little. I am learning that the initial shock of how fast they drain is mitigated by just how easy it is to keep them charged up.
• These things are tiny! Like, scary-tiny. For such a simplistic product, the hardest thing will be not dropping or losing one or both of them. Accessories like a charging case skin with a carabiner hook or lanyard will become a necessity to minimize loss.
Speaking of Health: iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer Digital Infrared Thermometer for Adults and Kids, Touchless Baby Thermometer with 3 Ultra-sensitive Sensors, Large LED Display and Gentle Vibration Alert (PT3)
Let There Be Light
Vekkia Amber Rechargeable 7 Led Eye-Care Book Light,Blue Light Blocking Reading Light,3 Levels,1600K for Strain-Free, Healthy Eyes.Up to 70 Hours Reading.Perfect Gift for Bookworms. I got two of these and they are fantastic!
Gravity Electric Pepper Grinder or Salt Grinder Mill – Battery Operated Automatic Pepper Mill with White Light, One Handed Operation, Adjustable Coarseness, Stainless Steel by AmuseWit
Sewing Machine Light – LED Light Strip for Sewing Machine with Touch Dimmer and USB Power (11.8 inch,18 LEDs)
Get a bit more life out of that older iPhone with a Wixann Battery Case for iPhone 6/6s/7/8/SE 2020 Upgraded 3000mAh Slim Portable Charging Case Rechargeable Extended Charger Case for Apple iPhone 6/6s/7/8/SE 2020
VIVO Black Universal Clamp-on Adjustable Armrest, Desk Cradle Rotating Elbow Cushion, Above Table Extension Platform Arm Support, MOUNT-ARM01
Aduro Solid-Grip iPad Stand Holder 360 Adjustable Universal Gooseneck Lazy Tablet Stand for Desk – Swivel Durable Rubberized Video Mount for Recording Holder (Black)
Check out Wirecutter for additional product reviews and sales when comparing products.