GSE345 Geekiest Gift Guide

Photo by Phu Dinh on Unsplash

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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 V2
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

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.

Shared Audio
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.

AirPods Pro


• 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)

“Technical” Support

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.

Elisa can be found at @senseidai or
Melissa can be found at @TheMacMommy or
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases when you click links on this site.)

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GSE343 Mini Me

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Go big or go home or go small and stay home? We finally have a Twitter account for all things geeky! Follow us @GeekiestShow. We discuss all the Apple updates and prior announcements with ideas and details to consider for your own tech.

macOS Catalina 10.15.7, iOS 14.1, iPadOS, watchOS 7.0.3 (Series 3) 14.1, tvOS 14.0.2 are the current updates to Apple gear at this time.

Apple Cash Family

Family Sharing and Screen Time gotcha

Widgets are kinda meh so far, but that could change. Write to us and show us how this is the way.


Check out this handy Shortcuts resource:

Sleep Tracking

Workout types on Apple Watch

Leave us a comment or tweet us with your Audio Sharing tips on the devices you use.

Apple Arcade – do we still want to pay to play?

tvOS 14 now allows custom button mapping for your controllers in Settings

MacRumors Buyers Guide

Apple TV

HomePod Mini and truth or dare in advertising and why cables matter

Using Augmented Reality is actually really useful! Open this link using your iPhone or iPad then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see what we’re talking about. When viewing it as an object you can rotate it and that’s when you’ll see the cable attached to the back. We believe they don’t show the end of the cable because it would be unsightly and because the plug connector at the end may be different depending on the country in which you live.

Compare iPhone 12 models

No power brick for you! You’re going to have to get yourself an Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter as a stocking stuffer along with that new iPhone because there will not be a power supply inside its skinny, new box. So much for saving trees or lowering the carbon footprint because that new adapter will still need to be transported on one or more delivery trucks in its own box made of up the same amount of material that would have been in the new iPhone box had it been included.

If you want to hear the satisfying “thunk” of a new MagSafe Charger it’s also got an absentee power supply. Be kinder and order them both at the same time to reduce the amount of delivery trucks coming to your place.

Daily Cash with Apple Card
: Apple Card Daily Cash does include taxes so it does come off the total purchase price from which you save, not the subtotal.

T-Mobile vs AT&T – who serves you best and why? Please let us know your thoughts in a comment, email, or tweet. Stay safe and thanks for listening!

Do you have questions about what you heard in this episode? Please send us your feedback. We’d like to hear from you. Let us know about a tech topic that interests you.

Elisa can be found at @senseidai or
Melissa can be found at @TheMacMommy or
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases when you click links on this site.)

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