For the kids on your gift list: racing cars and paper airplanes controlled by an iPhone. For the couch potatoes: a box that lets you stream video and watch on your TV. For everyone else: an all-purpose tablet, the hot-seller of the year. You can buy it all using your smart phone and then fantasize about same-day delivery by private drone. A day after Cyber Monday, the Computer Guys and Gal are here with tech gifts and trends for the holidays.
2014 Tech Holiday Gift Ideas
The Computer Guys and Gal pick the top holiday toys for the techie in your life, young and old.
If you combined an electronic project kit and Lego you'd get Snap Circuits! You can make all sorts of cool projects with these, like radios, controllable lights, electromagnets and doorbells.
Anki Drive is a racing set that consists of an enormous rollable track, two cars and a charger. You control everything with your iPhone (or iPad or iPod) and can race against other people or let the other cars control themselves, since they're actually little robots.
PowerUp 3.0 "smart paper plane" kit is a Kickstarter, so the earliest you'll get one of these is next February, with the final product expected in May. It's a delayed gratification gift. That said, you fold your favorite paper airplane design, clip the PowerUp 3.0 to it and then remotely control it with the iPhone app.
ChargeCard and ChargeKey are emergency smartphone battery charging cables designed to fit on your wallet or on your key ring, so they'll always be handy.
Roku 3 is an alternative to traditional cable programming. It's a little device that helps you live stream video from everything from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and other websites.
It's the year of the tablet for gift-giving! The most expensive options land in the Apple camp. Then there's the Nexus 7, the best bang for your buck at $230. And then there's the cheapest tablet you can buy your kid without resenting you: Asus Memo Pad HD 7 for $150.
And there's also a techy-gift for your cat: FroliCat Dart. For less than $30 you can keep your cats insane for hours following a little lazer dot.
Make up your own ideas and get them 3-D printed. Design and print a unique gift at a local 3-D printer.
Apps Of The Month
The Computer Guys and Gal share the latest and greatest in apps.
iFixit is a great site for DIYers to learn how to repair their Apple products and buy parts for them. They recently expanded into Samsung smartphones and game consoles. They also offer a fantastic free app for iOS and Android (tablets recommended) that allows you to look up all their repair guides in a gorgeous, easy to use format.
Shopular and other similar apps alert you about deals at nearby stores, allowing you to redeem coupons right at the register.
Red Laser app can help you make sure you’re getting the best price on a product. Take a pic of the barcode and you're ready to comparison shop.
The Return Guru app will help you keep tabs on your return policy for any given purchase and alert you when the return is about to expire.
WhatsApp is among a growing set of messenger apps that's steering teenagers away from Facebook.