With Father’s Day coming this Sunday, right about now you are probably realizing…”Oh crap! I need to get a gift.”.
Well if your dad has an iPhone or an iPad (or both) we can help you with some great iOS-releated ideas. Don’t settle for getting him just another tie, instead get him something he can really use.
All dad’s are into different stuff, some like sports, some like grilling, some are into fitness and some (like me) are just geek’s at heart.
Below is our guide to iOS-related gift ideas including some recommended apps, accessories and fun iDevice controlled toys to delight, entertain and even help your Dad. Note that the prices on the accessories are estimates from the manufacturer’s sites, savvy shoppers may be able to find better deals at other e-tailers or online coupon codes, just use caution as sometimes warranties on cases and other products are only valid when purchased direct. I also want to make it clear that I was not paid to mention any of the gifts or apps below, some of them I have first-hand experience with and others just look like really cool gifts. 😉
If you are really short on time, gifting apps or giving an iTunes gift card (currently on sale for 15% off at Best Buy) can be a great way to expnad your Dad’s app, music or movie collection.
How to gift an App
To gift an app, simply go to the App Store in iTunes or on the App Store your iOS Device.
Navigate to the app, click the down arrow and choose “Gift This App” or depending on your device, it may say “Gift This App” on the right-hand side of the screen.
You’ll have the option to email it, or print out a nice certificate.
If you choose to email it, you enter the recipient’s name and email address into the appropriate fields and I believe if you use their iTunes email, then it will not let you gift the app to a person if they already own it.
What Type of Dad/ Grandfather do you have?
(Retro) Gamer Dad
Believe it or not…Dad’s love to play games too, but if you are unsure as to what to get your Dad because you’ve never seen him play a game before, you can’t go wrong with retro! And nothing gets more retro than the iCade ($59.99 to $99.99). This is an awesome device that will have your Dad feeling like he’s back at the old coin-op arcade.
If your Dad has a long commute to work then he’ll not only need a case to protect his iPhone and/or iPad during transit, but a good car mount and some apps to provide some drive-time entertainment and assistance.
As far as a case goes, for the iPhone I’d highly recommend the Speck Pixel Skin HD ($29.95) which is one of the best iPhone cases I’ve owned to date. Or if your Dad tends to carry around a George Costanza-sized wallet, maybe you may want to opt for the upcoming iCache Geode ($199) instead.
For the iPad, there is really no need to spend a lot of money to get some quality protection. Wil has reviewed a number of iPad cases from a company called Poetic which makes some really nice reasonably priced iPad cases ($19.95 to $49.95).
To keep your dad’s iPhone secure in the car, get him the best, and go with the ProClip Car Mount ($80 to $110). It is a two piece design that is easy to install and is custom fit to his vehicle’s make/model. I have been using the powered, ‘adjustable’ version since the iPhone 4 launched and it is particularly nice because the width can be altered to fit most cases.
As for the apps, the reason I’m recommending MotionX GPS Drive over one of the more expensive GPS apps is that with the upcoming turn-by-turn nav features coming to the iPhone 4S with iOS 6, this will probably become obsolete, so no need to spend a lot of money for just a few months of usage.
There’s nothing quite like the smell of charcoal on a sunny afternoon. While it may not be fireproof, a waterproof LifeProof Case ($79.99 – my review) should protect your Dad’s iPhone from grease splatter and greasy fingers while he’s slinging burgers and dogs on the BBQ.
If you want to get high-tech you can get your Dad an iGrill wireless grilling and cooking thermometer ($79.99) which communicates with your iPhone or iPad. This thing looks pretty cool, I could see it being especially useful in the winter-time or when you are grilling in not so nice weather.
To keep your Dad’s grilling skills up to par, check out these apps.
I must confess, this may have been the hardest section for me to write as I am in no way, shape or form a Sports buff. So if you have any additional app suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below.
Check out EA’s ‘Games For Guys‘ sale for even more great iOS EA Sports games.
Techie Toy Dad
The Parrot AR Drone has been wildly popular and a new 2.0 version (299.95) is available for pre-order. It is a four-blade copter controlled over WiFi from an iOS device as it captures the breathtaking views high above in gorgeous HD video.
For $129.99 you can get an app-controlled wireless robotic ball called the Sphero. There are a number of companion apps for the device (some of which are free) which allow you to drive it around or use it in single and multiplayer gaming environments like golfing, or simply use it as a controller to play games on your iOS Device.
Finally if your dad is a budding Podcaster, the IRig Mic Cast ($39.99) has been getting some nice early buzz and might be a fun way for your Dad to try his chops, or it could provide a better microphone when Facetiming or Skyping with the Grandkids.
Keep Dad’s iPhone secure while running with an armband like the fairly well-reviewed Incase Sports Armband Deluxe for iPhone 4/4S ($44.95) or the Griffin Trainer Armband ($19.99). To help him track his calories burned, distance, etc why not get him either the fitbit ultra $99.95) or the Nike+ FuelBand ($149), both of which have companion apps for the iPhone which allow you to see trends and track your data and milestones.
If your Dad likes the outdoors and hiking, then odds are he’s gonna need a case that protects his iPhone from the elements. So for this type of Dad, I’d recommend something like the aforementioned LifeProof Case ($79.99) or perhaps the Griffin Survivor case ($49.99).
With his iPhone protected, now it’s time to hit the trails and experience nature with the help of these apps.
Couch Potato Dad
Is your Dad more of a couch potato, into TV and films? Why not get him an Apple TV ($99) so he can stream content right from his iPhone or iPad to his television, listen to music or view pictures of the Grandkids.
Not enough? Top that off with a itunes gift card, allowing him to purchase some more recent films or gift him some films that he may not normally watch, like a recent documentary: Indie Game: The Movie ($12.99) or Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope ($19.99 HD preorder, $6.99 rental).
Boardgame Geek Dad
There is nothing like sitting around the table playing a family boardgame. However, in this day and age the traditional board is more and more often replaced with an iPad opening up the board gaming experience to families that are not geographically near one another.
Many of these recommended apps support both local multiplayer and online multiplayer as well, allowing you to enjoy a board game with your Dad or Grandfather even if he lives in another part of the country.