7 really last minute gifts for Apple users

20 minutes to midnight, what are you going to do?

Christmas is a time for giving. Unfortunately it’s also time for crazed excursions into packed shopping malls at the same time as recovering from more parties than your system can comfortably handle. This is usually accompanied by a wave of unavoidable work deadlines. It’s a busy time of the year, so what can you do if you’ve failed to get all the gifts you need? Here are a few digital ideas:


You can gift selected music, movies, TV shows or books through Apple’s other services, which means you can solve your gift crisis by purchasing the incredible Westworld or one of this year’s biggest selling movies for someone this season. If books are more your thing, you could try gifting a copy of Becoming Steve Jobs, one of the better books about the Apple co-founder. (At your own risk you may want to check for discount iTunes voucher deals on eBay.)

Apple Music

A year’s supply of music may make a great gift. Apple sells Apple Music Gift Cards, the balance on which goes toward a three-month ($29.97) or 12-month ($99.99) subscription to the company’s music streaming service that works with Macs, iPhones, iPads and the Apple TV. New members also get an additional three months for free—and you can purchase a 12-month subscription for the price of ten at the moment. You can also redeem the credit against other Apple services.

A VPN account

It may not seem entirely obvious, but a year’s subscription to a VPN account could be a boost as the online world becomes even less secure. There are a range of service providers, including NordVPN. Once you have your account setup you’ll be able to use public Wi-Fi networks securely enough to access confidential data, and you’ll be able to access your Hulu account from anywhere in the world, not to mention the security advantages.

Online backup

Things go wrong, and when they do it’s good to have multiple backups of your valuable data. I learned this the hard way over the last few years, but it doesn’t always have to be like this. Numerous online backup services exist offering higher capacity and lower prices than you get from Apple iCloud. Take a look at Carbonite ($59.99/yr), Backblaze ($50/yr), or Crashplan ($59.99/yr) as good starting points.


I think we all feel the same way about AppleCare – we rely on it when things go wrong, but it’s not exactly the top item on our shopping list. However, if you are looking for an essential gift your recipient probably won’t ever get around to buying until it’s too late, or if you’ve become tired of providing unpaid tech support, then perhaps this is the solution for your last minute gift needs. (You may need to obtain the product serial number, and don’t forget to check against prices on Amazon).


Arguably a little more exciting on first glance than AppleCare, if the person you are buying for loves movies then you might want to take a look at a subscription to MUBI. The heavily curated movie service provides you with cult, classic, and independent movies from across the world’s cinema each day. Thirty movies are always available and films are available for just 30-days. If you want to take a look at the service first you can sign up for a free one-month subscription.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe’s integrated suite of creative tools are synonymous with the creative industry: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Lightroom, Dreamweaver and the rest have their individual markets – even Final Cut X is losing market share following Apple’s foolish errors in the pro market. What does this mean? It means that if you want to surprise a creative user, you may want to invest in a year’s subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. (Or even Microsoft Office 365, if that’s more appropriate).

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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