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TUAW Buyers Guide: 5 little iPhone gifts


If your honey already bought himself or herself an iPhone or iPod touch, you can still brighten the holidays with these sweet little stocking stuffers. Here are a few inexpensive accessories for your iPhone-owning special someone.

1. Business Card holder, Staples, $1

Your darling's iPhone wants a stand, by which I do not mean that cheap and easy-to-lose lucite thing that comes with the iPod touch. It wants a sturdy stand. A man stand. A strong, reliable holder you can use to watch videos with. Consider a clear plastic business card holder for about $1.25 at Staples. (Similar to this one but clear instead of black). Give that iPhone or iPod touch a perch for viewing videos in landscape mode. (It can also reduce desktop-technology clutter!) Buy one scrape off the labels and pretend that your sweetie has just received a high-end abstract piece of manly art. They'll never know.

2. A sock, a dollar store, $1

You can buy an iPod-style sock at many dollar stores. They're small, they're functional, and they fit the iPod and they come in a variety of MANLY colors and styles. Although you can make do with any of the many kid-sized orphans that might show up in your washing machine, a sock-style case from the dollar store will fit your iPhone or iPod touch much better than an actual, you know, sock. Socks are also a lot cheaper than many of the cases on the market. They protect your loved one's iPhone or iPod touch on the go, and will not interfere with touch screen access the way so many of the official cases do.

3. iPod remote, Kaidomain, $6

Your honey's iPod touch wants a remote. The damn thing doesn't have any buttons, so if you want to stick it into your pocket and still keep using it, you'll need one of these, an inexpensive ($6.30) Nano- or Video-style remote that you can attach to your unit. Stick the iPhone in a pocket, clip the remote to a jacket and you're ready to rock out. Sure, you can use the squeeze control on an iPhone's headset to pause, play and skip tracks but you can't control volume or rewind. And, besides, when you swap out those white earbuds for a better listening experience, you lose the squeeze.

4. Headphone adapter, Belkin or Griffin Technologies, $11 or $10

Psst. Those white earbuds? They're an invitation to violent crime. Plus not everyone likes using earbud-style listening gear. Buy your beloved a headphone adapter so they can use their favorite headphones with their iPhone. Both Belkin and Griffin offer inexpensive adapters that fit into the iPhone's narrow, recessed jack. They're ugly as hell but they work and amusingly this is all due to Steve Jobs' aesthetics in action: make the iPhone look pretty so you have to buy a really hideous adapter to use the earphones you love to get the best possible audio experience.

5. External battery-free speaker, Kaidomain, under $10

Sure the iPhone has built-in speakers but do you want to add speakers to an iPod touch? You can buy your special someone an external battery free speaker for under $10 shipped. Shove it into the dock connector and that iPod touch becomes a sound blasting device--for very small values of "blasting" and moderately high ones of "tinniness". Adding a speaker is great for playing games and for listening to audio books without being tethered to the touch. And, at the price, adds a lot of stocking-stuffer functionality without a lot of wallet-emptying shopping.

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