Need a Mother’s Day Gift? These 10 Gadgets Are Perfect Choices!

Need a Mother’s Day Gift? These 10 Gadgets Are Perfect Choices!

It’s always tricky to find the perfect gift that’ll show how much you appreciate your mom. Thankfully, there are a ton of great devices and gadgets out there that’ll make the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

We’re highlighting products that will help mom, or anyone else you know, use the power of technology to make everyday life just a bit easier.

1. Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Amazon Echo Buy Now On Amazon $ 99.99

The best smart home controller on the market, the Amazon Echo, can interact with a whole host of lights, thermostats, fans, switches, and locks with simple voice commands. And that’s just the beginning. Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, has tens of thousands of skills that can make everyday life easier.

Without ever having to use her hands, mom will be able to order a pizza, play cricket sounds, add to the family’s grocery list, or juggle the family calendar. The voice commands are simple to learn, even for the most technophobic moms you know. And it’s also a great Bluetooth speaker that can play music from a wide range of streaming services.

2. Tile Pro

Tile Pro Tile Pro Buy Now On Amazon

It’s pretty much a fact of life; our keys and other smaller items will eventually get lost. But the Tile Pro makes that stressful situation a whole lot more bearable.

The Tile Pro is a small Bluetooth tracker that is designed to fit on a keychain or other item you want to keep track of.

If the tracked item ever disappears, just open up the companion smartphone app. As long as the tracker is in range (approximately 300 feet), it will beep loudly. The Tile Pro itself can also find your phone, which definitely could come in handy. The user-replaceable battery can last for up to a year.

As a nice touch, the Community Find feature will allow other apps users to search for your tracker anonymously. If it is ever found, you’ll receive the last known location information.

3. Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 3 Fitbit Charge 3 Buy Now On Amazon $ 109.00

Instead of a smartwatch, the Fitbit Charge 3 is an inexpensive and easy-to-use way to track daily fitness goals. Along with step tracking, the slim band constantly tracks your heart rate to measure daily calories burned. Water resistant up to 50 meters, the band can also automatically recognize different exercises like runs, swims, and more.

And when the day is done, it will also automatically track sleep. A built-in battery provides up to seven days of power before needing to recharge. Using the app, users can customize what notifications they can see on the band from their smartphone.

Fitbit Charge 3 bands are available in a number of different sizes and colors. If you want a more in-depth look at the company’s best fitness tracker, check out our Fitbit Charge 3 review.

4. Drop Kitchen Connected Scale

Drop Kitchen Connected Scale Drop Kitchen Connected Scale Buy Now On Amazon $ 33.99

Even traditional kitchens are moving towards the future thanks to technology. And the Drop Kitchen Connected Scale can help turn even the least experienced cook into a gourmet chef. Compatible with both Android and iOS devices, the corresponding Drop Kitchen app offers hundreds of step-by-step interactive one-bowl recipes. That makes cleanup simple.

During the preparation process, the scale will automatically make sure you’re adding the right amount of ingredients. The system can even work on the fly to customize each recipe to make fewer portions or swap out ingredients.

For more experienced cooks, this device can function as an app-connected scale to improve measurement accuracy and ingredient tracking.

5. Urbanears Plattan 2 Bluetooth Headphones

Urban Ears Plattan 2 Bluetooth Headphones Urban Ears Plattan 2 Bluetooth Headphones Buy Now On Amazon $ 49.98

The Urbanears Plattan 2 Bluetooth show that you don’t have to pay a bundle for a pair of comfortable and nice sounding headphones. The on-ear headphones use Bluetooth to connect to a wide variety of different devices including smartphones, tablets, and more.

A built-in battery can provide more than 30 hours of music playback on a single charge while the collapsible design helps make the headphones easy to bring along while on the go. The microphone allows mom, or anyone else, to make handsfree calls or interact with smartphone assistants like Siri. There are a wide variety of different colors to select from.

To find out more about the headphones, take a look at our review of the Urbanears Plattan 2 Bluetooth.

6. Mophie Powerstation Plus

Mophie Powerstation Plus Mophie Powerstation Plus Buy Now On Amazon $ 28.99

No matter how much technology continues to improve, it always seems our smartphones are on empty before the end of the day and need a charge. The Mophie Powerstation Plus can power up most iPhone or Android smartphones while on the go. And best of all, there’s no need to bring a charging cord.

Available in four different colors, the battery pack sports a built-in cable with a micro-USB and Lightning connection. The 6,000mAh cell can charge most smartphones more than once. There is also an additional USB port so users can charge more than one device at the same time.

7. iLife A7

iLife A7 iLife A7 Buy Now On Amazon $ 209.99

Doing household chores doesn’t have to suck, especially when a robot vacuum can take care of cleaning your floors. One great choice is the iLife A7.

You can control the Wi-Fi-enabled device from anywhere using your cell phone. And it gives mom, or anyone else in the house, the ability to put their feet up and watch while the robot gets down and dirty. Made for almost any type of flooring—including carpet, tile, and hardwood—the vacuum uses special laser technology to scan the room and plan a quick and efficient route.

When we reviewed the iLife A7, we found it to be the best all-round robot vacuum on the market.

8. Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite Kindle Paperwhite Buy Now On Amazon $ 129.99

Everyone enjoys getting lost in a good book, and the best place to start reading is with Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. Squarely in the middle of the Kindle lineup, the Paperwhite offers the best value for money. The six-inch, 300dpi display is flush with the surrounding bezel for a clean look. And now that the e-book reader is waterproof, it’s a perfect companion for a bath or at the pool.

With Audible integration, users can also pair Bluetooth headphones or a speaker to listen to audiobooks. Buyers can select from an 8GB or 32GB version of the reader with a built-in and adjustable backlight.

Kindle users can access Amazon’s huge selection of e-books and the Kindle Unlimited subscription service.

9. LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb

LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb Buy Now On Amazon $ 46.49

Along with saving money thanks to lower energy costs, the LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb paints any house with light.

The bulb can display more than 16 million different colors and all temperatures of white. Unlike other smart lighting systems on the market, you won’t need the extra complication of adding a hub.

The bulb also works with a dizzying array of other services including IFTTT, SmartThings, Nest, and others. By using these bulbs throughout the house, Mom can control the lights using a voice command with an Amazon Echo device, Apple’s Siri, or Google Home.

10. Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2

Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Buy Now On Amazon $ 79.00

Like most of us, mom probably has thousands of pictures stored on a smartphone or tablet, never to be seen again. But the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 can bring some of those memories to life. The portable printer uses the hugely popular Instax Mini film that is available with a wide variety of different borders and other customizations.

You’ll connect any tablet or smartphone to the printer via Wi-Fi and print photos using the companion app. It just takes 10 seconds for the print to finish. The app can also print images from Instagram and Facebook accounts. Thanks to a built-in battery, you can start printing wherever you are.

Make Mom’s Life a Little Bit Easier

No matter mom’s experience level with technology, she is sure to appreciate the help from these easy-to-use gadgets.

From finding the keys to taking care of chores and everything in-between, these perfect gift ideas should make any mother smile.

And to celebrate the special day, here are some great movies to watch with mom on Mother’s Day.

Read the full article: Need a Mother’s Day Gift? These 10 Gadgets Are Perfect Choices!

MakeUseOf


10 Gift Ideas for the Arduino Tinkerer in Your Life

arduino-tinkerer-gifts

Wondering what to get the tinkerer in your life for their birthday or the holiday season? Whether they are a young inventor in training or a lifelong hardware hacker, Arduino boards and accessories make for perfect creative gifts!

In this article we will cover various Arduino-related gift ideas. Whether the person you are buying for is a total beginner, or a seasoned microcontroller expert—there is something here for all ages and levels.

1. Start With an Arduino Starter Kit

dfrobot kit

Elegoo EL-KIT-003 UNO Project Super Starter Kit with Tutorial for Arduino Elegoo EL-KIT-003 UNO Project Super Starter Kit with Tutorial for Arduino Buy Now At Amazon $ 35.00

An Arduino is a perfect gift for anyone creative, as they can be used in so many different ways. The simplest way to get someone started is to buy a pre-made starter kit which provides all of the components needed—along with the Arduino board itself.

2. Doing It by the Book

arduino project book featured

If someone is new to tinkering with microcontrollers, it can sometimes seem a little overwhelming, and while there are many great online beginner tutorials and beginner Arduino projects, there are also some great books out there too.

The Arduino Project Handbook is a perfect beginner’s guide to all things Arduino. Clear photographs and wiring diagrams take the reader through 25 different projects, and easy to follow steps start with simple projects through to more complex systems.

Next up we have the near ubiquitous Arduino For Dummies. While it also begins with the very basics, some of the later projects are a little more ambitious. With clear photographs of examples throughout, it’s another great choice for people new to the world of tinkering.

Arduino For Dummies Arduino For Dummies Buy Now At Amazon $ 24.99

The third choice here is for the smaller inventor in your life. Sylvia’s Super Awesome Project Book is an Arduino guide aimed at children aged 8-12 years old. Full of great projects, the book also explains the basics of what microcontrollers are, along with vibrant drawings and characters to guide the reader through their early days of building. A book for the future family inventor!

Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Project Book: Super-Simple Arduino (Volume 2) Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Project Book: Super-Simple Arduino (Volume 2) Buy Now At Amazon $ 10.51

3. Add a Screen to the Mix

adafruit resistive touch screen

A great addition to an Arduino toolkit is a screen to get feedback directly from the board, and there are many display options to choose from.

If you want to take it up a notch, Adafruit make a full colour touch screen shield compatible with most full sized Arduino boards. Capable of complex vector graphics, displaying photos, and touchscreen painting, it also has a microSD slot to load images directly.

4. Improve Prototyping With Protoboards

Prototyping boards for Raspberry Pi

Uxcell a14041800ux1143 25Pcs Double Sided Protoboard Prototyping Pcb Board 4cm x 6cm Uxcell a14041800ux1143 25Pcs Double Sided Protoboard Prototyping Pcb Board 4cm x 6cm Buy Now At Amazon $ 5.69

Prototyping using a breadboard is perfect for trying new things out and testing that they work, but what happens when you’ve settled on your design and it works? Protoboard is a great stopgap between breadboard prototyping and etching your own printed circuit boards.

A packet of small yet practical boards are available on AliExpress, or if time is of the essence and you need it quicker, Amazon sell protoboard bundles as well.

If you are worried about what size Protoboard to buy, why not let the receiver choose? Sparkfun sell a snappable protoboard which allows the user to cut the board down to whatever size (or shape) they desire.

While a little more expensive than the other boards listed, the flexibility these boards give make them unique, and the board can be broken into various pieces to suit different projects.

5. Adeept Smart Car Kit

Adeept Smart Car

Adeept Smart Car Kit for Arduino, Remote Control Car Based on NRF24L01 2.4G Wireless, Robot Starter Kit, Arduino Robotics Model, Arduino Learning Kit with PDF Guidebook/Tutorial Adeept Smart Car Kit for Arduino, Remote Control Car Based on NRF24L01 2.4G Wireless, Robot Starter Kit, Arduino Robotics Model, Arduino Learning Kit with PDF Guidebook/Tutorial Buy Now At Amazon $ 89.99

Remote control cars are the ultimate toy, and lovers of these pint sized racers spend hours upon hours tweaking and tuning them. Why not take that process even further and let your loved one build their own?

The Adeept Smart Car Kit provides the building blocks for a car which can be either remote controlled, or left in an automatic mode which avoids objects in its path using its front mounted distance sensor.

The kit also comes with pre-prepared code so it is perfect for beginners, though more experienced DIY-nicks can get involved and create their very own programming too. Who knows, maybe your home will house a truly smart car!

6. Dancing Sloth Arduino Robot

SunFounder Dancing Sloth Robot

SunFounder Arduino Robotics Kit, 4-DOF Dancing Sloth Programmable DIY Robot Kit for Kids and Adults with Tutorial SunFounder Arduino Robotics Kit, 4-DOF Dancing Sloth Programmable DIY Robot Kit for Kids and Adults with Tutorial Buy Now At Amazon $ 59.99

For many people, robots are the coolest things in the world, and these people are clearly correct. The SunFounder Dancing Sloth is a two legged robot suitable for beginners.

Th Dancing Sloth stands on two legs and is easy to program using visual programming blocks. Sold as a complete kit with the Arduino included along with instructions, it covers many fundamentals of robotics.

As well as moving, the distance sensor in the kit adds another dimension of sensing and control. This kit is easy to scale up in complexity!

7. Make It Wireless!

NRF24L01 Wireless Module for Arduino

There are a wide range of Arduino boards to choose from. One thing many of them lack is the ability to communicate wirelessly. Happily, there is a very cheap solution to get Arduino boards to talk to one another: wireless transceiver modules.

These modules are fantastic value, but to give them as a gift you would have to know that the recipient already owns several microcontrollers to use them with. There is however an alternative; the NodeMCU, the Arduino killer.

The NodeMCU (also known as the ESP8266) is fully Arduino compatible, and comes with Wi-Fi connectivity built in. It’s small enough to use in almost any project, and cheap enough to buy several of for connected projects.

HiLetgo New Version ESP8266 NodeMCU LUA CP2102 ESP-12E Internet WiFi Development Board Open Source Serial Wireless Module Works Great with Arduino IDE/Micropython HiLetgo New Version ESP8266 NodeMCU LUA CP2102 ESP-12E Internet WiFi Development Board Open Source Serial Wireless Module Works Great with Arduino IDE/Micropython Buy Now At Amazon $ 8.39

8. Smart Home Relay Module

Relays are a great way to automate your home.

SainSmart 4-Channel Relay Module SainSmart 4-Channel Relay Module Buy Now At Amazon $ 8.99

Smart homes are gaining in popularity, with devices appearing in hardware stores worldwide and in popular culture. One of the strengths of microcontrollers such as the Arduino is that they allow us to affordably create DIY smart home systems.

At its simplest a home automation setup requires a relay to allow control over larger powered items (such as lights, wall switches and appliances), and a way of accessing these things via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

For under $ 20 you can buy both a relay module and a Bluetooth transceiver which can be accessed from a smartphone to control almost anything.

9. Making It From Scratch

photo finished

While most of these ideas have been for beginners, what would be a good gift for someone who has already been working with Arduino for some time? Building an Arduino from scratch is a great project, and much cheaper than you’d imagine.

There are many benefits to building a “DIYduino”. As well as gaining a deeper understanding of how the platform works, you can design the board any shape you like, and integrate parts of your system directly into the board rather than having separate modules.

Our DIY Arduino guide outlines all the parts you need along with how to put it all together to create a totally unique Arduino.

10. You’ve Got the Skills, Now Show Them!

Finally, if you know someone is already working with Arduino, why not let them show it off? As well as a huge range of components and development boards, the Arduino store has T-shirts, mugs, and buttons for sale at a variety of prices. The perfect gift for the Arduino lover in your life!

This guide should help you choose a gift for any curious mind, and allow you to give the gift of creativity to someone! Arduinos are great for learning and tons of fun.

Read the full article: 10 Gift Ideas for the Arduino Tinkerer in Your Life

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How to Recognize and Avoid Free Gift Card Scams: 7 Warning Signs

apple-gift-cards

Have you won a free gift card? The answer, of course, is “no.”

That’s not entirely fair—some firms do enter customers into competitions, especially when Christmas is coming up. But when was the last time you heard of someone winning a $ 500 Amazon gift card and it wasn’t a scam?

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before clicking any links and becoming a victim of cybercriminals.

1. Is the Email Account Genuine?

Fraudsters use gift card scams because they’re evergreen, and can yield a lot of cash without much effort. They don’t bother promising gift cards for small stores few have heard of: they aim for the big names like Amazon and eBay!

They can guarantee that a large number of recipients are customers of the site and are more likely to fall for the scam.

So, if your inbox says you’ve got an email from “Amazon Gift Cards”, how do you know that it’s fake?

Look at the email address it’s come from. Most people overlook this, or quickly glance and miss the obvious. In reality, it might read “amzon.com”—something close enough to trick most users. Similarly, you shouldn’t trust addresses like “ebaydotcom”.

Don’t click on the link, or indeed any elements within the email. This won’t tell you anything; instead, it could download malicious software to your device.

Scammers sometimes redirect to the genuine site anyway, making victims relax and not realize they’ve downloaded malware.

2. Are the Images Pixelated?

neon sign silhouette man pixels pixellated

Here’s an indicator that not everything is as it seems: images might be pixelated on different devices, as scammers don’t always use high-quality pictures.

This extends to logos. Big-name companies won’t send pixelated versions of their own brands. If elements appear fuzzy, it’s likely the scammer has stolen a low-resolution logo from the internet.

If images won’t load, this is a sign the message could be fraudulent, but isn’t a certainty. That could simply be due to connectivity issues. However, the opposite is true too: just because pictures are HD, it doesn’t mean an email is real.

Take a look on Google and you’ll find large files containing all manner of corporate logos. If you can find it online, so can cybercriminals.

3. Are There Spelling and Punctuation Mistakes?

This applies to supposed competitions via email and social media, as well as on any websites they link to.

Any company worth its salt will employ a copy writer or editor to make sure their communications are well-written. It’s a level of professionalism that scammers don’t bother with. You don’t need a degree in Creative Writing to recognize poor spelling and grammar.

If a Facebook profile boasts that you can “WIN FREE GIFT CARDS!!!1!!”, don’t trust it. eBay doesn’t tend to use hyperbolic punctuation either. If its About page uses similarly questionable copy, don’t even bother “liking” the page.

(After all, a lot of personal data can be gleaned from social media!)

Regional differences may apply too: if you’re a customer of Amazon UK, for instance, don’t expect a message with Americanisms purporting to be from Amazon.com.

4. Does It Require Unnecessary Personal Details?

Fraudsters don’t always rely on you clicking on links to scam people. Ransomware can be installed onto your computer, but many happily volunteer their private details anyway.

You might be redirected to a login page that looks a lot like the real thing. You’ll enter your username and password—a big mistake. But even if you don’t type in your password, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t value other details.

So ask yourself: why would they need your social security number? Why does it ask for your date of birth? What information does the company it’s purporting to be from already have about you? Consider what details a genuine competition actually needs.

Simply “liking” a page on Facebook can be dangerous. “Like” farming scams encourage you to share posts to win gift cards and other free goodies. These are popular Black Friday and Christmas scams.

You risk your usernames, financial information, and other personal data stored in associated apps like WhatsApp and Instagram.

5. Is the Message Personalized?

It’s lovely that your aunt and uncle have sent you a message about winning a gift card by simply clicking on a link or retweeting a post.

Now that you come to think of it, though… why don’t they talk like normal human beings?

Cybercriminals use impersonal messages to perpetuate a scam because it’d be a bit too strange if they addressed them all to “Chris” or “Emma”. It’s also a tell-tale sign that it’s not really from someone you care about.

Some scams will be directly aimed at you, using your email address and username to appear personal. But you should still recognize when a relative isn’t using their normal syntax. If you read it and something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts.

6. Do You Know of Any Previous Winners?

The answer is, once more, “no”. It’s incredibly unlikely that your family or friends have won a free gift card via social media. When have you ever known a genuine claim?

Occasionally, companies do offer free gifts including cards, so you can’t immediately discount them. There should still be lists of winners, though.

When MakeUseOf runs competitions, we publish the names of the winners as proof that they’re authentic. Other sites should do the same. If they can’t prove that visitors benefited from a giveaway, why should you trust them?

There is a difference between genuine winners and the type of comments you’ll find on social media though. You’ll notice fake accounts saying things like, “THANK YOU, WALMART!!! I WON $ 500 AND HELPED ME PAY FOR XMAS!” Yes, they’ll likely be in all capital letters and use poor grammar.

Fraudsters post these in an attempt to verify their scam; instead, they’re a sign it’s fake.

That’s not to say you should ignore Twitter and other social networks. Plenty of feeds highlight scams to alert their followers. Never underestimate disgruntled tweets.

7. Does It Sound Too Good to Be True?

Here’s one last tip which should apply to everything you do online: ask yourself whether something is too good to be true. If you’ve got doubts, listen to your gut.

Do not click on links in emails. Stay skeptical when you visit Facebook and Twitter.

Gift card scams are particularly popular right now, partly because they’re harder to trace than fraud involving credit cards. That’s why cybercriminals are tricking people into purchasing iTunes cards.

Read the full article: How to Recognize and Avoid Free Gift Card Scams: 7 Warning Signs

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8 Ways to Give the Gift of Audiobooks This Year

audiobooks-gifts

Audiobooks make fantastic gifts. They can transport your friends and loved ones to a faraway place, teach them something new, or make a long commute less boring. This makes audiobooks a fitting gift for any book lover.

Figuring out how to give an audiobook as a gift, however, isn’t always so obvious. And sometimes even the most popular audiobook services don’t make it easy. Thankfully, we’re here to help. And just in time for the holidays too.

1. Amazon

amazon audiobook cd

Amazon’s downloadable audiobooks are only available through Audible. So if you want a digital version of an audiobook, you’ll need to sign up to Audible (which, as we’ll see in a moment, doesn’t let you gift individual titles).

Amazon still sells audiobooks on CD, though. And you can have them gift-wrapped and sent to your loved one if you’d like. If your recipient wants their audiobook in a digital format, once they have the CD they can technically do what they want with it.

2. Audible

audible gift center prices

Although Audible no longer allows you to gift single audiobooks, you can still give a gift subscription. Head to the Audible Gift Center (just click the link or scroll to the bottom of the Audible homepage) and you’ll see subscription options. There are one-, three-, six-, and 12-month subscriptions with prices from $ 15 to $ 150.

What will your recipient get with this subscription?

  • If they’re not currently an Audible subscriber, they’ll get one credit for any free book per month, along with two Audible Originals (exclusive audio titles you won’t find on any other service), and discounts on other books.
  • If they already subscribe to Audible, they’ll get all of the credits immediately. That means they’ll get one, three, six, or 12 free audiobooks right away, plus the two Audible Originals per month.

Audible isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the best services out there. And if the book lover in your life can take full advantage of Audible, they’ll get more than your money’s worth. They can always cancel Audible if they decide it’s not for them.

3. Audiobooks.com

give audiobook gifts audiobooks.com

Like Audible, Audiobooks.com doesn’t let you gift individual books. But there are a number of gift options, including one-, three-, six-, and 12-month plans priced from $ 14.95 to $ 149.40. These are good for one book download a month. Check out the Audiobooks.com Gift Center to choose one.

With prices comparable to Audible, this is a similarly attractive option, especially if you’d rather stay away from Amazon. And if you know that the audiobook fan you’re buying for already listens via Audiobooks.com, it’s a good way to go.

4. AudiobooksNow

audiobooksnow gift center

You may not have heard of AudiobooksNow, but it’s one of the best ways to give an audiobook as a gift. You can easily give single books as gifts by finding the one you’re looking for and clicking Give as Gift below the Add to Cart button.

But you can also give a Gift Plan membership for $ 29.99. This gives members 50 percent off 12 books a year, and 35–40 percent off of books after that. There are no credits for free books like in other plans, but the saving on the first 12 books is valued at around $ 120. Go to the AudiobooksNow Gift Center to get started.

And there’s also a third way: gift certificates. These are a great budget option—they’re available in $ 5 increments starting at just $ 10—and allow your recipient to spend them on whatever book they want.

5. Downpour

Unfortunately, Downpour doesn’t have any gifting options available. However, because their audiobooks are DRM-free, you can simply buy one yourself and send it to your gift recipient.

They can then use an audiobook app to listen to it as they would do with an audiobook they purchased themselves.

6. Apple iTunes

gift audiobooks on itunes

If you’re looking to gift a single audiobook, and your recipient has an Apple device, this is your best bet. There’s no subscription option, and it only take a few clicks to buy an audiobook as a gift.

  1. Open up iTunes and switch over to the Audiobooks section.
  2. Click Store in the top menu.
  3. Search for the book you want, then click the arrow next to the Buy Audiobook button.
  4. Select Gift this Audiobook.

Then just follow the instructions to complete your purchase from there.

7. Libro.fm

libro fm audiobook gifts

In addition to supporting independent bookstores, which is awesome, Libro.fm offers two ways to give audiobooks as presents.

First, you can gift individual books. No subscription necessary. Just search for the book you want, and when you find it, click Gift this Audiobook. Be sure to choose your favorite independent bookstore before you buy the book so they get credit for your purchase.

But if you’d prefer to give a subscription, you can do that too. Libro.fm offers one-, three-, six-, and 12-month plans priced from $ 15 to $ 165. This gets the recipient their choice of one audiobook a month. Visit the libro.fm Gift Center to get started.

8. Scribd

scribd plans

Like Audible, Scribd is a popular subscription service that lets readers access one audiobook a month in addition to three ebooks. This combination makes sure Scribd is great value.

The standard subscription fee is $ 8.99/month, but you can buy a gift subscription for $ 25 (for three months), $ 50 (for six months), or $ 100 (for one year). Just head to the Scribd gift page to get started.

Why You Should Give the Gift of Audiobooks This Year

Whether your gift recipient is a long-time fan of audiobooks or just starting to explore the medium, giving them either an individual book or a subscription as a gift is a perfect way to support their hobby.

And if you think you know someone who might be interested in audiobooks, but hasn’t yet taken the plunge, try gifting them one of these awesome audiobooks for people who don’t like audiobooks. They really are some of the best audiobooks available.

Read the full article: 8 Ways to Give the Gift of Audiobooks This Year

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A Gift Guide for the Ultimate PlayStation 4 Fan

ps4-gifts

Owning a PlayStation 4 is one of the best ways to enjoy video games. Whether you have an original model or the more powerful PS4 Pro, you can enhance your experience by buying great games and some extra accessories.

Do you have someone in your life who loves their PS4, but don’t know much about gaming? If so, here’s a handy list of gifts they’re sure to love, at every price point.

PlayStation 4 Gifts: $ 15 and Under

Gaming can be an expensive hobby, but that doesn’t mean every purchase is major. Here are a few small but worthwhile upgrades for any PS4 owner.

Analog Stick Grips

The DualShock 4 is a great controller, but your thumbs can start slipping if they sweat during longer play sessions. You can improve this with analog stick covers, which serve two purposes: they help protect the original rubber, and offer improved grip.

Otherwise, these grips are worth a try just for improving your skills. For a cheap solution, we recommend these Pandaren grips. They’re inexpensive, work on any controller, and come in a pack of 16.

Pack of 16pcs Pandaren Thumb Grip Thumbstick Noctilucent Sets for PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Controller Pack of 16pcs Pandaren Thumb Grip Thumbstick Noctilucent Sets for PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Controller Buy Now At Amazon $ 9.99

If you’re buying for a more serious player, consider one of KontrolFreek’s offerings like the FPS Freek Vortex. These are slightly more expensive, but offer raised sticks for increased control.

KontrolFreek FPS Freek Vortex Performance Thumbsticks for PlayStation 4 Controller (PS4) KontrolFreek FPS Freek Vortex Performance Thumbsticks for PlayStation 4 Controller (PS4) Buy Now At Amazon $ 16.99

A Longer USB Cable

Although the DualShock 4 controller has a rechargeable battery, charging it is still a common occurrence. Make it easier by picking up an extra-long cable. That way, you can charge and play indefinitely without having to sit closer to the system.

This 15-foot micro-USB to USB-A cable from MATEIN does the job for just a few dollars.

Android Charging Cable, 15ft PS4 Xbox One Controller Charger Cable, Durable Micro USB Fast Charging Cord Wire 2.0 for Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge/S6/Note 5,Sony,LG,Moto,HTC,BlackBerry,Smartphones (Black) Android Charging Cable, 15ft PS4 Xbox One Controller Charger Cable, Durable Micro USB Fast Charging Cord Wire 2.0 for Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge/S6/Note 5,Sony,LG,Moto,HTC,BlackBerry,Smartphones (Black) Buy Now At Amazon $ 7.99

PlayStation 4 Gifts: $ 30 and Under

If you’ve got a little more money to spend, these gifts are a bit more substantial.

A Wireless Keyboard

Console players don’t typically use a mouse and keyboard to control games, but a cheap wireless keyboard can still be helpful for some PS4 owners. If you send a lot of messages, browse the web, or use your system as a media player, a keyboard is nice to keep around.

Without it, you have to manually enter every letter using the PS4’s on-screen keyboard, which is slow and will get old quickly. We’ve covered the best wireless keyboards you can buy—so take a look at that article for recommendations.

A Charging Dock

As mentioned before, the PS4 controller doesn’t have great battery life, so it’s smart to charge up whenever you can. Since the PS4 only has two USB ports and charging multiple controllers is a pain, a charging station is the perfect solution.

You can plug this BEBONCOOL controller dock into a wall or computer (saving you a USB slot) and charge up to two controllers. The stand is small so you don’t have to worry about it taking up lots of room, and the unit lights up letting you know when they’re done. A charging dock is a must-have for anyone with more than one controller.

BEBONCOOL PS4 Controller Charger, DualShock 4 PS4 Controller USB Charging Station Dock, Playstation 4 Charging Station Sony PlayStation4/ PS4/ Slim/ PS4 Pro Controller BEBONCOOL PS4 Controller Charger, DualShock 4 PS4 Controller USB Charging Station Dock, Playstation 4 Charging Station Sony PlayStation4/ PS4/ Slim/ PS4 Pro Controller Buy Now At Amazon $ 13.99

PlayStation 4 Gifts: $ 60 and Under

Have you got some serious money to spend on yourself or a friend? Then here’s what you can buy for the price of a new game or less.

A PlayStation Plus Subscription

Every PS4 owner should subscribe to PlayStation Plus.

PlayStation Plus includes free games, frequent discounts, cloud storage, and exclusive game trials. On PS4, it’s also required for online multiplayer, but all the other benefits mean it’s more than worth it.

What’s more, your subscription also to the PS3 and PS Vita, if you still have those systems. However, Sony will no longer offer free games for the PS3 and Vita as of March 2019.

Giving a 12-month PS Plus subscription renewal as a gift is great because the recipient doesn’t have to worry about paying for another year themselves. Plus, membership stacks and codes don’t expire, so don’t be afraid to buy a subscription no matter how long they have left.

PlayStation Plus: 12 Month Membership [Digital Code] PlayStation Plus: 12 Month Membership [Digital Code] Buy Now At Amazon $ 59.99

PlayStation Camera

The PS Camera isn’t necessary for using the PS4, unless you have PlayStation VR. The PS VR is too expensive to make this list, but the Camera is a neat toy nonetheless. It allows you to broadcast yourself during play sessions, log in with your face, and sync with the DualShock 4’s light bar for tracking motion.

It’s a good idea to know your audience before buying this—a diehard shooter fan probably won’t want it. But for kids or families, the PS4 camera could be a smash hit.

PlayStation 4 Camera PlayStation 4 Camera Buy Now At Amazon $ 44.95

An Extra Controller

For everything from dead batteries to unexpected visits from friends, it never hurts to keep an extra controller around. Since they’re roughly the same price as a game, a PS4 owner might not want to pay for one themselves, but will appreciate receiving one as a gift.

You can get the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller in a variety of colors including black, white, red, and blue.

DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 – Magma Red DualShock 4 Wireless Controller for PlayStation 4 – Magma Red Buy Now At Amazon $ 61.71

Games

As games are the core of any system, they of course make a perfect gift. Since the system has been available for years, there are tons of great PS4 games on the market.

What game to buy depends on the player. Thus, we recommend starting with our list of the best PS4 exclusives—just make sure they don’t already own them. If you’re nervous about buying the wrong game, the gift card option below is safer.

A Controller Adapter

The official “elite” controller for the PS4 is ridiculously expensive. But with an adapter, you can supercharge any standard PS4 controller without paying so much.

The Collective Minds Strike Pack F.P.S. Dominator easily snaps onto any DualShock 4, and includes a 10-foot USB cable so you don’t have to worry about charging your controller. You can hot-swap whatever buttons you’d like to map to the two paddles, and it even includes mods if you want to bend the rules a bit.

Collective Minds Strike Pack F.P.S. Dominator Controller Adapter with MODS & Paddles for PS4 Collective Minds Strike Pack F.P.S. Dominator Controller Adapter with MODS & Paddles for PS4 Buy Now At Amazon $ 33.03

It’s aimed at first-person shooter players, but anyone who could benefit from an enhanced, paddle-enabled controller can enjoy it. For other choices, check out the best PS4 controller options.

PlayStation 4 Gifts: $ 100 and Under

Need to buy a gift and have more money than you know what to do with? One of these options will suffice.

A PS4 Headset

The PS4 includes a basic headset for voice chat, but it’s pretty junky. You can choose from a ton of gaming headsets to upgrade it, but we think the HyperXCloud Alpha offers the best bang for your buck.

HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset – Dual Chamber Drivers – Award Winning Comfort – Durable Aluminum Frame – Detachable Microphone – Works with PC, PS4, PS4 PRO, Xbox One, Xbox One S (HX-HSCA-RD/AM) HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset – Dual Chamber Drivers – Award Winning Comfort – Durable Aluminum Frame – Detachable Microphone – Works with PC, PS4, PS4 PRO, Xbox One, Xbox One S (HX-HSCA-RD/AM) Buy Now At Amazon $ 99.99

Its powerful drivers let you hear every bit of game audio, and it packs a removable boom mic that’s much better than the PS4’s stock mic. And the included cables let you use it with your computer—or any device with a headphone jack. Thankfully, it offers a great music listening profile too.

Hate wires? Check out some of these great wireless headsets.

PlayStation Gift Cards

If you’re totally unsure of what someone might want, go with a gift card for the PlayStation Store. Available in several denominations including $ 10, $ 20, and $ 50, these cards let anyone with a PS4 pick from a wide variety of games, DLC, and other content.

$ 50 PlayStation Store Gift Card [Digital Code] $ 50 PlayStation Store Gift Card [Digital Code] Buy Now At Amazon $ 50.00

They won’t have to use a credit card to add funds and the money never expires, so they can save it for a sale. One of the above gifts is probably a more personal choice, but we doubt anybody would be upset at getting what is essentially free money.

‘Tis the Season for PlayStation 4 Gifts

Now, even if you’ve never touched a video game controller before, you have a variety of gifts to choose for the PS4 owner in your life. No matter your budget, you can make someone’s gaming life a bit better this holiday season.

And if you’re buying for someone who owns an Xbox One or PC instead, check out our gift guide for gamers.

Image Credit: Mike Flippo/Shutterstock

Read the full article: A Gift Guide for the Ultimate PlayStation 4 Fan

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Everything You Need to Know About Apple iTunes Gift Cards

itunes-gift-card

iTunes is Apple’s marketplace for all things media, software, and entertainment. If you’ve been given an iTunes gift card, you can use it to purchase apps, books, music, movies, and more. If you’re not familiar with iTunes or have never received an iTunes gift card before, you might have a few queries about how to use it and what to buy. Let’s address some of the most common queries in plain English. What Is an iTunes Gift Card? An iTunes gift card is a pre-purchased credit for Apple’s iTunes store. The iTunes store is Apple’s media and software marketplace, which…

Read the full article: Everything You Need to Know About Apple iTunes Gift Cards

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