The times sure have changed. Over the past fifteen or twenty years, technology has gone from the domain of geeks to something universal. It’s also shifted the way we view romantic gift giving. While the traditional gifts such as jewelry and flowers still are used, many other people prefer stylish and/or functional gifts related to their technology. In fact, as technology has become more and more integrated into daily life, personal styling of devices has turned into a fashion choice. This started years ago with with the many different cases for iPhones, but now it's expanded to all aspects of smart devices: iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and all of their accessories.
So while it may still feel a little odd to shop for Valentine's Day gifts at the Apple Store, the truth is that there's a gift there for Apple users of all kinds. Male or female, old or young, fashionista or athlete, the Apple Store (both in person and online) offers cool tech, unique style ideas, and plenty of choice. Here are some of our favorites.
Device Gifts for That Special Person
Apple Watch Series 2: Are you in a relationship with an iPhone user? Then the Apple Watch Series 2 is the perfect Valentine's gift for them. Priced at $369 (though you'll probably want to check sales both online and locally), the Series 2 is Apple's standard for wearable tech. It works as an extension of the iPhone for notifications, messages, and quick notes. In addition, it comes with numerous health and wellness features, including the highest rated wearable heart sensor, built-in GPS (for accurate workout tracking when not paired with an iPhone), and a waterproof body up to 50 meters in depth. The Apple Watch is designed for different people's needs. For example, for someone who is constantly on the go and has a lot of emails coming and going, the Apple Watch offers easy access and quick voice-recognition replies. For a fitness junkie, it's an upgrade from other wearables like Fitbit both in accuracy and functionality. For the tech lover, it's simply a sleeker and more efficient way to stay connected.
Apple Watch Hermes Edition: Let's say your partner is someone who would just love an Apple Watch but also has a taste for high fashion. If that's the case, then the Apple Watch Hermes Edition is a unique offering that blends the best of both worlds. At its core is the standard Series 2 model watch, with all of the features and benefits noted above. But what makes this stand out is the partnership with fashion house Hermes. Hermes used their signature style and quality craftsmanship in designing custom watch bands for this model, available across a variety of looks and colors. This gift isn't for everyone, since the Hermes Edition can run above $1,000, but if you have the budget for it, it may be the ultimate Valentine's Day gift for the Apple fan in your life.
Apple Watch Nike+ Edition: On a slightly different take from the Hermes Edition, Apple also released the Nike+ Edition of the Apple Watch Series 2. Essentially replacing the launch line’s Sport Edition, the Nike+ Edition is the standard Series 2 except it comes pre-loaded with Nike exercise apps and faces, in addition to a specially designed watch band for working out (easy to clean, flexible, etc.) The Nike+ Edition retails for the same price as the Series 2, so unlike the Hermes Edition, it’s a gift that won’t necessarily break the bank.
Keep Them Listening with Audio Gifts
AirPods: One of Apple’s newest innovation are AirPods. The launch of AirPods came with the latest iteration of the iPhone -- the version commonly known as “the one without a headphone jack.” So how do you listen to audio when there’s no headphone jack? Apple’s AirPods are wireless earbuds, but unlike a lot of Bluetooth-connected earbuds, these don’t have a cable connecting the left and right channels. This allows a level of freedom that's cutting edge for the market -- and by all reviews, doesn't suffer in performance despite the lack of wires. In fact, most tech reviewers feel the sound is actually better than the standard Apple earbud, with low-end frequencies sounding warm and full. Most importantly, they generally fit well and stay in, even when on runs (though there will always be a few people who just don't find a good fit). For the tech sweetie in your life, AirPods are a cutting-edge gift that's equally cool and practical.
Wireless Earphones: Apple sells a range of wireless earbuds/headphones in addition to AirPods. You’ll find something for everyone here based on their own personal tastes. If they like the traditional earbud fit and feel, Apple sells a few different lines, including some 3rd party ones that are Apple exclusives (e.g. i.am+ BUTTONS Bluetooth Wireless Headphones). Other options exist too, including over-the-ear earbuds and cushy Beats headphones. All fulfill the Bluetooth connectivity requirements of the iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch, though only the AirPods are free from any cables between the left and right channels.
Keep You Love Enclosed with Cases & Accessories
Smartcases: For the iPhone, the Apple Smart Battery Case looks like a standard case with a small hump on its back. This hump is where the extra battery power is stored and it transmits to the iPhone. In addition, charging an iPhone in a smartcase will first charge the phone, then the additional battery (thus, truly “smart”). This isn’t to be confused with the iPad smart cover, which is more or less the current standard for tablet covers with a magnet that locks the cover to trigger sleep mode on the light sensor.
Magnetic Charging Dock: Apple Watch owners can turn their favorite wearable into a nightstand with this unique gift idea. Simply put the Apple Watch in Nightstand mode and put it on the magnetic charging dock. The Apple Watch’s screen then becomes a simple alarm clock display (with options for notifications), and with this dock, you’ll have a fully charged device by the time you wake up. It’s the perfect gift for the tech junkie in your life who wants to streamline his or her devices and get the most out of their functionality -- because seriously, who needs a traditional alarm clock in the smartphone era?
Armbands: If your Valentine is a weekend warrior and you’re thinking of getting Apple-related exercise items (Apple Watch Nike+ Edition, exercise watch bands for the Apple Watch, etc.), then don’t forget the basics. Generic armbands come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the ones sold at the Apple Store are designed to fit the specific models of the iPhone and are generally considered to be of higher quality (both in design and material) than generic ones. So if your partner has been working out with a generic armband, chances are it isn’t providing the best fit; while this gift may not be as flashy as the Apple Watch Hermes Edition, for some people, it might actually be a better gift.
Watch Bands: Whatever your tastes, whatever your style, there’s an Apple Watch band for you. One of the best features about the Apple Watch is its one-click release of the watch band. This allows for users to quickly switch out watch bands for their situation. So whether your Valentine is a workout junkie, a business executive, or needs something for a night out on the town, Apple Watch bands come in a variety of designs, materials, and colors to suit your specific needs. In fact, at Monowear, we typically recommend that users have three watch bands for everyday use, exercise, and going out.
Outside of the Apple Store
The Apple Store is the go-to place for all of your Apple products, and they carry exclusive accessories and items to boot. However, if you're looking for even more choice, consider third-party vendors. Third-party vendors range in quality and price, so be sure to research them with online reviews and other feedback. For example, at Monowear, we specialize in Apple Watch bands. We offer designs, materials, and colors not necessarily available at the Apple Store, and that's the kind of flexibility you'll find with third-party vendors. So definitely go to the source for official offers, but when you're looking for even more choice and flexibility, give a third-party vendor like Monowear a shot (and make sure to do your homework when researching products and companies).
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