Last minute present-buying before Father’s Day may be a tradition for some of our readers, so we’ve come up with a list of ideas for those struggling to arrive at anything other than a ‘Worlds Best Dad’ mug. It’s the thought that counts, so we’ve found gadgets and gizmos at a range of prices and also aimed to include as many high-street outlets we can, for those last-ditch shoppers.
A new phone for Father’s Day: iPhone 3GS, HTC Incredible S, Nokia C2-01
You may baulk at the idea of getting an iPhone for Dad, but if you manage to get him hooked on buying his music and apps online, like Apple are hoping, you can maintain the momentum with less imaginative gifts.
If he already has an iPhone, consider iTunes vouchers, and garish phone covers. The Apple iPhone 3GS is still punching above its weight too, capable of doing most of what the iPhone 4 accomplishes. It’s also a bit cheaper.
The HTC Incredible S is a stylish Android offering that oozes class. It’ll also stand out from the crowd of HTC Desires and iPhones.
Nokia’s C2-01 is one of the Finnish giant’s latest candybar-style phones. Don’t expect advanced features at this price, but it does what you need it to do; phonecalls, messaging and the rest.
Protect his ‘Pad: iPad 2 Survivor case
If you can’t afford a brand new phone, this new protective case will help keep your Dad’s phone and tablet in better condition.
In fact, you’d want to give some of his priciest gadgets the best protection money can buy. Aside from never taking your iPad out of its box, Griffin’s Survivor case, already available for iPhone 4, should survive even the most unruly children.
Tested by burly Army types, there’s a built-in screen protector that doesn’t dull any of the touchscreen goodness. There is also a plastic core which attaches around the device, and then a rather grippy rubber skin fits on top of that. We tried out the iPhone 4’s Survivor case earlier this year, and it took everything we could throw at it- literally. The phone came out unscratched.
iPad 2 case; £54.99 at Firebox
iPhone case; £34.99, available at Carphone Warehouse
Replacements and renovations
Some fathers may not be overly enthused by a new smartphone. They just want one that ‘does calling’ or are reluctant to change from what they’re used to. It may make phone shop employees sad, but if it keeps your dad happy, you’ll be able to find plenty of replacement batteries, chargers and clip-on cases for older phones on eBay, or their reseller sites.
A nice microfibre cloth to scrub up the screen is an inexpensive addition, or for the obsessively clean dads, we’ve been using Cyber Clean (Findmeagift UK, £7.99) on some of our more ‘well-worn’ phones. Push the silly-putty-esque gunk into the nooks and crannies of your phone without fear- it’s safe for all electronics.
It also has a new-car-smell lemon fragrance, and is even anti-bacterial
iPhone Stereo dock: Go big
With AirPlay technology, you’re also able to play music from your iPhone or iPad without the need to keep it plugged in, the other side of the room. (You can still plug it in, and it’ll charge it for you as it plays.)
Making your dad Appy on Father’s Day (Sorry)
With the ability to ‘gift’ apps to friends and family, there’s never been a better time to consider a bumper pack of apps as a gift. (We’d advise buying an iTunes card too, for something to unwrap.)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011
Disputedly the king of football games, the Pro Evo brand has arrived on mobile; PES 2011 is available on both iPhone (£2.99) and Android (£4.38) handsets. Pair together two Apple products, and you can even play head-to-head on local WiFi or Bluetooth.
Jamie’s 20 Minute Meals
Looking to extend the creative range of Dad’s cookery skills, then this app from Jamie Oliver does the hard work for you. From his recipes, the app can automatically generate shopping lists, and there are tutorials for the trickier parts of preparation. There are detailed explanations of how to use certain kitchen tools, and some food cupboard essentials everyone should have.
You’re able to add extra recipe bundles, at a cost, but the app itself, and the first few recipes, are free.
Spotify Premium Subscription (£9.99 per month)
Treat your dad to unlimited music. At £9.99 per month, it pays for itself if he typically buys two albums a month. He’ll also be able to access all of his old music collection without laboriously transferring it across to his phone/tablet by hand. As an online service, he can acccess this library, his albums and playlists anywhere in the world. And if he’s got a smartphone- it’ll work.
Happy Father’s Day: Headphones to drown out the noise
Spotify dovetails nicely into another great accessory idea; a pair of over-ear headphones to make the most of a phone’s music playing chops.
We like the look of these Philips SHL5800 (£99.95, John Lewis) headphones, in red.
These luxurious cans can be folded down flat for packing, and a 1.2m cable means that your dad should be able to use them whilst carrying his phone in his pocket without choking.
Any ideas we’re missing? Let us now in the comments below.