Useful Christmas Gifts #4: Something From Apple

Let’s face it. You’re gonna be either buying or considering buying an Apple product this Christmas, either for yourself or for someone else. Epicentre, the premium Apple reseller, is making it more fun with an in-house personal shopper who’s gonna help you buy more stuff and then you’ll go home and curse him later.

Santa/Personal Shopper will be demonstrating how to use iPhoto to make photo books and other stuff every weekend from now till December 24th. There’s cookies to be had too. Just bring your own glass of milk.

Naomi, Kai and I are unabashedly Apple people at home, with a couple of iPhone4, iPad, iMac and MacBook Pros between the three of us.

And I’m quite sure there are parents of toddlers like ours who’ve learned new tricks on their Apple products from their kids. Before Kai got his hands on our phones, we didn’t know we could operate the iPod feature with the phone still password locked.

He hasn’t figured out our passwords yet, but he’s been treating us to his favourite songs on our phones and iPads in between playing Angry Birds.

Useful Christmas Gifts #1: Frozen Sausage Stylus for iPhone/iPad

If you’ve got friends and family in colder climes, you might want to think about sending this gift their way, because apparently when it gets too cold to go gloveless, it might get a little difficult to operate a touch screen device like an iPhone or iPad.

So, people in Korea have been buying frozen sausages to use as a stylus.

(Or you could just get them this. But hey, you can’t eat the gloves).

Our son is iPhone native

Kai toddling at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

I’ve always been led to think that babies start saying their first word out of the blue, and start walking unaided all of a sudden.

Kai can walk now, albeit with his arms in the air holding on to invisible parachute straps. But that has taken about a fortnight of taking one, then two unaided steps, and there hasn’t really been a defining moment announcing his bipedness.

The other amazing thing is how quickly he’s taken to using the other things always attached to us besides him – my Blackberry and Naomi’s iPhone.

Naomi and I started out thinking: “We’re not going to let our son be distracted by flashy light thingies, PSPs and other such like”, but it was always going to be a lost cause when you have to feed, change and generally have to attend to a squirmy one year old toddler.

Other parents who don’t already know this – these are the two life-saving apps for your Blackberry and iPhone: Baby GO! for the ‘Berry, and Talking Carl for the iPhone.

Then Sunday night, we went out to Ion Orchard, and as expected, Kai got antsy after half an hour in the restaurant, so I took him out to toddle around the 4th floor. Near the concierge’s counter was a pillar with two touch-screen directories. One of them was just right for his height (presumably for the wheelchair bound), so he went at it, pressing and pushing until he accidentally pressed the search button at the bottom right, activating an onscreen keyboard.

Our 14 month-old knows his keyboard and starts pressing the letters anyhowly. But here’s the clincher: He’s been mimicking how Naomi, her mum and myself make and take calls with our phones over the past three months or so, and it still make us chuckle when he puts his hand to his ear every time he hears someone’s phone ringing. So this time, after pressing a series of letters on the touch-screen keyboard, he puts his hand to his ear and says his version of “hello?”

On screen directory at Kai's height

Kai wuz here

iPhoney Christmas

Christmas is nigh, and if you’re wondering what to get your loved ones for Christmas, keep thinking. There are too many things to buy, and very little money to go around. The iPhone’s been launched in Europe, but because the rest of Asia’s the backwater of the world, it’s not here yet.

It’s the very latest 2G mobile phone technology, but heck, I admit to thinking of getting one, even if it’s from a Lucky Plaza shop that sells mobile phones, vibrators (no sir, this vibrator doesn’t come with the phone but you can buy one if you like) and all other manner of electronic peripherals that you only use a few weeks following Christmas.

But if you really must, here’s a run down on what the iPhone is really good for. It’s an SNL spoof of an iPhone commercial that never aired. The spoof never aired. Not the commercial. The commercial aired until the cows came home and set up their own facebook account.

Anyway: Here tis