Get the most out of your new iPhone, iPad, or Mac with these accessories
Did you just unwrap a new iPhone, iPad, or Mac this holiday season? If so, there are a variety of accessories that can protect and enhance your experience. Read on as we recap some of the best accessories for your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat
If you were the lucky recipient of a new iPhone this holiday season, there are a slew of accessories available for your new device, including cases, chargers, and much more. Here are some of our favorites.
To protect your shiny new iPhone, you’ll definitely want to pick up a case or even two. I have a few favorite case options for the iPhone, headlined by Apple’s silicone case, which is available for iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple’s silicone case is more affordable and durable than its leather cases.
If you want to stretch as much battery life as possible out of your new iPhone, Apple sells the Smart Battery Case to do just that. The smart battery case for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro is especially useful, as it includes a new physical camera button. This lets you quickly open the camera app with just one tap.
Here are more of our favorite cases for recent iPhone models.
Best iPhone XR leather cases:
Best iPhone 11 cases:
Best iPhone 11 Pro cases:
Best iPhone 11 Pro Max cases:
Apple now includes a fast charger in the box with the iPhone 11 Pro, if you know someone getting an iPhone XR or iPhone 11, we highly recommend an 18W wall adapter and a Lightning to USB-C cable. This setup can charge an iPhone to 50% in just 30 minutes.
If you need some on-the-go power, one of my favorite picks is the Mophie Powerstation Hub. This includes 18W fast charging support, built-in wall prongs, two USB-A ports, and a Qi charging pad.
Wireless chargers are also a great accessory for your new iPhone. The most affordable option comes from Anker and is available for under $15 on Amazon.
I personally recommend upright Qi chargers, which have benefits for features like Face ID. The Native Union Dock is a great upright Qi charger for your new iPhone.
Another popular iPhone accessory category is car chargers and mounts. The iOttie Easy One Touch mount supports every model of the iPhone in terms of size and wirelessly charges the iPhone 8 and newer. Satechi also sells a USB-C car charger that I’m a big fan of. Pair this with a Lightning to USB-C cable and you’ve got a fast-charging setup right in your car.
AirPods and Beats
Last but not least, truly wireless headphones. If this is your first iPhone without a headphone jack or you’re looking to make the transition to truly wireless earbuds, there are several different options.
AirPods start at $139 and are a great option and include Apple’s H1 chip for easy connectivity and pairing with your Apple devices. You can upgrade to the model with a wireless charging case for $200. AirPods Pro take things to the next level with noise cancellation and Transparency mode, but those features come at an added cost.
Powerbeats Pro are the ultimate workout headphones, with a truly wireless design, charging case, and built-in hooks for in-ear security and comfort. Read our full review here.
Apple’s 10.2-inch iPad was undoubtedly one of the most popular gifts this holiday season, with Black Friday deals regularly bringing it well below the $329 list price.
For the 9.7-inch iPad, the most obvious accessory is the Apple Pencil. While it doesn’t support the second-generation Apple Pencil, the first-gen model is still a great buy if you plan on doing things like note taking, drawing, and more with your iPad. This Apple Pencil also works with Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Air.
Apple also sells the Smart Keyboard for all of its newest iPad models, including the iPad and iPad Air. The Smart Keyboard packs a full-size keyboard in a lightweight fabric cover. It takes advantage of Apple’s Smart Connector for easy pairing and charging, meaning there are no batteries or pairing to deal with.
If you’re looking for a more laptop-like experience, I’m a big fan of keyboards from Brydge, which feature a MacBook-like aluminum design, backlit keys and more. You can read my full review of the Bridge Pro keyboard here.
And, if you don’t want a keyboard at all, the Apple Smart Folio is a great option with protection for the front and the back of your iPad Pro. The Smart Cover is also available for the 10.2-inch and 10-5-inch iPads, but it doesn’t offer protection for the back.
More for iPad Pro:
If you received a new 11-inch or 12.9-inch iPad Pro this holiday season, you now have access to USB-C and the host of accessories it provides. One of the best features this enables is support for external USB-C displays, including the LG UltraFine. Something worth considering, though, is that the USB-C cable included with the iPad Pro does not support “high bandwidth” connectivity. You can pick up a third-party solution from Belkin that will get the job done.
You can also charge other devices via the USB-C port on the iPad Pro. For instance, you can pick up a USB-C to Lightning cable to charge your iPhone via the iPad Pro. This also enables you to add some extra power to things like AirPods, AirPods Pro, and Beats.
For the iPad Pro, the second-generation Apple Pencil is a must-have. It offers a handful of improvements over the first-gen model, including support for gestures, magnetic charging via the side of your iPad, and more.
The MacBook Air got even better this year with a mid-year refresh that brought True Tone display technology, and a lower price point. That price drop, combined with holiday sales and promotions, likely made the MacBook Air a popular gift this holiday season.
First and foremost, if you’re coming from an older MacBook Air, you might need some adapters and dongles to help ease your transition. For basic USB-C connectivity, Amazon sells its own USB-C to USB-A adapter for under $10. For microUSB, you can pick up the Cable Matters cable for $7.
If you want to use your new MacBook Air as an opportunity to completely transition to USB-C, Apple has you covered. You can pick up a Lightning to USB-C cable for your iPhone, as well as an Apple Watch magnetic charger to use with your new MacBook Air.
The switch to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 opens the MacBook Air up to a wide array of different hubs. My personal favorite is the Satechi 4K Multi-Port adapter, which includes USB-C pass-through, SD and microSD card readers, Gigabit ethernet, and more.
One of the best things about the MacBook Air is the ability to charge it via a USB-C portable power hub. One such option for this is the Anker PowerCore+, which offers 26,800mAh of power and outputs 30W. You can pick it up for under $100 on Amazon.
You’ll definitely want to protect your pricey new MacBook Air. MOSISO sells a sleek water repellent sleeve for $13.99 that will certainly protect your laptop from the elements and is available in a handful of colors. If you want something a bit more high-end, the Twelve South BookBook is a great choice.
These are just some of the best accessories for Apple’s top products this holiday season. Were you lucky enough to unwrap a shiny new Apple product this month? Let us know what you received down in the comments!
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