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Apple does a great job packing every version of its phone and tablet with great features, and improving their capabilities with regular software updates. Despite all that, pairing the iPhone and iPad with the right accessories can make them even better, whether it’s a battery to extend its life, or a pair of sleek, noise-cancelling headphones.
We’ve gathered the best iPhone and iPad accessories below to save you time. Some are purpose-built for one of those devices, but we’ve made sure to include plenty that work with both.
1. Xenvo Pro Camera Kit
The iPhone and iPad’s camera have transformed digital photography, by making it easy to quickly snap, edit, and share pictures. Apple improves the camera technology built into its hardware every year, but if you don’t upgrade often, Xenvo’s Pro Lens Kit is an inexpensive upgrade.
This kit comes with a rechargeable clip-on light, two lenses, and a clip-on body, which can be easily attached and removed. I’ve tested this lens kit before, and it’s very easy to use: screw a lens onto the clip-on body, and place it over your phone’s camera. Once attached, you can use your iPhone’s built-in camera app to snap pictures.
Xenvo included a 15X macro lens, which can be used to take extremely clear pictures when you’re close to a subject (this is different than a zoom lens), and a .45X wide-angle lens, which allows you to take zoomed out photos. Apple recently added a wide angle lens to the iPhone 11 Pro, but this kit allows you to get a similar experience with a major hardware upgrade.
2. PopSockets’ PopGrip
PopSockets’ PopGrip is an extremely simple iPhone and iPad accessory, but it’s also one of the best. You attach the small “button” to the back of your device (one side has an adhesive), where it serves two purposes.
First, it can be extended (or “popped”) to create a grip; slide two fingers along the sides of the PopGrip, and you’ll find your phone is easier to hold. Second, the popped-out PopgGrip can act as a stand, propping your phone upward while it’s on a table.
I used a PopGrip after writing it off as a fad, and have been surprised at how much I like it. I prefer larger phones, and the PopGrip makes it easier to use the device one-handed, by offering additional stability. In stand mode, the PopGrip has made it easier to watch videos during my lunch break. While I haven’t used one with my iPad Pro, I’ve also attached a PopGrip to my Kindle Oasis, which allows me to comfortably hold it for long stretches of time.
Using a PopGrip does add some bulk to your device, even when retracted, and prevents you from being able to use a wireless charger (it’s just too thick), but it’s a great accessory if you find yourself dropping your phone often, or holding it while watching videos.
3. AirPods Pro
The iPhone and iPad can be paired to hundreds of headphones, but the AirPods Pro were purpose-built for Apple tech. This is the third generation of Apple’s totally wireless earbuds, and they different from the non-pro AirPods in a couple of significant ways.
The biggest change is that the AirPods Pro support active noise cancellation, which means they use the headphones’ microphones to filter outside noise. The AirPods Pro have been my go-to earbuds for about four months, and their noise cancellation is outstanding, even in challenging environments like the New York City subway.
Apple also moved to gummy ear-tips, which create a tight seal around your ear, which is necessary for active noise cancellation and better-sounding bass. Previous versions of AirPods had a hard shell design, like Apple’s wired headphones. Beyond those changes, the AirPods Pro retain the same basic shape as the non-Pro versions, and keep the same four and a half hours of battery life per charge. Their charging case can extend the AirPods Pro’s battery life by roughly 18 hours, so you can listen to music all day with very brief breaks to top them up.
The AirPod Pro’s audio quality is uniformly excellent, with a great balance of treble, midrange, and bass. I’m perfectly happy with them whether I’m listening to a podcast or music of any genre. I still use over-ear headphones if I want the best audio experience, but the AirPods Pro are the ones I keep in my pocket at all times.
4. Anker PowercCore 10000
Apple has gotten a lot better at extending the life of the iPhone and iPad’s battery, but there’s still room for improvement, which is why I always keep a power bank in my bag.
Anker’s PowerCore 10000 strikes the right balance between charging speed, functionality, and size. At 4.17 inches long and 2.05 inches wide, the battery pack can easily fit in a pants pocket or bag, but Anker says it has enough juice to fully charge an iPhone XS 2.5 times.
It has one USB-A port, which is standard, and a USB-C PD (power delivery) port, which can charge devices like the iPhone and iPad up to 50% faster. You’ll need a Lightning to USB-C cable if you want to fast charge your iPhone or non-Pro iPad, but the speed difference is totally worth it.
5. AUKEY 60W PD Charger
A battery pack is the best charging accessory to take with you on-the-go, but AUKEY’s 60W (watts) PD wall charger is the one you should use at home. It has one USB-C PD port and one USB port, so you can charge multiple devices at the same time.
This charger can supply up to 60W of energy, which means it can be used to recharge larger gadgets like the Nintendo Switch a MacBook Pro. I’ve used one of AUKEY’s USB-C PD chargers for the past month, and it’s performed really well.
Not only do my gadgets charge quickly, they’re not hot to the touch after being plugged in for longer periods of time. Overheating, which can happen with some chargers, can damage both the charger and your device, which is why we recommend AUKEY’s here.
6. Case-Mate iPhone Case
Keeping your iPhone and iPad in a case can prevent it from getting scratched in your pocket, or damaged after a fall. Case-Mate’s latest cases are made out of an anti-scratch plastic, which the company says can insulate your phone from damage from drops of up to 10 feet.
They come in multiple colors (we recommend clear if you like the color of your phone) and sizes that fit the iPhone 11 family of devices. Raised buttons on the sides make it easy to find your iPhone’s power and volume buttons, and a cut out makes its mute switch easy to flip. It may look simple, but Case-Mate’s case should do its main job (keeping your phone safe) without any issues. The company also has a line of similar cases for the iPhone 8 and original iPhone X.
If you need some extra protection for your iPad, I recommend AmazonBasics’ iPad sleeve. It comes in three sizes: 10, 13, and 15 inches, which will accommodate every device from the iPad Mini to the 12.9 inch iPad Pro.
Amazon says its case is water resistant, and its reinforced edges insulate it from some drop damage. We’re recommending this sleeve because of these durability features and the fact that it has a front zippered pocket to hold accessories like cables and chargers. Having a compact way to keep your iPad and accessories in one place is extremely convenient.
You can connect your iPhone or iPad to any Bluetooth speaker, but we’re recommending Braven’s BRV-Mini because of its size and performance.
The 4.21 inch cylinder weighs just over half a pound, which makes it easy to take with you anywhere. It supports Bluetooth 5.0, the latest wireless standard that improves battery life over previous generations. This allows the BRV-Mini to get up to 12 hours of battery life per charge despite its small size. It’s also earned an IP67 durability rating, which means it’s totally dustproof, and waterproof enough to be submerged in up to 3.3 feet of water for 30 minutes.
None of this would matter if this speaker didn’t sound great, but it does. I’ve been testing it for over a month, and really like the way it sounds. Bass is extremely strong without being overpowering, and it does an admirable job handling the midrange and highs. I have noticed some sibilance (a harsh sound when a singer uses the letter “s”), but not enough to prevent me from enjoying music when I’m listening to it.
One of the BRV-Mini’s best features is the ability to connect two together to create a stereo pair. In this mode, the BRV-Mini creates a pretty wide stereo image, and the sibilance mellows out a little bit. You also have the option to connect your iPhone or iPad to two BRV-Minis that play in mono, so you can have a larger wireless speaker system in a couple of places in your home.
Whether you choose to get one or two, the BRV-Mini is the perfect Bluetooth speaker to pair with your iPhone or iPad at home and out of the house.
8. Erligpowht Selfie Stick
The selfie stick has become the go-to photo accessory for iPhone owners because it allows you to take large group shots easily. This one can be extended between 7.9 and 27 inches, which allows you to use it to stabilize smaller shots, or take super wide ones. The grip on top of the stick can be rotated 225 degrees, so you can use it in portrait or landscape, and can hold phones up to 3.15 inches wide (all iPhones).
The reason we’re recommending this particular option is because it comes with a Bluetooth shutter button, which allows you to take pictures and start or stop a video without touching your phone. This makes it a lot easier to use the selfie stick when it’s fully extended. The shutter button can be detached, so you can use it to improve your photography even when it’s not attached to the selfie stick.