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The best accessories you can get for the iPad
Apple’s iPad lineup is as confusing as ever, and there’s an extensive list of accessories for the device. If you can think of something that might make your iPad more functional, odds are it exists, and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find the best iPad accessories. Here’s a list of our top picks, from a stylus and earbuds to sleeves and keyboards.
Also read: The best iPads available right now
The best iPad accessories
Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best iPad accessories as new accessories launch.
Even if you don’t know how to draw, the Apple Pencil is a quintessential accessory for iPad owners. Third-party styluses can’t match the Apple Pencil’s responsiveness, and many apps take advantage of Apple’s stylus integration. Apple currently sells two generations of the Apple Pencil. Specific iPad models only work with the first-gen Apple Pencil. Meanwhile, The second-gen Apple Pencil only works with a few newer models. Check compatibility here.
Apple AirPods Pro
If you’re an iPhone or iPad user and can afford it, the Apple AirPods Pro are the best earbuds for you. Apple’s H1 chip does wonders for seamless device switching, hiccup-free streaming, and general efficiency. Apple completely changed the design of the AirPods with the Pro edition. You now get dedicated nozzles to facilitate active noise-cancelling.
The stems remain, and they’re both much shorter and actually functional now. You can squeeze them to operate playback controls and cycle through listening modes. The charging case is also re-designed. It’s now shorter and stouter than before and supports wireless charging by default.
A pair of AirPods Pro is prohibitively expensive, though. The sound quality isn’t nearly as good, and it isn’t as feature-packed, but you can save a decent chunk of money with the regular third-generation AirPods.
Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad
The Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad may be expensive, but it’s by far the best iPad keyboard Apple has released. The magnetic back cover holds the tablet in a floating position, giving it more adjustable viewing angles and a super cool look no other tablet keyboard has matched. It also includes a touchpad, which provides you with a whole new way to interact with iPad OS. USB-C passthrough charging makes it easier to juice up your pad, too. Not to mention the typing experience, which has been improved with a scissor mechanism and backlit keys.
Then again, the Apple Magic Keyboard is pricey. Maybe unreasonably so. The Apple Smart Keyboard is another great alternative if you want an excellent iPad typing experience without forking out over $300. Also, keep in mind that the Apple Magic Keyboard isn’t available for all iPads. It only works with the iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd, 4th, and 5th generation), iPad Pro 11‑inch (1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation), and iPad Air (4th generation). Of course, you can always go for third-party options too.
Xbox Core Wireless Controller
It wasn’t always the case, but iPads are currently compatible with Xbox controllers, including the new Core Wireless Controler made for the Xbox Series S and Series X. You can easily pair it to your iPad via Bluetooth and game away.
This newer controller has an integrated battery, superb ergonomics, and an overall great gaming experience. Not to mention it will also work on your PC, Xbox console, and other devices.
Anker PowerPort Atom III
The included iPad wall charger is fine, but the Anker PowerPort Atom III is a compelling alternative and one of the best accessories you can get for your iPad. It comes with a USB-C port and a regular USB-A port. The USB-C port supports up to 45W of output, while the USB-A port supports up to 15W of output. Because of the high output, you can charge your iPad faster than you could with the bundled charger.
Peak Design Tech Pouch
Peak Design is best known for its backpacks, but it also makes the equally flexible Tech Pouch. This isn’t an iPad accessory per se but rather something you can use to hold all your iPad accessories. The Tech Pouch is unassuming from the outside but is filled with pockets. You can store everything from chargers and cables to the Apple Pencil and AirPods. Durability shouldn’t be an issue, thanks to the weatherproof exterior fabric.
Tempered glass screen protectors
iPad displays are relatively durable, but they’re still made of glass. A tough tempered glass screen protector should go a long way in keeping the screen in pristine condition. The good news is there’s a large market for glass screen protectors, even if they come from relatively no-name companies.
It’s a worthy investment if you’re concerned about scratching up your iPad’s display. You’ll have to find the right one that’s compatible with your iPad model, of course. Another thing to remember is that the Apple Pencil might not work as well with a tempered glass screen protector in place.
Apple Smart Folio
One of the most popular accessories available for the iPad is the Apple Smart Folio cover. It’s an excellent case that offers protection for both the front and back of the tablet. It’s magnetically held in place and comes with an open-to-wake to and close-to-sleep functionality. The cover can also be folded into different shapes and positions to create stands for typing, reading, watching content, and more.
Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2
One of the main problems with iPads is their lack of ports, which can be a limiting factor when trying to make the most out of these powerful tablets. Luckily, newer iPads are taking advantage of USB-C, which opens the door to dongles and adapters. We like the Satechi Aluminum Multi-Port Adapter V2 because its design matches Apple’s, and it happens to be very functional.
Also read: The best USB-C adapters around
The unit comes with many ports, including an Ethernet, HDMI, SD and microSD card readers, three USB ports, and even a USB-C port with 60W power delivery.
Anker PowerLine+ III USB-C to Lightning
If your iPad doesn’t sport USB-C and you want faster charging times, forget about Apple’s short USB-C to Lightning cable and pick up Anker’s much longer option. Measuring six feet in length, the Anker PowerLine+ III supports Apple’s 29W, 30W, 61W, and 87W USB-C power adapters. It’s also MFi-certified and supports the Power Delivery standard. Finally, the double-braided cable can supposedly withstand 35,000 bends.
All these accessories are great, but you might still find yourself a bit limited. If this is the case, you might want to consider upgrading to a laptop with a full desktop OS and more functionality. Take a look at our recommendations below.