Apple’s iPad lineup is as confusing as ever, but there’s no denying the extensive list of accessories for the device. If you can think of something that might make your iPad even more functional, odds are it’s available for purchase right now. Here are the best iPad accessories you can buy, from a stylus and earbuds to sleeves and keyboards.
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. The first-generation Apple Pencil works with all current iPad and iPad Air models, while the second generation works with the latest 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros.
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 AirPods.
Apple Smart Keyboard
There are better options if you want more travel or backlighting. However, the Apple Smart Keyboard trumps everything else when it comes to convenience. Not only is the Smart Keyboard easy to attach and detach, but the fabric-like material makes it so water doesn’t damage the keys. You also don’t need to worry about battery life since it uses the iPad’s battery to work. The Smart Keyboard is available for the iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro. Unfortunately for iPad Mini owners, you’ll need to look elsewhere for your typing needs.
Xbox Wireless Controller
Thanks to the iPadOS update, iPads officially support Xbox controllers. That means you can now pick up Microsoft’s excellent Xbox Wireless Controller and use it to play your favorite controller-supported games. It’s hard to find any faults with the Xbox Wireless Controller. The offset analog sticks make them perfect for shooters, the bumpers are easy to press, and the triggers fit any hand that pulls them.
It doesn’t have the rechargeable batteries of the DualShock 4 and SteelSeries Nimbus, but the Xbox Wireless Controller delivers up to 30 hours of use with removable batteries. Better yet, you’re more than welcome to pick up rechargeable batteries.
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 the company 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 definitely 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 keep in mind 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.
Anker 6-in-1 USB-C Hub
Next up on our list of the best iPad accessories is the Anker dongle, a USB-C hub for those with the latest iPad Pros. The 6-in-1 hub brings back the headphone jack and features HDMI out, a USB 3.0 port for data transfer, a USB-C PD port for 60W charging, and microSD and regular SD card slots. Finally, the USB-C hub features an aluminum design that doesn’t seem out of place on an iPad Pro. Unfortunately, the 6-in-1 hub isn’t compatible with cases other than the type cover.
Anker PowerLine+ III USB-C to Lightning
If you don’t own an iPad Pro and want faster charging times, forget about Apple’s short USB-C to Lightning cable and pick up Anker’s much longer cable. 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. Suffice it to say, this is one tough customer.