Apple Pencil ($100)
This special stylus was developed just for the iPad Pro, so you’re not going to want to buy it for use with an iPad Air 2 or any other model. The tip is packed with sensors that work with the display to detect the position, force, and tilt. You can press lightly for a thin stroke, or press harder to get a darker, wider stroke. Take the end off and you’ll find a Lightning connector for charging. If you have an iPad Pro and like to jot notes by hand or sketch, you’re going to want one of these.
Anker SoundCore Sport XL ($60)
There’s a lot to like about this rugged Bluetooth speaker. It’s quick and easy to pair with your iPad if you want to pump up the volume a bit. It has stereo drivers outputting 8W each and dual subwoofers, so you get a reasonable kick of bass. The Bluetooth range is 66 feet and there’s a big 5,200mAh battery in it that can be used to top off your mobile devices in a pinch. It’s also tough and scores an IP67 rating, which means it can survive submersion in up to a meter of water for an hour.
Satechi Bluetooth Multi-Media Remote ($35)
If you prop your iPad somewhere, set it on a stand, or plug it into your TV, then you might be glad of a handy wee remote like this one. It hooks up to your iPad via Bluetooth and provides a set of media playback controls and a remote camera shutter button. You can even use the Home button to activate Siri from a distance. The range is 33 feet and the supplied coin batteries should last you a few months. It’s easy to pair, and very straightforward to use.
Ipevo PadPillow ($24)
For anyone who prefers to snuggle up and get comfy with their iPad, the Ipevo PadPillow is ideal. It’s a soft pillow with a triangular section that can fold out. It’s easy to prop your iPad at a comfortable angle and watch movies or surf the web, but it can also fold open to accommodate a keyboard. It’s made from soft foam, covered in cotton or denim in a choice of five different colors, and you can hand wash it if you need to. The PadPillow has a couple of pockets, too, so there’s room for a stylus or a charging cable.
IK Multimedia iRig 2 Guitar Interface ($40)
Guitarists will appreciate this handy adapter that enables you to plug your guitar into your iPad. You can use it along with IK’s AmpliTube app, which is packed with different amplifier models, or something like GarageBand. It doesn’t need batteries and it can also plug into your amp or a set of headphones. If you need higher quality, then you can opt for the iRig HD at $80. IK Multimedia also offers a wide range of accessories for different instruments, so you’ll find a lot of great gear to help you make music with your iPad.
The iPad is great for watching movies in bed, but tired arms, a crick in your neck, or a suspicious bruise after you drop it on yourself, are all potential hazards. We think the multipurpose, lightweight Tstand is the answer. The device features clamping arms outfitted with soft rubber pads that slide apart to accommodate any tablet. Fix your iPad at any angle, and the design of the base makes it possible to lie down with the stand on your chest. Combined with headphones and Netflix, you have an immersive one-person cinema. Plus, it works equally as well at the breakfast table, letting you catch up with morning news or read a recipe without coating your iPad with marinara. The versatile stand also folds flat when you want to put it away, and it sells for $55 right now.
BrydgeAir Keyboard ($150)
You will not find a better keyboard for your iPad than this. The BrydgeAir keyboard is made of solid aluminum and outfitted with a color finish to match your iPad. Instead of encasing the iPad entirely, it features a 180-degree hinge designed to accommodate your tablet and keep bulk to a minimum. The island keys are well-spaced with good travel and backlighting, too, and the device works via Bluetooth and features built-in stereo speakers for enhanced sound. It recharges via Micro USB, but you should get a couple of months of use between charges. This stylish keyboard really hits Apple’s design standards and makes your iPad feel like a mini MacBook.
Intocircuit Portable Power Bank ($37)
If you take your iPad out with you, there’s always the danger it will run out of power. Thankfully, this power bank will provide your iPad Air or Air 2 with a full charge. It utilizes high-quality Samsung batteries and features a blue LCD display, one that shows exactly how much power remains. There are also two ports, so that you can charge an iPad and a smartphone at the same time. There are lots of great portable battery chargers on the market, but this one strikes a good balance between portability, capacity, functionality, and price.
Gripdaddy v2ARM iPad Headrest Mount ($70)
This might be overkill for some people, but if you want a versatile headrest mount for the car, then you should really check it out. The contraption features spring-loaded clips to hold your iPad securely in place, but they’re pretty easy to remove, and you can fit your iPad in there even if it has a case on. The steel bar screws into your headrest and there’s a second bar and hinge so you can place the iPad in between the headrests if you want, which is ideal when you have two or three kids in the back. It’s very stable once tightened as well, and it’s easy to adjust the angle or switch to portrait view.
Sennheiser Urbanite On-Ear Headphones ($85)
For watching movies or listening to music on your iPad, you’ll want some decent headphones. These on-ear headphones from Sennheiser tick all the right boxes. They look good, they’re comfortable to wear, and they deliver excellent sound quality. If you crave decent bass and you want detailed treble and midrange, then you should pull the trigger on these. You can learn more in our full Sennheiser Urbanite headphones review.
Adonit Jot Touch ($50)
The best stylus for you will depend on exactly what you want to do with it. If you have an iPad Pro, then the Apple Pencil will be an obvious choice, but it’s not designed to work well with other iPad models. Adonit offers a wide range of different styli, but the Jot Touch provides a wealth of excellent features, including pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, a fine point, and shortcut buttons that you can configure. It’s a great choice if you want something to draw with, but it works best with a specific range of supported apps, so do your homework before you buy. If you want something simply for jotting notes, however, you really don’t need to spend this much.
Fourth-gen Apple TV ($150+)
Thanks to AirPlay, you can mirror your iPad screen on your TV using an Apple TV. This is great for showing off family photos or accessing all sorts of entertainment. You can also use Apple’s Remote app to turn your iPad into a remote control, or use Siri to make searching for content that much easier. Since the Apple TV is fairly small, it also represents your best bet for presentations and travel. You can plug it into any TV using HDMI, and stream from your iPad via AirPlay without the need for Wi-Fi.
If you like to play a lot of games on your iPad, this gaming controller is well worth the investment. It can connect to the iPad 4 and later via Bluetooth, along with Apple TV and the iPhone 5 or later. It’s comfortable to hold, too, with decent buttons and a feel that resembles a traditional Xbox controller. There’s a power switch, a Bluetooth button for easy pairing, and a Lightning port for recharging. Some of the alternatives lack a rechargeable battery, so it’s definite selling point. It’s also a solid choice for the money.
Lightning Digital AV Adapter ($40+)
Anyone wanting to play iPad games on the big screen without the Apple TV will need this cable. It plugs into the Lightning port on your iPad and includes both an HDMI port and a Lightning port, so you can relay content to your TV and charge your iPad at the same time. It’s really expensive for what it is though, and you’ll need an HDMI cable to go with it. However, it also can provide a smoother experience than mirroring through and Apple TV, which requires a fast Wi-Fi network to work well.
Devicewear Ridge Case ($27)
If you want a simple folio-style case that can prop up your iPad in a wide range of different landscape angles, then this is your best bet. The case covers your iPad with a protective plastic shell, which also conveniently features all the necessary openings and cutouts needed to control your device. The entire package is wrapped in neatly stitched vegan leather that’s available in black, blue, or red. Open the cover up and you’ll find a series of notches to prop it up at different angles, or you can fold it back for a flatter angle that’s suitable for typing. The closure is magnetic, it supports the automatic sleep/wake function, and the interior is a soft micro suede designed to protect your iPad while keeping it clean. If you fancy something different, then check out our best iPad cases.
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