Yesterday, we rounded up the best apps to buy if you happened to unwrap an iTunes gift card this holiday season. If you were lucky enough to be the recipient of an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or any other Apple product, we’ve got you covered as well. Read on as we recap some of the best accessories for your new device.
Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip
If you were the lucky recipient of a new iPhone this holiday season, there are a wealth of accessories available for your new device, including cases, chargers, and much more.
If you received an iPhone 8 or newer, one of the best accessories you can pick up is a wireless charger. One of our favorite picks here at 9to5Mac is Mophie’s charger, which is currently available on Amazon for $40. If you’re looking for an upright charger, which has benefits for features like Face ID, one of our top picks comes from Anker.
There are a wide array of cases available for every iPhone model, even if you didn’t receive the latest and greatest iPhone. For the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, I’m a fan of Apple’s first-party silicone and leather cases. They are reasonably priced options that come in an array of colors. If you’re looking for a thinner option, Totallee makes excellent ultra slim cases.
For the iPhone XR, Apple’s clear case is a nice but pricey option at $39. If you’re looking for a more affordable clear case, Spigen is selling one for $13, while TOZO is selling a soft model for $10. Read our full roundup of alternatives to Apple’s iPhone XR clear case right here.
Another popular iPhone accessory category is car chargers and mounts. I personally use the iOttie Easy One Touch mount, which supports every model of the iPhone in terms of size and wirelessly charges the iPhone 8 and newer.
More of 9to5Mac’s iPhone accessory best of lists:
- Best new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR cases available now
- The best new iPhone XR cases available now
- The best upright Qi charging stands for iPhone X & iPhone XS
- The best in-car wireless chargers, mounts, and more for iPhone
- Best iPhone XR clear case alternatives to Apple’s official $40 option
The 9.7-inch iPad was undoubtedly one of the most popular gifts this holiday season. At $329, it’s the most affordable way to enter the iPad ecosystem.
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 choice if you plan on doing things like note taking, drawing, and more with your iPad. While Apple doesn’t sell a keyboard for the 9.7-inch iPad, various third-party options exist. One of our favorite options is the Brydge keyboard, which features Bluetooth connectivity and an aluminum build that is sturdy enough for lap typing.
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 at $499.99. 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 for $14, and it 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.
More of our favorite iPad accessories:
- iPad accessories: Dongles, stands, chargers, and more
- What can you connect to the new iPad Pro with USB-C?
- Best new iPad Pro cases available now (11- & 12.9-inch)
When it comes to accessorizing your Apple Watch, it’s important to remember that Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 bands are cross-compatible. The 38mm and 40mm bands are interchangeable, as are the 42mm and 44mm bands.
For the Apple Watch, you can easily and affordably expand your band collection to ensure you’re ready for any occasion. Apple’s first-party bands start at $49 for the sport, Nike, and sport loop materials. For $149, you can pick up the modern buckle or leather loop, depending on which Apple Watch size you have. Also at $149, you can choose from Apple’s gold, space black, and Milanese loops.
If you’re looking for more affordable options, however, there are a slew of third-party bands available. For instance, Native Union sells a great leather band starting at $49.99. Other third-party bands start as low as under $10 on Amazon. For storing and traveling with your various Apple Watch bands, LoO has a carrying case that can hold up to 12 different Apple Watch bands while on the go.
While your Apple Watch includes a charging puck, you can make the charging process a bit more seamless by using a dock. The aluminum Nomad Stand is one of the sleekest options, fitting in perfectly with your other Apple devices. Another one of our favorites here at 9to5Mac is the classic Mac-inspired Elago W3 stand.
For a portable Apple Watch charging solution, Ugreen makes a great portable charger with an integrated battery. This same charging pack can also add some extra fuel to your iPhone. Twelve South’s TimePorter also allows you to charge your Apple Watch while on the go.
More of 9to5Mac’s Apple Watch accessory picks:
- Best Apple Watch Series 4 Bands: Sport, Leather, Nylon and more from $5
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: Apple Watch picks – Series 3 vs 4, bands, chargers, and more
The 2018 MacBook Air was likely a somewhat popular gift this year as it was a long overdue update to an incredibly popular Mac. The new MacBook Air features Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C connectivity which, like the new iPad Pro, opens it up to a host of new accessories.
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 the AmazonBasics USB-C to USB-A adapter for $7.99. For microUSB, you can pick up the Cable Matters adapter for $7.
One of the best things about the MacBook Air is the ability to charge it via a USB-C 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 $129.99 on Amazon.
You’ll definitely want to protect your pricey new MacBook Air. MOSISO sells a sleek water repellent sleeve for $12.99 that will certainly protect your laptop from the elements and is available in a handful of colors.
- The best USB-C & Thunderbolt 3 accessories for Apple’s new MacBook Air
- Best cases and sleeves for the 2018 MacBook Air from $9
- Hands-on: Best affordable USB-C SSDs for the 2018 MacBook Air [Video]
Right out of the box, AirPods are a great product and there’s little you can do to improve the experience. If you struggle to keep your AirPods in your ears, you can add hooks to each AirPod to help them stay in. One option is the EarBuddyz ear hooks, which are available on Amazon for $12.
While Apple has its own wireless charging AirPods case on the way, it’s not available just yet and it’s unclear when that might change. There are, however, some third-party options to add Qi functionality to your AirPods. We recently reviewed the SliQ AirPods case, which adds wirelessly charging to your AirPods for $24. If you’re just looking to protect your AirPods, the Catalyst case is both waterproof and drop proof. It’s a pretty basic case and is made out of silicone. Pick it up on Amazon for $25.
More AirPods accessories:
- Hands on with the best AirPods accessories
- Review: The SliQ case adds Qi charging to your AirPods for $25, but not without compromise
- Apple Store now selling special edition Catalyst protective waterproof cases for AirPods
- Review: Wirelessly charge AirPods with HyperJuice’s handy adapter [Video]
Like AirPods, the Apple Pencil is a great product out of the box, but there are some small accessories that might improve your experience. While the accessory market is a bit limited for the second-generation Apple Pencil, there are various options for the first-generation model.
Our top pick is the TechMatte Apple Pencil Stand and Charging Dock, which makes charging your Apple Pencil much easier. You can also add something like the FRTMA Magnetic Sleeve to make your Apple Pencil easier to grip, as well as secure it to a magnetic Smart Cover.
The Belkin Base is a gorgeous option for securing your Apple Pencil on your desk. With its anodized aluminum build and chrome finish, it’s a sleek way to keep your Apple Pencil easily accessible.
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!