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Exclusive Offer: Get 15 Percent Off Pad & Quill Accessories for iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch

With holiday shopping in full swing, MacRumors has begun another exclusive partnership, this time with Pad Quill and focusing on the accessory company’s iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch product categories. If you’re interested, browse from Pad Quill’s accessories in any of these areas, add items to your cart, and then enter the promo code MR15 during checkout to get 15 percent off your order. The code expires on Thursday, December 21 at midnight.

If multiple items are in your cart, the code will take 15 percent off the total cost of your order for all relevant products. The code excludes items from Pad Quill’s leather bags and wallet accessories categories (note that this covers any bags and portfolios within the MacBook category).

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Pad Quill. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Pad Quill is focused on creating high-quality leather and wooden accessories, many of which MacRumors has reviewed over the years. These include the Classic Apple Watch Band, Lowry Cuff for Apple Watch, Timber Catchall and Timber Nightstand for Apple Watch, and Oxford Case for iPad Pro.

These products and more can now be purchased at a discount with our exclusive offer, so we’ve listed a few below to give you an idea of the savings you can get if you take advantage of the promo code.

Make sure to visit Pad Quill and browse these items — and many more — to place your order before December 21, when the exclusive promo code will expire. Pad Quill offers free shipping that typically estimates a delivery window of between 2-4 business days after you place the order, but factors like color combinations for certain products can affect delivery dates.


Also of note is a separate offer from Pad Quill — which can not be stacked with our exclusive code — aimed at anyone thinking about spending over $125 on the company’s online store this holiday. If you spend $125 or more on an order at Pad Quill, the company will email you a $25 special gift code for you to use — or gift — on your next order. Purchases over $250 get a $50 code and purchases over $400 get a $100 code. This offer lasts until December 17, and any code you receive has to be redeemed before January 31, 2018.

For other sales and exclusive promotions — including our ongoing 15 percent discount on full-priced Nomad accessories — head over to the full MacRumors Deals Roundup.

It’s An Electronics (and Computer Accessories) Bonanza Online Today

About Walker MacMurdo

Culture writer Walker MacMurdo covers Portland’s food, film, fashion and retail.

Gift Guide: Family fun games and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV

The Apple device ecosystem has heralded new ways for creative game makers to realise their vision, often by combining physical elements with apps, to form engaging and addictive experiences. Most of this guide leans on casual gaming where a whole family can join in together, but there’s also a consideration for the serious side of games too.

We feature the endearing Beasts of Balance, the Osmo game system, MFI game controllers and more. Read on after the jump for the full list.


55b12_vxd168-evergreenassociateads-benefit-assoc-300x250 Gift Guide: Family fun games and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Family Fun Gaming Gift Guide

Beasts of Balance ($99)

Beasts of Balance is an incredible modern tabletop game that uses a complementary app as a central part of the game. It takes the universal concept of ‘build as tall a tower as possible’ and fleshes it out into a rich, endearing, modern board game. The Beasts of Balance plinth communicates with an app running on iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.

Players set cute animal figurines onto the plinth to start building a tower. The plinth includes an NFC reader which scans the object as they are placed, which causes special events to happen on the app display. Interlocking cross parts cause mutations in the virtual creature which is artistically brought to life on the iOS device screen.

You also have other challenges to keep on top of as the tower is built, like remembering to change the moon to a sun. If the tower falls, the app shows a bubbling volcano and the tower has to be quickly rebuilt before it erupts. There are wonderful tradeoffs built into the gameplay; awkwardly-shaped objects have higher point scores but a much higher risk of toppling the tower altogether.

The build quality of the stackable animals and artefacts is stellar; everything in the physical box and digital app is beautifully illustrated and designed. You can set it up in the living room with Siri Remote and Apple TV, or play in a bedroom with a single iPhone or iPad. It really is fun for the whole family. Buy the kit for $99, the app is a free download.

Gamevice for iPhone and iPad ($99)

There are a lot of interesting games to play on the App Store, but you often feel limited by the touch interface for controlling your character or moving around the world. The Gamevice attaches to the iOS device — I use it with my 12.9 inch iPad – to add gamepad buttons and analog joysticks on both sides of the screen. Read my full review here.

The Gamevice essentially turns your iPhone and iPad into a handheld console. Comfortably grip the device with the attached left and right pads, take advantage of fine-grained control and character movement with the buttons, triggers and analog sticks whilst leaving the entire display unobscured.

If you loved using a Gameboy Advance as a kid, this is basically an iOS version of that. MFI game controllers have been possible for a while and now there is a big library of games that support them. Because the Gamevice is essentially a handheld dock, it will only work with a single form factor of iPhone or iPad. If you buy a newer iPad in the future, there’s a good chance the Gamevice will no longer fit.

Check out the full Gamevice range here for almost every iOS device on the market; pricing varies around $100 mark.

SteelSeries Nimbus ($45)

This is the second MFI controller recommendation. Whereas the Gamevice (above) snaps onto an iPhone or iPad to make a handheld, the SteelSeries is a traditional external controller design. It’s just like a console gamepad and communicates wirelessly with iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

If you play any games on Apple TV, even simple one-button titles like Mr Jump or Crossy Road, using a real game controller is so much nicer than the Siri Remote. It also lets you dive into richer titles like Rayman Adventures and Oceanhorn; touch controls simply cannot beat physical buttons for games like these. The convenient thing about the Nimbus controller is that it doesn’t require a particular form factor; it just connects via Bluetooth to any iOS or tvOS device. Unlike the Gamevice though, you do have to remember to charge the Nimbus battery separately.

The Apple Store has a special bundle by the way for this item; you can get Minecraft for Apple TV and this controller at a reduced combo price. There’s also a Stratus controller which is half the price, and about half as nice to hold.

Osmo (from $80)

The Osmo game system is a fun accessory that you can gift to kids and play together as a family. You set an iPad up on the special stand and attach a special red mirror that angles the camera downwards. The Osmo comes with physical objects that the app detects through the camera to create an interesting combination of physical and digital world. Move a plastic block on the table and the iPad app tracks the motion and uses it in the on-screen game.

Most of the games are targeted at younger children, with a few activities for older ages and adults. You can get kits for drawing, learning vocabulary, music sequencing and basic building blocks of programming, and more. The Osmo packs are pricey but you can buy a Starter Kit to begin with and gradually add in additional sets to expand the experience. Read my hands-on review of the Osmo Monster kit from last year.

I like the Osmo because it integrates the iPad — which most kids regard as a mere portable TV screen frankly — with a kinaesthetic activity. You can even argue there is some educational value amongst the entertainment. They have also recently released a base for some models of iPhone, if you don’t want to use an iPad.

Apple TV 4K ($179)

The new Apple TV features a much more powerful A10 Fusion chip to drive the 4K video playback, but it also theoretically enables fully-fledged gaming with console-like visuals. A lot of that promise is still dream rather than reality. There are fun games to play on Apple TV but I haven’t seen anything yet that takes advantage of the additional power. If I was buying a new Apple TV for the first time, though, I’d still opt for the new 4K version. The price premium compared to the 2015 model is only $20 (and you probably don’t need the 64 GB model). That slight price bump is worth the future-proofing.

Nevertheless, I still think the Apple TV is a fun casual games machine. Most titles are simply ports of games from iPhone and iPad, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. The Siri Remote works decently for simple one-button and motion controlled driving games, of which the App Store has plenty. tvOS plays host to a lot of family games too; shout out to SketchParty TV for something to play as a family this holiday season.

There are a handful of sophisticated titles too; I loved playing through Oceanhorn and I’m really looking forward to the visually-enhanced sequel due in 2018. Does it compare to an Xbox? Of course not — but fortunately the Apple TV does a lot more than just play games.

Mac Gaming

Slightly off-topic but I want to include a quick word on the state of Mac gaming. In short, it’s okay as long as the games you want to play are available on macOS and aren’t looking to max out every visual effect in the settings screen. There are a lot of caveats compared to a Windows machine but you can get pretty far with just a MacBook Pro. My addiction League of Legends (and Starcraft before that) all began on a Mac, and the arrival of Steam on the Mac platform has expanded the ecosystem of available titles considerably.

You will want to snag a mouse and external keyboard, though. My personal opinion is that almost all of the PC accessories advertised for ‘gaming’ are overpriced and not worth the money. I buy relatively-cheap USB mice and use them until they wear out. I think you can justify spending more on fancy mechanical keyboards if you want to, but my personal preference is to use Apple’s own wireless keyboards for consistency with what I type on for my day-job.

Grab Bag

 

Nintendo Switch

It’s hard to disagree that Nintendo had a huge impact on the gaming world this year, launching their new console generation that can dock into a TV and be picked up to use on the go, the Nintendo Switch. Despite being technically less powerful than an iPad Pro, the Nintendo Switch ecosystem features AAA titles that the iOS or tvOS App Store simply can’t compete with, including game of the year candidates Mario: Odyssey and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Apple TV Siri Remote Loop

Everyone remembers the horror stories of breakages that happened with the Nintendo Wii years ago. Unfortunately, the Apple TV shares much of the same issues with its Siri Remote. A lot of the dumb fun Apple TV games rely on accelerometer motion controls. At the same time, the Siri Remote is made of metal and glass — it is prone to both breaking and breaking other things.

Apple actually has a solution for this: the $9 Remote Loop. It slots into the Lightning port and adds a little wrist-strap for when you are using the remote. It’s kind of silly to include it in a gift guide roundup but if you are buying an Apple TV for the first time and have an inkling to try out the game offerings in the tvOS App Store, pick up a remote loop while you are at it.

Philips Hue lights

A regular feature on my yearly holiday gift guides is some kind of smart lighting solution. Philips Hue are independent bulbs that you just screw in — you don’t have to change wiring or wall sockets — and you quickly get up and running with HomeKit supported (optionally multi-colored) smart lighting. Set them up in your living room and use Apple TV’s Siri to change the ambiance when you watch a movie or settle down for some late-night gaming.

Happy Holidays!

Gift Guide: Family fun games and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV

The Apple device ecosystem has heralded new ways for creative game makers to realise their vision, often by combining physical elements with apps, to form engaging and addictive experiences. Most of this guide leans on casual gaming where a whole family can join in together, but there’s also a consideration for the serious side of games too.

We feature the endearing Beasts of Balance, the Osmo game system, MFI game controllers and more. Read on after the jump for the full list.


55b12_vxd168-evergreenassociateads-benefit-assoc-300x250 Gift Guide: Family fun games and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Family Fun Gaming Gift Guide

Beasts of Balance ($99)

Beasts of Balance is an incredible modern tabletop game that uses a complementary app as a central part of the game. It takes the universal concept of ‘build as tall a tower as possible’ and fleshes it out into a rich, endearing, modern board game. The Beasts of Balance plinth communicates with an app running on iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.

Players set cute animal figurines onto the plinth to start building a tower. The plinth includes an NFC reader which scans the object as they are placed, which causes special events to happen on the app display. Interlocking cross parts cause mutations in the virtual creature which is artistically brought to life on the iOS device screen.

You also have other challenges to keep on top of as the tower is built, like remembering to change the moon to a sun. If the tower falls, the app shows a bubbling volcano and the tower has to be quickly rebuilt before it erupts. There are wonderful tradeoffs built into the gameplay; awkwardly-shaped objects have higher point scores but a much higher risk of toppling the tower altogether.

The build quality of the stackable animals and artefacts is stellar; everything in the physical box and digital app is beautifully illustrated and designed. You can set it up in the living room with Siri Remote and Apple TV, or play in a bedroom with a single iPhone or iPad. It really is fun for the whole family. Buy the kit for $99, the app is a free download.

Gamevice for iPhone and iPad ($99)

There are a lot of interesting games to play on the App Store, but you often feel limited by the touch interface for controlling your character or moving around the world. The Gamevice attaches to the iOS device — I use it with my 12.9 inch iPad – to add gamepad buttons and analog joysticks on both sides of the screen. Read my full review here.

The Gamevice essentially turns your iPhone and iPad into a handheld console. Comfortably grip the device with the attached left and right pads, take advantage of fine-grained control and character movement with the buttons, triggers and analog sticks whilst leaving the entire display unobscured.

If you loved using a Gameboy Advance as a kid, this is basically an iOS version of that. MFI game controllers have been possible for a while and now there is a big library of games that support them. Because the Gamevice is essentially a handheld dock, it will only work with a single form factor of iPhone or iPad. If you buy a newer iPad in the future, there’s a good chance the Gamevice will no longer fit.

Check out the full Gamevice range here for almost every iOS device on the market; pricing varies around $100 mark.

SteelSeries Nimbus ($45)

This is the second MFI controller recommendation. Whereas the Gamevice (above) snaps onto an iPhone or iPad to make a handheld, the SteelSeries is a traditional external controller design. It’s just like a console gamepad and communicates wirelessly with iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

If you play any games on Apple TV, even simple one-button titles like Mr Jump or Crossy Road, using a real game controller is so much nicer than the Siri Remote. It also lets you dive into richer titles like Rayman Adventures and Oceanhorn; touch controls simply cannot beat physical buttons for games like these. The convenient thing about the Nimbus controller is that it doesn’t require a particular form factor; it just connects via Bluetooth to any iOS or tvOS device. Unlike the Gamevice though, you do have to remember to charge the Nimbus battery separately.

The Apple Store has a special bundle by the way for this item; you can get Minecraft for Apple TV and this controller at a reduced combo price. There’s also a Stratus controller which is half the price, and about half as nice to hold.

Osmo (from $80)

The Osmo game system is a fun accessory that you can gift to kids and play together as a family. You set an iPad up on the special stand and attach a special red mirror that angles the camera downwards. The Osmo comes with physical objects that the app detects through the camera to create an interesting combination of physical and digital world. Move a plastic block on the table and the iPad app tracks the motion and uses it in the on-screen game.

Most of the games are targeted at younger children, with a few activities for older ages and adults. You can get kits for drawing, learning vocabulary, music sequencing and basic building blocks of programming, and more. The Osmo packs are pricey but you can buy a Starter Kit to begin with and gradually add in additional sets to expand the experience. Read my hands-on review of the Osmo Monster kit from last year.

I like the Osmo because it integrates the iPad — which most kids regard as a mere portable TV screen frankly — with a kinaesthetic activity. You can even argue there is some educational value amongst the entertainment. They have also recently released a base for some models of iPhone, if you don’t want to use an iPad.

Apple TV 4K ($179)

The new Apple TV features a much more powerful A10 Fusion chip to drive the 4K video playback, but it also theoretically enables fully-fledged gaming with console-like visuals. A lot of that promise is still dream rather than reality. There are fun games to play on Apple TV but I haven’t seen anything yet that takes advantage of the additional power. If I was buying a new Apple TV for the first time, though, I’d still opt for the new 4K version. The price premium compared to the 2015 model is only $20 (and you probably don’t need the 64 GB model). That slight price bump is worth the future-proofing.

Nevertheless, I still think the Apple TV is a fun casual games machine. Most titles are simply ports of games from iPhone and iPad, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. The Siri Remote works decently for simple one-button and motion controlled driving games, of which the App Store has plenty. tvOS plays host to a lot of family games too; shout out to SketchParty TV for something to play as a family this holiday season.

There are a handful of sophisticated titles too; I loved playing through Oceanhorn and I’m really looking forward to the visually-enhanced sequel due in 2018. Does it compare to an Xbox? Of course not — but fortunately the Apple TV does a lot more than just play games.

Mac Gaming

Slightly off-topic but I want to include a quick word on the state of Mac gaming. In short, it’s okay as long as the games you want to play are available on macOS and aren’t looking to max out every visual effect in the settings screen. There are a lot of caveats compared to a Windows machine but you can get pretty far with just a MacBook Pro. My addiction League of Legends (and Starcraft before that) all began on a Mac, and the arrival of Steam on the Mac platform has expanded the ecosystem of available titles considerably.

You will want to snag a mouse and external keyboard, though. My personal opinion is that almost all of the PC accessories advertised for ‘gaming’ are overpriced and not worth the money. I buy relatively-cheap USB mice and use them until they wear out. I think you can justify spending more on fancy mechanical keyboards if you want to, but my personal preference is to use Apple’s own wireless keyboards for consistency with what I type on for my day-job.

Grab Bag

 

Nintendo Switch

It’s hard to disagree that Nintendo had a huge impact on the gaming world this year, launching their new console generation that can dock into a TV and be picked up to use on the go, the Nintendo Switch. Despite being technically less powerful than an iPad Pro, the Nintendo Switch ecosystem features AAA titles that the iOS or tvOS App Store simply can’t compete with, including game of the year candidates Mario: Odyssey and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Apple TV Siri Remote Loop

Everyone remembers the horror stories of breakages that happened with the Nintendo Wii years ago. Unfortunately, the Apple TV shares much of the same issues with its Siri Remote. A lot of the dumb fun Apple TV games rely on accelerometer motion controls. At the same time, the Siri Remote is made of metal and glass — it is prone to both breaking and breaking other things.

Apple actually has a solution for this: the $9 Remote Loop. It slots into the Lightning port and adds a little wrist-strap for when you are using the remote. It’s kind of silly to include it in a gift guide roundup but if you are buying an Apple TV for the first time and have an inkling to try out the game offerings in the tvOS App Store, pick up a remote loop while you are at it.

Philips Hue lights

A regular feature on my yearly holiday gift guides is some kind of smart lighting solution. Philips Hue are independent bulbs that you just screw in — you don’t have to change wiring or wall sockets — and you quickly get up and running with HomeKit supported (optionally multi-colored) smart lighting. Set them up in your living room and use Apple TV’s Siri to change the ambiance when you watch a movie or settle down for some late-night gaming.

Happy Holidays!

Apple expands iPhone, iPad, & Apple Watch accessories w/ Pink Fuchsia cases, new Hermès band, more

Following the release of new Apple Watch bands and iPhone X cases earlier this week, Apple has added even more new accessories to its online store in time for holiday shopping.

For iPad Pro users, there’s a new Leather Sleeve color choice and Apple Pencil Case color choice, while the Apple Watch adds a new Hermès band…


e94d8_spigen-teka-on-airpods Apple expands iPhone, iPad, & Apple Watch accessories w/ Pink Fuchsia cases, new Hermès band, more

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

The Apple Pencil Case and the Leather Sleeve for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro are both available in a new Pink Fuchsia color. This is the same color that we’ve seen previously for Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases. The Leather Sleeve runs $129, while the Apple Pencil case costs $29.

Furthermore, Apple has added another Hermès band for Apple Watch users. The Noir Swift Leather Double Tour Médor is available for 38mm Apple Watch users and comes in at $589.

Last but not least, the iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone 7/7 Plus Silicone Case is now available in three new colors, including Spicy Orange, Flash, and Cosmos Blue. These are the same colors that were made available for the iPhone X Silicone Case earlier this week. Prior to this week, the Cosmos Blue color was exclusive to the iPhone X leather case.

Apple continues to expand its accessory lineup for iPhone and Apple Watch, likening these efforts to fashion companies. Head to Apple’s website now to take a look at all of the newest accessories as there are a slew of options to choose from.

Will you be purchasing any of them? See any other new color offerings that we may have missed? Let us know down in the comments.


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3 accessories to make your iPhone X experience more complete

The iPhone X is an incredible piece of technology. But if you want the “complete” iPhone X experience, you’re going to need to open your wallet again for a few must-have accessories.

Take a look:


A good case

50311_49dc15ed4df441558ce5c1fa2b53786179915a37-800x480 3 accessories to make your iPhone X experience more complete

I’m not a big fan of cases, but owning a case is an absolute necessity if you own the iPhone X, which has both a glass front and a glass back.

There’s one good reason you’ll want a case: Repairing the iPhone X can be extremely expensive.

If you break the iPhone X’s front screen, you’ll pay:

• $29 if you bought AppleCare+

• $279 if you’re not under warranty

If you break the iPhone X’s back glass, it’s even more costly:

• $99 if you bought AppleCare+

• $549 if you’re not under warranty

That’s not a typo – you will literally pay roughly half the price of your iPhone X if you don’t have AppleCare+ and you need to get the phone’s glass back repaired.

So please, for your own sake, get a case. My colleague Avery Hartmans rounded up the best iPhone X cases you can buy, but I would personally recommend you get a case from Apple (they make some very nice silicone and leather cases) or Society6, which has hundreds of thousands of different fun designs to choose from.


A wireless charger

50311_49dc15ed4df441558ce5c1fa2b53786179915a37-800x480 3 accessories to make your iPhone X experience more complete

The iPhone 8 and X models are the first iPhones to support fast charging and wireless charging, but given how fantastic the battery life is on these new iPhones, I wouldn’t recommend a fast charger; they’re expensive solutions for a problem you won’t really have with the iPhone X. On average, I end each day with about 60% left on my iPhone’s battery, so I personally don’t have occasions where I need to quickly charge my phone.

Wireless chargers, though, are totally worth your money: Since your phone will almost certainly make it through a full day, you just place your iPhone X on a charging pad when you’re ready to go to sleep, and by the time you wake up, it’ll be fully charged. Or, you can put the phone down for a few minutes and pick it back up whenever you need. It’s a much more fluid and elegant solution compared to continually unplugging and replugging your phone into a Lightning connector.

As for a specific charger, I would highly recommend buying Belkin’s BoostUp wireless charging pad for iPhone X and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Belkin was kind enough to let me borrow a review unit and I’m thrilled with the product: It’s simple, looks beautiful, and works effortlessly. You just plug a into a socket, connect the cord to the charging pad that rests on your table or nightstand, and you’re all set! Just place your iPhone on the pad (in any orientation, just in the middle), and it’ll start charging. It works instantly, feels very futuristic to use, and makes the iPhone X feel like a more complete experience.

My colleague Steven Tweedie is a big fan of Samsung’s wireless charging pad, which can also prop up your iPhone X at an angle on your nightstand.


AirPods (or any wireless headphones)

50311_49dc15ed4df441558ce5c1fa2b53786179915a37-800x480 3 accessories to make your iPhone X experience more complete

The iPhone X comes with a dongle in case you want to plug in your favorite pair of wired headphones, but honestly, it’s almost 2018, and you should really own yourself a nice set of wireless headphones at this point. You can get wireless headphones for pretty cheap these days, and they offer a ton of great benefits – like not feeling tethered to a tiny device in your pocket. It’s a freedom you need to try for yourself.

Of course, it’s no surprise Apple products work best with other Apple products, so for wireless headphones I would recommend Apple’s $170 AirPods, which are easily my favorite pair of wireless headphones and are worth that price; you could also consider Beats’ way more expensive Solo3 ($330) or Studio3 ($400) headphones. All of those headphones sound excellent, and they come with Apple’s proprietary W1 chip that enables near-instant pairing between your iPhone X and your headphones. When you turn on your headphones, they’ll automatically connect to your device.

There are a ton of great wireless headphones out there – I’m partial to V-Moda’s Crossfade Wireless as an over-ear option, personally, but many people also swear by Sennheiser’s HD-1 headphones – but I love AirPods and would recommend them to just about anyone. Forget how they look to other people; they’re lightweight, sound excellent, and I find them very comfortable. For both listening to music and answering phone calls, to me, they’re the ideal complement for the iPhone X.

The best accessories for your new iPhone X

Bought yourself a shiny new iPhone X have you? We can’t blame you: Apple’s latest and greatest handset may be expensive, but it’s also ultra-fast and gorgeous to look at. It feels like Apple has set down the future of its smartphones with the iPhone X… but we digress.

Here we’re going to talk about iPhone X accessories rather than the actual phone itself, so all the add-ons and extras you can buy to improve your iPhone X experience that little bit further. Not all of these have specifically made for the iPhone X, but they’re all compatible.

Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad

The new 2017 iPhones all support wireless charging! *cheering sounds* Celebrate the new functionality by getting yourself a wireless charging pad from Belkin, a company that’s been making charging pads and phone accessories for years, so knows what it’s doing.

The pad itself isn’t wireless of course – it plugs into the mains – but you can then drop on the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, or the iPhone X and watch the battery level rise. The pad is able to deliver a maximum of 7.5W to your phone, and it charges through most cases too.

AirPods

You’re probably already well aware of what AirPods are even if you don’t yet own a pair: these wire-free earphones were launched by Apple in 2016 alongside the iPhone 7, and offer high-quality audio streaming as well as near-instant syncing with your iOS devices.

As long as you don’t mind a few strange looks as you walk down the street they’re perfectly fine – and as more and more people purchase a pair, those looks will become less and less common. The AirPods come with a charging case that also keeps them protected.

iPhone X Leather Folio

You’ve got a host of cases and protectors to choose from for your iPhone X of course, but what about this Leather Folio number created by Apple itself? The colours you can pick from are “cosmos” blue, taupe, black and berry, so there’s something to suit everyone.

Apple says the cases are “crafted from specially tanned and finished French leather for a luxurious look and feel”, and there’s a soft microfibre lining inside, as well as space to hold banknotes and credit cards. As the case is made by Apple itself it should fit well, at least.

Zagg InvisibleShield

Maybe you don’t want to fit a case of any description, but you do want to give your fantastic-looking new phone just a little bit of protection, lest something should happen to mark that mesmerising 5.8-inch iPhone X screen – which would be a disaster, obviously.

Enter the InvisibleShield from Zagg, a thin screen protector that protects against smudges, shattering and scratches while still letting you use the display as normal. The cover can be made to measure for pretty much any smartphone out there, including the iPhone X.

Sandmarc Fisheye Lens

There’s no doubt the iPhone X has an exceptional camera, but you can get even more out of it with the addition of some well-chosen clip-on lenses – like the ones from Sandmarc, for example, which include the ultra wide fisheye lens we’ve specifically included here.

Basically, it puts more inside your shot, so whether you’re trying to photograph the family at dinner or a sweeping landscape, you won’t be losing people or mountains around the frame edges. Check out the macro and wide lens options available from Sandmarc too.

Anker PowerCore 20100

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of a smartphone (such as the iPhone X) is going to start worrying about battery life towards the end of the day, but that doesn’t have to be you with the Anker PowerCore 20100 in your pocket or bag.

As the name suggests, it packs in 20100 mAh of battery power – the iPhone X has a mere 2716 mAh by the way – so you should be good for multiple charges using this while you’re out and about. It works with pretty much any phone or tablet, with the right cable.

iOttie OneTouch Car Holder

If you’re off out for a spin with your precious new iPhone X then for your own safety, and the safety of others, you want a proper car mount to keep it in place while you’re driving – and that’s where the iOttie OneTouch Car Holder comes in, attaching to your windscreen.

Not only can it hold your iPhone X in place in either portrait or landscape mode, it’s also got Qi wireless charging built in, so you’ll get a battery boost as you drive (very useful if you’ve got turn-by-turn directions on the go). It’s got everything you need from a mount.

Surviving Thanksgiving: iPhone-connected fitness accessories to burn off calories

You don’t necessarily need extra gear to keep in shape during the holidays, but it can certainly help if you know what you’re doing. Here are a few hardware accessories iPhone owners might want to consider before hitting the weights or lacing up running shoes.

72336_23764-30391-23505-29729-22987-28557-IMG_7537-l-l-l Surviving Thanksgiving: iPhone-connected fitness accessories to burn off calories

Apple Watch Series 2/3

It’s an obvious choice, but still a good one. The Watch is deeply integrated with iOS, including the Health app that centralizes data from a variety of apps and accessories. You can sync a local workout playlist, compete with friends, and of course take advantage of general smartwatch functions like phone calls, navigation, and Apple Pay. Its heart rate sensor is one of the more accurate wrist-based options and if you want, you can pair it with a chest strap.

While a Series 1 Watch is probably sufficient, we’d recommend a Series 2 or 3 if you can at all afford it. Those models are fully waterproof and equipped with GPS, which you can use to go on runs, walks, and hikes without your iPhone in tow. If you opt for an LTE-equipped Series 3, you can handle things like calls and messages without an iPhone too.

If your main interest is fitness, it may be best to go with the Nike+ trim. Even if you don’t care about an extra watchface or pre-installing Nike+ Run Club, it doesn’t cost anything extra, and the perforated Nike Sport Band is lighter and cooler during a workout.

Garmin Fenix 5

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For the serious athlete or outdoorsman, there’s the Fenix 5. It’s expensive, and it foregoes the touchscreen, power, and general-purpose design of the Apple Watch, but it makes up for this with things like ruggedness, an always-on display, and an absurd number of fitness tracking options.

Its biggest advantage may be battery life —with GPS on the watch can run for 24 hours straight, and with it off, the device can last up to two weeks. If you’re a marathoner or triathelete this might be the only way to fly, since the Apple Watch can’t last more than 3 or so hours with GPS.

The Fenix also syncs with Apple Health and chest straps, and can pair with Android devices should you choose to switch phone platforms.

Wahoo TICKR X

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Speaking of straps, the TICKR X is one of the better options out there. It syncs with over 50 smartphone apps, including Health, and can pair with an iPhone or a number of fitness trackers including the Apple Watch.

The strap is additionally waterproof, and equipped with onboard memory, which makes it possible to track heart rate without any other devices and simply sync the data later.

Eufy BodySense Smart Scale

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Monitoring weight on a regular basis is vital to losing fat —or adding muscle —and the BodySense is a cheap, Apple Health-compatible scale that supports up to 16 users. It can also estimate body fat percentages and other statistics, though those are normally displayed in an accompanying app and should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

Beats Powerbeats3

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Music or podcasts can be a major inspiration to push through the toughest part of a workout. Many headphones will do, but for iPhone owners Apple’s own Powerbeats3 is a leading option. It’s sweatproof, and earhooks, a neck strap, and interchangeable tips ensure they’ll stay in place regardless of how intense things get.

Apple’s W1 wireless chip gives the Powerbeats3 a more reliable connection, and makes it ridiculously easy to pair with an iPhone. In fact doing so will instantly pair with any other device signed into the same Apple ID.

AirPods

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If you want headphones that are a little more subtle but have the same W1 chip as the Powerbeats3, Apple’s AirPods are probably your bag. They’re fully wireless, yet have a reputation for staying put in all but the most vigorous exercise. And though they’re not officially sweatproof, they seem to hold up in the gym regardless.

There are some other tradeoffs. There’s very limited on-bud control, so you’ll find yourself using Siri, your iPhone, or your Apple Watch in cases where the Powerbeats3’s inline remote would do the trick. And while using a bundled charging case can provide as much as 24 hours of battery life, the AirPods themselves will only last for 5 hours —much less than the 12 hours of the Powerbeats3.

Apple iPhone X: Five Cool Accessories | Fortune

Apple’s new iPhone X achieves many firsts for the iPhone line: the first OLED screen, the first facial recognition technology, and the first wireless charging system. It’s also the first major redesign of the iPhone’s exterior since the iPhone 6 came out in 2014. That means that iPhone X owners on your holiday shopping list may be in need of all kinds of extras to equip their phone. Here are a few suggestions:

Wireless charger

462f4_f303w_detail_03_2048x2048 Apple iPhone X: Five Cool Accessories | Fortune

As noted, the new glass-backed iPhone X is Apple’s first model that can be charged without plugging in a cable. Apple chose to go with an industry standard for wireless charging called Qi, meaning that there are already a variety of compatible options for charging pads. But one problem that some users report with wireless charging is that the iPhone can wiggle its way off the pad’s sweet spot when an incoming notification causes a vibration alert. That can’t happen with the well-designed and sharp-looking Spigen Essential F303W charger. It keeps the iPhone X at an angle and on a shelf, using the power of gravity to keep vibrations from shaking the phone out of position.

Camera accessories

The iPhone X has two cameras on the rear, one normal and one telephoto for zooming in. On other phones, the second camera has a wide-angle lens instead of a telephoto. But you don’t have to be stuck with Apple’s decision. Moment makes an absurdly beautiful and useful add-on lens that clamps to the back of the iPhone X when desired. Their new wide-angle lens costs $100 (although it also requires Moment’s $30 mounting case). It grabs twice as much of the scene as the iPhone’s standard lens, making for better landscape shots, group photos and the like.

462f4_f303w_detail_03_2048x2048 Apple iPhone X: Five Cool Accessories | Fortune

Sure, the kids are all posting their photos to Instagram or Snapchat, but grown ups like to see a print now and then. There are a couple of choices of portable photo printers that rely on Polaroid’s old-fashioned instant developing technology. The Fujifilm INSTAX SHARE SP-2 Smart Phone Printer is particularly great. It uses a rechargeable battery, so you can print on the go, and connects to a phone over Wi-Fi for speedy transfers. The photos, which take 10 seconds to print, aren’t spectacular at a resolution of 320 dpi, but they still provide a way to make those photographic memories non-digital.

External speakers

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The iPhone X lets you carry millions of songs in your pocket, thanks to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Headphones are great, but when you want to get the whole room dancing, a portable wireless speaker is the thing. Logitech’s Ultimate Ears makes a great line of speakers of all sizes, but the sweet spot is probably the 7-inch high, 1.2 lb. Boom 2 speaker for about $140. It comes in a bunch of colors and has a built-in battery that lasts 15 hours.

iPhone cases

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices for cases for the iPhone X. Speck’s lineup is high quality and offers a wide variety of colors, materials, and styles. Check out the grippy CandyShell line, available in a couple of color combos, or the less dazzling but equally easy to hold onto Grip line in seven colors, include plain old black.

We’ve included affiliate links in this article. Click here to learn what those are.

Best gifts: Top iPhone X/iPhone 8 accessories from $6 to $200

Mobility

Nodus Access Case 3 for the Apple iPhone X: Carry credit cards and enjoy movies wrapped in Italian leather

iPhone X: Here’s the 5 Best Accessories

Apple’s new iPhone X achieves many firsts for the iPhone line: the first OLED screen, the first facial recognition technology, and the first wireless charging system. It’s also the first major redesign of the iPhone’s exterior since the iPhone 6 came out in 2014. That means that iPhone X owners on your holiday shopping list may be in need of all kinds of extras to equip their phone. Here are a few suggestions:

Wireless charger

4a23d_f303w_detail_03_2048x2048 iPhone X: Here's the 5 Best Accessories

As noted, the new glass-backed iPhone X is Apple’s first model that can be charged without plugging in a cable. Apple chose to go with an industry standard for wireless charging called Qi, meaning that there are already a variety of compatible options for charging pads. But one problem that some users report with wireless charging is that the iPhone can wiggle its way off the pad’s sweet spot when an incoming notification causes a vibration alert. That can’t happen with the well-designed and sharp-looking Spigen Essential F303W charger. It keeps the iPhone X at an angle and on a shelf, using the power of gravity to keep vibrations from shaking the phone out of position.

Camera accessories

The iPhone X has two cameras on the rear, one normal and one telephoto for zooming in. On other phones, the second camera has a wide-angle lens instead of a telephoto. But you don’t have to be stuck with Apple’s decision. Moment makes an absurdly beautiful and useful add-on lens that clamps to the back of the iPhone X when desired. Their new wide-angle lens costs $100 (although it also requires Moment’s $30 mounting case). It grabs twice as much of the scene as the iPhone’s standard lens, making for better landscape shots, group photos and the like.

4a23d_f303w_detail_03_2048x2048 iPhone X: Here's the 5 Best Accessories

Sure, the kids are all posting their photos to Instagram or Snapchat, but grown ups like to see a print now and then. There are a couple of choices of portable photo printers that rely on Polaroid’s old-fashioned instant developing technology. The Fujifilm INSTAX SHARE SP-2 Smart Phone Printer is particularly great. It uses a rechargeable battery, so you can print on the go, and connects to a phone over Wi-Fi for speedy transfers. The photos, which take 10 seconds to print, aren’t spectacular at a resolution of 320 dpi, but they still provide a way to make those photographic memories non-digital.

External speakers

4a23d_f303w_detail_03_2048x2048 iPhone X: Here's the 5 Best Accessories

The iPhone X lets you carry millions of songs in your pocket, thanks to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Headphones are great, but when you want to get the whole room dancing, a portable wireless speaker is the thing. Logitech’s Ultimate Ears makes a great line of speakers of all sizes, but the sweet spot is probably the 7-inch high, 1.2 lb. Boom 2 speaker for about $140. It comes in a bunch of colors and has a built-in battery that lasts 15 hours.

iPhone cases

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices for cases for the iPhone X. Speck’s lineup is high quality and offers a wide variety of colors, materials, and styles. Check out the grippy CandyShell line, available in a couple of color combos, or the less dazzling but equally easy to hold onto Grip line in seven colors, include plain old black.

We’ve included affiliate links in this article. Click here to learn what those are.

The best computer and mobile accessories to give as gifts

Perhaps the person on your list is already quite happy with their laptop or mobile device (slash, you’re not up to buying them a new one). There are plenty of accessories that make for affordable, and dare we say, practical gifts. Included in our holiday gift guide are two styles of keyboards, a high-end mouse, a battery pack, selfie and battery cases, a 400GB (!) microSDXC card, Bluetooth trackers and a wireless charging pad — useful for, say, a new iPhone owner.

Apple’s 2017 gift guide showcases the best iPhone, iPad, Mac, & Apple Watch accessories

As it does every year, Apple today has shared its 2017 holiday gift guide. This year’s gift guide highlights accessories for products across Apple’s lineup, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac…


55329_spigen-teka-on-airpods Apple's 2017 gift guide showcases the best iPhone, iPad, Mac, & Apple Watch accessories

Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

For each of its product lineups, Apple recommends a handful of accessories. For instance, the iPhone portion of the guide showcases Apple’s first-party cases, such as the $39 Silicone Cases and the $99 iPhone X Leather Folio. AirPods are also featured here and are sure to be a popular gift this holiday season following last year’s supply issues.

For Apple Watch, Apple touts the variety of band options that are available, including its colorful fall collection, the Nike Sport Band, and Hermès options.

For the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, Apple prominently links the Apple Pencil – the $99 stylus accessory. There’s also the Smart Keyboard at $159, the Leather Sleeve at $129, and the standard $49 Smart Cover.

For the MacBook Pro, Apple recommends the Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones, the Incase Slim Sleeve, and an Apple Store gift card.

Moving away from its own products, Apple recommends a handful of other toys, accessories, and more that make “amazing gifts” this holiday season. These selections include the recently-launched Alpine White DJI Mavic Pro combo, the CliqueFie Selfie Stick, Belkin’s Qi-enabled wireless charger, and more:

These products are really just the tip of the iceberg for Apple’s 2017 holiday gift recommendations. If you head to the “More Gifts” link, you can see a slew of products ranging from Beats headphones to toys and more. Many of these gifts are available only at Apple, but some can be found on sites such as Amazon for cheaper, so be sure to do some shopping around before buying.

Apple’s full holiday webpage can be found here.

As we head into the holiday shopping season, keep it locked on 9to5Toys where you can find the best deals on tech, home goods, toys, and much more. Follow 9to5Toys on Twitter and Facebook, and bookmark the Black Friday 2017 guide for all of the latest news and deals.


Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

Review: Bento Stack Keeps Your iPhone Cables and Accessories Neatly Organized

The Bento Stack, a new project being funded on Indiegogo, takes the concept of a Bento lunch box and applies it to iPhone and iPad accessories.

Available in three colors (silver, space gray, and rose gold) for $38, the Bento Stack is a container that offers up several sections that can hold a variety of accessories like cables, Apple Watch bands, an Apple Pencil, and more. I was able to go hands-on with the Bento Stack, and I thought it was a nifty organizational tool, if a bit bulky.


I have the Bento Stack in gray, and it seems to match well with Apple’s space gray devices. It’s covered in a soft, rubbery material that’s nice to touch, and it has a slight sheen to it, making it visually appealing for a simple plastic organization box.

Bento Stack measures in at 7.48 inches long, 3.35 inches tall, and 3.22 inches deep, so it’s not really going to fit well in a smaller purse or bag.


Aside from some customizations like an Apple Pencil holder and a place to store Apple Watch bands, the Bento Stack isn’t much different from the Bento lunch boxes. It has four storage components, a lid, and a silicone strap to hold it all together.

Read the rest of this page »

4K Cinematic Video Shot on the iPhone X Without Fancy Accessories

“Shot on smartphone” ads and sample photos/videos are often created with the help of expensive accessories that help achieve more than you can with just the phone — things like stabilizers and lenses. If you’d like to see what you can achieve without these add-ons, check out this 4K cinematic video by Matteo Bertoli.

Bertoli took the iPhone X on a work trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. During his free time, he shot some completely handheld video and edited it at night in his hotel room.

“Finally the telephoto lens has OIS and f/2.4 aperture,” Bertoli writes. “This is actually a great deal and basically the 80% of this video was shot with the second camera.

“I DID NOT use any lenses, accessories, tripods or sliders. Everything was shot handheld, the only thing I had on the phone was the silicon case, that’s it.”

This difference separates Bertoli’s video from the short film we shared last week that was created using the iPhone X and other filmmaking tools such as gimbals.

Everything was shot using the native iPhone camera app in 4K at 24fps. The video was edited and graded afterward in the free version of DaVinci Resolve 14.

DxO One camera for Android on the way, new accessories debut


57f6f_dxo-one-on-hands-iphone-front DxO One camera for Android on the way, new accessories debut

The best compact camera smartphone attachment you can buy is getting an Android version, and a heap of updates for the existing iPhone model that make it even better (and it’s already excellent). The DxO One, DxO’s first camera hardware, gets a free software update this morning that adds Facebook Live multi-camera streaming, time-lapse and more, and customers can sign up to find out more about DxO One for Android, with more details to be released on November 2.

The DxO One, originally released in June, 2015, is a digital camera with a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor, similar to that found in the Sony RX100. But it’s even more pocketable than that pocket camera, because it does away with the colour LCD display, peering instead a simple onboard mono OLED screen – and plugging into an iPhone via the integrated Lightning connector when you want a real viewfinder.

Basically, the DxO One combines the best of the top-end pocket camera world with the maxim that the best camera is the one you have with you, and it does it in a neat little package that works with a range of accessories including an underwater housing that make it a formidable go-anywhere shooter.

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Now, it gets a little more go-anywhere, with new accessories including an external battery pack that doesn’t add that much additional size, and that offers double the battery life of the camera itself, available for $59.99. Plus, there’s a new Cable Back Door accessory for the existing waterproof housing that lets you keep it plugged into power while shooting outside in the elements, or even while working underwater. It’s being bundled with the Outdoor Shell as a free accessory.

As mentioned, there’s also a 3.0 software update, that allows Facebook Live streaming and multi-camera streaming using both the DxO One and the iPhone’s built-in cameras for multi-angle shots from a single device. Plus, it gains a new time-lapse feature that guides the user through the process and employs tech called “Auto Ramping” to avoid flicker effects.

Another new accessory is a new tilt stand that allows the DxO One to be mounted with different view angles when used hands-free. This actually ships in the box with the DxO One going forward for free, too.

Finally, DxO will be releasing an Android version of the One, equipped with a USB-C connector so that it’ll be compatible with most modern Android smartphones. The device will be open to “Early Access” users, a program available to all, staring in the coming weeks, with a companion version 1.0 DxO One mobile app. DxO plans to use the “early access” stage to refine the experience prior to a general release.

Cool accessories for your new iPhone 8 or your old iPhone 7

For iPhone enthusiasts, Apple’s latest announcements were pretty major. The brand’s new iPhone 8/Plus and iPhone X (available for preorder Oct. 27) are smarter, faster and more sleekly designed than previous iPhone models.

And while there are tons of new features, the standouts include groundbreaking new 3-D face recognition, wireless charging (finally!) and of course those much-talked-about Animojis. But at some point the features end, and accessories swoop in to add even more tools to the Swiss army knife that is your Apple device.

So if you’re looking for extra ways to get the most out of your iPhone (new and old), we’ve listed a few items here that will take your smartphone from modern marvel to helpful, invincible superhero.

To Keep It Looking Stylish

With silver, space gray, rose gold and gold finishes, iPhones look sleek on their own… as long as you don’t drop it. These cases add some extra personality and a little cushion to protect against an unfortunate accident.

Sonix Tortoise iPhone Case, $45, Urban Outfitters

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Personalized Chevron Monogram iPhone Case, $16, Amazon

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Otterbox Case with Custom Photo and Monogram, $62, Zazzle

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Hex Leather iPhone Wallet Case in Vachetta Leather, $60, Amazon

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Native Union CLIC Wooden Case, $24, Amazon

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To Keep Your Phone in One Piece

Even if a phone is touted as “shatter-proof,” we all know there’s a chance one weirdly angled drop can completely obliterate the screen. These cases give you an extra layer of security when you fumble, and even help you out in the snow or near water.

OtterBox DEFENDER SERIES Case, $57, Amazon

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IPX-6 Water Resistant Ultra Slim Thin Light Shockproof Dust/Snow Proof Case, $9, Amazon

Temdan Floatable Waterproof Case, $21, Amazon

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To Help You Take Even Better Pictures

iPhones have advanced cameras and large sensors that create nearly studio-quality photos. These gadgets will make your pics look even more professional, whether it’s to get a better focus, keep it steady or light your selfie.

LuMee LED Selfie Light Case, $55, Amazon

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Zodiac 5-In-1 Bluetooth Selfie Remote Shutter, $15, Amazon

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Manfrotto Twist Grip Universal Smartphone Clamp, $53, Amazon

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Joby GripTight PRO GorillaPod Stand for Smartphones, $59, Amazon

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To Ensure It’s Always Charged

Whether you’re going to use the new iPhone X’s wireless charging capabilities, or plug it in old-school, these cool chargers and docks get the job done fast and look good while they’re at it.

Belkin MIXIT Lightning to USB Leather Tassel, $24, Amazon

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Native Union Anchor Charger Cable, $32, Amazon

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Belkin Charger Kit, $32, Amazon

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Mophie Wireless Charging Base, $67, Amazon

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To Enhance Your Listening Experience

You better bet you’ll be using your new phone to stream music. These are the best ways to amplify and listen on the go. They’re all wireless (R.I.P. headphone jack).

Urbanears Stammen Wireless Multi-Room Speaker, $350, Urban Outfitters

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JBL Flip 3 Splashproof Bluetooth Speaker, $76, Amazon

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Sony SBH70BK Headphones, $69, Amazon

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Ava Wireless Headphones, $50, Urban Outfitters

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Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones, $99, Amazon

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9 Must-Have iPhone X Accessories

Apple turned heads when it revealed its $999 iPhone X last month, which you’ll be able to buy yourself on October 27.

It’s packed with tons of new features, just as you’d expect. FaceID is the phone’s new facial recognition feature—you can unlock your phone just by looking at it. There’s no physical home button here, so just swipe up on the screen to trigger the action that used to require an old-fashioned button press. And the iPhone X even has its own animated emoji set, called “Animojis.”

Apple, as well as many third-party manufacturers, are also gearing up to sell their accessories to eager consumers wanting to unlock that next level of functionality in their devices. Whether it’s a way to keep your phone charged up, a way to save your screen from scratches, or tools for taking better photos and videos, here are a few of the newest gadgets and products that will go a long way toward making your iPhone X your favorite smartphone yet.




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