10 great gifts for Apple iPhone users

A quick and easy guide to some of the best iPhone-related accessories you can get for the Apple user in your life this season.

Apple, iPhone, iOS, iOS 11, accessories, best iPhone accessories, gift guide
Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

What better for a slow news day than a quick and easy guide to some of the best iPhone-related accessories you can get for the Apple user in your life this season?  

A Bluetooth speaker: JBL Flip 4

If you want a Bluetooth speaker system that’s high on audio quality and connection stability, take a look at this relatively affordable system from JBL. Not only is it highly portable, but it's waterproof enough to be thrown into three feet of water for up to half an hour and still work fine. (The manufacturer’s claim.) You can even purchase two of these systems and twin them together as stereo speakers.

There’s also a built-in mic so you can use it as a speaker phone or even to ask Siri questions, such as: “Why is HomePod delayed?” It picked up four stars from sister site, TechHive.

A handy gadget: TrackR

Do you mislay things like keys, bags and coats in daily life? You may reduce the stress of your ritual marching around demanding help from everyone who happens to be near you with these gadgets. (It’s also useful for travellers). The system consists of an iOS app and small Bluetooth tracking devices you can attach to your keys or coats or whatever. In the future, you’ll find whatever it is you mislaid by looking for it on the map in the TrackR app. Take a look.

Wireless charger: Belkin Boost Up

If your iPhone user was lucky enough to get one of the world’s first iPhone X devices to hit the streets, there’s a chance they’ll appreciate a wireless charger system to help them use the flagship wire-free Qi charging on their iPhone. Shop around, and you can find compatible wireless chargers for less cost, but Belkin is a reliable brand, and you can pick one of these up for your iPhone other during a visit to the Apple Store. More information.

Smart thinking: Meem

This is a cable with a difference: Not only does it work like any other Lightning cable you use to recharge your iPhone, but it will also backup the contents of your device to its built-in SSD drive. Available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities, this is a great way to help iPhone users create another layer of device backup. More information here.

Smart home: Elgato

This German Mac accessories manufacturer managed to make an excellent flip into iOS accessory development with a particular focus on the smart home. Elgato manufactures a prolific range of smart HomeKit accessories, including thermostats, smoke detectors, and more. I’m keen on Elgato’s Eve Lock, developed in partnership with Yale, but while we wait for that to ship, I’d look to the Eve Motion wireless motion sensor as a good entry-level solution with which to begin building a smart home security system.

Smarter bike: SmartHalo

One of the more expensive products on this list at $149, SmartHalo is designed to help cyclists keep their eyes on the road while using a range of iPhone tools, including Activity, Maps and more.

The circular device fits onto the bike’s existing handle bars and provides a bright front light, an anti-theft system, call and message handling and more. It should work well with the Sherlock GPS system to help find stolen bicycles.

A droid even iPhone users will love: Sphero

Sphero has created a trio of Star Wars-branded toy robots you can control using your iPhone and program using the Swift programming language. You can get both R2D2 and BB9E drops, which you control over Bluetooth using your iPhone. Starting at $149, they aren't the cheapest gifts you’ll find, but they're probably a good way to make coding using Swift interesting for you or your kids. Sphero website.

You got the power: Mophie

Mophie’s new Powerstation backup power brick is built to please an iPhone 8 or iPhone X user. Not only does the huge battery store enough power to keep your smartphone working for a few days, but it has wireless Qi charging built in. That means you can just leave your iPhone on top of the brick to power it up (just press the button on the front of the brick), or use the USB port to power up Macs, iPads, or older iPhones. Or you can even recharge two devices at once, one wirelessly, the other using a cable. Take a look.

A case: Otterbox Defender Series

You can’t have an iPhone accessories guide without mentioning a case. The latest edition Otterbox Defender Series cases are compatible with the iPhone X. Given the new iPhone is made completely of glass, it makes a lot of sense to wrap the device up in something as strong and rugged as these cases. Not only that, but Otterbox claims these rock-solid cases will work with Qi wireless charging, too. More information.

The ultimate: Apple Watch

With the possible exception of AirPods, the Apple Watch Series 3 is the ultimate iPhone accessory. What it’s capable of is worthy of a series of extensive articles all by itself, but most iPhone users will like the Activity and workout features, Apple Pay support and all the other neat things they can do once they have one of these. More information.

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