Although we’re primarily focused on software at AppStorm, it’s important not to overlook some of the amazing hardware and physical accessories available for the iPhone. Today I will be outlining 50 different gadgets and gizmos that can add extra functionality to your iPhone or iPod touch.
Accessories are broken down into different categories; speakers, earphones, docks/stands, in-car, cases, and the compulsory “other”. Whether you’re sat at home, driving to work, or going for a run – you’ll be sure to find something interesting in this bumper roundup!
Interesting in finding even more accessories for your iPhone and iPad? Check out The Ultimate List of Stylish iPad Cases, Bags & Accessories and The Ultimate List of Stylish iPhone Case Designers!
Speakers & Amplifiers
Anything titled as an “AirCurve Acoustic Amplifier” is bound to grab your attention. This small, inexpensive gadget is designed to magnify the sound produced by your in-built iPhone speaker to produce more appealing audio. Something interesting to experiment with, or a great gift for a fellow iPhone lover.
Apple has really been pushing these speakers through their online store in recent weeks, and they’ve received some excellent reviews. Small enough to fit in your hand, with a “pop-up” design, these inexpensive speakers might be just the simple solution you’re searching for.
If you’re running slightly late for Valentine’s Day, these speakers could make an excellent belated present. Decked out with a stylish red design, they fold away to save space. Not the “sleekest” design, but pretty darn funky!
If you are a true “audiophile”, Bose speakers are certainly an option to consider. The sound quality is remarkable. Their “SoundDock” series works with various Apple gadgets, and these are the mid-range model. If you’re going to drop this type of money on a speaker system, it’s worth first looking at the full lineup.
I’ve always been a fan of Logitech iPod speakers, and this model is one of the latest in their lineup. Coming in at under a hundred dollars, it’s a good option for a sturdy, reliable pair of portable speakers with a rechargeable battery.
A fairly swish design and a fold out handle/stand make these speakers pop out of the crowd. They also have an in-built FM tuner for when you run out of songs on that 32GB iPhone…
Another cute, compact design, these speakers pack quite a punch on the audio front as well as holding your iPhone in the perfect position for movie watching (or you can rotate to portrait). I wouldn’t suggest getting them out on a plane, but they could be perfect for entertaining kids in the car!
Talk about killing two birds with one stone… This is a speaker system and iPhone case that actually produces fairly decent audio. It’s not just for an iPhone, and will work with any MP3 player you’d like to throw at it.
Questionably long product name aside, these speakers are fairly rugged. Folding into a small ball when not in use, they also hold your iPhone in landscape orientation for movie watching. You can power them with 3 AAA batteries or an included AC adapter.
Earphones & Headsets
I’m a big fan of Shure earphones, and these make a great addition to your iPhone accessory collection. Coupled with a volume remote and in-built mic, they work excellent alongside your phone. Sound quality is second to none, and they come in a handy case.
Relatively few headphones are designed with a built-in remote control and microphone for hands-free calling, but Apple’s fit the bill excellently. They don’t come cheap at $79, but are considerably better quality (both in terms of sound and comfort) than the standard headphones that ship with an iPhone.
The Jawbone headset is highly acclaimed for audio and microphone quality, coupled with a sleek design. This is a new revision, that maintains all the winning features of the original bluetooth headset. Just don’t walk around barking orders like you’re in an episode of 24.
For the ultimate in stylish, wireless, sporty headphones – check out the Jaybird Sportsband. They look incredible, and even come with a warranty against any damage caused by your sweaty forehead! I’m sold.
Some of the coolest looking and best sounding earphones around, these complete the stylish iPhone “look”. They don’t come cheap, but really do seem to be worth the high price.
For the slightly more budget-concious amongst you, these Sony phones might be a better option. They don’t have quite the same flair as the B&O earphones above, but won’t require that you put your actual iPhone on eBay to buy them.
A stylish set of full-size headphones, sporting swivel earcups for DJ and remix applications, reversible earcups for added flexibility, and an auto-return swivel mechanism. Soft, comfy, and perfect for wearing for long periods of time.
Funky, fun, and high-quality, these headphones look really interesting. Powerful titanium drivers deliver an intense audio experience!
Docks & Stands
I’ve been using one of these for a few weeks, and it’s an absolutely brilliant stand for your iPhone. Matching perfectly with Apple’s Cinema Display, it can hold your iPhone in either a vertical or horizontal orientation. It’s a sturdy base on which to use the phone at your desk.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in inexpensive, portable stands, you can’t get much better than the GoGoStand. Made from a piece of plastic the same size as a business card, it folds out to support your iPhone in either portrait or landscape. When you’re done, fold it back up and put it in your wallet!
Apple’s Universal Dock works with almost every model of iPod and iPhone imaginable. It carries the classic Apple style, and provides video out, audio out, and a rear dock connector. It also includes an infrared receiver and an Apple Remote for controlling your music wirelessly.
Another budget product, the “Crabble” folding stand is crafted by ThinkGeek. It fits in your wallet, works with all manner of different gadgets, and looks pretty darned sleek!
If you’re comfortable with the idea of a strange alien hand grasping your phone all day long, the PED3 is a good choice. It also rotates 360 degrees, is made of solid steel, and has a handy slot for threading cables through.
A “bold and beautiful podium”, the Carbon stand “elegantly transforms your iPhone into a desktop computer and widescreen entertainment center”. Grand claims for a stand! In all seriousness, it’s a good option and could fit nicely on your desk.
As far as minimalist, compact stands go, this really takes the biscuit. It holds your iPhone is a really simple fashion, and requires very little space on your desk. I’m a big fan of this concept, and would certainly consider giving it a try for $5!
A fantastic idea for an all-in-one dock, capable of connecting your iPhone to your computer, a two-port powered USB hub, and a card reader capable of connecting to Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, SD, SDHC, xD and CF (CompactFlash). It’s a great way to combine a bunch of devices into one simple piece of tech.
The long-awaited and much hyped TomTom Car Kit turned out to be a fairly decent product, and certainly a very capable satellite navigation device. Coupled with the TomTom iPhone app, this is a good (if fairly pricey) navigation solution.
Price: $119.95 (plus the iPhone app)
Xtand Go is a solid mount for your iPhone, to attach it to a car windscreen. It doesn’t come with any extra connectivity, cables, or features – just a basic, reliable mounting device.
As more and more cars come with built-in audio sockets, we’re (thankfully) moving away from the era of FM transmitters. If you’re driving a car without any audio-in facility, this useful gadget may provide a good result (though audio quality is rarely perfect).
For good quality audio without an FM transmitter, a good old cassette adapter is the best option. This one costs more than a budget model, but has a few new-fangled features that aim to provide better quality sound. If you’re looking for a cheaper model, this one might be a good option.
For an all-in-one charging and audio output solution, this useful gadget comes recommended. It even includes a wireless remote that can control basic iPhone functions, and attaches to your steering wheel. Just don’t get all the wires tangled around your gear stick!
The S1 is a bluetooth speakerphone and car handsfree kit that works fine with the iPhone. You can answer and respond to calls with voice commands – just say “Answer” to pick up a call, for instance. It also talks to other bluetooth devices such as the Tom Tom Car Kit.
Cases & Protection
Not the cheapest of cases, but a fantastic concept. This case includes a built-in battery pack, capable of doubling the time you’re able to use your iPhone for. A great way to add battery life in a non-obtrusive manner.
Although “military grade” scratch protection is probably a little overkill, it’s good to know your iPhone is protected. The invisibleSHIELD provides a second skin for your phone, and it’s easy to remove if you decide you’d prefer not to have it on.
If you need a case that will stand up to a rigorous, intense battering, the RebelTouch is a solid choice. It also comes with a bunch of useful accessories, such as a micro-fibre cloth, a dock adapter, and a 3.5mm headphone adaptor – to ensure the case doesn’t hinder your day-to-day iPhone use.
It’s sleek, durable, and hard – the slider case looks almost as good as your iPhone itself, and offers a solid layer of protection from scratches and falls. You can slide off the lower part of the case for easy dock connection.
The iSkin is one of the longest standing iPod and iPhone cases, and has evolved alongside Apple’s line-up for several years. It comes in a number of different colours, protects your screen, and offers access to all the iPhone’s ports.
This European designer pouch offers a pull strap and an accent stripe which is off-set for a racing inspired sportiness. It’s leather, it’s stylish, and it comes in a variety of different colours.
As one of the cheapest cases in this section, I struggle to see why it gains “C.E.O” status. Either way, it’s a unique design that makes for an interesting type of iPhone holder.
The Quattro T4 features a patent pending Xylo Glass technology, aimed to let you touch the screen “through” the glass protector. It sure looks cool, but I’m not sure where to draw the line with cases – once you start creating a screen outside a screen, it seems to be moving towards overkill!
I’m something of a wood-fantatic, and absolutely love the design of these cases. There’s something beautiful about merging technology with nature, and the different designs available here are really delightful.
Other iPhone Accessories
If you’re feeling sporty, the Nike Sport Kit is a great addition to your iPhone (providing it’s a 3GS) or second generation iPod touch. It tracks your run, integrates with Nike’s web service, and is a good way to mix technology with exercise. Bear in mind that you’ll need a compatible shoe to get the system up and running (excuse the pun!)
If you’ve ever wanted to connect your iPhone up to a TV or other display, this cable will come in remarkably handy. You can also charge your iPhone at the same time with the USB adaptor. There’s a good chance that this will work with the iPad when released in a few month’s time.
The Powermat is an innovative idea, allowing you to wirelessly charge your mobile devices (including, but not limited to the iPhone). You plug a “receiver” into your iPhone, allowing wireless charging. It isn’t perfect, but if nothing else it’s an interesting proof of concept!
The rechargeable Kensington Mini Battery Pack and Charger for iPhone and iPod has the power you need to keep the conversations and music going. Perfect for keeping your movies running through that long flight.
Keeping your iPhone clean makes more of a difference than you’d expect. It’s more of a pleasure to use, and is less likely to become scratched if it isn’t covered in dirt and dust. This kit is absolutely brilliant, and also works well with your MacBook or Apple Display.
Though a touch on the expensive side for a headphone splitter, the SmartShare justifies the price with dedicated volume controls for each listener. This is remarkably useful when using different headphones, one pair naturally louder than the other.
The volume of your kids’ earphones is always a concern, and this comfy pair of child-friendly headphones cap the volume at 85 decibels. They’re colourful, funky, and it’s possible to customise the style and colour of the plastic covers.
I was a little taken aback by the design of this new remote, and – in photographs – it looks clunky and unattractive. When you actually use one for real, however, it looks and feels completely natural. Certainly worth $20 if you’re wanting to use your iPhone as a home media player and control it remotely.
I can’t admit to having ever had a problem with glare on my iPhone, but this film offers combined protection from the elements with a better screen experience. If you regularly use your device in bright sunlight, it could be a welcome addition!
If you’ve ever tried to use your iPhone with gloves in the cold, you’ll know that it really doesn’t work. These gloves come with specially cut-out ends on your iPhone-operaitng fingers, and remain surprisingly warm. Thoroughly recommended!
Share Your Gadgets!
We’ve certainly covered a great deal of ground here, and hopefully you’ve found one or two new accessories that you hadn’t come across before. I’d love to hear what your favourite iPhone accessories are in the comments. Which gadgets couldn’t you live without?