Every time I switch away from the iPhone to an Android device, I can’t help but miss the roster of third-party cases and accessories available for Apple’s device. For me, the introduction of MagSafe with the iPhone 12 series was something of a game-changer. Putting magnets around the charging coil inside the phone gave rise to a host of accessories that attach to the back of the phone with a satisfying snap. And I've never looked back.
Beyond the joys of MagSafe, Apple has other systems in place that make its accessory ecosystem such a difficult thing to move away from. Specifically, the likes of the W1 and H1 chips for one-touch pairing Bluetooth headphones and syncing them seamlessly across your iCloud devices. You can, of course, get similar experiences from Google and Samsung but it’s not as ingrained — at least for me — as what Apple offers.
Either way, I’ve worked my way through a fair few iPhone accessories in the last few years and while many of them have come and gone like failed romances, one or two stuck around. In fact, I’ve compiled this list of the everyday iPhone accessories I use pretty much daily. These products have a near-permanent space in my bag and are always there when I need them.
Unfortunately, all is not well with my everyday carry. Like many people, I was happy to see Apple adopt the USB-C connection at last with the iPhone 15 family of devices. The only problem? A couple of my trusty accessories are Lightning-based. Rest assured, though — I’ll be on the hunt for USB-C alternatives in the coming weeks. But since they’ve served me so well with iPhones past, I felt like they had to be included in this round-up.
Better yet, a couple of these accessories are currently discounted for the holiday sales, so should you choose to follow my example, you can likely get them at a much better price than I did.
1. Apple FineWoven Case — $59
The FineWoven case took something of a beating when it first came out alongside the iPhone 15 series. Easy to see why; the material isn’t as hard-wearing as leather but the price is just as high. I even agreed with some of the criticism when I first got my hands on it. But my opinion has softened with time. I’m one of those people who likes to keep things pristine for as long as possible — but once that first scratch or mark lands on an item, I’m happy for it to get as beat-up as needed.
My FineWoven case is in relatively good condition. There are a few growing marks and scuffs but now I see those as battle scars it’ll carry with it as it ages.
And finally, there’s something about the seamless fit of an official Apple case that’s hard to beat — especially where the buttons are concerned. The FineWoven case has great anodized metal side buttons that give you tactile feedback as you hit the Action button. I’m also a big believer in reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible, so the fact Apple’s new case is made from 68% post-consumer recycled content is a big win for me.
If you want to look at some great alternatives, we’ve rounded up the best iPhone 15 Pro cases right here. The good news is that Amazon is currently offering the Taupe color FineWoven case with a 14% discount right now, that means you can save $9 and get it for $50 while stocks last.
Apple FineWoven iPhone 15 Pro case (Taupe): was $59 now $50 @ Amazon
Apple's signature case for the iPhone 15 Pro is slim fitting and made from 68% post-consumer recycled content. Built-in magnets mean it attaches perfectly to the iPhone 15 Pro and the anodized metal side buttons provide a great feedback for clicking the phone's volume keys and Action button.
Beats Flex headphones — $69
The Beats Flex headphones are just about the most perfect throw-in-your-bag-and-forget-about-them headphones I’ve ever come across. At $69 they’re not going to break the bank and you won’t be heartbroken if they get lost or broken. Because they pack the aforementioned W1 chip, they’ll pair easily with an iPhone — but that’s not the extent of their smarts. Each earbud has a magnetic back and when they snap together it’ll auto-pause your music. Unclick them and put them back in your ears and you can start right up again.
Because they’re on a neckband, there’s no need to fiddle around with a charging case and you get up to 12 hours of listening time on a single charge. Unlike a few other things on this list, they also charge via USB-C, which is great.
Audio quality is good enough for my tastes but if you’re a seasoned audiophile you’ll likely want something a bit more nuanced.
One thing I've noticed about these headphones is the marking isn’t immediately clear on the casing for which bud is for which ear. I opted for tape and a marker pen to correct this oversight. It's crude, but effective. When I pull headphones out of my bag in a hurry, I don’t want to have to inspect them too closely just to see which one goes where.
Some good news is these headphones are currently discounted at Amazon where you can get $20 off and pick them up at just $49.
Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds: was $69 now $49 @ Amazon
The Beats Flex Wireless Earbuds are small, sleek headphones that offer up to 12 hours of battery life, a comfortable fit and flawless Bluetooth connectivity. You can use them with iOS, Android or PC, and you can customize the fit with four different ear tip sizes. In our Beats Flex review, we said they also offer strong mics for effective call quality and Siri use, which makes them worth the price of admission.
3. Moft Snap-on Phone Stand & Wallet — $29
It’s all well and good having the iPhone 15 Pro’s 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display in front of your eyes each day, but who wants to actually have to hold it while you watch something? That’s what caught my eye about the Moft Snap-on Phone Stand & Wallet; it’ll hold up to three cards in the slot but also folds out, origami-style to create a nice MagSafe stand for your iPhone. This accessory works in both landscape and portrait mode and is a really elegant solution for propping your phone up on the desk if you want to get in a five-minute YouTube break.
The one I’m using is the rather fetching seafoam color and I think contrasts pretty well with the FineWoven case. It’s not the end-all of snap-on wallets, though. It’s not RFID-blocking and it also doesn’t support Find My. But it’s certainly a good looking little bit of kit and it pretty much goes everywhere with me.
Even better, at the time of writing, the Snap-on Phone Stand & Wallet is down from $65 to $25 @ Moft.
Backbone One game controller — $99
Until Sony answers my prayers with a PS Vita 2, the Backbone One is the perfect on-the-go gaming device. This is the PlayStation Edition that mimics the design of the PS5’s DualSense but it’s not exclusively limited to the PS Remote Play app. You can use it with games from the App Store or Xbox Game Pass should you choose and because it plugs directly into the iPhone’s charging port, there’s no lag from a sketchy Bluetooth connection.
The thumbsticks and buttons are reassuringly responsive and if you want to pay for a Backbone+ subscription, you get a bunch of extra features like a centralized hub for all your gaming content, 24/7 support and, crucially, the ability to hook your controller up to another screen, like a PC or Mac, via a cable to use it as a standalone controller.
The fly in the ointment is that I’ve been using a Lightning-equipped version for prior iPhones and will now have to pick up a USB-C version for use with the iPhone 15 Pro. It’s an expense I’m willing to bear, though, as all evidence suggests Apple is starting to take mobile gaming more seriously than ever.
The likes of The Division Resurgence, Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 remake and Assassin's Creed Mirage are all slated to appear on Apple’s platform. And while my colleague Dave Meikleham has zero interest in playing Resident Evil 4 on the iPhone 15 Pro, I’m quite prepared to get stuck in as long as I have a Backbone One to play it with.
Apple MagSafe battery pack — $99
The final must-have accessory on my list is also a soon-to-be casualty of switching to a USB-C iPhone. The Apple MagSafe battery pack is almost certain to get a USB makeover but, for now, I’m using the Lightning-charged little white battery pack to juice up my iPhone on the move. And while I’ll inevitably change at some point, I’m a little reluctant to part with this gadget because at $99, it’s not exactly cheap. There are plenty of other great MagSafe charging options from the likes of Belkin and Anker that are likely a damn sight more affordable. The MagSafe Battery Pack can also charge the Qi-enabled AirPods Pro and AirPods via their cases.
In terms of design, the battery pack measures 3.7 x 2.5 x 0.4 inches and weighs 4 ounces — and looks great with Apple’s signature all-white color. You can’t tell from the picture, but mine is a little faded and marked these days thanks to days and nights spent unceremoniously at the back of my bag.
While it looks great and has the perfect footprint for almost any iPhone, you’ll likely get more capacity and a faster charge from another brand. Teardowns have revealed the MagSafe Battery Pack has a capacity of 1,460mAh and charging isn’t, ahem, lightning fast at just 5W. If you’re lining up a MagSafe battery pack as a holiday gift for your loved ones, take a look at our best MagSafe chargers buying guide before making any decisions.
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Jeff is UK Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide looking after the day-to-day output of the site’s British contingent. Rising early and heading straight for the coffee machine, Jeff loves nothing more than dialling into the zeitgeist of the day’s tech news.
A tech journalist for over a decade, he’s travelled the world testing any gadget he can get his hands on. Jeff has a keen interest in fitness and wearables as well as the latest tablets and laptops. A lapsed gamer, he fondly remembers the days when problems were solved by taking out the cartridge and blowing away the dust.