The 2018 iPad Pro was already quite an impressive piece of hardware, which was obviously held back by software. With the announcement of iPadOS at Dub Dub ’19, the landscape has changed.
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There are many new features coming to iPadOS which aim to turn your iPad Pro into a laptop replacement. In order for you to get the necessary work done, you’ll need the right tools and the iPad Pro is just one. We have found the best accessories for iPadOS.
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Best Keyboard for iPadOS – Apple Smart Keyboard Folio
Now that the iPad Pro has been available for some time, there are a slew of new keyboard options on the market. However, the one we keep coming back to is the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio. The keyboard takes advantage of the smart connector on the back, and is ultra-lightweight, making for a super-portable and productive experience.
Perhaps the biggest gripe to be had is the lack of key travel, but that’s something we can deal with given the convenience. Apple has really improved the design of its Keyboard Folio over the years, and this iteration is the best one yet.
Apple’s retail price for the Smart Keyboard Folio is $179 for the 11-inch and $199 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, Amazon is offering $169 for the 11-inch and $180 for the 12.9-inch model.
Runner-up – Brydge Pro
Brydge is one of those companies that found their footing with the help of Kickstarter. However, the company has vastly expanded since 2012 and recently launched the new Brydge Pro for the iPad Pro.
This keyboard connects via Bluetooth or via a USB-C cable and makes your iPad Pro look just like a MacBook. The adjustable hinge allows you to use whatever viewing angle works for you, and the trackpad gives your wrists somewhere to rest during those long email sessions.
The 11-inch Brydge Pro is available for $149, while the 12.9-inch variant is priced at $169 and both options come in either Silver or Space Gray.
Best Stylus – Apple Pencil 2
Outside of mouse support and better Files integration, perhaps the next biggest addition to iPadOS were all the changes to the Apple Pencil 2. With iPadOS, Apple states that the update will improve latency to just 9 milliseconds, down from 20 milliseconds with iOS 12. This means that the writing experience will feel more like pen on paper, versus writing with a sharpie.
Apple also introduced the PencilKit framework which allows third-party developers to better integrate their apps with the Pencil 2. Plus, the framework will allow these apps to use Apple’s own palette to choose colors, writing tips, and much more.
The Apple Pencil 2 retails for $129 from Apple and is available on Amazon for $124.99 with free 2-day shipping.
Runner-up: Logitech Crayon
Shelling out almost $130 for a high-level stylus can be a bit absurd to some folks. But the fact remains that a stylus with the iPad Pro is extremely useful, especially if you plan to use the Pro for note-taking or drawing. That’s where the Logitech Crayon comes in, which recently saw an update to include support for the new iPad Pro 2018 lineup.
The Crayon integrates with any apps designed for the Apple Pencil, along with the lines adjusting based on how you are writing or drawing. What makes this even better is that you don’t need to rely on Bluetooth, as the Crayon instead takes advantage of proximity sensors to connect to your iPad.
The Logitech Crayon can be had from Amazon for $49 with free 2-day Prime shipping.
Best Mouse: Logitech MX Master 2S
With iPadOS, you finally have the ability to use a mouse with your iPad Pro. This can be done through the accessibility options, and Apple even includes customization of the mouse buttons.
When it comes to the “best” mouse, the choice is simple with the Logitech MX Master 2S. This mouse quickly switches between your iPad and your Mac, while lasting up to 70-days on a single charge. Oh, and there are a total of six different buttons to customize.
Amazon is selling the MX Master 2S for $67 with free 2-day Prime shipping.
Runner-up: Logitech MX Anywhere 2S
If the MX Master 2S is the “mac-daddy” mouse, then the MX Anywhere 2S is perfect for those on the go. This mouse lives in the same MX family from Logitech and much more comfortable than you may think.
Some of the best features include hyper-fast scrolling, the ability to use on glass, and the same 70-day battery life. This mouse also includes four customizable buttons that the iPad Pro will recognize.
The MX Anywhere 2S is available from Amazon for $49 with free 2-day Prime shipping.
Best USB-C Hub: HyperDrive 6-in-1 USB-C Hub
With iPadOS, USB-C hubs will become even more useful thanks to the ability for users to actually have access to external drives. Sure, you could just plug a USB-C cable in, but hubs like the HyperDrive 6-in-1 offer power delivery and much more.
This USB-C hub includes six total ports, including HDMI, SD, microSD, USB-A, and even one for a 3.5mm headphone jack. While the HyperDrive easily attaches to the side of your iPad Pro, the company includes an extension cable so that it will work even if you use a non-Apple case.
On the pricing front, you can pick up the HyperDrive USB-C Hub for $90 with free shipping.
Runner-up: Satechi USB-C Expansion Hub
For those who don’t want something that attaches directly to your iPad Pro, Satechi has a great USB-C hub to consider. This hub offers almost all of the same ports as the HyperDrive, minus the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Included are two USB-A ports, an HDMI connection, microSD and SD card inserts, along with a USB-C port. This final connection includes USB-C Power Delivery so you don’t have to worry about unplugging the hub when your iPad Pro gets low on juice.
The Satechi USB-C Hub can be had for $70 on Amazon with 2-day Prime shipping for members.
Best portable Hard Drive – Samsung T5 Portable SSD
Before the release of iPadOS, it was a rather frustrating process in order to view files connected via an external hard drive. That has now changed thanks to the integration with the Files application for external hard drives. Our favorite option is the Samsung T5 Portable SSD due to its fast read/write speeds and of course, portability.
Being able to connect a hard drive directly will make it possible to get your photo/video editing done on the go without your laptop. Plus, you’ll be able to keep your media library with you in the event that you are taking a long trip and can just use the T5 as your media hub with your iPad Pro.
Amazon is offering the 500GB Samsung T5 SSD for $90 with free 2-day shipping for Prime members.
Runner-up – WD My Passport Wireless SSD
It’s really awesome to be able to connect your portable hard drive to the iPad Pro with iPadOS. But the WD My Passport Wireless SSD takes things to the next level. This portable SSD features a built-in SD card reader while being able to connect to your iPad Pro wirelessly.
You can easily transfer files to and from this SSD without worrying about wires, while being able to still experience the speed that an SSD has to offer. Western Digital also made the My Passport Wireless protected from drops up to 3-feet, even if the drive is being actively used.
The WD My Passport Wireless is available from Amazon for $200 with 2-day shipping for Prime members.
Best Gaming Controller – Xbox One S Controller
One of the surprise announcements from WWDC ’19 and iPadOS was support for gaming controllers. Instead of relying on those MFi controllers from Steel Series and others, you can use your favorite gaming controller.
This includes the Xbox One S controller, as it includes the necessary Bluetooth chip. After you have paired the controller, you will be able to play your favorite games with your favorite controller for the ultimate gaming experience.
The Xbox One S Gaming Controller is available from Amazon for $43 with free 2-day Prime shipping.
Runner-up – PlayStation DualShock 4
Don’t worry Sony fans, as Apple also made it possible for your DualShock 4 to pair with the iPad Pro. As expected, you won’t be able to take advantage of the included touchpad on the controller. Instead, you’ll have to rely on the joysticks or directional arrows to navigate and select.
Nonetheless, using the DualShock 4 is as good of an experience on the iPad Pro as the Xbox One S controller. This is all conjecture as you will likely end up using the controller from your favorite console.
The DualShock 4 can be purchased from Amazon for $46 with free 2-day Prime shipping.
Best Headphones – Apple AirPods
Back in March, Apple introduced the second-generation AirPods which feature a few nifty features. Then, with the announcement of iOS 13 and iPadOS, the AirPods picked up eve more new features.
AirPods will now be able to read the latest notifications that arrive on your iPad. Plus, you can now connect two sets of AirPods to one iPad and share whatever you are listening to with a friend. This is great for watching some movies or TV shows while on a flight.
If you want the gen-2 AirPods with the non-wireless case, Amazon is offering $144, while the wireless case version is priced at $169.
Runner-up – Sony WH-1000XM3
The AirPods are absolutely phenomenal, but if you want some over-the-ear headphones, the best option is the Sony WH-1000XM3. These headphones offer “industry-leading” noise cancellation, along with a Quick Attention mode. This allows you to jump into a conversation without needing to take your headphones off.
Sony created an accompanying application which will help you pair the headphones and more. Within the app, you can customize your EQ levels so you are getting the best sound possible out of these awesome headphones.
The Sony WH-1000XM3 are on sale through Amazon for just $348 with free 2-day Prime shipping.
We absolutely love iPadOS and what it can do for our workflow’s now. We expect many new accessories to be launched later this year, especially if Apple launches some new hardware.
One new accessory I’ll be waiting for is a combination keyboard/trackpad from the folks over at Brydge. In the meantime, I’ll stick with my MX Master 2S and Smart Keyboard Folio.
Let us know if there’s an accessory that we missed and what you are looking forward to the most from iPadOS.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.
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