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Essential accessories for the iPhone (gallery)

Having owned an iPhone for many, I'm acutely aware of the fact that it is far from perfect, and that there are some severe limitations that come with the device. But the great thing about owning an iPhone is that you can tap into a vast ecosystem of third-party accessories to help you overcome most of these limitations.
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Charging while on the go

I use to suffer from battery life anxiety whenever I needed to use my iPhone heavily, but I've overcome that by carrying a small external battery pack with me when I'm out and about. Yes, I know that I could go through all my settings disabling everything, but why carry an iPhone around with me in the first place if it can't do anything?

If you want a small battery pack that you can pop into your pocket, then the Anker Astro Mini is a great choice at only $22.

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In-car charging

I also keep a charger in the car. And since I'm sometimes looked upon to offer others riding with me a charge-up, I've upgraded to the Anker 48W4-port USB car charger. It's only $15, but it has no problem simultaneously charging multiple smartphones and tablets.

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Better speakers

If you're in a quiet room then the speakers built into the iPhone are just fine, but if you like to enjoy your music when outdoors or in a noisy environment such as a workshop, you need beefier speakers.

A speaker that's been by my side when I'm out and about is the Divoom Voombox-outdoors. This is a splash-proof, dust-proof Bluetooth speaker with a built-in rechargeable battery that's good for up to 12 hours. The 15 watts of output is ideal for playing tunes around a BBQ or when doing some gardening.

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Add more storage

No Micro SD card slot? No worries! I just use the SanDisk iXpand flash drive which offers me an extra 128GB for photos and media. As an added bonus I can use this as a regular high-speed flash drive.

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An iPhone 'Swiss Army Knife'

Take a look at is the IOGEAR MediaShair WirelessMedia hub. This device brings a whole raft of features to the table. Not only can you plug an SD card (SD up to 2GB, SDHC up to 32GB, and SDXC up to 2TB), USB flash drive, or even a portable USB hard drive into the MediaShair hub and the built-in Wi-Fi can share the content with up to seven iOS or Android devices, it has a built-in battery that can be used to recharge your devices.

The device also supports pass-through, so you connect the hub to the internet-facing Wi-Fi connection, and then connect the devices to the hub to allow them to have web access. This way you have access to both the internet and your data.

Access to the data on the device from iOS and Android device is handled through a free app.

On top of that, if you're in a hotel that only has Ethernet connection, you can connect the MediaShair hub to the wired connection and share the connection wirelessly.

This doesn't just add extra storage, this is like having a Swiss Army Knife for your iPhone.

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Toughened case

In all my years of owning an iPhone I've never had the misfortune – or expanse – of breaking one as a result of dropping it or through water damage. But this isn't good luck, it's down to putting Apple's frankly fragile creation inside a robust case.

For the iPhone 6 Plus I've gone with NewTrent Trentium 6L case. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but this has protected my iPhone from bumps, scratches, scrapes, and even rain for many months, and as an added bonus it still looks like new. And not only does it add much-needed protection, it makes my iPhone much easier to handle because the rubber is nowhere near as slippery as the metal and glass of the iPhone.

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Better (and cheaper) Lightning cable

There's no way I'm paying Apple $20 for a replacement for the flimsy Lightning cable that's shipped with the iPhone when I can get three high-quality cables from Monoprice for the same money.

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Add more SIM cards

If you need to switch between multiple SIM cards, then you can, a) Keep fiddling with that tiny SIM tray until one day it springs out and is lost down an air vent in your car, b) carry multiple handsets, or c) fit a SIMore adapter.

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Repair toolkit

Repairing things seems to be a dying art, but I like to keep my gear going for as long as possible, and having the right tools makes the job infinitely easier. This is why I use high-quality tool from the repair experts at iFixit.

A toolkit like this isn't for everyone, but these tools, combined with a little know-how, can quickly pay for themselves.

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