If you’re an Apple fan, 2021 has been an incredibly exciting year.
The triumphant return of the MacBook Pro neatly illustrates what’s happening within those infamously secretive corridors at Apple Park. Apple is listening, intently. They know what we want, and appear far more willing than ever before to swallow their pride and renege on past decisions.
Sure, we’ve had to wait an awfully long time for this, but it was worth it, right?
But as with so much in life, it’s the small things that count. More importantly, it’s the stuff you can add to your collection of Apple gear that makes it even more special.
That’s why, for me, 2021 really has been the year of the accessory – and these are my firm favourites.
Apple Pencil 2
You’ll quickly discover that this list isn’t made up of products that were released during 2021 – they’re simply accessories and peripherals that have really made a difference for me this year.
Take the Apple Pencil 2, for instance. Up until a couple of months ago, it was only part of my daily carry by default; I barely had a use for it.
Then, along came the iPad mini (plus one other accessory, which you’ll find further down this page), and I finally entered the world of digital note-taking. I’d be lost without the Apple Pencil 2 now.
AUKEY Omnia charger
God, I love this thing.
This is a wall charger. Yup – nothing to get excited about, eh? Only, it is the most useful wall charger I’ve ever owned.
It has one USB-A and two USB-C charging outputs (one of the latter charges at 90W), which means I can charge three devices at once. It has replaced most other charges I own, as a result.
The only problem is that, at the time of writing, Aukey appears to have disappeared entirely from Amazon. However, if you can find anything comparable from the likes of Anker, I’d highly recommend grabbing one for your daily carry.
Benks AirPods Max headphone stand
This is the most popular accessory I’ve featured during 2021, and it’s not hard to see why.
If you own a pair of AirPods Max, you’ll quickly realise that they’re at their best when not placed in that stupid case. Indeed, they look far better on show, and there’s no better way to show them off than to place them on this wonderful little headphone stand.
It genuinely looks and feels like Apple made it. Which they should have done.
IQUNIX F96 mechanical keyboard
This year, I discovered mechanical keyboards.
They are utterly wonderful.
If you do a lot of typing, it’s worth giving one a go. The additional travel and ultimately satisfying clickety-clack of the keys makes typing an addictive joy.
I’ve got a fair few mechanical keyboards now, but the IQUNIX F96 is my firm favourite by quite a margin. It ain’t cheap, but you really do get what you pay for in this game.
Logitech MX Master 3 mouse
I’d often heard great things about the MX Master 3, but dismissed it purely because I was so happy with Apple’s brilliant trackpads.
It turns out that was a bit of a mistake because Logitech has created an all-time classic with this wonderful mouse.
It’s the most ergonomic thing I’ve ever placed in my hand, but it’s also so functional, thanks to the perfect number of configurable buttons and their silky-smooth operation.
For video editors, it’s a dream, but one look at the list of compatible apps in the Logitech Options app reveals that this really is a mouse for anyone who wants to get things done quickly.
AGPTEK USB-C Docking Station & Stand
The Mac mini remains my favourite headless desktop computer of all time.
But it doesn’t have enough ports.
Thankfully, there are a number of brilliant docking options for it, and the AGPTEK USB-C hub is my personal favourite. It adds a good few extra ports, but also the brilliantly simple yet effective addition of a hidden compartment for a 2.5” SSD.
Inateck tech oraganiser
This was a recent find for me, but easily the most enjoyable one of 2021 when it comes to accessories.
That’s because the Inateck electronics organiser finally provides a home for all of the cables, memory cards, and bits and bobs I used to throw haphazardly into my rucksack (or lose entirely).
As you might expect, there are loads of options for this kind of thing, but I’m a big fan of Inateck’s stuff (I always buy their MacBook sleeves), therefore it was the obvious option for me.
This thing travels with me everywhere. I love it.
Paperlike screen protector for iPad mini
The iPad mini and Apple Pencil 2 combo have been a particular highlight for me during 2021, but it wasn’t quite complete until I installed the Paperlike screen protector.
I’ve never been a fan of screen protectors, but this one does far more than protect that lovely little retina screen.
Add a Paperlike to your iPad, and it suddenly feels (and sounds) – you guessed it – far more like paper. It’s spookily effective, and if you’re a digital note-taker like me, it’ll transform your iPad.
The biggest surprise of 2021 when it comes to accessories was the MagSafe Wallet.
I bought it purely out of curiosity but quickly fell in love with its ultra-convenience and the fact that it has finally consigned my regular wallet to the kitchen drawer.
The MagSafe Wallet isn’t perfect. When attached to my iPhone 12 Pro, for instance, it would often sit slightly skew-whiff, and I was never particularly happy with how it looked on that device.
Then, I bought the iPhone 13 mini and everything changed. The MagSafe Wallet never leaves my favourite little phone and feels perfectly designed for it.
Sure, it only fits two cards (three at a push), but that has proven to be a benefit for me because it has completely pared down what I carry. It looks great, too.
Over to you…
I hope you found something of use above. But I’m curious – what was your favourite tech accessory of 2021?
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