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Developers of journaling apps like Day One should be worried that Apple with iOS 17 will be entering the market for digital diaries.

Apple’s iOS 17 update could add a new app for journaling to your Home Screen.

Keeping a digital diary could reduce anxiety and boost self-awareness.

The founder of Day One says this will “sherlock” his journaling app!

An Apple diary and journaling app coming with iOS 17

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on a new stock app for journaling. Code-named internally Jurassic, the app is reportedly coming with iOS 17. The report doesn’t mention it, but we’re betting Apple will also offer Jurassic on iPadOS 17 and macOS 14 to complete the experience.

The Apple journaling app is designed to help users keep track of their daily lives. The software is said to analyze the users’ behavior to determine what a typical day is like, including how much time is spent at home compared with elsewhere, and whether a certain day included something outside the norm.

The Cupertino technology giant allegedly decided to enter the digital diary market as part of its broader mental and physical health efforts. According to the medical site WebMD, studies have shown that journaling can improve one’s psychological and physical well-being by reducing anxiety and boosting self-awareness.

It’s unclear whether Apple plans to charge for the app.

The All Day People Discovery feature

One of the features in Jurassic is reportedly called All Day People Discovery. It will detect when you’re physically close to other people, allowing Apple’s algorithm to automatically distinguish between friends outside work and colleagues.

Another feature that sounds like being powered by machine learning will recommend potential topics for you to write about, such as a workout.

Apple’s app will perform all analysis on-device to protect people’s privacy, ensuring that no data is shared or uploaded to Apple’s servers.

Day One’s death knell

Unfortunately, this development could easily mark the end of the road for makers of journaling software. Day One by Bloom Built is arguably the best journaling app on Apple’s platforms, but it could get “sherlocked” if this news proves true.

Day One was recently featured by The Verge.

What does it mean to get “sherlocked”?

The verb “sherlocking” denotes Apple’s practice of building features into its operating systems that render third-party apps with the same functionality useless.

“When Apple takes an interest in a company, it’s the kiss of death,” Massimo Corp. founder Joe Kiani was quoted as saying in a separate Wall Street Journal article about sherlocking. “First, you get all excited,” he continued. “Then you realize that the long-term plan is to do it themselves and take it all.”

The term was coined in the 2000s when Apple introduced a new Mac search tool, dubbed Sherlock, that let users search files on their computers and the internet. As a result, Karelia Software’s Watson app—which provided much of the same features to Mac users—slowly but surely started waning in popularity.

Will this news make you stop using Day One?

Besides, why would anyone pay for a journaling app like Day One if Apple offered the same functionality for free? If you’re a Day One user and Apple offered a migration tool, would you stop using the app and switch to Jurassic?

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Lone Wolf Review: A New Gamebook Experience For Ios

Design

When you are faced with a decision, a small icon will appear on the page. Tap it to be transported to the action. If you decide to climb a cliff, you will switch to a section where you must tap the screen at very specific intervals in order to pass your climb check. If you make it, the story continues.

In addition to simple skill checks, players will be faced with action combat against non-player characters. Instead of being based solely on stats and the randomness of rolling dice, players must use a series of taps and swipes in order to defeat their foes.

If, for some reason, you die during the game (which I did plenty of times during battle), you have multiple choices to continue the game. You can either start from the most recent checkpoint, go back to the main menu and play from the last place the game saved, restart the current battle, or replay the battle with a lower level of difficulty and less reward.

As the game progresses, players will be able to choose which direction they will go along the path through town. Depending on which way you go, you will be faced with a different storyline.

Players are also faced with mini games where they must use their skills at lock picking. To open a lock, you must find the exact right position. Rotate the pick by dragging you finger to the left or right on the screen. Then, try to force the lock with your knife to pry it open. When forced, the lock will move until it unlocks. If you do it wrong, you will eventually break your pick and have to start over.

App Use

You will also be faced with the dreaded Giaks. These little monstrosities are practically around every corner and they are not particularly easy to kill. You have to have quick reflexes and, at least some understanding of strength, endurance, and power (Kai power in this story). If you use too much endurance on an attack, you will leave yourself vulnerable and easier to beat. You’ll need to use your shield and defense abilities alongside your attacks or you will not make it through a three or four-Giak attack.

When you go into a battle, you will see what your options are. Each weapon will have a glowing circle around it. Choose which weapon you wish to attack with, sword, axe, or throwing knives (each character has different weapons, depending on what they chose for their characters at the beginning).

Your attacks and defensive moves are based on Quick Time Events (QTE). When you choose one attack, you must perform one or more series of taps and swipes in order to successfully complete the move. There are different types of QTEs depending on what you want to do.

The Good

This is definitely one of the better gamebook stories out there. It is similar to Sorcery! in that it adds different elements to a traditional genre that make it different than anything you’ve played before. There are plenty of fun choices that involve extra action to give you more to do than just read.

The Bad

Value Conclusion

Just like the Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! series of books, this is definitely one to add to your collection if you are a fan of gamebook games. Especially because there are so few of them in the App Store at all, and this one stands out for the interesting action-based battles that take place throughout the story. Download it in the App Store today.

Related Apps

Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! 2 just came out recently. The Gamebook Adventure books are fun for horror fans.

230+ New Features And Changes In Ios 11 For Iphone And Ipad

iOS 11 has been finally released to the public. We shared Apple’s official release notes yesterday, but we’ve spent a little time of our own coming up with any changes and features not present in iOS 10.

There is an unbelievable amount of things to touch on, so we highly recommend watching our video to see it all in action.

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For those who would rather scan through our list, we highlighted a few of the most important features up top before getting to the all inclusive index below.

Control Center

Gone are the cards that occupied Control Center in the past. It is now a full screen overlay that is fully customizable by you. Many controls have additional functions with a 3D Touch, such as the communications widget. When you 3D Touch it, you have expanded options like cellular (finally!) and personal hotspot toggles.

We also have several new additions to Control Center. Screen recording is finally native, so you don’t need any odd apps or Quicktime to accomplish. This is really great to show something on your phone, and share it with a friend. The Apple TV remote widget is also something I’ve come to rely on. A simple swipe of the Control Center is often a lot faster than actually finding my Siri Remote in real life. A few others include a Low Power Mode toggle, alarm, and Wallet shortcuts.

Files App

Files is a completely new app inside of iOS 11, though technically it replaces the iCloud Drive application currently available. It allows you easy access to not only your iCloud Drive files, but third-party cloud storage apps as well such as Amazon Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more. It is incredibly handy to have all of these in one location.

There are real file management features here including favorites, recent files, recently deleted, and tags. iCloud Drive has also been upgraded to a true cloud storage platform with the ability to share files with anyone. You can share a file or folder with specific people, or share a link.

ARKit

Augmented Reality is making its way to iPhones with ARKit, a new framework for developers. We demoed it early on, but we’ve seen countless other uses from developers, leading up to the official release. Everything from locating lost objects in AR to ordering food off a menu.

Though iOS 11 just launched, we’ve seen some app updates from prominent developers that have included ARKit support. The fact so many are building it in appears to show just how easy it is for developers to utilize.

Camera and Photos

There is a lot to be said for camera and photo updates in iOS 11. Portrait mode got several nice additions like the ability to add filters, improved image quality, OIS, flash, and HDR support.

Live Photos are even more powerful now as well. You can choose your own key frame now if there is a better one available. You can trim the start and end points, so you can get rid of any unnecessary footage that was included.

A really fun aspect is new Live Photo effects, like Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure. Long Exposure is a personal favorite, and looks really great with moving water or traffic. Basically, any moving objects get a motion blur, while the rest stays sharp. Creating an effect normally reserved for DSLRs and a long shutter.

Other big improvements

CarPlay got a lot of nice additions, and the new lane guidance and speed limits feel at home here more than ever. HomeKit got some newly supported accessories, occupancy gates so scenes don’t run if you aren’t home, and support for notifications, only when you’re away.

Lest we forget, all of the new iPad specific features like drag and drop, new expanded and predictive dock, and improved split view. Apple revamped the app switcher completely, combining the dock, app switcher, and Control Center into one new interface.

Full list of changes and features

Here is the full list of what we cover in the video of changes we’ve found inside of iOS 11.

Control Center

New customizable Control Center

New Cellular Data toggle

New Personal Hotspot toggle

New Screen recording feature

New Notes shortcut

Control Center Apple TV Remote

New Wallet shortcut

New Low Power Mode toggle

New accessibility shortcuts

New alarm shortcut

Do Not Disturb toggle

Magnifier shortcut

Guided access shortcut

Stopwatch shortcut

Text size control

Voice memo shortcut

New iPhone icon in Now Playing widget

When playing through AirPlay or Bluetooth, icon turns blue

AirPlay option in Now Playing widget

AirPlay/Bluetooth indicator pulses when options are near

New Wi-Fi toggle function change

New Bluetooth toggle function change

Files App

New Files app

iCloud file sharing now possible

Access other cloud services

Save directly to device

Tag files

Camera

New camera icon (darker, no lines)

Scan QR codes in camera app

LED flash for portrait photos

Portrait mode has improved image quality

Portrait mode images support optical image stabilization

Portrait mode supports HDR

Portrait mode supports filters

New developer API to use depth information from dual cameras

Photos

Live Photos: Adjust Key Photo

Trimming Live Photos

Tap new edit icon instead of sliders

New filters like Vivid and Dramatic

New Bounce Live Photo effect

New Loop Live Photo effect

New Long Exposure Live Photo effect

Photos app supports GIFs

GIFs stored in “Animated” folder

Watch Memories in Portrait mode

New memory types (pets, activity, children, etc)

Create custom watch faces right from photo

Facial recognition now works with all devices, and syncs (you can identify someone once, it goes to all your devices)

Support for HEIF (High Efficiency Image Format) for better compression on photos

Video

HDR support (2024 iPad Pros & iPhone X)

Hidden video volume HUD

Video playback UI

Support for HEVC (High Efficiency Video Codec) for better video compression

Notes

Slightly updated icon

Updated Swipe option UI

Pinning

New table options

Lines and Grids

New typeface

Scan Documents

New formatter UI

Search handwritten notes

Use Apple Pencil to tap screen and start taking notes

App Store

New App Store icon

Overall redesign

New “Featured Stories”

Game has own tab

New redesigned app pages

No longer use 32-bit apps

32-bit apps are grayed out in App Store

New purchase overlay

10 taps to refresh no longer works in App Store

Siri

Type to Siri

You can disable press for Siri and only use Hey Siri

New Siri Interface

New Siri Voice

Siri Suggestions list of permissions

Siri translation

Siri is now your personal DJ by learning your tastes

Siri learns about your interests to better anticipate your needs

Syncs that data across your iOS and Mac devices

New Siri icon when invoking her

Can answer music questions like “Who is the drummer in this song?”

Siri API can now pay bills

Siri API now can handle task management apps

Siri can now scan QR codes

Hindi and Shanghainese dictation

Safari

View Controller UI tweaks

Helps prevent sites from tracking you

Updated scrolling behavior

Music App

Smaller lyrics font

New Music app sharing features

Create Apple Music profile

New generic artists icon in Music app

New developer API to access Apple Music features to be built into apps

Weather App

Glyphs tweaked

Slightly redesigned Weather app UI

Messages

New App Store icon in tray

Redesigned iMessage App Store

Drag and Drop support

Apple Pay friends directly from Messages

Messages on iCloud (coming in future update)

New QuickReply Keyboard

New interface for iMessage apps

New Echo full screen effect

New Spotlight full screen effect

Maps

AR Mode in Maps

Indoor maps for shopping malls (added individually over time)

Indoor maps for airports (added individually over time)

Lane guidance

Speed limits

Phone & FaceTime

Take Live Photo while on FaceTime call

Tap on your PiP while on a FaceTime call to switch cameras

New FaceTime ringtone

Phone app UI changes

Auto-Answer phone calls

New contacts icon

HomeKit

New faucet accessories

New sprinklers support

New AirPlay 2 speaker support

No longer hardware requirement

Build at Home! (Raspberry pi, etc)

Improved latency

Event threshold

One-time events

QR pairing

NFC pairing

Multi-person location triggers

Sunrise sunset times (can now be before or after sunset by x minutes)

Time-based event triggers. Example: at 5:30, lights turn on

Day of the week reoccurrence

Home occupancy gate (“only run this if I’m home”)

Home settings allow you to opt into HomeKit rules

Timers (auto off after 1-60 minutes)

Notifications based on location

Notifications based on time

Small app changes like relocation of trigger creation button

CarPlay

Lane Guidance

Siri also gives lane guidance

Speed limits

Route alerts are now in the map allowing you to quickly switch

Notification badges

Signal bars

Currently active app is larger in dock

Screenshot (double tap or long press)

New “thinking mode” look for Siri

Do Not Disturb while driving

New Podcast App UI

Music app UI

Notification Center, Spotlight, and Lock Screen

New passcode interface

New Lock screen fade in animation

New Unlock animation

New Home screen animation when launching apps

New bold text in Spotlight searches

Apps return below searches in Spotlight

Redesigned Now Playing on Lock screen

iPad Specific Features

Mac-styled dock

You can now put 13 apps in dock

Quick access to recently used, or Siri suggested apps based on time, place, Continuity, and Handoff

Access dock within apps by swiping up

Keep swiping up to access App Switcher

New iPad App Switcher

Control Center inside of App Switcher

Drag icon from dock to active app

Move app to either side, and swipe off screen to hide it

In split view, replace one of the apps by accessing dock, then pulling app icon to one of the sides

Access recent files in app by tapping and holding

QuickType keyboard to access secondary keys

Drag and Drop

Settings

New Settings app heading

Background refresh options

New experimental features option for Safari

Backing up warning message when erasing iPhone

New Shut Down option in Settings → General

New Accounts and Passwords panel

Auto-Brightness moved from Display & Brightness to Display Accommodations

Prevent cross-site tracking

New Emergency SOS option

New wallpaper

Fish Live wallpapers removed

New Touch ID and Passcode PIN interface

New Camera icon to match Home screen

Offload Unused apps

Storage and iCloud Usage is now just iPhone Storage

Recommendations for clearing storage (like auto deleting old convos)

Auto-join option in Wi-Fi Settings

New persistent banner notification option

New TV providers listed

Customizable AirPods controls

New HDR toggle for iPad Pro (2024+) and iPhone X

New Combined Siri & Search section

Location services now has “while using the app” option for all apps

General

New signal bars for cellular

Tweaked battery status bar icon

Apps in Dock no longer show names

One handed keyboard mode

Smart invert color option in Accessibility (almost a Dark mode replacement)

New location bar when apps access location

Move multiple icons on Home screen

NFC support

Set up routers via NFC

Core ML is a machine learning framework for developers

Password auto-fill works in third-party apps

Wi-Fi password sharing when two devices are near one another

Other App Tweaks

New Clock icon (slightly darker)

New iTunes Store icon

New Calculator icon

New Calculator UI

Health app now stores data in iCloud

New Apple Pay Cash card in Wallet (for receiving payments from others via Apple Pay)

Set seconds for timers

Redesigned Podcasts app to match Apple Music

Slightly redesigned Safari app UI

Mail app UI changes

Personalized News experience with Siri Suggestions

New editor-curated Spotlight tab in News

Inline Drawing in Mail and Notes

Misc.

ARKit support for apps

Instant Markup

Temporarily disable Touch ID

Markup as PDF

Switch between keyboards when dictating

Flac playback support

Quickly share screenshots

Quickly delete screenshots

New screenshot UI

Easily convert and markup PDFs

New AirPods animation when opening near phone

Automatic setup process by holding old device by new device

AirPlay 2 protocol

Multi-room audio

Google Podcasts Should Be Your New Podcast App On Ios

Nearly two years have passed since Google first launched support for Podcasts. During that time, it has often felt like podcast support on iOS has been something of an afterthought for the search engine giant. That has changed now with a welcomed iOS launch. Amid a sea of competitors, Google’s podcast app immediately stands out on iOS thanks to its algorithmic search and clean design. Why should you choose it over Apple’s own app or the other big names? Let’s dig in and find out.

It’s All About Design

The second tab centers around “Explore.” Quite possibly the most important piece of most podcast apps, this tab is a mix of discovery and recommendations. As one might expect with Google, the algorithmic approach to helping you find new podcasts to enjoy is second to none. Many apps have tried to master podcast discovery, and few come close to what Google can do.

The “For You” tab is the default landing after jumping into the Explore tab. It is a mix of new shows and recommendations that relate directly to your interests. Apple’s “Browse” function offers no such personalization. Instead, it only focuses on what’s popular. With its app, Spotify has almost no discovery function and instead relies on you to know what you want to listen to ahead of time. As one might expect with Google, it will continue to learn your listening interests, which allows for improved recommendations over time.

It’s All About Search

Even as Google Podcasts focuses on episodes you can jump into right away, it’s still enjoyable to search. Apps like Apple and Spotify are solely reliant on pushing you to subscribe to shows of your choosing. They then leave you to figure out what you want to listen to next. The better experience is absolutely with Google Podcasts. Perform a search for “Movies,” and you are shown episodes and podcasts that relate to your search. The more you search for keywords like this, the more your personalized recommendation engine will suggest relevant podcasts.

That’s what makes the For You section on the Explore tab so invaluable and unlike anything Google Podcast’s main competition can offer. With every search result, you are shown a quick synopsis so you know if you want to listen. If you ever want to stop the personalized recommendations in order to discover topics you might have otherwise ignored, that’s easy, too. Head to Settings by tapping on the three dots near the top right of the screen in the Activity tab. Look halfway down the screen for the option labeled “Show personalized recommendations.” Just turn that off.

Syncing Adds Another Layer

To be fair, syncing is by no means an exclusive feature to Google Podcasts. There is something truly enjoyable about being able to listen on the Web and then pick up where you left off on the iOS app. Apple offers a similar feature with its desktop/iOS app combination, but it requires a desktop app. That leaves Web users in a lurch, as does the ability to listen on any computer. That’s one more feather in the cap of Google Podcasts. Using the Web rather than a dedicated desktop app means almost no limits on where and when you can listen.

The podcast market has ramped up in recent years as giants like Apple and Spotify do battle with plenty of smaller independent players. In the end, Apple and Spotify are both good enough apps to get by with. If you want a more complete podcast experience on iOS with a recommendation engine that is second to none, Google Podcasts on iOS is a no-brainer.

David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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Latest Features In Google Photos App For Ios And Android

With every new update, the arrangements in software and tools change to make it better for customer use. Google Photos app seems to be following this policy quite often. The latest update rolled out for Google Photos app intends to make it easier for users to put their recent images in new albums. How? When a person returns from an event or trip, Google Photos will automatically compile and suggest an album of your latest photos so that you have a story crafted out from it.

The arrangements and features in an app are changed over time to make it better for customer use. Building upon this, Google has introduced new features in Google Photos app for people struggling to manage their photos and videos.

New features in Google Photos app for iOS and Android

The very first change you’ll notice in the app when you launch it is the changed icon. The original Google Photos icon designed was inspired by a pinwheel. The same icon has been refreshed and simplified.

Secondly, the new Google Photos app intends to make the app simple for use. So, it brings a search front-and-center with a new three-tab structure. Also, photos and videos have received more prominence. Apart from these, there’s a change in

Three-tab structure

Revamped Search function

New Library feature

Map View

Memories function

Let’s explore the above-mentioned features in a bit detail!

1] Three-tab structure

In comparison to the earlier version which supported 4 tabs (Photos, Albums, For You, Sharing), the new Google Photos app has a three-tab structure – Photos, Search, and Library. The Sharing feature has been changed into a function and the ‘For You’ tab has been removed completely.

The latest update rolled out for Google Photos app intends to make the app simple for use. It also brings a search front-and-center with a new three-tab structure. Photos tab, as always, stores all your photos and videos, but now you’ll see larger thumbnails, auto-playing videos, and less white space between photos. Also, under the tab, you can find both, old favorites and recent shots.

2] Revamped Search function

As photo libraries continue to grow larger in size, the search function has become increasingly important. For this reason, Google has put search front and center to give you quick access to the People, Places, and things that matter to you. To be precise, the tab displays the people and pets who appear almost regularly in your photos and videos.

3] New Library feature

The Library tab represents a collection of the most important destinations in your photo library, like Albums, Favorites, Trash, Archive, and more. It has a print store that allows you to readily turn photos into prints and books. The store currently will be visible only to the U.S., EU, or Canadian customers.

4] Map View

Google says that as a part of the new search tab, the app users will see an interactive map view of their photos and videos. It has been one of the most requested features. The newly added capability will support gestures like pinch and zoom around the globe to explore photos of travels, find the location where you’ve taken maximum photos (A gentle tap on ‘view all’ option under ‘Places’ will present you with a grid of locations). If you do not want it to be enabled, simply disable the ‘Location History’ and ‘camera location permission’

5] Memories

If you have been a long-time Google photos user, you will notice that the ‘For You’ tab has been replaced by ‘Memories’. It’s a collection of some of your best photos and videos whether from recent weeks or previous years. To access it, tap ‘Photos’ and select a memory from the top. All your things like collages, styled photos, and animations will be visible under it.  You can view it as a sort of a private archive of your old photos that you browse like Instagram Stories.

Memories feature is available for iOS and Android devices only. As such, if you are using the web version of the Google Photos app, it will not be available to you.

And you can always access your shared content by tapping on the “conversation” button in the upper left corner.

Google hopes the app users will like the new change and its simplified Google Photos experience.

Please note that if the changes are not visible to you, do not worry! Google will roll out the update over the coming weeks, worldwide.

Related Read: How to add Google Photos to Photos App in Windows 10.

Essential Accessories For Your New Iphone

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The iPhone is one of the most popular pocket-friendly computers on the planet, and while its functions are innumerable, accessories can help you get even more out of the device. The most basic accessories will prevent the handset from getting damaged accidentally. In contrast, others will improve the performance of its cameras or turn the device into a credible mobile podcast recorder. The options, however, may feel overwhelming for new iPhone owners, so we’ve put together this list of some essential iPhone accessories if you were recently gifted or upgraded to Apple’s signature smartphone.

Most of the accessories we’re recommending are compatible with any iPhone released in the past three to five years, but some—cases specifically—are designed for a specific model. We’ve chosen to highlight the iPhone 14 version of those accessories, though case and screen-protector manufacturers have the same offerings for multiple phone versions.

A case that gets better with age: Nomad Modern Leather Case

Choosing the right iPhone case will depend on your color, material, and size preferences, which is why we have an entire guide with over a dozen recommendations. That said, after testing several cases every year, I always end up gravitating back to Nomad’s Modern Leather Case. It’s luxe, but the case is protective and patinas over time, which means that small signs of wear actually make the case look better. I’ve dropped my iPhone screen side up from a height of 10 feet onto a stone surface, and the back and sides of my device showed no damage.

A durable screen protector: InvisibleShield Glass Elite VisionGuard Screen Protector

A case will protect the back and sides of your iPhone, but a screen protector will prevent display damage. InvisibleShield’s Glass Elite VisionGuard Screen Protector is the one to get based on my tests. The accessory comes with a useful guide that prevents you from installing it incorrectly, which is handy if you’ve never used one before. In my experience, the Glass Elite doesn’t impact the performance of the iPhone’s touchscreen or its color accuracy. The material InvisibleShield uses does filter some blue light, though, which can make your iPhone more comfortable to look at in the dark. If you’re afraid of cracking your iPhone’s screen, this accessory will help put your mind at ease (it’s also far less expensive than a trip to the Genius Bar).

A battery pack: Anker 733 Power Bank

Anker’s 733 is one of the best iPhone accessories we’ve tested because it has two functions. First, it’s a three-port 10,000mAh battery pack that can fully recharge your smartphone a couple of times, or extend the life of your tablet, portable game console, or laptop by a few hours. But the 733 has a built-in plug that can be connected directly to an outlet, at which point it turns into a three-port 65W power adapter, which can charge all of your devices while you’re at home. This double functionality helps Anker’s 733 Power Bank stand apart in a crowded category, especially because of its travel-friendly size.

A magnetic charger: Apple MagSafe Charger

The iPhone 12 (released in late 2023) was the first Apple smartphone to support MagSafe. This magnetic connector system uses an array underneath the iPhone’s back plate to attach it to what is now a wide world of compatible wireless power transfer accessories, among other convenient add-ons. A MagSafe charger will refill an iPhone’s battery up to twice as fast as a standard Qi wireless charger (up to 15W) and will magnetically align with the back of your iPhone to create and maintain a solid connection. Apple’s MagSafe Charger gets our recommendation because it’s relatively inexpensive and has delivered rock-solid performance in our tests. If you want to jump from wired to wireless charging in 2023, this is the accessory to get.

A camera lens kit: Xenvo Pro Lens Kit

The iPhone’s cameras are world-class, but smartphone photographers looking to up their game should check out Xenvo’s Pro Lens Kit. The accessory clips onto the top of the iPhone’s wide lens and allows you to screw on a macro or wide-angle lens to get shots that would be difficult (or impossible). The kit also has a clip-on light with three brightness settings to help you get better low-light photos.

An external microphone: Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone

If you’re using your iPhone to record podcasts, or want ultra-high-quality audio to accompany your 4K video, Shure’s MV88 is the right accessory for the job. The miniature condenser microphone plugs directly into your iPhone’s Lightning port, so it never needs to be charged. You can use the MV88 to record audio in true stereo and monitor your recordings live by plugging headphones into its 3.5mm input. Shure bundles the microphone with a windscreen, which makes it a useful tool to use in the field, and a carrying case to keep it protected when it’s not in use.

A videography kit: Rode VideoMic Vlogger Kit

The iPhone has been able to shoot sharp 4K video for years, but Rode’s Vlogger Kit can help you get even more out of its cameras. The kit comes with a microphone (with windshield), light cube (with colored film), phone mount, and a tabletop tripod that doubles as a grip. Using these tools makes a big difference in the audio and video quality of your recordings, especially if you shoot at night. A big part of the VideoMic Vlogger Kit’s appeal is its portability. Keeping all of these tools on you at all times makes it easy to set up and break down shoots in just a couple of minutes.

If you want to stop carrying several charging cables with you while you travel, your best option is Mophie’s snap+ multi-device travel charger. The self-contained kit includes a charger with a MagSafe charging pad, Qi wireless charging pad, USB-A port, USB-C port, a USB-C cable, and a power adapter. The charger folds up and fits neatly inside a padded carrying case, with slots for its power adapter and cable. We’ve taken this kit traveling with us and couldn’t imagine getting on a flight or multi-day car trip without it.

A car mount: iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dash & Windshield Universal Car Mount

Your eyes should stay on the road while driving, but that can be tough if you use your iPhone as a GPS. If that’s the case, we recommend this windshield car mount from iOttie. The One Touch 4 can be attached to any flat part of your dashboard or on its windshield. Its articulating arm allows you to position your iPhone at a safe, comfortable angle, and a holder will keep the device in place. In our experience, iOttie’s mounts are strong enough to keep a firm grip on an iPhone on bumpy terrain and can stay attached to your car for years without incident.

A car charger: Satechi 40W Dual USB-C PD Car Charger

If you’d like to charge your phone while you drive, Satechi’s Dual-USB-C charger is the accessory you need. The power adapter fits into your car’s cigarette lighter and can fast-charge two iPhones simultaneously. The second USB-C port can also charge a tablet, portable game device, or even a laptop.

Alternately, if you ride solo more often than not, you can buy a combination MagSafe car mount-charger. For example, the Belkin BoostCharge Pro secures to your vent—remember to close it if running the heat—and can deliver up to 15W fast-charging from your car lighter (adapter and cable included). It’s an easy one-handed motion to place or release the iPhone, and it stays fastened in either portrait or landscape mode for convenient navigation assistance, etc., while driving.

A durable charging cable: Amazon Basics Nylon Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Apple includes a charging cable with the iPhone, but it’s been known to fray long before you need to upgrade your device. Amazon Basics’ USB-C to Lightning cable has a braided outer shell that can be bent or twisted without showing signs of wear. In fact, Amazon says you can bend this cable up to 4,000 times without it breaking.

Wireless earbuds: AirPods Pro 2

The iPhone can be connected to any pair of Bluetooth headphones, but it was designed to work best with the AirPods Pro 2. Apple’s new earbuds will automatically pair to your iPhone the first time you open the lid to their battery case and auto-connect to it every time after that. When you listen to music or watch TV shows and movies with a Dolby Atmos mix on your iPhone, you can use the AirPods Pro 2 to listen in “Spatial Audio,” a headphone-friendly version of surround sound. You can even personalize your Spatial Audio experience on the iPhone by taking a picture of the shape of your ears. You’ll also be able to use the iPhone’s Find My app to locate your AirPods 2 if lost. Finally (and most importantly), we’ve found from first-hand experience that the AirPods 2 are a solid pair of true wireless earbuds, with excellent sound, surprisingly good active noise cancellation, and very good battery life.

A smart speaker: HomePod Mini

Again, the iPhone can connect to any Bluetooth or AirPlay 2-enabled speaker, but the HomePod Mini was designed to work best with other Apple hardware through HomeKit. You can ask Siri on your iPhone to play music on your HomePod, and even “hand off” audio from the smartphone to the speaker by placing them near one another. The HomePod Mini sounds very good given its size—and even better if you pair two together to listen in true stereo. You can even send messages to the HomePod Mini from your phone to use the speaker like an intercom. If you want to pair your iPhone with a speaker fully integrated in Apple’s ecosystem, the HomePod Mini is the one to get.

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