It's Christmas. Whether that statement induces joy or dread is probably indicative of where you're at with your preparation.

If you're in the 'dread' camp and you have some iPhone or iPad-owning gamer friends or family, we can probably help with some ideas.

Here are some tips for different kinds of accessories and extras taken from right across the price spectrum. Whether you want to spend £25 or £250, there should be something sweet in here for your loved/tolerated one.


Most iOS game developers with any kind of skill now have a handle on crafting native experiences for touchscreen devices. The list of games cursed by shoddy virtual controls is thankfully much shorter than it used to be in the grim old days.

However, there's no getting away from the fact that sometimes you really need a physical controller to get the best experience from a mobile game. First person shooters, third-party actions games, arcade racers, and any game that's a direct console or PC conversion all tend to be better with a control pad.

Fortunately, it's dead easy to get an Apple-certified controller for your iPhone or iPad.

We've long been fans of the SteelSeries Stratus. It's got the dual benefit of being very small (so you can cart it around with you) and very well built, with a full complement of two analogue sticks, four face buttons, a D-pad, a 'pause' button, and four shoulder buttons.

It can also be had for significantly less money than it was at launch, removing what was arguably the biggest original criticism of the pad.

Bluetooth headphones

Gaming on your iPhone or iPad is always better with a set of headphones. Part of that is because most iOS devices don't have particularly great speakers.

The iPhone 7 has improved matters with nice, loud stereo speakers, and the iPad Pro family has four of the things. But even in these instances, games are simply more immersive with headphones.

There are loads of great wired headphones, of course, but the real conundrum comes with the arrival of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which don't have a headphone port.

Bluetooth is really the way to go, and the quality has improved considerably in recent years. The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless range is a great choice if you have several hundred pounds to spend. If you don't, the Jabra Move Wireless (pictured) are highly regarded and a lot less money.

Bluetooth speaker

Not everyone wants to seal themselves away with a pair of headphones, and for such ones we'd recommend getting a Bluetooth speaker.

Plus, they're great things to have around when you want to fill the room with music on a trip or holiday.

Apple has a speaker section on its website, and there's some good stuff on there. We'd recommend avoiding Beats stuff in general, as you end up paying way more than the sound quality they provide is worth.

Otherwise, you're in good hands with any of the offerings from Sonos, UE, Bose or B&O. If you're looking for a good affordable option here, the UE Roll 2 is highly regarded, while the Bose SoundLink Mini II is highly regarded for its superior sound quality a little further up the price scale.


Buying a case for your iPhone is a smart idea if you're paranoid about damaging your phone. And for £600-plus, you have every right to be.

There's no one outstanding case that's good for all scenarios, but most just want one to help the phone survive a droppage without making their phone look like some kind of flotation aid.

Apple's own cases are a good option for their snug fit and premium look, but they're expensive.

Good third party case makers include Silk Spigen, Speck, and SwitchEasy. We have no idea why they all begin with 'S'.

Gift Card

Of course, the best thing you can give the iOS gamer is the means to buy more games. Happily, then, the best and easiest thing to buy for them (not to mention the easiest to wrap) will probably be an iTunes Gift Card.

Apple will even post them directly to your loved one, if you buy through the Apple website. You can grab them in £25, £50, or £100 increments, and they can be redeemed against anything on the App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store or Mac App Store.

Another gift card option is the Apple Store Gift Card, which acts just like the iTunes Gift Card, but with hardware. These can be redeemed against anything on the Apple Online Store and at Apple Retail stores, and you can specify the precise value you want.