When I was asked to put together a list of my most-used accessories of 2011, it got me thinking that I actually don't use very many accessories at all. In total I have four that I use on a regular basis. Here's a little bit about each one and why they are special to me.
There are a large variety of car mounts for the iPhone but Brodit from Sweden has been my number one mounting solution for the last ten years. It is an incredible mount that works beautifully. It comes in two parts, a Proclip that is specific to the make and model of car you own. They are available for different mounting positions within your car, you choose where you want your device and buy the Proclip to suit. Installing it is simple, no drilling or damage to your car interior, each clip is designed to be pushed into position and held in place by your cars dashboard surround.
Once you have the Proclip installed, the Brodit mount screws into that and it is a really secure fit. The mounts are available in different configurations, some come with a 12V car plug, some with pass through connectors and some as just passive mounts. Whichever one you choose, it will be precision made, lined with soft padding and will fit perfectly. If you want a car mount, don't bother with any other!
Of the many car audio interfaces for iPhone, the Kensington LiguidAUX is my favorite. My VW Passatt has a 3.5mm input for an iPod or iPhone but I really dislike having a charger in the bottom of my iPhone and another cable coming out of the 3.5mm jack. To get round this, I use a Kensington LiquidAUX. This doubles as a car charger but also takes the audio from the dock connector and transfers that to a 3.5mm input for your car stereo. This give you the flexibility to make all the cabling in your car much neater all round. The Kensington LiquidAUX also comes with a small remote control that you can fix to your steering wheel. This gives you the ability to skip tracks and play and pause without your hands leaving the wheel. It's hard to find now, so if anyone knows of something similar, let me know in the comments.
iPhone docks are essential. When my iPhone 4S isn't in my hand, it will be in its dock at the side of my bed, that's where it charges and syncs all my data to iCloud during the night. I have tried third party docks and none are as nice as the Apple dock. Yes it is expensive but you only get what you pay for. It feels solid, it fits perfectly and looks beautiful.
I hate cases and refuse to have one on my iPhone 4S, unfortunatley the iPad 2 gets lot more rough treatment by my 2 year old so a case is a must for this. I considered many options but the Marware CEO Hybrid stood out for a few different reasons.
First off is the fact that it works like an Apple Smart Cover, when you open it, the screen turns on. Secondly, it covers all areas of the device, it isn't the slimmest case in the world, but it protects all angles. I have dropped it a few times on the road outside of my house and the case took the damage and the iPad 2 is perfect. The final reason is how it looks, a carbon fibre look, black and sexy. It really makes your iPad 2 look the part!