The prospect of using your iPad in the car is very different from using your iPhone. The bigger screen on the iPad means more opportunity for distraction, though they can be useful for certain tasks in the car. However, a tablet has undisputed utility in a car as an entertainment center for passengers. Whatever you use your iPad for, you'll want some accessories to get the most out of it in the car. Here are some of the best.
- Arkon Center Extension Car Headrest Tablet Mount
- Arkon Truck or Car Tablet Mount
- Anker PowerDrive 2
- AUKEY Nylon Braided Lightning cable
- iXCC 3.5mm Universal Aux Audio Stereo Cable
Arkon Center Extension Car Headrest Tablet Mount
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Arkon's Center Extension mount attaches to the posts of your headrest and allows passengers in the back of your car get an easy view of what's happening on the screen. Once mounted, the tablet sits in the space between the driver and passenger seats.
The Arkon mount holds any 9.7-inch model of iPad, as well as the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The mount allows you to rotate your chosen tablet 360 degrees, and you can tilt your tablet left or right by 30 degrees in either direction, making it easier to view if you only have one passenger in the back seat.
You can pick up the Arkon mount on Amazon for around $31.
Arkon Truck or Car Tablet Mount
If you need to use your iPad at some point while you drive, Arkon also makes a tablet mount meant to be used in the front seat of a car. Like its headrest mount, the Truck or Car Tablet Mount holds any 9.7-inch model of iPad, as well as the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The arm on the mount is connected to a swivel ball, which allows for flexibility in viewing angles. The mount is meant to be bolted to the bottom of your vehicle's passenger seat, though there are alternative options for mounting it to the floor or your console.
You can pick up the Arkon Truck or Car Tablet Mount from Amazon for around $32.
Anker PowerDrive 2
For long trips, you're definitely going to want to bring a charger with you. The Anker PowerDrive 2 is small and unobtrusive, while still able to deliver the power you need, with two USB ports capable of charging two full-size iPads at once. The PowerDrive 2 can also differentiate between the devices that it's charging, delivering the right amount of power to each device — particularly useful if you're charging an iPhone along with your iPad.
The PowerDrive 2 comes with a number of safety features, with features like surge protection, temperature control, and more. It also has its own MFi-certified Lightning cable if you don't have an extra laying around for use in your car.
If color variety is important to you, you'll want to look elsewhere, but you can get the PowerDrive 2 with Lightning cable from Amazon for around $16.
AUKEY Nylon Braided Lightning cable
If you're using your iPad as an entertainment-focused screen for your passengers, you're going to want a long Lightning cable to make sure the tablet stays charged. AUKEY's Braided Nylon Lightning cable, measuring 6.6 feet in length, is a good choice, offering protection against wear and tear, which is something you'll want while using it in a car.
AUKEY's cable is MFi-certified (as any cable you buy for your iPhone ought to be) and is sheathed in durable braided nylon, with reinforced aluminum shielding underneath. Over time, your standard Apple Lightning cable will succumb to wear and tear, while AUKEY's extra protection should allow you to keep charging without worry.
You can get the 3.3-foot AUKEY Lightning Cable in silver or black from Amazon for around $6.
iXCC 3.5mm Universal Aux Audio Stereo Cable
While many car stereos let you plug into a USB port for audio, some older models might require a 3.5mm audio cable in order for you to get audio from your iPad through your car speakers. That's where iXCC's 3.5mm aux cable comes in
Measuring 6 feet long, the cable lets you pump in audio from your iPad no matter where it is in your car. It's also designed to prevent tangling, making it easy to retrieve from storage when you need it.
You can get the iXCC 3.5mm Universal Aux Audio Stereo Cable from Amazon for about $6.
What do you use?
Do you have any favorite accessories to use with your iPad while in the car? Let us know in the comments.
Updated February 2018: These are still the best accessories for using your iPad in your car.
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Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.