Accessories on parade
In case you missed it, Apple had an event on Monday, where Tim Cook and pals graced the Town Hall stage at their campus in Cupertino to unveil a few small things for us. In between details of the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro, Apple also quietly rolled out new accessories—so quiet, in fact, that we nearly missed several of them. (Except for the Apple Watch bands—we were all over those.) Here’s the complete list of every Apple-branded accessory new to the Apple Store this week.
Smart Keyboard for 9.7 inch iPad Pro
A shrunken iPad Pro means shrunken iPad Pro accessories: Apple’s Smart Keyboard is now available to fit the upcoming 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It costs a little bit less—$149 for the 9.7-inch model, compared to $169 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro—but the functionality is the same, with its Smart Connector power port and Bluetooth-less data connection. The keyboard itself is pretty comfortable to type on—well, at least the larger version is. Hopefully the smaller one doesn't feel cramped, although we generally only have that problem with keyboards sized for the 7-inch iPad mini.
The 9.7-inch Smart Keyboard is available for preorder on Thursday, March 24, the same day as the the iPad presale.
Extra Apple Pencil tips
Did you lose your Apple Pencil tip? No problem—just pick up a four pack for $19.
Silicone Case for 9.7-inch iPad Pro
Planning on pre-ordering an iPad Pro on Thursday? You might as well add one of Apple’s Silicone Cases to your card. The just-announced version for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro costs $69 and comes in a variety of colors, including two shades that are new to Apple’s lineup: apricot and mint.
Smart Cover for 9.7-inch iPad Pro
Apple’s Smart Cover has been part of the iPad accessory family since the iPad 2, so it’s only fitting that Apple release one to fit its latest iPad, too—even the Pros need screen protection. The $49 Smart Cover for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a metallic hinge to keep it in place, works with the iPad’s magnetic sleep/wake feature, and can be paired with Apple’s Silicone Case.
If you were thinking you could just slap your old iPad Air 2 Smart Cover onto your new iPad Pro, think again—Apple says the magnets don’t line up.
Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter
And now for the less flashy, but way more useful portion of the accessory rollout: cables and adapters! Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller plugged two new adapters during the event, one being the $39 Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter. This adapter lets you transfer photos and videos from your digital camera straight to your iPad Pro. It even automatically launches your Photos app when you connect it. (Note: According to Apple, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro transfers data at USB 3 speeds, and the 9.7-inch version uses USB 2.)
Schiller also mentioned on stage that this adapter has a power port. By adding your own power adapter, you could also connect other peripherals to your iPad Pro, like a podcast mic or an ethernet hub.
Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader
Another adapter that got an onstage mention was Apple’s $29 Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, which also is used for photo transfers between your camera and iOS device. However, you can use this one with your iPhone and non-Pro iPads too.
Lightning to USB-C cable
Not mentioned onstage: Apple released a Lightning to USB-C cable, so 12-inch MacBook owners can now easily connect their iOS devices for syncing and charging.
The cable comes in 1-meter length for $25, or 2 meters for $35.
New Apple Watch Sport bands
Along with a price drop, the Apple Watch Sport got some new bling. Apple released Sport bands in three new shades—yellow, apricot, and royal blue. New Watch owners can select one of these bands when purchasing their Watch, or they can be purchased separately for $49 a pop.
Woven Nylon bands
Apple also introduced a brand-new band style to its Apple Watch collection. The patterned Woven Nylon bands have a “comfortable, fabric-like feel,” according to Apple. We’re a little iffy on them from a fashion perspective, but we’ll report back once we’ve tried them on in person.
The Woven Nylon bands are available as primary bands for new Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport models, or as an add-on for $49 a pop. It comes in seven colors: gold/red, gold/royal blue, royal blue, pink, pearl, scuba blue, and black.
Classic Buckle bands
For those of you looking for a more refined look, both the Classic Buckle and Modern Buckle are available in new shades. The $149 Classic Buckle, seen here, now includes red, midnight blue, marigold, white, blue jay, and storm gray versions in its lineup.
Modern Buckle bands
Apple added marigold and blue jay to the $249 Modern Buckle’s collection. We’re really feeling the marigold.
Leather Loop bands
The $149 Leather Loop has two new shades: white and storm gray.
Milanese Loop: Space Black
And the crowd-pleasing Milanese Loop is now available in Space Black for $199, to match the Space Black Stainless Steel case. It really does create a polished look.
iPhone SE Leather Case
Apple makes cases in two finishes—leather and silicone—but its newest iPhone will only be getting the leather treatment for now. You can order a $39 Leather Case for your iPhone SE in either black or midnight blue ahead of the phone’s actual launch.