While the iPad Mini is unique in its dimensions, there is still a wide range available to those wishing to buy iPad Mini accessories. These accessories may be similar to iPhone accessories, and may include covers, which may be chosen based on colour, function, or safety; speakers, and other docking accessories; keyboards, earphones, and other Bluetooth input accessories; and many more.
Screen protectors protect the screen from scratches that may be caused by dirt being dragged over the surface of the screen during use, or by fingernails, or by putting the device down on a rough surface. When the screen protector is scratched or damaged, it can be replaced, either by the owner of the device, or by a professional in an accessories store. Covers are usually made of plastic, rubber, silicone or fabric. They may be hard or flexible. Most are designed to protect the device from damage due to impact, for example if they are dropped onto a hard surface. Some covers are bulky and marketed as heavy duty protection for mobile devices. Others are slim and may be designed to appeal aesthetically, rather than for safety.
Ideally, a smart phone or tablet should always have a cover and a screen protector. While most accessories have a specialised function that may be useful to certain users, cover and screen protectors fulfil the basic function of protecting the device in case of accident. This may include putting the device on a rough surface, or dropping it onto a hard surface. Waterproofing, either by the application of a gas which is infused into the surface of the device, or by use of a waterproof cover, is another way of protecting a device. As most of these devices come into contact with water at some point, and can be damaged or destroyed by water. Waterproofing a device is far more cost effective than replacing it if it gets wet.
App enabled accessories can change the whole function of a device, by turning it into, for example, a remote control, or a pinball machine. Other app enabled accessories can interact with an FM radio or a television, or turn an iPad into an Etch-a-sketch. App enabled accessories connect to the iPhone or iPad via the charging socket, the audio socket, or via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and are controlled by a specialised app, designed especially for that accessory. This can greatly increase the available functions of these devices. It is important to check before purchasing app enabled accessories, for which operating system the app is designed. An iOS app will not run on an Android device, for example, though some manufacturers may design their apps for more than one operating system. These accessories and more may be purchased wherever one can buy iPad Mini accessories, which includes most electronics stores, some specialty stores, and many websites.