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iOS 7 to include third-party controller API
iOS 7 to include third-party controller API
June 10, 2013 | By Patrick Miller

Newsbrief: While Apple's WWDC keynote didn't have much in the way of games-related announcements, one slide did indicate that the upcoming iOS 7 update will include an API to support third-party hardware controllers, which is undoubtedly good news for devs (and players) tired of dealing with clumsy virtual d-pads. We'll report on more details as they emerge.

(Also, Game Center won't look like a pool table any more, thanks to a decidedly more modern-looking redesign.)

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Phil Maxey
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Big big news. This will open up a whole new field of gamers to iOS.

Kujel s
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Doubtful, just slapping on gamepad support doesn't mean much when a game is designed to work with a touchscreen, plus who's going to support this in any serious way?

Phil Maxey
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You're joking right? there are lots of games that don't work as well with touching the screen hence the whole virtual joypad thing, because of that there's a whole audience that sticks to their 3DS/Vita's. This announcement opens that audience up to iOS gaming. Games can now be designed more aimed at being used with a controller. This is huge news.

Joel Lamotte
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I guess it's a step in the right direction to make tablets/phones directly competitive to consoles (including new ones like Ouya). However, I'm sure Apple will use a proprietary port so that the potential will not be exploited too fast. As if it was a good thing.

Patrick Miller
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Doubt they'd build a proprietary port onto anything (Apple hates ports on mobile devices because they look likely); my guess is Bluetooth.

Tom Baird
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You and I must be thinking of different Apple companies.

For iDevice we have (off the top of my head):
The original iDevice USB cable (with the long, thin plug)
Newer iDevice chargers (try plugging an iPhone 1 charger into an iPhone 4, won't work)
Lightning Bolt Cable (Coulda used USB-Mini)
Old iDevice Headphone Jacks (slightly recessed, making many non-Apple headphones not fit).

And the Apple Keyboard Extension USB cable has a little groove in the female side of it, making their extension cables ONLY work on Apple keyboards.

Apple loves proprietary, 'Certified for Apple' cables and accessories.

Patrick Miller
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Tom, I said they don't like putting them on mobile devices. It doesn't make sense to build a new proprietary port for a gamepad onto a device because it runs counter to their design sensibilities, and they probably won't use their power ports for input devices because a) iOS 7 isn't only for Lightning devices and b) that would prevent you from using a gamepad while plugged in.

Apple loves doing proprietary ports when it serves their needs. This doesn't appear to be one of those cases.

Ryan Christensen
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This is great. Hopefully this also means it will run on Apple TV at some point and you can have some remote device or controller to play games faster without lag that AirPlay has, new console time.

Jesse Tucker
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Great! I picked up the original Sonic, but I felt that it was missing the feedback that is provided with a physical controller.

Lihim Sidhe
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ipod classic, ipod nano, ipod5th gen, iphone, ipad mini, ipad.

would it kill apple to release an iDevice aimed at gamers? with buttons on it like the Vita?

William Johnson
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On an interesting note, OSX has PS3 drivers built in to the OS. I can hope that a PS3 controller will work for iOS, when iOS7 is released too.

Daniel Jeppsson
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The problem remains that your game needs to work great without the controller since the majority of people won't have one (unless Apple decides to bundle one).
There already is hacked in support for gamepads (like iCade) using the bluetooth keyboard API and I didn't see those taking off that well...?

shawn OGLE
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The part your missing is that ad hock development for one off controllers means you have to support everyone individually. A api means you support the api and all the controls just work.
Its a big difference from a development stand point.

Daniel Jeppsson
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True, I don't contest that, I am only saying that unless it is bundled it won't change the way the majority of people play games on the platform.

Jeff Zugale
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The things to remember about this is:

There are currently about 600 million iOS devices out there. Six. Hundred. Million. And tens of millions more per quarter, at an accelerating rate.