It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the state of iPhone and iPad controllers, but I have seen some improvements since we first covered some of the shortcomings with the early batch of game controllers that came out under Apple’s Made-for-iPhone licensing program. Today I’m taking a look at the new Tt eSports Contour MFi controller, a new $65 option that includes a classic Xbox-style design and a built-in stand to hold your iPhone and turn it into a true handheld game console.
MFi March 4
MFi January 30
Apple recently has filed a new document with the Federal Communications Commission in which it argues that Made for iPhone, or MFi, accessories should be acknowledged by the organization as alternatives for hearing aid compatibility compliance. Recently, the FCC has proposed that all phones and consumer wireless devices must be compatible with hearing aids.
MFi January 20
The iRig Keys Mini is an electronic MIDI music keyboard that connects to iPhone and iPad with a Lightning cable. Although it isn’t regularly advertised, iPhones and iPads have had great support for MIDI input instruments and other devices for a long time. Since iOS 4 in fact, Apple gave the developers the ability to interact with MIDI peripherals. Simultaneously, the App Store has bloomed a wide ecosystem of sophisticated music creation and audio production apps. This makes for a perfect storm of capability and functionality: not only are MIDI accessories possible, they can really be used to make music on iPhone and iPad.
Read on for my full review of the iRig Keys Mini piano keyboard for iOS ($79.99).
MFi November 3, 2015
With thousands of generic battery packs now on the market, it takes something special to make a new option stand out, and Nomad’s new Wallet for iPhone certainly succeeds. Shaped like a standard bifold wallet, the Wallet hides a 2,400mAh battery pack in its spine, as well as a 3″ Made for iPhone-certified Lightning cable.
Nomad notes that the goal was to produce a wallet that wasn’t any thicker than what “guys are already sitting on.” Made from Saffiano leather and measuring 4.7″ by 3.5″ by 0.75″ when closed, Wallet can hold six cards and a bunch of cash, in addition to providing at least a full recharge for pre-iPhone 6 models of the iPhone, and around 100% for the just-released iPhone 6s. Wallet for iPhone is available for preorder now for $79, and shipping on November 16; the price will go up to $99 for all orders placed after November 15. A gallery of images is below…
MFi October 27, 2015
For the moment, the new Apple TV’s accessory compatibility can fairly be described as “confusing.” It’s confirmed that Bluetooth speakers and headphones — previously unsupported by older Apple TVs — work with the new model. On the other hand, Bluetooth keyboards, which previously worked with Apple TVs, do not. And Bluetooth game controllers… well, if they were Made For iPhone (or iPad), they work with the new Apple TV. But contrary to some erroneous early reports, if they were made for other devices (say, the PlayStation 4), they don’t.
So even though SteelSeries’ Nimbus ($50) has been pitched as the first “gamepad controller for Apple TV,” it’s kinda not. The company’s earlier Stratus (now only $40 refurbished) works with the Apple TV, as do Mad Catz’ nicer C.T.R.L.i and Micro C.T.R.L.i controllers. However, Nimbus is launching with newer technology at a not-insane price point. It has a Lightning connector built in for recharging an integrated 40-hour battery, a Bluetooth 4.1 wireless chip, and a design that was apparently — despite obvious similarities to many other controllers — co-developed by Apple itself. It also is the first accessory to ship with Apple’s new “Made for Apple TV” logo on the box. Here are some early thoughts on the Nimbus based on my hands-on experiences…