controller Stories March 4, 2016

AAPL: 103.01

1.51

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.

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controller Stories August 19, 2015

AAPL: 115.01

-1.49

Square Enix announced earlier this year at E3 that it would bring back its beloved Final Fantasy VII title as a remake for consoles, PC, and iOS. Today, the iPhone and iPad version of the game officially arrives on the App Store.

While we learned previously that Square Enix wouldn’t be using its Luminous Engine for the remake, the game’s iTunes page does confirm that the iOS title is a direct “port based on Final Fantasy VII for PC” and arrives without any changes to the original game’s storyline. It’s also made some enhancements specially for the iPhone and iPad version… expand full story

controller Stories March 3, 2015

Sonos Controller app updated w/ quick Rooms access, new iPad UI, improved search, more

Sonos is today rolling out version 5.3 of its Sonos Controller app for iOS to introduce a few new features and a tweaked user interface. 

The feature being highlighted above others in the update is easier access to controlling the app’s Rooms feature: Effortlessly move your music around your home with a more accessible ROOMS menu available by tapping the top of any screen in the Sonos app. Group and ungroup rooms from the ROOMS menu to play music in perfect synchrony throughout your home.

Also new in the update is an updated user experience for iPad users that offers new, separate views for currently playing music and discovery features:

  • More engaging browse experience for tablets. Version 5.3 provides separate views for music discovery and what’s currently playing.
  • Last browsed on a phone or tablet. Quickly return to the last place you browsed.
    • Touch to view the last place you browsed. On your phone, you can also go back to the last place you browsed by swiping down on the Now Playing screen.
    • Touch the collapsed Now Playing screen at the bottom of the screen to return to full-screen view.

Sonos highlighted a few other new features including more readily available search and a new playback progress slider.

The updated app, version 5.3, is available on the App Store now.

What’s New in Version 5.3

SIMPLER ROOM CONTROL AND FASTER ACCESS TO ALL YOUR MUSIC.

Effortlessly move your music around your home with a more accessible Rooms menu available by tapping the top of any screen in the Sonos app.

A more engaging browse experience for tablets with dedicated screens for what’s playing and music discovery.

Simplified track progression bar, just below the album art in the Now playing screen. Drag it to whatever point in the song you want to play. This is only applicable for music sources that allow this.

Switch between screens by swiping down from the Now Playing screen to go back to browsing your music. Then swipe from far left to right to show all your music sources.

Search is now more readily available so you can quickly find and play music.

controller Stories January 27, 2015

Misfit Flash fitness tracker adding remote controls for Spotify, Nest, IFTTT + other home automation gear

Misfit, maker of the Flash and Shine wearable fitness trackers, today announced a collection of partnerships that will extend Flash’s functionality to include limited remote control of certain apps and home automation accessories. According to Misfit, Flash — a coin-shaped accessory with an integrated accelerometer, button and small lights — will be able to work as a wireless on/off switch in the following situations:

  • Start and stop a Spotify playlist.
  • Wake up to an ideal temperature using Flash’s sleep tracker and smart alarm with the Nest Learning Thermostat.
  • Connect to over 160 products and services via IFTTT, using a double press and other triggers to turn devices on and off, send stored messages, and send fitness information to an archive.
  • Use certain Logitech Harmony systems to activate commands such as “Watch a Movie,” “Play Games,” and “Listen to Music.”
  • Double press to send a message via the Yo messaging system.
  • Unlock August Smart Lock and Latch doors.
  • Change colors or turn on/off the Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight.
  • Check the air quality of your room using Bitfinder.

Misfit says that the features are coming to Flash in March, which should be shortly after the release of Misfit Bolt, a $50 light bulb capable of being wirelessly controlled by Flash. Additional partners will be announced in the future.

controller Stories June 9, 2014

SteelSeries announces full-sized Made-for-iPhone/iPad bluetooth game controller

We previously reviewed the first Made-for-iPhone/iPad “Stratus” controller launched by SteelSeries and today the company announced a full-sized version with the introduction of Stratus XL:

The Stratus XL Wireless Gaming Controller features a console-style layout with a pressure-sensitive directional pad (D-pad), 4 pressure-sensitive action buttons along with a total of 4 shoulder buttons – 2 pressure-sensitive top shoulder buttons and 2 analog trigger bottom shoulder buttons. In addition to dual analog sticks, Stratus XL includes a dedicated pairing button to connect to iOS devices via Bluetooth and a convenient on/off switch to save on power. The Stratus XL will deliver an estimated 40 hours of gameplay with two standard AA batteries; a battery life indicator is located on the underside of the device.

The controller also includes red LED indicator lights that show up to 4 controllers connected to a single device for multiplayer.

The Stratus XL controller is coming later this year but there is no word on pricing yet. Here’s to hoping the larger size improves on some of the issues we had with the last controller. You can see a size comparison of the two controllers to the right.

controller Stories June 3, 2014

Apple took some time to talk gaming during a presentation closed to the public yesterday at WWDC. While noting that gaming is now an area that Apple is “pushing on very strongly”, the company also announced a new feature coming for gamers and developers: Controller Forwarding.  expand full story

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