MFi - Made for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Overview Updated July 25, 2017

MFi - Made for iPhone, iPad, and iPod

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24 'made for iPhone' stories

December 2013 - March 2016


MFi is short for Made for iPhone, iPad, and iPod and is Apple’s licensing program for developers and manufacturers. The MFi process spans hardware components, tools, documentation, technical support, and certification logos needed to create AirPlay audio accessories and electronic accessories that connect to iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

made for iPhone Stories March 4, 2016

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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made for iPhone Stories November 3, 2015

nomadwallet

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…

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made for iPhone Stories October 5, 2015

Apple-Watch-lugs

After announcing an official program for accessory makers interested in making Apple Watch bands back in May, Apple has now delivered on its promise of providing Apple-made watch lugs that third-party manufacturers can use to make straps. That’s the first sign that official third-party watch bands will soon be hitting the market through Apple’s Made for iPhone program (MFi). Companies enrolled in the MFi program can now order the parts (pictured above) through Apple’s supplier (via MR). expand full story

made for iPhone Stories May 4, 2015

Apple-Watch-magnetic-charging-cable

Is this the first third-party Apple Watch charging cable? Apple hasn’t yet announced official plans for a third-party accessory program for Apple Watch, but that hasn’t stopped accessory makers from creating stands, charging docks, straps, and other accessories for the device. This charging cable from Ionic, a company that sells a lot of MFi certified cables and adapters through Amazon, might be the first advertising a third-party version of Apple’s own magnetic charging cable. expand full story

made for iPhone Stories January 12, 2015

Apple-Lightning port-01

We previously told you that Apple will be licensing its female Lightning port to third-party accessoriesfollowing an announcement to Made for iPhone licensees late last year. Since then, the company has released specs for the Lightning port that details exactly what Apple hopes to achieve by opening it up to third-parties, including how it could improve accessories. expand full story

made for iPhone Stories December 11, 2014

logitech-protection-plus-iphone-6-case

Apple recently started requiring case manufacturers in its Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing program follow new requirements that will ensure cases better protect Apple devices and cover glass from impact, according to sources with knowledge of the new guidelines. expand full story

made for iPhone Stories November 28, 2014

Critically acclaimed console game ‘Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath’ arrives remastered for iOS devices

Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath first debuted on the original Xbox in 2005 to praise from critics and today the game has officially arrived for iOS devices with some new additions and enhancements specifically for the smaller screens.

Developed by Oddworld Inhabitants, Stranger’s Wrath is the latest installment in the franchise despite being first released on the original Xbox almost 10 years ago. The title foregoes the side scrolling puzzler gameplay that made the original Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee and follow up games in the series popular when released on PlayStation in the late 90’s. Instead, Stranger’s Wrath is half first-person shooter, half third-person platformer with lots of the usual Oddworld exploration and theatrical soundtrack.

The developers say the new iOS release includes “exciting new controls that make the most of the mobile format and improved visuals throughout.” The game also includes support for Made-for-iPhone game controllers and supports English, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Finish, Swedish, and Polish languages.

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is available on the App Store now for $5.99.

made for iPhone 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.

made for iPhone Stories June 5, 2014

moga-ace-power-01

We’ve learned Apple finally has a way for users of Made-For-iPhone/iPad game controllers to view a master list of supported games from the App Store, but it will first require the controller makers to issue firmware updates to their controllers. expand full story

made for iPhone Stories June 3, 2014

Beats-lightning

We’ve learned Apple has quietly introduced a new specification for manufacturers in its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program that allows them to create headphones that connect to iOS devices using a Lightning connector instead of the usual 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple has not flipped the switch on the audio input support for Lightning cables and existing iOS devices, but it will release a software update in the future that will enable support in devices running iOS 7.1 or later. expand full story

iOS-8-controller-forwarding

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

made for iPhone Stories May 29, 2014

nestapphome

Acquiring the Nest Learning Thermostat was Google’s big step into home automation

As first reported on Monday, Apple is said to be preparing a home automation system for debut at WWDC next week. While this was the first anyone had heard of any such plans, several different sources have quickly come together to give an idea of how an “Apple Smart Home” will likely function.

On Monday, as noted above, the Financial Times first reported that Apple’s new program would not consist of a group of first-party automated appliances or other devices connected to an iPhone. Instead, the program will work similarly to Apple’s existing “Made for iPhone” program. Essentially the only role Apple will play is to grant special branding to compliant devices.

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made for iPhone Stories May 27, 2014

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It’s the 21st Century: weren’t we all supposed to be living in automated homes by now? Where we walk in the door after a long day to have our home playing some soothing music, informing us that it’s run us a bath and that dinner will be ready in 45 minutes? Where a robot has done the cleaning, changed the flowers, accepted a parcel that arrived while we were at work and fed the cat?

That dream seems to be a long time coming. I’m a reasonably techy guy who loves the idea of home automation, yet even I only have three examples in my home (which I’ll mention along the way). Most mass-market consumers haven’t even noticed that the products exist, and the few who have tend to view it all as too complicated or fiddly.

If anyone can change that perception, it’s Apple. Which is why the Financial Times report yesterday that Apple is working on a new approach to home automation that may be unveiled at WWDC next week caught my attention …  expand full story

made for iPhone Stories May 12, 2014

iStick-MFi-cover

Hyper— we’ve reviewed some of its MacBook batteries and iPhone accessories in the past— is today announcing the first Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod touch (MFi) flash drive that includes a built-in Lightning connector. Unfortunately you can’t get your hands on one just yet, but you can preorder through a funding campaign the company just launched on Kickstarter.

Hyper told us it’s been working on the product for over two years and just recently got approval from Apple: “As expected, Apple had many concerns for iOS storage products like the iStick. We actually started MFi application for this product more than 2 years ago. It was definitely not an easy process but we managed to address all of Apple’s concerns and finally just got MFi approval.”

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made for iPhone Stories April 28, 2014

The first set of eye glasses with embedded iBeacon Bluetooth LE technology and certified under Apple’s Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program are coming soon. We’ve seen a growing number of companies embracing iBeacons by using the protocol: personalized retail experiences, in-store advertising, audience interaction at events, as well as apps that let you setup your own iBeacons at home and work. Now, a company called Tzukuri is about to launch a crowd funding project for the new eye glasses that use an embedded iBeacon to track lost glasses with accuracy to the nearest foot. They also use solar power, so charging is never an issue, and the company has big plans for using the product as a standalone iBeacon when on store shelves. expand full story

made for iPhone Stories March 4, 2014

Real Racing 3 iOS app updated w/ vehicle customizations, Aston Martin cars, iOS 7 controller support, more

The popular Real Racing 3 title from EA for iPhone and iPad received a big update today that on top of introducing tons of new content brings iOS 7 controller support. That means you’ll now be able to pick up and play the game with any of Apple’s new authorized Made-for-iPhone controllers. We’ve reviewed the majority of controllers to hit the market so far including products from Logitech, Moga, and SteelSeries.

Perhaps the most notable new feature is new customization options that allow users to “Change rims, tweak ride height, and apply a multitude of awesome vinyls using the powerful customization tools.”

In addition, the update introduces a photo mode to easily capture a snapshot of the action at any moment, the “All Star Vendetta Series”, and new Gold Achievements.

Version 2.1.0 of Real Racing 3 also brings new vehicles from Aston Martin including the DB9, Vanquish and V12 Vantage S.

The updated app is available on the App Store now for iPhone and iPad.

made for iPhone Stories February 28, 2014

Moga-MFi-iOS-BT-controller

Moga, the company behind one of the first Made-for-iPhone game controllers, today announced that it will soon unveil its next controller for iOS devices. It also sent over the image above that gives us some clues about what to expect. Unlike the Moga Ace Power controller that we reviewed back in December, the new controller appears to utilize Apple’s non-form fitting controller design which essentially makes it closer to a standard Bluetooth controller. If you compare the design to Moga’s other Bluetooth controllers for mobile devices, it also looks like the middle of the controller might fold out to form a stand for iOS devices.  expand full story

made for iPhone Stories February 25, 2014

Eversense-Aura-iBeacon

Aura iBeacons coming soon for EverSense smart thermostat

iBeacon, Apple’s new framework for using low-cost Bluetooth LE devices to beam notifications to nearby smartphones and tablets, will soon be getting a bigger push from Apple and third-party manufacturers through its Made-For-iPhone program. While “iBeacon” is often used in the media to describe any Bluetooth beacon, Apple is now implementing tighter control over who can use the ‘iBeacon’ branding. Much like it requires for manufacturers placing the “Made-for-iPhone” branding on Apple authorized devices, Apple is now requiring manufacturers meet certain specifications before using ‘iBeacon’ on their products. The change was first spotted by Beekn.net. It appears the program is separate from the main Bluetooth MFi specification as it still asks that accessory manufacturers not support the iBeacon feature. expand full story

made for iPhone Stories February 24, 2014

Back at CES we gave you a preview of the first Made-for-iPhone Bluetooth LE hearing aid when  GN’s Resound Linx started rolling out to select markets ahead of an official launch. Today the company announced that it’s now rolling out in global markets alongside the new ReSound Smart companion app. The hearing aid is the first under Apple’s MFi program using new Apple-developed Bluetooth LE hearing aid technology that introduces new possibilities for the product category.

ReSound LiNX, which the company notes is its “smallest wireless Receiver-in-the-Ear hearing aid” yet, works with the ReSound Smart App to allow users control over a number of settings and features via their iOS device:

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made for iPhone Stories January 16, 2014

steelseries-stratus-07

Apple’s new MFi game controller program offers a lot of promise for gaming on iOS— the top mobile gaming platform around could also soon be a serious platform for hardcore gamers. But the first crop of controllers have been met with much criticism from developers, reviewers and consumers alike. The consensus so far: flimsy buttons and joysticks, lack of support from developers, and a $99 price tag make them far overpriced compared to your standard Bluetooth game controller.

The launch for the first few controllers to hit the market was rushed, developers are disappointed and still trying to catch up, and manufacturers are limited in pricing, features, and quality due to Apple’s MFi program requirements. What does Apple have to do to overcome a rocky start to its game controller program which is supposed to control quality? And how are manufacturers limited by Apple in building better controllers at a fair price? We’ve dug into Apple’s MFi program and talked to developers and companies building the controllers to find out… expand full story

made for iPhone Stories January 10, 2014

I previously reviewed the first two Apple authorized game controllers to hit the market under Apple’s new Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch program from Logitech and Moga. Both used Apple’s form-fitting design that docks an iPhone or iPod touch directly into the controller via a Lightning connector. However, Apple’s program also allows another breed of standalone controllers that connect over Bluetooth and therefore also work with iPad and Mac. Unveiled at CES, this week I’ve put one of the first Bluetooth, non-form-fitting designs to the test with the new Stratus wireless controller from SteelSeries. expand full story

made for iPhone Stories January 8, 2014

HAIER APPLE MFI

Announced at CES this week in Las Vegas, Chinese electronic and appliance manufacturer Haier is notably the first in its industry to pick up Apple’s MFi certification for one of its products. Haier’s Tianzun air conditioner (press release) is the first smart appliance to pick up Apple’s Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad seal which notes Apple’s standards for ease-of-use, quality, and functionality were met. Haier, which manufactures other appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators, plans to implement the same connected technology found in its MFi air conditioner in other products as well potentially leading a move toward more user-friendly smart home appliances… expand full story

made for iPhone Stories January 7, 2014

CES coverage brought to you by Belkin

Back in June we reported that Apple was getting ready to introduce new Bluetooth Low Energy hearing aid technology it developed to significantly improve the current crop of products on the market. Apple expected partners in its MFi program to introduce hearing aid and cochlear implant products using the technology this year, and last night we got a look at the first MFi hearing aid about to launch globally this quarter during the Bluetooth SIG event at CES 2014. GN’s Resound Linx is trickling out in select markets as we speak but a full global launch is about to happen sometime this quarter.

Not only is Resound Linx the world’s smallest hearing aid and the first Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod through Apple’s official program, the connection to an iPhone over the 2.4GHz frequency and Apple’s advancements in low powered Bluetooth tech for hearing aid products will also provide some other first of their kind features for the Linx. The hearing aid will essentially also function as a high-quality headset, allowing users to answer calls, listen to turn-by-turn directions, and much more on their iOS device. The most notable advancement, however, is the ability to fine tune the hearing aid experience through a dedicated iOS app: expand full story

made for iPhone Stories December 20, 2013

SAMSUNG CSC

Following the introduction of Apple’s new MFi game controller frameworks at WWDC in June, well-known accessory makers this month have released some of the first Apple-certified, Made for iPhone gaming controllers. Today I’m taking a look at one of those controllers with the new Logitech PowerShell, followed by some details on exactly how it differs from the new MOGA controller and exactly what to expect from Apple’s new controller experience as we wait for developers to update games with support.  expand full story

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