When iOS 7 hits later this fall, Apple’s platform will for the first time ever open up specifically to third-party game controllers. That means mobile gaming on your iPad and iPhone will be how it should’ve been for the outset, and put real pressure on other competing devices in the industry. Best of all, it’ll allow developers to create an experience designed around supported hardware, meaning gaming on iOS could get a lot deeper.
As Apple was wrapping up its WWDC presentation on Monday, the company revealed an SDK slide that clearly outed MFi game controller support was on the way—MFi is a licensing program that allows third-party hardware add-ons in Apple’s ecosystem. With specific guidelines in place, developers will have a clearer image of what controllers it can design games around, making for a much better mobile gaming experience overall.
According to a slide discovered by Touch Arcade, it looks like Apple has two potential scenarios in mind for gaming controllers: one that encases the entire device, and one that essentially connects like any normal Bluetooth device would. It would make first person shooters a lot easier, and even driving games more fun.
The move itself is likely part of something bigger, especially when you put Apple TV into the equation. With AirPlay mirroring, Apple can essentially turn a series of iDevices into a mini home console, which would impose on Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony territory. Not that they’re comparable in terms of power and content. But Apple’s devices have turned the mobile gaming industry on its head already, and who know where controller support would take it.