Need a controller for your Mac or iOS-based game, but don't have a physical controller handy? Pull out your iPhone and install Joypad.

The app turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a wireless virtual controller with a configurable set of buttons. It syncs up to a desktop client and remaps the buttons on the Joypad to keyboard buttons on your desktop. It's very clever, and is a free download.

joypadnes
Taking the app to the next level, the two-man development team, Zell Interactive, offers several sets of skins to give Joypad that retro feel, including classic NES and Super Nintendo controllers. Sounds perfect for some MAME-emulation, doesn't it?

Finally, the makers of Joypad have developed an iOS SDK to allow other developers to incorporate Joypad support into their games. Similar to how the Scrabble iPad game lets users store their tiles on their iPhone to hide them from other players, JoyPad let's you control a game on your iPad from your iPhone. It works via Bluetooth and it's awesome:


The app itself is free, with 8 skins available individually for $0.99 or all together for a discounted price.

Top Rated Comments

WiiDSmoker Avatar
170 months ago
Except you have ZERO tactile feedback.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Boardumb Avatar
170 months ago
Most pointless app ever? Oh yes, a joypad needs the tactile feedback, without it you'll keep looking at your iphone and not the monitor!

This is true for some games, but for others it's really not an issue. The movement controls with a d-pad or analog stick don't really need to be constantly monitored, and if you don't need to use a ton of buttons at once then they are large enough that you don't really need to keep your eyes on those either. More complex button setups or games where you need to push multiple buttons at the same time can be difficult to play though, but for the most part it works pretty well.

What I think is really cool is the mouse integration for playing desktop games. It lets you control the mouse cursor using the accelerometer, and click the mouse using the screen. It works really well and is totally handy if you travel and play games on a laptop a lot. Here's a vid of Minecraft being played with a Joypad:



The one thing the iPod/iPhone is no good at - controllers!
Wouldn't this also have latency issues, since your iPod has to communicate with the router and then to your computer. I can't imagine that being snappy!

If you're on a busy WiFi network then yeah it can have some lag problems. If it's not too crowded though it works really well. Also you can connect via Bluetooth now which eliminates the need for using a WiFi network at all.



So yeah, I'm definitely an advocate of the Joypad, but that's because I've used it quite a lot and think it works really well. Plus I see a ton of potential with the availability of an SDK for integrating easy Joypad support into games. But really, don't take my word for it, just try it yourself! It's free to download the app and desktop client, and it's pretty easy to get it set up and running. You may find it's actually a pretty handy thing to have around if you are out and about and feel like gaming and aren't equipped with a proper Bluetooth controller.

Here's the original article I did about this on TouchArcade: http://toucharcade.com/2011/06/13/wwdc-2011-joypad-game-controller/
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
b0r1s Avatar
170 months ago
Most pointless app ever? Oh yes, a joypad needs the tactile feedback, without it you'll keep looking at your iphone and not the monitor!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RickyB Avatar
170 months ago
Well I, for one, think it's a good idea.
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cheerwino Avatar
170 months ago
MacRumors! Your message here!
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LastLine Avatar
170 months ago
Yesterday dominoes, today this...what's tomorrow? ;-)
Score: 0 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
Next Gen CarPlay WWDC24 1

Apple Provides Updated Look at Next-Generation CarPlay at WWDC 2024

Monday June 10, 2024 7:11 pm PDT by
Apple today shared a few WWDC 2024 coding sessions related to its upcoming next-generation CarPlay system ahead of its launch later this year. The sessions include lots of updated next-generation CarPlay images, with one revealing new Vehicle, Media, and Climate apps in action for the first time. MacRumors previously discovered evidence of these apps in the iOS 17.4 beta. Next-generation...
ios 18 tile summary

Apple Announces iOS 18 With New Customization Features, Redesigned Photos App, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 10:17 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 18, the next major update to the operating system for the iPhone, with new customization features, a redesigned Photos app, and more. iOS 18 features new customization tools for the Home Screen. App icons now feature Dark Mode and users can tint them with a color to create a unique look. Apps can also now be placed anywhere on the Home Screen freely. The Control...
sequoia

macOS Sequoia and iPadOS 18 Drop Support for These Macs and iPads

Monday June 10, 2024 4:13 pm PDT by
macOS Sequoia is still compatible with several Intel-based Macs, but it does drop support for 2018 and 2019 models of the MacBook Air. macOS Sequoia is compatible with the following Macs, according to Apple: MacBook Pro: 2018 and later MacBook Air: 2020 and later Mac mini: 2018 and later iMac: 2019 and later iMac Pro: 2017 Mac Studio: 2022 and later Mac Pro: 2019 and later The...
maxresdefault

Everything Apple Announced at WWDC 2024 in Nine Minutes

Monday June 10, 2024 7:59 pm PDT by
Apple crammed an overwhelming number of new features into its WWDC 2024 keynote event, introducing Apple Intelligence, iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia, visionOS 2, watchOS 11, and tvOS 18. It was hard to keep up with everything that Apple highlighted, so we did a video of all of the new additions you won't want to miss. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've also...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...