What you need to know
- The Backbone One is a new gaming controller designed for iPhone.
- It connects to the iPhone via a Lightning connector.
- There are two analog sticks, a d-pad, and more.
There are more than a few game controllers designed for iPhone but there are very few that are up to the job. The new Backbone One will be hoping to join that short list and it might stand a chance based on what we're seeing so far.
Designed to hold an iPhone and connect via Lightning, the new controller has a layout that many will be familiar with. Two clickable sticks are joined by a d-pad and the usual array of face buttons. There's even a dedicated button for recording gameplay, too.
Press the Capture Button to instantly record gameplay and share directly to social platforms like Instagram Stories and iMessage.
Unlike the iPhone it's connected to, the Backbone One controller has a 3.5mm headphone jack built in.
Have friends using the same controller? Backbone's social features mean you can invite each other to chats and whatnot. All via the Backbone app.
On its face, the Backbone One is just a controller — and a very good one, at that. But with software enhancements that take advantage of iOS in some clever ways, Backbone makes the iPhone feel like a bona fide gaming platform that I want to remain a part of. When the hardware and software are all working together, with the ability to easily join up with friends and record clips, the One feels like a gaming experience that somehow beats Apple to the punch of fleshing out its own gaming ambitions. It is no longer just like a phone strapped into a few pieces of plastic but the start of something very special.
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